Monthly Archives: May 2012

Music, sports links and a Q&A

This has been a strange week. Busted it up with a mid-week day off to take in a show at the historic Columbia City Theater in Seattle. Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Elllington and Quincy Jones among the artists to pass through its doors. For me, the attractions was Jon Dee Graham, Mike June and Simon Kornelius, younger brother of former Sun writer and current Seattle Weekly music editor Chris Kornelius. They were great, and I’m having a hard time getting some of Jon Dee’s lyrics out of my head.

Codeine, Codine
Brown whiskey, red, red wine
Don’t you ever tell a soul you saw me cry

Of course, this was the night after seeing Deadstring Brother in Ballard. Kurtis Brothers. One man, one band. Definitely worth the $7.

It was good stuff. Live music, you can’t beat it.

It didn’t take long to get back in the swing of things at work. It’s one of those solo weekends in the office because the rest of the staff is spread out covering state high school events.

So in honor of that,  here’s some links on a crazy Saturday that — ah, take a deep breath — wraps up another high school sports year:

Willie Bloomquist keeps grinding for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Still having a hard time with John Harbottle’s death. Not like I was a close friend, but the guy was just so gracious and smart and way, way too young to die. In case you missed it, here’s an obit from Todd Milles of the Tacoma News Tribune that ran in our paper and online.

Mike Curto, the voice of the Tacoma Rainiers and a good guy, writes a pretty newly blog about the Rainiers, PCL and other stuff he finds interesting. Check out Booth, Justice and the American Pastime.

Liviu Bird, Kitsap Pumas backup keeper, breaks down the MLS salaries that were just released. Kind of interesting to see what the lads of summer are making these days. Check out his Boot Room Blog.

The three toughest outs in baseball? The ninth inning, right? Wrong, writes Joe Posnanski. It’s the first three outs. Read his very long and interesting post right here.

Questions and Answers

Q: Do you really think tight ends Kellen Winslow and Zach Miller will be the west coast’s version of New England’s Ron Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez?

A: No way. The Patriots offense is geared to its passing attack, and Gronk and Hernandez give teams crazy matchup problems. Winslow’s still a good athlete, but age and injuries are taking a toll. He’s still worth the 7th round draft pick Seattle go him for, but Seattle’s not going to go away from the pounding running game it was able to establish late in the season.

Q: Would the Seattle SuperSonics beat the toast of the time right now off Howard Schultz had kept the team in Seattle  and didn’t sell it to Clay Bennett?

A: Probably not. Owner Clay Bennett brought in GM Sam Presti, who built the Thunder into a championship-caliber team. I don’t have confidence that the Howard Schultz-led Sonics would have made the same kind of decisions. An aside, I’m not much of an NBA fan anymore but I’d be pulling for the Thunder if my uncle, unbeknownst to me, had not put down a $20 bet for me on the Spurs winning it all.

Q: Want to buy me something for my birthday?

A; Didn’t think so. But if you want to treat yourself to a fun night out, get a couple tickets to the Sept. 18 show at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle featuring The Gourds and James McMurtry. I don’t think you’ll regret it.


Golf architect John Harbottle III dies

Sad news for the Pacific Northwest golf industry.

John Harbottle III, architect of Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course and Palouse Ridge in Pullman, died Thursday in California. He was 53.

The Tacoma News Tribune first reported on it Thursday night.

Here’s a press release from the American Sociery of Golf Course Architects.

Harbottle was among the friendliest, most accommodating golf architects in the business. He worked for Pete Dye before going off and making a name for himself.

He recently talked to the Northwest Golf Media Association about his re-modeling of White Horse Golf Club in Kingston. Here’s that story.


Joshua Heistand to be featured on Ch. 4 tonight

It’s pretty difficult not to be moved by Joshua Heistand’s story. In case you missed it, you can find it here.

Eric Johnson of KOMO in Seattle was also touched when the read the story in today’s Sun.  Heistand fits perfectly into Johnson’s long-running segment titled Eric’s Little Heroes.It features great plays, funny video, and touching moments from kids’ sports events throughout the Puget Sound area.

Johnson talked to the Heistand family today. Tune in at 5 p.m. on KOMO (Ch. 4 or Ch. 104) tonight (Friday) to see it.

‘Hey, let’s go play 12’ and is it time to bring back leather helmets?

‘Hey, let’s go play 12’

Really enjoyed listening to golf architect John Harbottle III talk about what he did during his re-model at White Horse Golf Club, and also what he had to say about the state of the game.

“There are no really new ideas in golf,” he said. “It’s just old ideas being done better.”

Among the ideas being bantered about now are the shortening of golf courses, or making alternative courses.

“Two of first golf courses in the world —  Prestonwood and St. Andrews (in Scotland) — were 12- hole courses,.” Harbottle said. “They played more British Opens at Prestonwood than any other golf course. They don’t play it anymore because it’s too short. Orginally, it was a 12-hole course.”

Just like St. Andrews.

You played a round of 22 — the first hole, 10 out toward the sea, then you played the same 10 and finished on the last hole.

In the mid-1770s, they converted four of the holes — two on the way out, two on the way back and that’s how golf became 18 holes.

“It had nothing to do with how many shots were in a bottle of Scotch,” Harbottle said.

Here’s my story on the changes at White Horse.

Adrian best in events U.S. used to own

Bremerton swimmer Nathan Adrian is the best sprinter the U.S. has, but he remains a bit of an underdog when compared to the world’s best.

“This is almost un-American,” writes  Jen Floyd Engel of FOX Sports.

“I am trying to bring it back,” Adrian told her. “I am trying my hardest to make it America’s event again.”

So why did it stop being our event?

“That is good question,” Adrian said. “I think it’s maybe a little bit of a bigger deal in some other countries to be a sprinter. For instance, France, to be a French 100 freestyler, you are a household name. In Australia, you know, to be a 50 or 100 guy, you are a household name. Look at Cesar Cielo in Brazil, he is their Olympic hero. It is a big deal.”

Read the entire story here.

Time for leather helmets?

It sounds silly on the surface, but former WSU and Seahawks defensive lineman Chad Eaton might have the answer to all of this crazy football safety stuff and concussion talk that’s dominating the airwaves and sports pages these days. Eaton was asked how you fix the problem.

He said it’s time to go back to leather helmets.

Nobody’s gonna want to mess up their pretty faces and stick their head in there like they do now, he said. Or something like that.

It’ll never happen, but if you can take the helmets out of play, then you’re going to solve a lot of problems.

The concussion crisis has also hit girls soccer. NBC News aired an eye-opening report on a news segment this week. Check it out here.