Monthly Archives: November 2009

TV: Pacquiao-Cotto Replay Saturday; MMA PPV; Apple Cup Coverage

My interest in boxing, like a lot of you, has faded over the years. But every once in a while, a fight comes along that I really want to see. And I usually don’t like watching replays, but I’ll make an exception for the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight. HBO will replay it at 10 p.m. Saturday night (Nov. 21) and I’ll be belly-up to the television.

Pacquiao scored a historic 12th-round TKO, and has now won titles in seven different weight classes, something no fighter has ever done. The victory followed up decisive wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao’s cemented himself as one of boxing’s all-time greatest fighters.

There’s an MMA fight on Saturday night, too, but I can’t get revved up about mixed martial arts fighting. It seems like nothing more than glorified bar fighting to me. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s probably surpassed boxing and wrestling in popularity. If you’re into it, I’m sure you’ll be watching Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin go at it n their highly-anticipated light heavyweight fight. If you want to watch it, go to this link.

We’re a week away from the Apple Cup game, but to help you get ready for the Washington-Washington State game (Saturday, Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m.), here’s FSN’s coverage plans, which starts on Sunday,  nov. 22 at 7 p.m.:

“The countdown for Apple Cup is here and FSN will again be the exclusive home of the battle between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. The most anticipated game of the season for crimson and purple fans kicks off on FSN on Saturday, November 28th at 2:30 pm and if you’re not in Husky Stadium, then FSN will be your eyes and ears for the 102nd playing of the annual rivalry game.

The 2009 Apple Cup kicks-off for viewers across the Northwest live at 2:30 p.m. with a special 60-minute edition of College Football Northwest from Husky Stadium. FSN’s Brad Adam will be joined by former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser, and former UW quarterback Damon Huard, along with FSN’s Angie Mentink and Jen Mueller to bring fans exclusive interviews and key match-ups for this year’s game.

FSN’s Tom Glasgow will bring fans the play-by-play action for the 2009 Apple Cup game as it kicks off at 3:30 pm live on FSN. Glasgow will be joined by former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, along with former WWU quarterback Jason Stiles bringing fans updates directly from the sidelines. The College Football Northwest crew will return with an “Apple Cup Wrap-up” show featuring post-game reaction from both locker rooms and exclusive interviews with players and coaches at 10:30 p.m. immediately following the UCLA/USC game. Fans can also watch a replay of the 2009 Apple Cup game on Sunday, November 29th at 10 pm and Monday, November 30th at 11 am and 7 pm.

In addition to unprecedented coverage of this year’s game, FSN will spend the entire week giving fans a chance to relive some of the greatest Apple Cup moments of the past with FSN Classics and will count down the top-10 Apple Cup games for both teams in the history of the rivalry on Northwest Top 10: Huskies Apple Cup Games and Northwest Top 10: Cougars Apple Cup Games.

FSN Classics kicks off the full week of Apple Cup programming on Sunday, November 22nd at 7 pm, with the 1996 Apple Cup as the Huskies take a big lead in Pullman, but the Cougars fight back and take the game into overtime in a heated battle at Martin Stadium. FSN Classics continues on Tuesday, November 24th at 7:30 pm, with the 1992 Apple Cup, famously known as “The Snow Bowl,” as the fifth-ranked Huskies traveled to Pullman to face Drew Bledsoe’s Cougars. A blustery snow storm and a high-scoring third quarter were the difference in this memorable game for both teams.

Apple Cup legends such as Drew Bledsoe, Warren Moon, Mike Price and Don James look back at some of the top games ever played in the series on Northwest Top 10: Huskies Apple Cup Games and Northwest Top 10: Cougars Apple Cup Games. Host Jen Mueller will countdown the top-10 Apple Cup games for each team during a 30-minute special dedicated to the Huskies and the Cougars. FSN will also give fans an “All Access” pass to both teams on Huskies All Access and Cougars All Access during the week leading up to the 2009 Apple Cup.”

Kelly Tied for Third at Q School

UPDATE: Troy Kelly finished the day tied for third. He’s 2 strokes back of the leader, Luke List.

EARLIER POST: Troy Kelly’s chances of moving on to the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying school look pretty good right now. The Central Kitsap grad fired a 4-under 67 at the TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, on Thursday. He was among the first players to finish today, and he’s currently tied for first at 7-under 135. His round included an eagle 2 on No. 14 and four birdies.

The top 21 and ties move on to the final stage, Dec. 2-7 at Bear Lakes CC in West Palm Beach, Fla. The top 25 at the final stage earn their PGA Tour cards for 2010. Kelly tied for 11th at Q-School finals a year ago when it was held at PGA West in LaQuinta, Calif., where Kelly now resides.

Though he failed to retain his card in his rookie season, Kelly played a lot better at the end of the season, particularly on the Nationwide Tour, and he ended earning nearly $100,000 between the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour.

MLS Cup Arrives on Bainbridge Ferry

The Philip F. Anschutz MLS Cup was in Bainbridge today. Why? That’s the million dollar question. Anyway, here’s a video of the trophy coming off the MV Tacoma ferry at Colman Dock in Seattle. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and Sounders technical director Chris Henderson are carrying the hardware.
The Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake will play for the trophy in the MLS championship game on Sunday at Qwest Field. It will be televised live by ESPN at 5:30 p.m.

I guess this was the official kickoff to MLS Cup festivities and the league was looking to make a big splash by having the sterling-silver cup arrive via ferry. It made for a nice photo op, and there were a few hands on the Seattle side, waiting to greet the trophy.

Tuesday Ramblings

Husky football: Even a win in the Apple Cup won’t help the Huskies put a shine back on a season that seemed so promising two weeks into the season. This team is eerily similar to the 2007 Huskies. That team, coached by Tyrone Willingham, was 4-9. It started fast, beating Syracuse and Boise State and, like the current team, it was in a lot of games (USC, 27-24; Arizona, 48-41; Oregon State, 29-23; WSU 42-35; Hawaii 35-28), but somehow couldn’t figure out a way to win them.
Of course, Ty’s guys came back with an 0-12 clunker and nobody expects that from coach Steve Sarkisian and company. Yet, the schedule’s not conducive to a good start in 2010. Have you looked at it?
Four of Washington’s first five games are against BYU, Nebraska, Cal and USC. If Jake Locker decides to jump to the NFL, the Huskies’ task looms even tougher, doesn’t it? Here’s a link to Washington’s future schedules.

Speaking of Willingham: Ty Willingham has a winning percentage of .583 in three years  at Notre Dame and got fired. Charlie Weis’ winning percentage in his fifth year? Yep, .583. Say good-bye Charlie.

Harneys back at it: The father-son duo of Jim and Tom Harney are coaching junior high basketball in Poulsbo.

One sweet facility: Stopped by the West Hills Performance Baseball Center this week. Olympic College’s baseball team was using the indoor practice facility — it rents the place from noon to 2 p.m. daily. No, I don’t own stock in it, but it’s one cool place. The pitching machines and cages are identical to the ones used by the Mariners at Safeco Field.

If you want to take your girl friend out on a date and hit a few balls, well, this isn’t the place for that. This is for serious baseball and fastpitch players who want to get better. The Diamond Dusters softball team is using the facility twice a week. It’s only been open a couple weeks. Team and individual instruction is available. The OC softball team is also using the performance center. There’s also stations for strength and conditioning drills. The goal of the facility, run by former Bainbridge High and Olympic College Mike Reese, is to develop college players.

Check it out. The prices seemed more than reasonable to me.

One sweet nickname: Welcome the Walla Walla Sweets to the West Coast League. That’s the nickname of the expansion franchise. The Sweet and Cowlitz Bears — another expansion club from the Longview-Kelso area — begin play in 2010.

Back to Q-School for Troy Kelly: So the Central Kitsap grad struggled as a rookie on the PGA Tour, making just three cuts in 17 tournaments. If you’re surprised, you shouldn’t be. Of all the professional sports, golf has got to be the toughest for first-year players. It’s common for players to win their PGA Tour card, lose it, and have to go back through Q-School. That’s where Kelly’s at this week. He tees it up in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday. Here’s a look at the field at TPC Craig Ranch, one of six second-stage sites.

What about Marvin Bullitt?: Everybody’s weighing in on Bill Belichik’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 withn 2;08 left with his Patriots holding a six-point lead over the unbeaten Colts on Sunday. The play came up short, the Patriots lost , and Belichik’s being roasted by some and defended by others. Lost in all of this is the fact that Colts safety Marvin Bullitt (he was No. 33 on your TV screen) made a helluva play when he came up and put a lick on the Colts Kevin Faulk, forcing to him to momentarily bobble the ball and come up a yard short on the play.

What about Marvin Williams?: The offensive numbers are down for Bremerton’s NBA player.  The Atlanta forward, however, is only taking 7 shots a game. He averaged 10..2 per game last season and 11.5 in 2007-08. Nobody’s complaining, though, as Williams remains a key player for the Hawks, who are 9-2 and sitting on top of the Southeast Division.

Dec. 10: That’s the date of the next Bremerton School Board meeting, and a decision on whether to name the high school gym and court after former basketball coaches Ken Wills and Les Eathorne is expected to be announced.

Skinny track: Turns out the new eight-lane track at Bremerton Memorial Stadium isn’t up to snuff. The outside lane is 36 inches wide — and even narrower in spots. That means the Knights will be conducting seven-lane meets unless corrections are made. That means no league or district-type meets at the stadium. The resurfaced track was part of $30 million-plus bond issue Bremerton voters approved in 2005. Money from the bond issue was also suppose to go toward the construction of a six-lane cinder track at Mountain View Middle School, but that hasn’t been completed. The school district and contractor are currently sparring over money owed. Stay tuned.

ISPNSports: You’ve probably heard of it or seen it in our television listings and briefs in the paer. Kevin Mac will talk about it at the Kitsap County Bremerton Athletic Roundtable meeting at the Cloverleaf Sports Bar & Grill (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) on Wednesday. It’s the Olympic Peninsula’s only live and local 24-hour sports broadcasting network and he covers the Kitsap BlueJackets, OC baseball, high school games and recently the Kitsap County Pee Wee Association’s football championships. Go to to check it out.

Golf course, anyone?: Wonder what’s going to become of White Horse Golf Club, which opened in 2007? American Marine Bank is now managing the course, but I’m sure they’re willing to listen to offers. If you had an extra million or two or three (I’m not sure what it’s worth), would it be an investment you’d be interesting in?

There’s rumors the Suquamish Clearwater Casino might be interested, but it’s only rumors. In healthier financial times, it would make sense. The casino has an 85-room hotel and the course in minutes away. Gaming, golf, lodging. It’s nice package.

The Cedars at Dungeness makes it work. The 7 Cedars Casino bought the Sequim course a few years ago and they’re making it work.

Steven Gray Has a Possible Future …. As an Actor

Howie Stalwick, who covers sports in Eastern Washington and beyond for the Kitsap Sun and various other media outlets, has covered former Bainbridge High School basketball star Steven Gray extensively during his three years at Gonzaga University. Last week, Stalwick watched Gray perform in “Take Me Out,” a Tony Award-winning play starring Gonzaga students. Here’s his review:

First of all, I freely admit that my own acting experience is limited to 1) faking a headache when it’s time to mow the lawn and 2) faking interest in listening to anyone else talk about their children. I mean, why would anyone want to waste time talking about THEIR children when they should be talking about MY incredibly brilliant, charming and gorgeous daughters?
That said, I was absolutely overwhelmed — honest, that’s the first word that comes to mind — with Steven Gray’s portrayal of gay baseball star Darren Lemming in the Gonzaga production of “Take Me Out.”
If you did not know better, not one single, solitary soul who saw Gray perform would have come away from the play believing Gray was anything but a veteran actor.
Like all great actors, Gray has a certain presence on the stage. It does not hurt that he is tall, handsome and blessed with an athlete’s natural grace.
I’m not going to bore you with details about the play, partly because I’m a sports writer, not a drama critic. Take my word for it: When Gray is done making millions (or, at the very least, hundreds of thousands) of dollars playing pro basketball in the NBA, Europe or somewhere on the globe after college, he could make it as an actor. He’s that good, in my semi-informed opinion.
What? You doubt my ability to judge a good actor? Listen, buddy, just ask my wife when’s the last time I mowed the lawn.

Catching Up With Stevie Mac

Remember Steve McPherson, the former Port Townsend and Olympic College baseball coach?

Maybe this will jog your memory. The item appeared in the Kitsap Sun on July 4, 1997:

People who believe they may have been victims of financial fraud by Steve McPherson or his wife, Carol, while they operated the Port Townsend Municipal Golf Course are asked to contact the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Neil Wachter said people who believe they were swindled as a result of the McPhersons’ connection with the golf course should send their paperwork to him. It will be evaluated for possible inclusion in a judge’s final restitution order.

Both McPhersons pleaded guilty to charges related to more than $500,000 in investment fraud and bad checks. Steve McPherson, fired earlier this year as baseball coach at Olympic College, failed to show up for his sentencing and is being sought by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

McPherson, a former golf pro and native of Portland, Ore., put together the best baseball team in Olympic College history in 1997. He was asked to step down and wasn’t able to coach the Rangers during the NWAACC Championships and, as noted above, he skipped out on his sentencing and managed to elude the law for more than a year. Mac, who liked to bet the ponies, worked at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Ky., for a while, and was eventually picked up in California and brought back to Washington.

I interviewed McPherson when he was at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, and he basically danced around the facts when he was asked about some of the charges. He was either in custody or under the supervision of the Washington State Department of Corrections through 2002.

I lost track of McPherson after that, though I knew he’d been transferred to another facility in Vancouver, partly because it was close to his family in Portland. Then one day, out of the blue, I got a call from McPherson. He called three times over the course of about 12 months. I learned he was hosting his own sports-talk show on a Sacramento-area radio station, where he said he was interviewing members of the S.F. Giants, Raiders and Oakland A’s and making a name for himself. He said he’d been living in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and that he was involved in the ownership of a summer college baseball league. You never felt like you were getting the whole story, but it turns out he was working in the broadcasting business and he was, in fact, the founder and president of the Sierra Baseball League, a summer collegiate league similar to the one the Kitsap BlueJackets play in.

I think the first call from Mac came in the spring of 2007. McPherson was interested in putting together a reunion for the 1997 OC team that he put together when he was 37 years old. His legal problems had been a distraction and I remember him saying the OC squad “never got the attention it deserved and I feel bad about that.”

An engaging guy, McPherson made a lot of friends (and enemies) during his time in Port Townsend, where he coached the high school baseball team for two years, and at Olympic College, where he was an assistant one year under Dick Myers before taking over in 1997.

After losing 49 of 60 games in the precedeing three years, Mac guided PT to a 20-3 record, Nisqually League title and spot in the state tournament in his first year. The following year they were ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the year and finished 17-3. His only OC team was 30-13. The guy had a gift as a coach.

He had a gift of gab, too. The fact that he could reinvent himself as a sports-talk radio personality was totally believable. Mac could talk, and he was knowledgeable and opinionated about sports.

The fact that he would eventually wind up back in prison, I suppose, was believable, too.

Yes, Steve Mac’s back behind bars. On March 9 of this year, he pleaded no contest in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he owned the San Luis Obispo Blues of the California Collegiate League, to two felony counts of passing bad checks. He was ordered to 32 months in prison and to pay restitution in the amount of $20,000.

Prior to buying the SLO Blues, McPherson owned the Lodi GrapeSox. That team ended its inaugural and only season in 2008 more than $50,000 in debt, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported earlier this year.

McPherson had a reputation of not paying bills with both teams, the Tribune reported.

Sandwiched between his convictions in Washington and California was another conviction in Las Vegas. He was sentenced to three years probation on bad-check charges totaling $125,000 in 2006, the Tribune reported.

I don’t think we’ve heard the last from Steve McPherson, a talented coach and con artist. One of these nights, my phone’s going to ring and Stevie Mac’s voice is going to be on the other end of the line and he’s going to tell me that things are going great. He’ll ask about the Olympic College baseball program. And he’ll reminisce about that 1997 team that, in his mind, was one of the best in NWAACC history.

Here’s some story links on McPherson. This one in the Lodi News-Sentinel in August of 2008 about the controversy surrounding his ownership of that club.

This is a story in April, 2009 in the same paper, reporting that McPherson was facing prison time.

Mac threw out the first ball at the season opener and was described as a hands-on owner.

Pumas to Name New Coach Monday?

UPDATE: The Pumas will be naming a coach. Executive director Ben Pecora confirmed that Sunday night. It’ll be one of the three finalists mentioned in this post.

The Kitsap Pumas have a news conference scheduled for team headquarters on Monday and while they’ve not said what the news will be, here’s an educated guess: The Pumas are going to name a new coach. The United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League franchise opted to let John Wedge go after the Bainbridge coach had guided the club to the Northwest Division title in its inaugural season.

As reported in The Sun a month ago, the Pumas said the three finalists were: Peter Fewing, former Seattle University coach who has been part of the Sounders’ broadcast team; Casey Mann, the USL PDL coach of the Year this past season with the Des Moines Menace; and Alan Alderson, who had a successful six-year run as head coach at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C.

In related news, the Pumas have a new fan club. It’s called the Hellcats. Check out their Website here.

Whatever Happened to Officer Friendly?

This has nothing to do with sports, but it’s a story I’ve got to tell.

An elderly married couple was in Bremerton Municipal Court earlier this week, contesting a traffic ticket.
It was Sunday on Labor Day. For Bremerton, that’s Blackberry Festival Weekend. It was early, around 9 a.m., and there were roadblocks on some of the downtown streets – set up for a bicycle race that would take place later in the day. But at this early hour, the streets were empty.
The married couple, both nearing their 85th birthdays, pick up a friend who has trouble walking and give her a ride to church each Sunday. This lady lives on one of the streets that was blocked to traffic. On this Sunday, the gentleman drove his car around the roadblock and picked up the lady on their way to church. With the streets still deserted, he attempted to do it again while taking her home.
This time, he didn’t get very far. A Bremerton police officer, parked near the Admiral Theater, pulled him over. This officer listened to the couple’s reasons for trying to get their passenger as close to her home as they could. He had little sympathy with their predicament and wrote the driver a ticket for $125.
I can’t help but think back to a time when an Officer Friendly would handled this differently.
The elderly couple would have approached the barricade, and the officer would have said something like this:
“Sorry, sir, this road is closed. You’re going to have to turn around and get out of here. If the only reason you’re coming in here is to get that lady home, I’ll put her in my car and take her home. I’m only issuing you a warning. You two turn around and get out of here.”
P.S. My parents, who said they were polite and cooperative with the officer, contested the $125 ticket, but the fine wasn’t reduced. They were told they could pay an additional $50 and their insurance rates wouldn’t go up.