Monthly Archives: May 2009

Pumas Hosting Portland for U.S. Open Cup

And I’m not talking about the Portland Timbers U23 team, either. I’m talking about the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues’ first division. They are the Pumas’ reward for qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament open to amateur and pro teams played every year in this country.

To quote Kitsap executive director Ben Pecora, the early rounds of the Cup basically pit “David and Goliath” against each other to see if the small guys can compete. Major League Soccer teams enter the 40-team tournament following the second round. By then, nearly all of the lower-level teams have been cleaned out, but on occasion, a smaller pro team pulls off a couple upsets and makes things interesting.

While the later rounds are typically dominated by the bigger teams, the early rounds are all about the little guy getting a shot at the big time. In this case, Kitsap gets a shot to upset a follow Pacific Northwest team in its own backyard. The game will be played June 9 at 7 p.m. at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.

Plan on joining me there?

—Jeff Graham

Vilopoto Ready for Motocross Championships

From the Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The 12-race Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship season will get started at Glen Helen Raceway on Saturday.
The new season will bring new sponsors, a new TV package and the return of two-time Supercross champion Chad Reed to the lineup.
Reed, who finished second to James Stewart in the indoor Supercross championship this year, will take part in the outdoor season for the first time since 2006. The Australian driver plans a full-scale bid in the premier 450 Class championship, challenging top returning riders like Ryan Villopoto, Mike Alessi and Andrew Short.
Villopoto has moved up to the 450 Class after claiming championships in each of his three motocross seasons in the 250 Class. There is still plenty of competition in the second-tier series, though, with rising American star Ryan Dungey taking on European GP championships Christophe Pourcel and Tyla Rattray.
There will also be an eight-race Women’s Class, featuring five-time champion Jessica Patterson and reigning champion Ashley Fiolek. The 18-year-old Fiolek is the sport’s first deaf champion and the first woman signed to a factory team contract, riding for Honda Red Bull Racing.
SPEED and NBC will each televise three events live, with same-day coverage of the other six rounds on SPEED.

A’s Call Cunningham Up

Since the previous blog was posted about an hour ago, we’ve learned that Aaron Cunningham has been activated by the A’s. That explains why he wasn’t in the Sacramento lineup on Thursday. The outfielder, a former South Kitsap and Everett CC star,  joined the A’s in Detroit for Friday’s game.

The 23-year-old outfielder separated his shoulder in the first week of the PCL season, sustaining the injury while sliding into home and colliding with Tacoma catcher Jeff Clement. Activated on Sunday, he was hitting .375 with two HRs and eight RBI in just 24 at bats. This is Cunningham’s second trip to the show. He hit .250 in 22 games last September with the A’s. If he sticks, local fans won’t see him in Seattle until Aug. 25-26. The A’s return to Safeco Field for another three-game series on Sept.  29-30 and Oct. 1.

Cunningham Returns to Action for Sacramento River Cats

South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham has recovered from his early-season shoulder injury and is back pounding the ball for the Sacramento River Cats. He’s one of the A’s top prospects. Here’s the link to the story.

Cunningham, an outfielder who finished the 2008 season in the majors with Oakland, is hitting .375 with two homers and eight RBI in 24 at bats. He was activated on Sunday.

Every Team Needs a Willie

Check out the story on Willie Bloomquist by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star


ANAHEIM, Calif. | Willie Bloomquist still doesn’t have a position to call his own. Other than that, things couldn’t be going much better for the veteran utilityman.

The Royals just won two games from his old team, the Seattle Mariners, and he enters this weekend’s series against the Angels on pace to garner the most playing time of his career.

It’s no coincidence, he’ll tell you, that he’s also on pace for the most productive summer in his eight big-league seasons.

“I didn’t have a lot consistent at-bats (in the past),” he said. “Of course, you’re going to hear that, especially being a utility guy and a role player. But I’ve already got more at-bats this year than I had through the end of June last year.”

Continue reading

Hammel Starts Friday for Rockies

South Kitsap grad Jason Hammel makes his third start on Friday against the Marlins. Here’s the pitching matchup, courtesy

Friday, May 8 Tickets Coors Field | 7:10 PM MT
FLA Ricky Nolasco, RHP (1-3, 7.03)
Marlins (15-13)
  @   COL Jason Hammel, RHP (0-0, 3.45)
Rockies (11-15)
Scouting Report:
Marlins: Vicitimized by a grand slam and a solo home run in his last start, Nolasco watched his losing streak extend to three straight decisions. The 26-year-old threw a season-high 112 pitches in that loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He yielded a grand slam to Derrek Lee and a solo shot to Mike Fontenot. Normally, Nolasco is good about keeping the ball in the park. He surrendered two in his previous five starts, and hadn’t been taken deep in three successive outings. Nolasco is 2-0 against the Rockies, and he’s 1-0 at Coors Field.Rockies: Hammel, in his second start since moving from the bullpen, held the Giants scoreless and gave up six hits in six innings of Sunday afternoon’s 1-0 loss. He showed a lively fastball, and as the game progressed his breaking pitches increased in their sharpness.

Adrian Takes a Dip in Syrup

Did you see the Mythbusters episode Wednesday night with Nathan Adrian, our own Olympic gold medalist?

If so, what did you think? Did you miss it? Here’s a quick recap if you did:

The premise was can you swim as fast in syrup as you can in water. The physics behind it is the viscosity of the syrup will either hold you back, or actually give you buoyancy in the syrup to go faster. Both Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman swam in two outdoor ‘pools’ built in the ground. Their times were averaged between a water-filled pool and a ‘syrup’-filled pool.

Nathan came in near the end of the episode because the show hosts wanted to bring in an expert swimmer to test their times. Loved the shot the crew had, the low shot pan around Nathan, wearing his American-flag themed body suit, not to mention the gold medal when he was introduced.

Adam’s reaction to meeting Nathan was hilarious! He took a step back, as Nathan towered over both Mythbusters, and Adam exclaimed, ‘Holy Cow!’ Too funny! Don’t forget, he’s 6-foot-5 and about 230 pounds – at 20 years old!

First Nathan swam in the water-filled pool, then he entered the syrup pool. The results weren’t that different in the times and Jamie asked Nathan afterward if the syrup was difficult to swim in and Nathan said it messed with his technique more than anything.

That led Adam to think it was better to discard Nathan’s swim, being that he is a world-class swimmer and knows how to swim perfectly, and rather, use Adam’s times as more plausable.

So, the myth was deemed plausable. It definitely looked like Nathan had a great time. It’s fun to see someone that I first met as a shy, 13-year-old Bremerton High freshman on the pool deck at Jarstad.

-Annette Griffus

UPDATE: Here’s a couple of pictures I found of Nathan on Mythbusters


Nathan Adrian on Mythbusters
Nathan Adrian on Mythbusters



Nathan Getting into the Syrup Pool
Nathan Getting into the Syrup Pool