Category Archives: Washington State Cougars

Kitsapers in the Pros & More


Jason Hammel, a 2000 South Kitsap grad, has struggle since being traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics. Hammel is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA with Oakland. He gave up three home runs in three-plus innings in a loss against Atlanta on Friday. He was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA with the Cubs.

South Kitsap grad Willie Bloomquist is done for the year after undergoing micro fracture surgery on his right knee. The Mariners utility player hit .278 in 47 games, playing seven different positions.

Drew Vettleson is hitting .230 with seven HRs and 23 RBI for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Vettleson, 23, an outfielder from Central Kitsap, has hit two HRs in his last six games but is only hitting .204 in his last 10 games. The left-handed hitting Vettleson is hitting .280 vs. lefties and .198 vs. righties. All seven of his HRs have come against right-handers.

South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham, an outfielder, is hitting .255 with 0 HRs and 31 RBIs for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A club of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cunningham, 28, has hit .323 (10-for-31) with 5 RBI in his last 10 games.

Brady Steiger, a first baseman/third baseman, is hitting .167 for the Staten Island Yankees, a short Class A club in the New York-Penn League. The former South Kitsap and Lewis-Clark State star just returned from injury and has played in just two games since July 21.


Rhode Island Little League coach Dave Belisle, following an elimination loss at the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, puts things in perspective for a bunch of kids. Great speech.


How can you not pull for Mo’ne Davis? She’s the talk of the Little League World Series.


To the Bellingham Bells, who won the West Coast League championship on Monday night, winning the deciding game of the best-of-three series against the Corvallis Knights. Good buddy Jim Clem is the pitching coach of the Bells and we had the pleasure of hosting the team twice this summer on trips to Bremerton to play the Kitsap BlueJackets. Classy


Johnny (Finger) Manziel threw as many obscene gestures as he did touchdown passes in Monday night’s exhibition game. Not a good sign for the Browns.


Aug. 23: FCS No. 1 Eastern Washington vs. No. 17 Sam Houston State in college football’s season opener in Cheney. Kickoff 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Aug. 28: Washington State Cougars vs. Rutgers, in Seattle (CenturyLink), 7 p.m., FOX Sports. Thursday game is intriguing. Cougs looking to get off to a good start against Scarlet Knights, now a member of the Big Ten.

Aug. 30: Washington Huskies vs. Hawaii in Honolulu, 7:30 p.m., CBS. Chris Petersen era begins.

Sept. 4: Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers. Thursday night game on NBC (5:30 p.m.) kicks off NFL season. Doesn’t get much better, does it?

Sept. 5: Friday Night Lights has a delicious opener. South Kitsap vs. Central Kitsap at Silverdale Stadium, 7 p.m. Biggest game in the county.

Sept. 5: WSU at Nevada, 7:30 p.m., ESPN. Nevada not what it used to be.

Sept. 6: Washington’s first home game under Chris Petersen vs. Eastern Washington at Husky Stadium, 1 p.m. Washington barely pulled one out, 30-27 over EWU in 2011 at Husky Stadium.



Mike, an avid golfer, was teeing up for a very difficult shot.

At that moment a funeral procession went by.

Mike stopped, stood still with his hat over his heart, and bowed his head.

His golfing partner looked at him and said, “Mike, that was kind and decent of you to show such respect for the dead.”

Mike replied, “Yes, we would have been married twenty-six years come tomorrow.”

Dawgs, Cougs both headed in right direction

The Apple Cup is in the books, the Civil War is over and the 2-year-old granddaughter is finally in the rack after watching the Disney-movie Ratatouille.

It’s been an exhausting day. Here’s some quick thoughts and links:

Apple Cup: Seven is the ugliest number when it comes to the Huskies during the Steve Sarkisian era, and Washington’s win over Washington State means they can put that number to rest. The possibility of four straight 7-6 seasons has been avoided. The Huskies will take an 8-4 record into whatever bowl game they wind up in. Some are speculating the Dawgs could face BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 27. If you’d have told serious Husky fans at the start of the season that their team was going to wind up in the Fight Hunger Bowl, they wouldn’t have been pleased. The expectations were higher than that, but losses to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA brought the program back to earth. But a win in a bowl game and a 9-4 record will might make a lot of those fans forget about those lofty preseason expectations.

Washington State’s 6-6, and likely headed to a bowl (although there’s no guarantee). The Cougars probably exceeded most expectations, if not in the number of victories, certainly in how the program is now perceived. In two years, Mike Leach has the Cougar faithful believing because he’s got his players believing. WSU went to Auburn for its season opener and nearly beat the team that is ranked No. 4 in the country. The Cougs won three Pac-12 games on the road, and for a half, they out-played the Huskies. This year’s Apple Cup was decided by three or four plays.

Compared to the bad times that these programs have been through in the last 10 years or so, I suppose we should feel pretty good that the Huskies and Cougars are headed in the right direction. At least the programs matter. There were times when you couldn’t say that.

Civil War: Oregon State’s Victor Bolden scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 25-yard run with 1:38 left. They scored too fast. I knew it, you knew it, we all knew it. Oregon marched down the field and scored with 29 seconds left for a 36-35 victory. Bolden should have fallen down at the 10 and the Beavs could have run a couple plays up the gut and kicked a game-winning field goal. Of course, that’s easy to say and hard to do.

Marvin update: It’s taken a while, but it looks like Marvin Williams is finally going to be an option at the offensive end. Primarily an unselfish role player through the first eight years of his NBA career, the Bremerton High grad is getting more looks this year with the Utah Jazz. He had 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field in a Friday loss to Phoenix, had 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting in a win over Phoenix earlier in the week and had a 19-point game on 7 of 13 shooting in a loss against Dallas last week. He’s making 42.1 percent of his three-point attempts. The 27-year-old Jazzman missed the first five games after having Achilles surgery in the summer and missed another game after breaking his nose on Nov. 15.


This story about former NBA player Bison Dele, formerly known as Brian Williams, is one of the best I’ve read. And the design is incredible. I never imagined you could that kind of work on the internet. If you’ve never read any of the stories at, check ’em out. It’s some of the best writing out there.

South Kitsap grad and current MLB  free agent Willie Bloomquist partnered with an NRA group at a hog hunt in Texas to raise money for his Abe and Max Fund, which purchases electronics for patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Black Friday? What about the black days. Joe Posnanski takes a look at Black Monday, Black Tuesday, Black Wednesday, etc.

Lots of connections between the Saints and Seahawks.

I know you take the games one at a time, but I think the Cardinals, who visit the Clink on Dec. 22,  could pose more of a threat to beat the Seahawks than the Saints on Monday night. Arizona’s rolling. And if Seattle’s got the NFC West title wrapped up by its regular-season finale on Dec. 29, the Rams could steal one, too. The closing schedule is tough. Saints this week, and at the 49ers and Giants the following two weeks. That’s no picnic. And don’t sleep on the Cardinals or Rams, who outplayed Seattle but didn’t get the win earlier.

In case you missed Ken Rosenthal of writes that two sources used the word “desperate” to describe the state of the Mariners, who likely considering all free-agent options.


Predictions, links and other stuff: Ripken, Marvin, Snake, Mongoose, Willie B. …

* UW prediction: Sorry Washington Huskies, gotta go with Stanford. It’ll be close: 31-30.

* Seahawks prediction: Colts are dangerous, but Seahawks have DangerRuss and the best defense in the NFL: Seattle 27, Indianapolis 18.

* Watching the Cal-Washington State football game reminds me that Ripken Reyes (great name, huh?) has verbally committed to play baseball at Cal. Yes, he’s a shortstop.

Ripken is a junior at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, Calif. He’s the son of Paul and Heidi (Westhoff) Reyes. Paul was a quarterback/shortstop at Olympic High who played college baseball at Spokane CC and Whitworth. He developed into one of the top hitters in men’s fastpitch, playing in Tacoma and Bremerton, and later in California. Heidi graduated from Central Kitsap (not Bremerton, as I posted on Twitter). Bremerton’s Pat Westhoff, who played and managed fastpitch, is Ripken’s proud grandfather.

* Watching the Cal-Washington State game also reminds me of what a great venue California Memorial Stadium is. It has some of the best views in college football, BUT IT’S NEVER FULL! So many empty seats.

* The Utah Jazz are “taking a cautious” approach with Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, who had offseason surgery on his heel and Achilles tendon. Hard to believe Williams, 27, is beginning his ninth season in the NBA. Seems like yesterday I was listening to him explain why he decided to go to Bremerton High to play with his buddies instead of riding the ferry daily to play at O’Dea, which arguably boasted the top program in the state at the time.

* I was just told that former Kitsap Bremerton Sun sports editor Joe Sherk of Port Orchard (yeah, he’s even older than me) has a credit in the movie: Snake & Mongoose that was just released. Sherk was one of the top motorsports writers around and eventually left the newspaper business to become a publicist. You still see his byline occasionally in The Sun. The movie is based on the rivalry between NHRA drivers Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen.

* Here’s a book I can’t wait to read: “Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile,” by Nate Jackson.

* Freshman Becca Schoales is off to a pretty good start at Washington. The South Kitsap grad has started eight of 11 games and scored three goals for the UW’s women’s soccer team. Freshman Paige Serwold, a Central Kitsap grad, has played in four games for the Huskies.

Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist ended up with a .319 batting average in the 47 games he played for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Willie is a free agent, and the Diamondbacks are loaded at shortstop with young prospects. Plus Willie has had some injury issues. Will Arizona bring him back as a utility guy? I think they will.

* Another South Kitsap grad, pitcher Jason Hammel, is also a free agent. Hammel (7-8, 4.97 ERA) was Baltimore’s Opening Day pitcher, but he struggled at times and found himself on the disabled list in July with arm problems.  Will the Orioles try to keep him? Doubtful, but he’ll catch on somewhere. He can be a fourth or fifth starter and he’s shown that he can pitch out of the bullpen, too.

* Oct. 25: North Kitsap vs. Kingston. If you’re a high school football fan and you’re going to go to one game this year, that’s the one. The rivals are unbeaten in Olympic League play and should still be unbeaten when they meet.

* The Olympic College volleyball team lost to Bellevue but is still ranked ahead of the Bulldogs in the latest NWAACC poll. Blue Mountain is No. 1, OC No. 2 and Bellevue No. 3. The Rangers only have five more home matches, including a Wednesday date with Skagit Valley. Check ’em out. Coach Beth Donnelly has OC playing at a really high level.



Handicapping Dawgs and Cougs; Jonson tied for 5th at PNGA Amateur; Sherman’s softball game Sunday

Chris Huston, college football writer for CBS, took a look at the over/under lines on how many games Pac-12 football teams will win in 2013.

The line for the Washington Huskies was 7.5. It was 4.5 for the Washington State Cougars. Will the Huskies win more than seven games? Will WSU win more than four?

Here’s how Huston sized up the UW and WSU:

Washington, 7.5

Over (-120)/Under (-120)

The Huskies have been consistently mediocre under Steve Sarkisian with three straight 7-6 seasons. This may be his last chance to show he can get it done in Seattle. The talent is certainly there, with all-star recruits on both sides of the ball. But this Husky program is still trying to find its identity. The schedule does Sarkisian no favors, as Washington opens withBoise State, then travels to Chicago to take on Illinois. October is a bear, with a home game against Oregon sandwiched between road games at Stanford and Arizona State. It’s going to be tough for UW to break out of its 7-win gulag. VERDICT: Under

Washington State, 4.5

Over (-130)/Under (-110)

Mike Leach is in his second season in the Palouse and his team should be much improved after last season’s disappointing 3-9 record. Whether that will translate into more wins is the big question. The season starts out rough, with road trips to Auburn and USC, but games against cream puffs Southern Utah and Idaho means the Cougars should be 2-2 heading into a late September game against Stanford in Seattle. WSU doesn’t have Colorado on its schedule, but it also misses UCLA. The last three games against Arizona, Utah and Washington will determine the win total and I like Leach’s chances to get two of those three. VERDICT: Over.

If UW quarterback Keith Price gets his mojo back after a disappointing 2012 season, I think Washington has a chance to win nine, maybe 10 games. The defense was much-improved a year ago, and it should be even better. The offensive line should also be a strength. And, like Huston pointed out, this could be Sarkisian’s last chance to get it done. Another seven-win season and the honeymoon will be over. Another seven-win season and Sark’s stock will drop considerably.

I’m think Leach will get it done on the Palouse, but only if his team can get some sort of a running game established. Doesn’t need to be much, but it has to be better than it was a year ago when WSU ran for an average of 29.1 yards a game. They’ve got some experience up front, including John Fullington, the senior from North Mason who has started the last 30 games for the Cougars. Look for the Cougs to win six games. If they won’t win four, Leach might catch the next pirate ship out of Pullman.


Jonson tied for 14th

Bainbridge’s Carl Jonson, who will be a junior at UNLV, is tied for 5th after the first round at the PNGA Men’s Amateur, being played at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon. Jonson shot a 3-over 75 on the Bandon Dunes course Saturday. He plays Bandon Trails today. The low 64 advance to match play. Here’s the leaderboard.

Jonson was medalist in this event a year ago at Wine Tree Golf Club in Walla Walla and advanced to the championship match, where he lost 5 & 4 to Ban Shotaro of San Jose, Calif. Shotaro also carded an opening-round 75. He’s playing in the same threesome with Jonson. The other player in the group, Mark Strickland of Mukilteo, shot 1-under 69 and sits atop the leaderboard.

Ed Jonson, Carl’s dad, won this tournament in 1974 at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish.

Port Orchard’s Bjorn Bjorke is in a good position to make the cut to match-play after shooting 77 on the Bandon Dunes course. The Olympic College golf coach is tied for 16th at 5-over.

Sherman’s softball game today

Festivities for Richard Sherman’s Celebrity Softball Game Sunday, July 7, at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium begin at noon. Here’s a list of some of the celebs scheduled to show up. Lots of Seahawks will be there. Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals and ex-Sonic Shawn Kemp are also playing. Says here that Golden Tate’s the early favorite to win the home-run derby. Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson will coach the teams.

Second-guessing Popovich, the golf page, Wolves going to Fort Worden, BlueJackets & more

I picked my all-sports team in a column last week, and already, I’m having second thoughts.

Gregg Popovich was my coach, my manager, and I think the guy is as good as anybody, but what was up with having Tony Parker on the bench in the closing seconds of the Spurs’ Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat? A horrible decision, and when he was asked about it, he refused to elaborate. C’mon, Pop. Others chided him for having Tim Duncan on the bench at the end of Game 6, when Miami turned a couple of big offensive rebounds into big shots in a comeback victory to extend the series to Game 7. It’s a good point, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in that one because he’s opted to go with a small lineup all year in those situations, trying to matchup with the opponents three-point shooters.

I also wrote that “I want Rafael Nadal, and anybody else who can match his level of fitness and intensity.” I still want him, but a first-round, straight-set loss at Wimbledon? Where did that come from?

YOU MIGHT have noticed that The Sun has brought back a Friday golf page. Well, not exactly a page, but at least some consistent news from the local golf scene. Current staffer Jeff Graham and myself, who’s been retired from the daily grind now for almost seven months, are alternating stories. I wrote about the changes Kitsap County has made to Village Greens a couple weeks ago, and Jeff wrote a nice story about Scott Fenske, a top local amateur, mentoring 16-year-old Aaron Holliday, last week. The plan this week is to write about how Gold Mountain Golf Club is faring under Columbia Hospitality, the group that now manages the city-owned course.

We’re also producing a weekly golf notebook and calendar, so if you’ve got a good story idea or some local golf news, email me at or Jeff at

I WAS AT the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday at McCormick Woods Golf Course. This was the 20th annual and the celebs have dwindled over the years, but the cause is still a good one and the guys and gals participating have a lot of fun. Former Mariner slugger Bucky Jacobson drew a lot of attention, wearing a green kilt and his golf hat backwards while touring around the course, but the four women on the No. 10 tee were the talk of the tourney. It was the 1-800-DIVORCE for men hole, and the women, at least two were KJR staffers, were dressed up in pajamas and swilling alcohol while going off non-stop on the men who stopped by. They were loud, crude, and very funny.

I caught up with former Peninsula High, University of Washington, and Seattle Seahawks receiver Paul Skansi, who now calls Poulsbo  home. Skansi, entering his 14th year as a scout for the San Diego Chargers, looked back on his playing career — one that likely wouldn’t have happened if he had not played in the run-and-shoot offense that coach Larry Lunke ran at Peninsula High. Here’s my story. I also got a chance to talk to ESPN’s Kenny Mayne. He’s going to be the subject of my Thursday column.

SAW SOUTH KITSAP FOOTBALL COACH Eric Canton at the Detlef. The Wolves, as well as athletes from Klahowya, were helping out at the tourney. Instead of going to a team camp, Canton’s taking his team to Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend for a four-day summer camp at the end of July. Perennial state powerhouse Bellevue goes to Fort Worden every summer for a week. Canton said it’ll cost the players $250 each. They’ll stay in old wooden barracks and Fort Worden will feed the players and coaches and do the laundry. Players won’t be allowed to bring cell phones or computers, said Canton.

I STOPPED BY for the last three innings of the BlueJackets game against Belllingham on Monday night. I counted 60 people in the stands. 60! Egads! An eight-game losing streak and 4-15 start doesn’t help, but the West Coast League is a good level of ball. Bellingham’s pitchers were from Washington State and UCLA, and the Bells will be adding two more players from the NCAA champion Bruins soon. (UCLA leads the College World Series best-0f-three finals 1-0; the Bruins need one more win to win it). I’ve only seen a couple of Kitsap games, but I’ve been impressed. They are better than 4-15. If the rain holds off, I’m gonna check ’em out again tonight. It’s $2 Tuesday. Two bucks for a ticket, two bucks for a hot dog, two bucks for a soda, two bucks for a domestic beer. I hope there’s more than 60 fans in the stands when I get there. One bit of advice to Kitsap management: your website is pretty weak. Go ahead, check it out: Then compare it to the sites of other teams in the West Coast League.

TODD LINDEN, the former Central Kitsap star who is still playing with Triple-A Fresno, will face Mariners’ prospect Taijuan Walker Tuesday night in Tacoma. Walker’s making his Triple-A debut. Linden appears to be heating up after spending time on the DL and getting off to a slow start. He’s hitting .209, but is 6-for-14 in his last four games.

JUST A REMINDER. The Sports Paper, produced by former Sun staff writer Terry Mosher, is no longer published by The Sun, but it is available online. Go to to read Mosh’s lastest columns and stories about local personalities and athletes.

Ex-UW/WSU/PLU coach Marv Harshman passes at age 95

One of our state’s treasures, Marv Harshman, died today at age 95.

He was one of the classiest gentlemen I ever interviewed, and one of the greatest athletes and coaches in state history. He played and coached at Pacific Lutheran, before becoming the head basketball coach at Washington State and Washington. He twice turned down offers to coach the Seattle SuperSonics. He was considered a master when it came to teaching basketball. He was known for his ability to work with big men, and for coaching a matchup zone defense that gave opponents fits.

Former Sun colleague Terry Mosher wrote “Harsh” — a book about the Lake Stevens legend. It published in 1994 and offers a lot of insight into the Hall of Fame basketball coach who never got the national acclaim he deserved, mostly because of a coach (John Wooden) and team (UCLA) that dominated college basketball during Harshman’s era.

Here’s a column I wrote after interviewing Harshman at a book signing in 1994.


Husky football not getting a lot of love by bookies & how about GONE-zaga?

How about some more odds?

Passing through Nevada on my way south to Arizona, I checked out  some odds other than those related to the NCAA basketball tournament.

The Washington Huskies, who open the football season at home against Boise State on Aug. 31, are 80-1 shots to win the BCS championship. Boise State, which beat the UW in the Las Vegas Bowl in December, are 50-1 shots.

Alabama (3-1) is favored to win another title. Oregon (4-1) and Ohio State (6-1) were behind ‘Bama.

Besides Oregon, Stanford (10-1) is the only Pac-12 team given a decent shot of winning a national title. But UCLA (40-1), USC (40-1), Arizona State (50-1) and Oregon State (60-1) are all higher rated than the Huskies. Arizona (100-1), Washington State (150-1), Colorado (200-1) and Utah (300-1) didn’t get much respect at all from Nevada bookies.

The Seahawks are getting a lot of respect. Seattle is lumped with New England and Denver at 5-1 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. The 49ers (4-1) are the team to beat. Green Bay (9-1), Houston (10-1), Atlanta (10-1), New Orleans (10-1) and defending champion Baltimore (10-1) are in the next tier.

Do you like the Mariners chances to win the World Series? Nevada oddsmakers list them at 30-1, same as the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Pirates. The Dodgers (5-1) are the pick this season, followed by the Tigers (7-1) Angels (7-1) and Blue Jays (7-1). The Nationals (8-1), and Yankees (8-1) have the next-best odds. The Marlins (100-1) and Astros (100-1) are the longest shots.

Did you put money on Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?  FGC’s odds are 999-1. And what were the odds of the FGC coach landing a supermodel for a wife? Really, he did. Read it right here.

GONE-zaga was an 8-1 shot with WAS being the operative word. The Zags ran into a pretty good team in Wichita State, which shot it really good when it mattered. But a lack of depth was apparent, especially after guard Gary Bell went out with an ankle injury in the first half and didn’t return. The Shockers’ bench outscored Gonzaga’s little-used subs 34-7.

The Miami Heat have now won 25 straight games, so it wasn’t surprising to see them as a 5-6 favorite to win the NBA Finals. That means you gotta bet $5 to win $6. Unless you have Donald Trump money, it’s not even worth a play. The Spurs and Thunder are at 3-1 with the Bulls and Clippers at 8-1 and Pacers and Knicks at 9-1.

Jimmie Johnson (2-1) is the clear-cut favorite to win NASCAR’s 2013 Sprint Cup.


Sacramento’s new arena deal avoids new taxes. Are Kings closer to keeping NBA team from moving to Seattle?

RG3 recovery from injury superhuman, says Dr. James Andrews.

Here’s a nice photo gallery from The Spokesman-Review of the Gonzaga-Wichita State NCAA game.

That’s all for now. Got a baseball game to see tomorrow. Time to break out the sunscreen. We’re six minutes away from the home of the White Sox and Dodgers in Glendale, it’s 20 minutes to Peoria, 30 to Surprise. Have a good Sunday. Hope your bracket’s not too busted up.

WSU’s Wilson suspended (or did he quit) and Leach is out of line

It’s been reported that Washington State receiver Marquess Wilson has been suspended, although Christian Caple of the Spokesman Review said he’s hearing that Wilson might have quit.

Wilson’s apparently had enough of Mike Leach. By now, you know how Leach brought in his offensive linemen to talk to the media following Saturday’s 49-6 drubbing at Utah. “It was one of the more heartless efforts I’ve seen,” said Leach, who is making $2.5 million to coach — and apparently humiliate — his players.

Leach took some of the blame after that game. “It starts with our coaches, with me in particular,” he said.

Mike, as bad your coaching was on the field, your behavior off of it was boorish and far worse than the performance any of  your player turned in. That’s not a good message you’re sending, especially to potential recruits.

Closer to home, it’ll be another late game for the Washington Huskies. The Pac-12 announced Monday that the Husky-Utah game on Saturday at CenturyLink will start at 7:30 p.m. and be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

It will be the eighth game with a 6 p.m. or later start this year for Washington. The UW had just one afternoon game (Portland State) at home this year. Saturday’s game will be Washington’s finale at CenturyLink as the team returns to renovated Husky Stadium next year.

I understand how much money is involved in the new Pac-12 contracts, but does anybody like these late starts?



UPDATE: Bobsledder Bree Schaaf is sliding at U.S. team trials & links on Pac-12, Lincecum, Wilson and closers

The U.S. bobsled and skeleton teams will hold their team races in Lake Placid, N.Y., this weekend, and Bremerton bobsledder and Olympian Bree Schaaf will be sliding. Schaaf, fifth at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, B.C., competed with a bum hip last season and had surgery at the end of the year. Schaaf was expected to get on the ice this weekend, but plans have evidently changed. She will compete for a spot on the World Cup team. I hope to talk to the Olympic High grad sometime today. Look for an update later.

Tuesday links released its midseason reports on Pac-12 football teams. The report on the Washington Huskies pegs Bishop Sankey as its most valuable offensive player, and cornerback Marcus Trufant as the Huskies’ top dawg on defense. The report on the Washington State Cougars points out that the Cougs’ defense, led by Travis Long, is surpassing expectations, but the WSU offense has struggled, failing to score touchdowns in two games. Moody WR Marquess Wilson is the offensive MVP to date.

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I’ve argued for years that baseball closers are overrated in the sense that it’s not that difficult to find somebody to come in and get three outs in the ninth inning. Tim Keown of writes a column about it. Look at the Mariners. In recent years, the M’s have had David Aardsma, Brandon League and now Tom Wilhelmsen. If something happened to Wilhelmsen, they’ll find someone else to close games. Stephen Pryor might be next in line. Closers are valuable, but they’re not hard to find.

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Everyone’s got an opinion about Russell Wilson, Seattle’s rookie QB who is turning doubters into believers. Here’s Mike Silver’s take on the undersized QB for Yahoo! Sports.

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Tim Lincecum’s starting to look like his old self again. The former Liberty High and University of Washington pitcher seems to have found his mojo again for the San Francisco Giants. After two stellar postseason outings as a reliever, it looks like Lincecum will get the start in Game 4 for the Giants. Trivia: Chris Lincecum, Tim’s dad, was once a pickup player for the Kitsap Outsiders, a semi-pro baseball team that played its home games at Bremerton’s Roosevelt Field in the early 1970s.


Babe Ruth World Series, Marvin, Rodeo & KAR

Summer’s winding down fast, but if you’re looking for something do, here’s a few dates to circle on your calendar:

BABE RUTH WORLD SERIES: You’ve probably heard about the Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series. There’s a parade (5 p.m. downtown Poulsbo) and banquet (6:30 p.m. at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo) on Tuesday. The 10 teams start playing on Wednesday. First game is at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies are 6 p.m. The host Kitsap County squad plays Bryant, Ark., at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Kitsap will play the late game (7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday) throughout pool play. A $5 ticket gets you into the ball park. For $5, you can watch 20 games from Wednesday through Sunday. Single-elimination begins Monday, Aug. 20 (two games). Semifinals are Tuesday, Aug. 21 (two more games), and the championship game is Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. All fans buying a ticket to the Babe Ruth World Series championship game will also get free admission to the fair, which opens that day. You can look for complete tournament coverage starting Wednesday.  Click here to read a recent story.

Online: All games will be live streamed at

Complete schedule and more info:

MARVIN WILLIAMS HOMECOMING: Bremerton’s NBA star, now a member of the Utah Jazz, has a busy week planned. “Bowling With Marvin” takes place Thursday from 6;30-9 p.m. at All Star Lanes. Kids 12 and under are free. A golf scramble will be held Friday (1 p.m. shotgun start) at McCormick Woods Golf Course with an auction and dinner to follow.  Marvin will be at the Kitsap Mall for the Silverdale 3 on 3 Shootout on Saturday from 2-5 p.m. to sign autographs and he’s scheduled to be back on Sunday to hand out the championship trophies. All of these events are fundraisers for the Marvin Williams Youth and Recreational Center that’s scheduled to be built in downtown Bremerton. The New Life Community Development, a subsidiary of Emmanuel Apostolic Church, is running the golf tournament.
Hard to believe Marvin’s 26 and already has seven years of NBA experience under his belt. He’s averaged 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds for his career.

THE KITSAP STAMPEDE: In past years, the Xtreme Bulls event has been on Sunday afternoon. This year, it’s kicking the Stampede off on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The PRCA rodeo has shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Aug. 23-24-25), all starting at 7 p.m.As usual, the best cowboys and some of the best stock in the rodeo business will be at Thunderbird Stadium for the Stampede, which has been nominated for national rodeo of the year in its class three times. For a fast-paced, fun night, rodeo’s tough to beat.

KITSAP ATHLETIC ROUNDTABLE: Former Washington State football coach and color analyst Jim Walden is going to be in town for the Tuesday, Aug. 28, Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting at The Arena Sports Bar and Grille (4111 Wheaton Way). The KAR’s about 90 percent sure that a former Washington Husky head coach will also be there, and hopes to be able to announce the name soon. Dick Baird, a former WSU player who coached at Washington, will also have a few things to say. Former UW and WSU players from the area are also being invited. With WSU opening at BYU on Aug. 30 and Washington opening at home against San Diego State on Sept. 1. Cost for the Aug. 28 meeting is $45 and includes a KAR membership and a raffle ticket for prizes that will be awarded that night. The menu will feature herb roasted chicken and roasted pork loin.