Villopoto and ESPYs, Willie B., Marvin & More

Quick hits on a Thursday night while chasing deadline with the daily miracle:

Villopoto up for an ESPY Award
I’ve been out of action for a week, and I just noticed that Poulsbo motocross champion Ryan Villopoto has been nominated for an ESPY in the Best Male Action Sports Athlete category.
The 2012 ESPY’s will be televised live Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN From the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
Villopoto’s got some stiff competition. Snowboarder adn X Games superstar Shaun White is a six-time winner of the fan-voted awarded. The world’s best surfer Kelly Slater, and best all-around snowboarder Travis Rice, are the others.
Villopoto won the AMA World Supercross and AMA Motocross titles in 2011, in addition to the $1 million Monster Energy Cup, and led Team USA to victory at the Motocross of Nations. He defended his Supercross title in 2012 but a knee injury prevented him from defending his outdoor AMA title.
Click here to vote for Ryan. Voting ends Monday, July 9 at 11:59 p.m.

Good times for SK big leaguers

Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel was nominated for the MLB All-Star game. A tough-luck loser to the Mariners on Monday, Hammel didn’t win the fans’ vote, but being nominated for the honor had to be satisfying. The 29-year-old’s got a chance for a big contract if he can keep it up through the second half of the season. He finished third in the fan balloting. We sent Jeff Graham over to talk to Hammel on Monday. In case you missed it, here’s his story.

Willie Bloomquist, now seeing action at third base and shortstop for the Diamondbacks, raised his average to .301 after another multi-hit game on Wednesday (3-for-5 with a stolen base). This guy makes an argument that Willie is more deserving of a spot in the All Star game than Atlanta’s Rafael Furcal.

And Aaron Cunningham hit his first home run and collected a couple of pinch-hit singles in recent games for the Indians. Little-used until now, maybe it’ll translate into some more playing time. Cunningham, by the way, got the silent treatment from his teammates after hitting his home run.

Marvin heads to Utah

The deal won’t be official until July 11, but it looks like Marvin Gaye Williams will be playing for the Utah Jazz next season. It’s the best thing that could happen to the 6-foot-9 Bremertonian. Seven years in Atlanta was enough. It wasn’t Marvin’s fault that the Hawks passed on Deron Williams and Chris Paul, to take him with the No. 2 pick. That was always going to be over his head. Plus, he was never an option on a team that seemed to have too many Marvin-like players. Now Williams gets a second chance to prove that he can be a 15-point, 8-rebound kind of guy. He’s already proven to be unselfish and willing to do the dirty work on defense.

On tap

The Babe Ruth World Series for 13-year-olds is coming Aug. 15-22 — and the host team is the Kitsap County All Stars, not North Kitsap All Stars as somebody wrote last week.

Next week’s West Sound Senior Games. The event for the over-50somethings runs July 11-14.

And Little League’s Western Regional Big League tournament returns to Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, July 15-20.

The Kitsap Pavilion will be the site of a Reign Forrest Championship MMA card on July 21. Bristol Marunde  is promoting the card.

Random thoughts

Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s not much of a buzz about the coming football season for the Washington Huskies? Seems like the Dawgs are now playing second fiddle to the Seahawks in the region.

Congrats to Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian on winning the 100 free at the U.S. Olympic trials. I’m sure he’s disappointed about not qualifying in the 50, but counting the relays, he’s still got a chance to win three medals in London. That, I think, would ease any pain he might be feeling about being KO’d in the 50.

Nobody ever asked my opinion about Seattle’s offensive woes, but after being laid up for a week or so and able to watch more Mariners’ baseball than I’ve watched in a long time, I’ve got a theory on the M’s hitting woes: Maybe it’s because of their youth, but as a group, Seattle’s hitters are not very selective when it comes to the pitches they flail at. Good hitters swing at strikes. I’ve never seen so many guys swing at bad pitches at the Major League level.

And while we’re on the subject of Mariners’ hitters, who’s tired of watching Ichiro bail out of the box and hit those weak pop flies to the opposite field?

I really like the blue-collar approach of Kyle Johnson, Matt Friesen and most of the Kitsap Pumas. They’re not afraid to stick their nose in their and makes things happen.

That’s all I got. Deadline’s looming.




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