Hot links: Husky togetherness; Joe’s record run; The Boudreau Shift; Rory chasing Jack

Sounds like it’s hotter back home than it is in Cabo, where I spent most of the day turning my brain to mush before putting down a little wager on King Felix and the Mariners. Hey, if the KC Royals can find their way to the top of the AL Central this late in the season, surely the Mariners can find a way to beat a Toronto team that is coming off a 19-inning marathon the day before.

Also found some time to do a little reading. Here’s some links to consider:

* Husky football coach Chris Petersen brings a unique philosophy to Washington. According to this SI.com story, it’s all about building team unity. Well, not ALL about team unity, but it’s a big part of what he believes in. It dates back to his playing days at UC Davis and the philosophy of Tao Te Ching.

A sample from the story:

When he arrived at Washington, Petersen set up the leadership groups made up of players from different classes, positions and backgrounds. The groups have swim nights at a lake, play paint ball and hold barbecues. During team meetings, Petersen will have a player stand up and quiz others about his high school, hometown and siblings. Players’ lockers and seating arrangements at meals are organized so players would be near guys they may not interact with normally.

“I’d say that the bonding has tripled since he got here,” Washington senior linebacker Washington senior linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha said. “I can tell it worked. There are guys that never held conversations, and now they’re hanging out together off the field.”

* I wrote about Seattle runner Joe McConaughy a couple weeks ago. He was in the middle of running the Pacific Coast Trail. He ending up covering 2,663 miles in a record time of 53 days, 6 hours and 37 seconds. “The Run for Colin” — a cousin who died of a rare form of cancer — raised $27,000.

“I immediately broke down,” McConaughy told NPR writer Tom Banse after finishing. “I was switching between laughing and crying — thinking of all these incredible tales and trips we’d had day in, day out and all the pain.”

* Shifting defenders to stop opposing hitters has become a trendy, and effective method of stopping some of baseball’s dead-pull hitters. Until hitters start taking the ball the other way, the shifts will be here to stay. I’m not here to debate the merit of the defensive strategy, but did you know that Ted Williams had to deal with The Boudreau Shift? Joe Posnanski writes about it in his blog.

Posnanski writes:

The genius of the Boudreau Shift is that it LOOKS easy to beat. The fielders are ALL OVER THERE. All you have to do is hit the ball OVER THERE INSTEAD. I mean seriously, this is TED BLEEPIN’ WILLIAMS we are talking about here. You telling me he can’t just hit the ball to the left side anytime he wants?

Only, he could not — not with regularity, not with force, not with that beautiful swing he had honed since childhood. He crowded the plate, and he challenged pitchers, and he pulled mistakes with ferocity. This was how he hit. The fans fury poured down on him every time he beat a futile ground ball to the loaded right side, something he did with regularity. …

* It’s silly to call Rory McIlroy the next Tiger Woods, but right now the numbers say he’s a bigger threat to Jack Nicklaus’ record for most major victories (18) than Woods. McIlroy, 25, has won the last two majors and four of the 15 he’s entered.

Benjamin Morris of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website writes:

It may not look like much, but that four-major start by McIlroy is firmly in Woods and Nicklaus territory — they are the only players to have won four majors through age 25. Winning those four majors in a 15-tournament span is also a rare accomplishment. There have been a number of similarly meteoric rises in golf, but they usually come at a more mature age (see, for example: Nick Faldo, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan). And some early starts aren’t so meteoric (Seve Ballesteros).

If it comes down to pitching, M’s have a chance if they reach postseason

Take a look at these starting rotations and tell me which one do you want for the postseason. And consider that it’s possible to get by with just three starters in a seven-game series. I’d put the staffs in this order. It’s no guarantee for success, but if the Mariners get to the postseason, I like their chances. In addition to those top three starters, Seattle’s bullpen has been baseball’s best.

OAKLAND A’S

Jon Lester 11-7, 2.59 ERA

Jeff Samardzija 4-8, 2.91 (2-7, 2.83 with Cubs; 2-1, 3.09 with A’s).

Scott Kazmir 12-4, 2.53

Sonny Gray 12-5, 2.87

Jason Hammel 9-9, 3.70 (8-5, 2.98 w/Cubs; 1-4, 7.15 w/A’s)

SEATTLE MARINERS

Felix Hernandez 12-3, 1.97

Ishashi Iwakuma 9-6, 2.94

Chris Young 10-6, 3.27

Roenis Elias 8-9, 4.19

James Paxton 2-0, 2.76 (5-0, 2.01 in seven career starts)

DETROIT TIGERS

Max Scherzer 13-4, 3.24

David Price 11-8, 3.11 (0-0, 3.24 in one start w/Tigers after being traded by Rays)

Justin Verlander 10-10, 4.74

Rick Porcello 13-6, 3.06

Anibal Sanchez 8-5, 3.37

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Garrett Richards 12-4, 2.58

Jared Weaver 12-6, 3.59

C.J. Wilson 8-7, 4.74

Matt Shoemaker 9-4, 4.02

Tyler Skaggs 5-5, 4.30 or Hector Santiago 3-7, 3.84

 

And then there’s the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation, the best in baseball and the reason why the Dodgers will be favored to win the World Series:

LA DODGERS

Clayton Kershaw 13-2, 1.82

Zach Grienke 12-7, 3.77

Hyun-Jim Ryu 12-5, 3.39

Dan Haren 9-9, 4.57

Josh Beckett 6-6, 2.88 (Beckett, brought in as the fifth starter,tossed a no-hitter in May)

1979 NHRA Top Fuel championship car not just a story anymore — it exists

Silverdale’s Rob Bruins and Bremerton’s Chris Horn are returning to the drag strip at Pacific Raceways (formerly Seattle International Raceway) in Kent this weekend along with the Top Fuel dragster that they helped to an NHRA championship in 1979.

Bruins drove the Gaines Markley-owned dragster and Horn, then 19, was the full-time mechanic for a team that shocked that drag racing world by winning a world championship without winning a national event.

Horn, now a Kitsap-based real estate broker, came across the car by accident on a motorcycle trip to Nevada in 1996. He bought it, later chased down the original Keith Black aluminum engine block and other parts. He sold it to the World Speed Museum in December of 2013, and the car is now restored and will be at the track this weekend.

Thirty-five years ago, I covered the Northwest Nationals and wrote a story about these guys. They lost in the first round that day, but that was not the norm. The car won every divisional race it entered, and reached the semis or finals in all of the other national events to secure the championship.

I don’t pretend to be a motorsports expert, but this is a cool story about a couple of local racers who did big things in the world of motorsports.

Rob Bruins, Dave Villwock, Ryan Villopoto. That’s some serious motorsports history that’s come out of Kitsap County.

Here’s the story about Bruins, Horn and the innovative car that changed the drag-racing landscape.

 

Covering all bases: Katie Lee, Bill Carter, M’s attendance & more

Congrats to Katie Lee for her strong showing at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships at The Home Course in Dupont. Lee knocked off Annie Park, the 2013 NCAA champ from USC, 1 up in the round of 64 but lost the next day.

Park and Erynne Lee, Katie’s older sister, are good friends and were teammates on the U.S. Curtis Cup team. Erynne Lee’s taking summer classes prior to her senior year at UCLA. Katie Lee’s also going to UCLA, but will reportedly concentrate on her studies. She will also be the team manager of the women’s golf team. After this week, you wonder if she’ll have second thoughts about putting her clubs away. UCLA coaches are probably thinking the same thing.

… Bill Carter and the Blame are playing at Brother Don’s in Bremerton on July 31. Carter’s a Central Kitsap grad who once played in the Chymes of Freedom. He’s been based in Austin for years and will do a lecture at the Port Townsend Blues Festival and Workshop the day before. His song  “Anything Made of Paper,” was named one of the top 50 Songs of 2013 by American Songwriter Magazine.

… The crowds were pretty good for the Mariners’ three-game series against Oakland before the All-Star break: 32,971 on Friday, 39,204 on Saturday and 25,944 for Sunday’s finale. Almost 100,000 (98,119) for three games. But it’s nothing to get excited about. Despite putting a pretty good product on the field, the fans aren’t exactly flocking to the friendly confines of Safeco Field. Seattle ranks No. 24 in MLB, averaging 23,858 per game. Oakland, always trashed for its low attendance, is No. 23, pulling in 24,137 a game.

… I like the Oakland A’s. There, I said it (or at least wrote it). Maybe the A’s should be our hated rival, kind of like the 49ers are enemy No. 1 when it comes to the Seahawks. But I can’t dig up any hatred for Oakland. It’s a fun team to watch, and the A’s are not coached by Jim Harbaugh.

… Not very kind, but my buddy tells me the Mariners have their own Group of Death. It’s called Ackley, Smoak and  Miller. Ouch!

… Speaking of attendance, the Sounders pulled 64,207 for its game against rival Portland on July 13 and are averaging 42,771 fans a game at The Clink.

… Hard not to like Bjorn Bjorke, the Olympic College golf coach who works for the Ryan Moore Golf Club. Good golfer, good coach, good guy. Here’s a story I wrote about the 34-year-old South Kitsap grad.

… Didn’t watch it, but they tell me the Seattle Seahawks stole the show at the ESPYs.

… If you were the Mariners’ GM, would you pull the trigger on a trade with the Rays for lefty David Price and utility man Ben Zobrist? Who would you give up?

… The Cave Singers are putting in another appearance at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge in Bremerton on Friday, August July 18. Good band. Check ‘em out.

… While researching this story about Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, I was shocked to find out that Kevin Durant led the NBA in technical fouls with 20. Yeah, really. Look it up.

… An 0-for-19 slump has dropped Drew Vettleson’s batting average at Double-A Harrisburg to .200. The Central Kitsap grad had hit three home runs and driven in 11 runs for the Washington Nationals farm team.

… South Kitsap grad Brady Steiger, the former Lewis-Clark State star, is having trouble getting untracked at Class A Staten Island, a Yankees’ farm club. He’s hitting .168 overall and is just 4 for his last 32.

… Aaron Cunningham, another SK product, is hitting .253 at Triple-A Reno. He’s still looking for his first home run for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ affiliate.

… Ripken Reyes, the son of former standout Olympic High athlete Paul Reyes and Central Kitsap grad Heidi (Westhoff) Reyes, is playing in a baseball tournament in Seattle this weekend. Reyes, a middle infielder from Stockton, Calif., has already verbally committed to the University of California. He’ll be a senior next year. Ripken was one of 40 players invited to the Team USA U-17 national development camp, which takes place Aug. 4-8 in Cary, North Carolina.

… Young softball players, ages 8 to 18, are invited to an Olympic College softball skills clinic on Saturday (July 19), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Pendergast Park in West Hills. Cost is $60. OC head coach Dan Haas, assistants Dick Thompson and yours truly, plus OC players will be hand on to provide instruction. Hope to see you there.

 

 

Where’s Marvin Williams going to land? Charlotte? San Antone? Utah?

Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, 28, appears to have some options as the free-agent forward heads into his 10th NBA season.

Williams, who played his first seven seasons in Atlanta and the last two with Utah, has reportedly been targeted by the Charlotte Hornets.

In an earlier report, Williams was linked as a possible fit for the San Antonio Spurs.

Adrian Worjanowski of Yahoo! Sports, who broke the story about Charlotte’s interest in Williams, also writes that the Utah Jazz are still interested in keeping Williams.

The former Bremerton High star, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Utah Jazz last year. He shot 36 percent from 3-point range.

His career numbers are 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds. There are not a lot of power forwards available and the 6-fo0t-9 Williams is valuable because of his ability to shoot the three and teammates and coaches in Utah raved about this leadership the past two seasons.

If it comes down to Charlotte and San Antonio, that would be a tough decision. He made $7.5 million a year ago and would likely make around $2.5 million if he joins the NBA champion Spurs. The Hornets are in a position to pay a lot more. Plus, Charlotte needs a starting power forward after losing Josh McRoberts to Miami.

 

Tuesday links: World Cup, Raul, Sherm and The Jet

Here’s some reading material before you settle in for the U.S.-Belgium World Cup match (1 p.m., ESPN):

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports upset the Belgians with this column about why the U.S. can’t lose to Belgium.

He writes:

Belgium has just 11 million people, which is like, what, a Dakota and a half? (Not certain since I was too lazy and distracted to look it up. You want worker productivity? Go hire a Belgian.)

These guys are Canada-Lite, one of these perfect, nice, polite, pretty countries that take pride in the fact they all ride bikes and recycle and don’t unilaterally invade other sovereign nations.

There is no place for someone like this on the global stage of the World Cup, where each match is life and death … literally in some places if you blow a critical assignment.

Jason Whitlock of ESPN.com writes about World Cup fever and the lessons our pro leagues can learn from it.

He writes:

Again, the point of a season-end revival is to showcase a sport as the best. The World Cup, the Super Bowl and the Final Four are primarily gigantic marketing events. They entice fans and media to come and worship for a month, a week and three days, respectively. These events are impossible to ignore. They help grow and maintain soccer, football and college basketball congregations.

It’s puzzling, and counterproductive, that the NBA and MLB haven’t constructed a season-end revival. Eight years ago it was still fashionable to laugh at and ridicule soccer in this country. And now the World Cup is drawing NFL-size television ratings and a lifelong football groupie is analogizing Cristiano Ronaldo to Joe Montana.

 

Joe Posnanski writes about Raul Ibanez, who is back in Kansas City with the Royals.

Posnanski writes this about the 42-year-old ex-Mariner:

There are a million Ibañez numbers I could throw at you to blow your mind — here’s just one: He hit 276 of his 303 career home runs after age 30. That’s 91% of his home runs. That is BY FAR the highest percentage among the 137 players in baseball history who hit 300 home runs.

He hit as many home runs after age 30 as Harmon Killebrew, more (at this moment) than David Ortiz, more than Yaz or Frank Thomas or (how about this one?) A-Rod.

Or this stat: Ibañez is one of only 15 players in baseball history to have more than 1,000 RBIs after age 30. With one more RBI for Kansas City, he will tie a pretty good player named Willie Mays with 1,091 RBIs after 30.

Or this stat: Ibañez has scored almost as many runs after age 30 (945) as Derek Jeter (977).

Or this stat: Ibañez has hit more doubles after age 30 than Stan Musial did. Or George Brett. Or Wade Boggs. Or Barry Bonds.

And just because y’all can’t get enough of Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks, here’s where you can check out Sherman columns for Sport Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback (mmqb.si.com).

In his love letter to coach Pete Carroll, Sherm wrote:

I can’t imagine what life in the NFL would be like for me if he hadn’t used a third-day pick on a still-raw cornerback. I get texts from guys across the league which remind me how good we’ve got it in Seattle. They ask, “Is he really as cool as he seems?” and “I hear you guys have fun at practice?” Yes and yes. All he asks is that we be ourselves and protect the team’s reputation by not saying anything controversial.

In case you missed it, here’s Todd Dybas’ story on Mariners’ rookie James (The Jet) Jones. Don’t know if the nickname’s catching on, but don’t you think it should? Jones is now up to 17 steals after pilfering three on Monday night in Houston, when he went 4-for-5 at the plate.

The Jet, Willie, Seahawks, Hammel, World Cup & more

Here we go, in no particular order:

Dude can fly: James (The Jet) Jones is up to 14 steals (he’s been caught once) through Tuesday and considering he didn’t get his first one until May 1, that’s pretty impressive. Michael Saunders led the Seattle Mariners with 13 steals a year ago. Ichiro (438 steals during his time in Seattle), Jose Cruz (290) and Harold Reynolds (228) are Seattle’s all-time leaders in steals, but the M’s have never had a lot of speed guys. Willie Bloomquist (71) ranks No. 11 in steals in franchise history. Jones, if he’s as good as I think he might be, could pass Willie in the summer of 2015.

Speaking of Willie: The South Kitsap grad is hitting .278, and get this — the M’s are 18-7 when he starts (through Tuesday). That’s the stat that matters, right?

Sherm shuts up: Richard Sherman’s never been at a loss for worlds, but he reportedly isn’t speaking to the media, upset with the Seattle Times because the newspaper published the address of his new home. Got to side with Sherm on that one. Some things don’t need to be printed, and that’s one of ‘em.

Speaking of Seahawks: Sherman, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson have all been nominated for ESPYs. 

World Cup fever: Portugal’s late goal in extra time against the U.S. in the World Cup was a punch to the gut, but it didn’t take long for me to get over the 2-2 tie. I’m really looking forward to see how Jurgen Klinsmann’s boys do against Germany on Thursday (9 a.m. ESPN). Klinsmann is a former German star, a legend in his country. He played on West Germany’s 1990 World Cup championship team and coached the 2006 German World Cup team. Germany is now coached by Joachim Lowe, a protege of Klinsmann. The U.S., which needs a tie to move on to the round of 16, has five players who grew up in Germany. This one promises to be emotional. I can’t wait.

Speaking of soccer: How ’bout those Pumas? Kitsap’s soccer club is 6-0-4 and has opened a seven-point lead in the Northwest Division of the PDL. Coach Andrew Chapman, the Olympic High grad who has turned Peninsula CC into an NWAACC power, seems to be making all of the right decisions. The Pumas are one of six unbeatens in the 64-team league. Kitsap won a national title in 2011, and it looks like the Pumas are going to make another serious run this summer.

BlueJackets bashing: Kitsap’s summer college baseball team, the BlueJackets, are off to a good start. Kitsap’s 8-5 and just a half-game back of Bellingham in the Western Division of the West Coast League (through Tuesday). They boast the No. 1 (Danny Woodruff, .453) and No. 3 (Alex Bush, .395, 2 HRs, 15 RBI) hitters. Woodruff’s an outfielder from Creighton who played in just seven games as a freshman. Bush is a 6-foot-6, 255-pound first baseman/DH who just graduated from high school in Turlock, California. He’s going to be a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. Kitsap’s second in hitting (.296 average) and eighth in pitching (5.46 ERA) in the 12-team wood-bat league.

Hammel report: Jason Hammel, the 2000 South Kitsap grad who is having a fine season (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 91 Ks, 20 BBs, 96.1 IP, 1.017 WHIP) for the Chicago Cubs, continues to be linked to the Mariners. This report says the Cubs and M’s have had serious talks, and that Chicago wants RHP Edwin Diaz, Seattle’s third-round pick in the 2012 draft, to be part of the package.

Minor league report: Brady Steiger (South Kitsap/WSU/Lewis-Clark St.) hit his first home run as a pro over the weekend. He plays for the Class A Staten Island Yankees. … Drew Vettlesen (Central Kitsap) wrapped up an eight-game rehab stint with the Auburn Doubledays. He was 4-for-4 on Friday and hit .318. The outfielder, who broke a bone in his hand when hit by a ball in April, is back with the Double-A Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators (Nationals) of the Eastern League. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base on Tuesday. … Aaron Cunningham (South Kitsap/Everett CC) hitting .258 with no homers and 20 RBI for the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) of the Pacific Coast League.

Back on the tee: Troy Kelly, the Central Kitsap grad whose 2013 golf season was derailed by a knee surgery after playing in just 10 PGA Tour events, is resuming his comeback. He played in four Web.com events earlier, but made just one cut and wasn’t satisfied with his game, so he returned to Tacoma to work on it. There might be some rust when he plays in this week’s Web.com tournament in Newburgh, Indiana. He’s using it as a tuneup for the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic the following week in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Kelly’s got fond memories of Greenbrier, where he shot 6-under 63 in the third round in 2012 to get into contention. He closed with a 66 and wound up losing a playoff on the third hole to Ted Potter. Kelly plans to play four straight weeks. He’ll head to Illinois for the John Deere Classic in Illinois after the Greenbrier Classic before returning to Boise, Idaho, for another Web.com stop. … Kelly’s brother Ryan, his caddie, finished second in the Tacoma City Amateur over the weekend.

Coming Friday: I’ll be writing about “The Legend” later this week. That would be 83-year-old Buzz Edmonds, a three-time winner of the Kitsap Amateur, nine-time club champ at Kitsap Golf & Country Club and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I chatted with Buzz and some of his golfing buddies earlier this week. The story will publish Friday.

Nice sendoff: South Kitsap’s three-sport star Logan Knowles, who is headed to the Naval Academy to play baseball, wrapped up his high school career by going 2-for-4 with a home run, double and 4 RBI in the consolation game of the Washington State All-State Baseball Series in Yakima. His home run was the only one hit during the weekend.

Recommended reading: Charlie Pierce, who writes for Grantland,com, among other outlets, weighed in on the O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial that is going on. He writes:

” … If you are a college athlete, you must — willingly or unwillingly — help the NCAA and its member institutions keep faith with Coca-Cola. One of the ugly moral truths about all our sports is that athletes represent one of the categories of Americans who can be legally and publicly treated as commodities, and nowhere is that truth more obvious, and more ugly, than in college athletics, where the athletes are not only forbidden from profiting from their own commodification, but also required to help the institutions they represent to profit from it. Then they have to hear the people who profit most from the commodities who play ball for them tell a judge that they’re doing it only for the athlete’s own good. This trial is about the NCAA’s desire to maintain that arrangement forever. Unless you’re afflicted with a kind of moral myopia, this is no less than grotesque.”

 

World Cup predictions & some linkage

What do I know about soccer?

Not a lot, but the World Cup might be the greatest show on earth. I first paid attention to the World Cup in 2002 when South Korea and Japan hosted the event. The games were televised live and many of them were on in the wee hours of the morning.

A few of us got our World Cup on after work, which meant that the fun didn’t start until after midnight. We usually warmed up with a couple of sake bombers after heading to a colleague’s home to watch the action unfold.

No sake bombers this time, but I’ll be watching as much of the tournament as possible. Over the years I’ve become a fan of Cameroon. The Les Lions Indomptables ((The Indomitable Lions) have only make it out of the group stage once (1990), and they’re underdogs once again. The Les Lions Indomptables are in Group A, along with favorite and tournament host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Because of my Yugoslavian heritage, I’m also a big fan of Croatia. I’m also pulling for Mexico, also known as the El Tri. Mexico might have more fans in the U.S. than the U.S. I’ve seen the passion of the Mexican people for their soccer team while vacationing in Cabo, sitting side-by-side with them while watching the El Tri advance to the second round in 2010. They were eliminated by Argentina that year.

So Group A is where my heart is, but Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico all can’t advance.  Who will join Brazil in the round of 16?   I think Mexico, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Croatia grabs the second spot. I’d prefer Cameroon, and it would be an improbable story if the Les Lions Indomptables survive.

The U.S.? I think the Americans will defy the odds. They will not only get out of a tough group (Germany, Portugal and Ghana are the opponents), but I’ve got the U.S. winning a Round of 16 match against Belgium before losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals.

My quarterfinal predictions: Brazil def. Colombia, Germany def. Bosni and Herzegovina,  Spain def. Italy and Argentina def. U.S.

Semis: Brazil def. Germany; Argentina def. Spain

Finals: Brazil def. Argentina

In the spirit of Lionel Messi and World Cup, I suggest you read this story and have some Dramamine available just in case.

Some links

Marshawn Lynch to skip Seahawks’ mini-camp because he wants a contract extension? That’s the word.

My weekly Thursday column was about Willie Bloomquist, the South Kitsap grad who played in his 1,000th career MLB game on Tuesday. Of those 1,000 games, he’s started 684 of them. The breakdown by position: 244 at shortstop, 224 in the outfield (94 in center, 67 in left, 63 in right), 100 at third base, 100 at second base and 16 at first base, including five this season.

Rick Reilly’s last column. If you’re going to read anything today, read this.

Larry Stone of the Seattle TImes wrote this tribute about Derek Jeter, whose farewell tour passed through Seattle this week.

Silverdale’s Katie Lee has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament, a championship that will be conducted at The Home Course in Dupont, Washington, in July. It’s the second straight year that Lee, the younger sister of UCLA and Curtis Cup golfer Erynne Lee, has qualified for the APL.

 

 

 

 

Six ex-BlueJackets drafted by MLB teams

The Kitsap BlueJackets, off to a 2-0 start in West Coast League play after a pair of exciting wins Friday and Saturday, had six former players selected in the 2014 MLB amateur draft.

5th Round: Rhys Hoskins, first baseman from  Sacramento State, Phillies (Hoskins was overlooked when I put together the Jackets’ 10-year anniversary Dream Team)

7th Round: Relief pitcher Reed Reilly, three-time All-Big West first-team selection from Cal Poly, Red Sox

24th Round: First baseman Cisco Tellez, UC Riversside, Red Sox

30th Round: Pitcher Spencer Watkins, Western Oregon (threw a perfect game for BlueJackets in 2013)

31st Round: Catcher Alex McKeon, University of Texas A&M International, Boston

37th Round: Pitcher Sam Lindquist, Stanford, Mariners

Plus Brock Burke, a high school pitcher from Colorado who was supposed to play in Bremerton this summer, was a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. Burke has signed with Oregon. He’s expected to turn pro so he’ll probably never wear a BlueJackets’ uniform.

Notes: The Jackets play the Klamath Falls Gems at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the Fairgrounds. They travel to Wenatchee for three games, then return to host Bellingham next weekend (June 13-14-15) and Bend (June 17-18-19) … Daniel Orr, first baseman from Kingston/Everett CC and Corban University, was another top homegrown product that deserved mention in the BlueJackets’ 10th Anniversary Dream Team.

 

 

BlueJackets open 10th season on Friday, June 6

Was checking out the new Kitsap BlueJackets web site — a big improvement by the way — and noticed they had linked to a story I wrote in July of 2007.

Photographer Larry Steagall and I joined the BlueJackets for a road trip to Bend, Ore., cramming into the old blue bus that the Jackets used to travel in. It was a fun team to hang out with and here’s the story about the boys on the bus. I apologize for the typos at the start of the story. Not sure how those crept into the online version of the story, but they did.

Hard to believe this is the 10th anniversary season for the West Coast League baseball team.

Kitsap opens the season on Friday at home against the Klamath Falls Gems.

I’m retired now, but still doing some writing for The Sun, and I’m going to preview the team later this week and in honor the 10th anniversary season, I hope to come up with a top-10 list. You know, best team, best player (or players), funniest BlueJacket, best moment, best game, etc. It’ll be something along those lines. I’ll pick the brains of current head coach Ryan Parker and former coach Matt Acker, who is back as a part of the ownership group.

In the meantime, check out the BlueJackets’ new web site. You can find the season schedule, ticket prices and roster, although I don’t think the roster is complete because there’s only three outfielders listed.

The Jackets are playing a doubleheader against the Seattle Cheney Studs on Tuesday at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Game 1 is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

The WCL welcomes a new team — the Yakima Valley Pippins (named after the delicious apple that’s grown in that area). The Pippins were also the nickname of the pro team that played in the old Western International League. The Bremerton Bluejackets played in the Class B WIL from 1946-49.

Bluejacket or Blue Jacket may refer to an enlisted sailor in the Navy. The Bluejacket’s Manual is also the basic handbook for U.S. Naval personnel.

The WIL will be split into three divisions this season, with the BlueJackets in the West along with the Cowlitz Black Bears, Bellingham Bells and Victoria HarbourCats.

The Walla Walla Sweets, Wenatchee AppleSox, Kelowna, B.C. Falcons, and Yakima Valley Pippins comprise the East. Note: Walla Walla and Yakima have the same ownership group, which includes former MLB player Jeff Cirillo.

The South features four Oregon teams — Corvallis Knights, Bend Elks, Klamath Falls Gems and Medford Rogues.

Teams will play a 54-game schedule. The three division champions plus a wild-card will advance to the playoffs.

The WCL had 56 players selected in the 2013 Major League draft.