Tuesday, September 29, 2009

M's Clinch .500. Celebrate Good Times!...I Will

2008 was a tough year for being a Seattle Sports fan, there wasn't a franchise or program that wasn't abysmal or stolen from us. Even with the Hawks going 4-12 and the Dawgs going 0-12 the Mariners and their $110 million payroll for 101 losses stuck out as the clearest example of pure fail.

Coming off a solid season prior, many fans felt the addition of Erik Bedard via trade would be the key to success in '08. People hoped the acquisition of a "true number one" was the final piece to make this team a contender, paving the way for domination. Instead it turned out to be one of the worst trades ever. So terrible in fact that it caused many fans to actively forget about the Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb trade.

The M's were in such a terrible state of disrepair after Bill Bavasi's tenure it seemed that there truly was no floor. I felt that no matter who was hired as the next GM they would have a Chernobyl sized clean-up in front of them. Fans seemed resigned themselves to the idea of a long rebuild. Enter Jack Zduriencik.

As a former Director of Player Personnel for the Brewers many in the blogosphere, including myself, worried that Zduriencik was too much of an old school GM when hired. With a solid field of up and coming stat-oriented candidates Zduriencik seemed too scout oriented to complete the overhaul needed to make the M's decent again. Feeling wrong never felt so right.

Tonight, with King Felix making his second to last start(ever?), the M's won their 81st game this year, ensuring a .500 record for the season. I, for one, am at Billy Mays on the excite-o-meter. My beloved M's seem to be building towards something good. FINALLY!!

Equipped with the best defense in the league-a full 20 runs better than the next best team- and possibly the best defense of the decade, a pitching staff and line-up(however impotent) built for the stadium it look to have a solid foundation for the future. The upgrades all over the team have added 20(!!!) wins so far to this season's total all thanks to Jack Zduriencik.

I am very excited to see what moves he makes over the winter to upgrade the offense and tweak the bullpen. Seeing what he has done so far I expect nothing less than a philosophers stone type move of turning Carlos Silva into Albert Pujols somehow. I kid, but I know there will be some move he does that has me standing and cheering when I get the news, even if it's in the middle of class.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stanford Goes Mike Vick on Dawgs in Palo Alto

There have been many litmus tests for the coaching staff so far this season. The LSU game was a test to see how these new-look Dawgs would fair against a perennial power from the SEC. Despite the loss most eveyone would say that was a test the Dawgs passed. Next came Idaho, could the coaching staff, that had everyone patting them on the back for a good loss the week before, get their kids ready to play against an also ran of college football. A strong win in front of the home crowd, the first in almost two years, gave them a pass for the test. Then came USC. It was Coach Sark's chance to go against his mentor and his always high-powered Trojans. Another test passed. After the win catapulted the dawgs into the top 25 since god knows when there was another test to pass. Could the coaching staff keep the team focused on the road after a big win and get a win against an up and comer in the conference? That answer was a resounding "FUCK NO!"

The Dawgs played poorly from the start yielding a touchdown on the opening kick of, a rather ominous start to the game. Things went downhill from there. The Dawgs defense that had stiffened against the vaunted running games of LSU and USC provided as much resistance as Jeramy Stevens' date at a frat party. Big Toby Gerhart rumbled to the tune of 200 yards rarely finding anybody to run over til at least the second level. Though on one run he ran through a couple weak arm tackles on his way for a 60 yard touchdown.

The pass defense didn't fair too much better. Oh sure, they didn't give up near as many yards but when you're running the ball the way Stanford was you can get away with having your quarterback go 7/14 as Andrew Luck did. The dawgs might not have forced luck to throw as much as they had hoped but when he did throw it was on roll outs or off of play action. With the Stanford running game giving UW a Lexington Steele like pounding any play action was bit hard on and left Stanford players wide open for the reception.

After a decent looking first half marred by a single interception Jake came crashing down faster than the crew of the Challenger. Yes, he was hurried, but even when he wasn't his passes seemed to lack the certainty of prior games and his decision making was off as he tried to force the ball to his receivers to make plays. This is why Jake shouldn't leave for the NFL after this season, contrary to what all the talking heads were saying about him last week.

One thing that had seemed to be the hallmark of this new coaching staff through the first three games was their ability to make adjustments at half-time and learn from first half mistakes. Going into the half I had faith in the coaching staff that they could figure out how to stop the run and get some points on the board to erase the 10 point deficit. That was not to be the case tonight. The Dawgs got run over just as bad in the second half as they did the first. In fact they failed to even score the entire second half. Which is damn shameful. It's not like Stanford has an elite defense that should be able keep the number of UW offensive playmakers out of the endzone. And yet they did.

In my mind, if a team can beat USC they should be able to beat anyone in the Pac-10. That didn't happen this week and that worries me. Hopefully this terrible loss will allow the coaches to go hard on their players this week to make sure there is not a repeat performance this week as the Dawgs head to South Bend to play Notre Dame and Charlie Weiss's FUPA.

Oregon Is Killing My Stiffy!!

What is the opposite of a schadenfreude hard-on? Whatever it is that is what Oregon has been doing to me lately. I can't say I appreciate it too much either.

After their nationally televised implosion against Boise State it seemed Oregon was in for a dark season. They lost arguably their best player in LaGarrette Blount, head coach Chip Kelly looked like he dropped a load in his size 12 huggies overnights during his debut, and Newly minted AD and former headcoach Mike Belotti stalked the sidelines unable to relinquish the reins of the program. I was loving every second of it.

The next week Oregon barely managed to get past a weak Purdue team. It was a sloppy game on both sides and Oregon was lucky to have come out of the game with a win. Belotti was still down on the sidelines and not in his AD's booth. He continued to tell anyone who would listen about what the problems were that were haunting the Ducks. Despite the win I could smell blood. This was a weak team due for collapse at any given moment. Too bad they just kept winning.

After coming out of another sloppy game against an overrated Utah team with a win I was certain of one thing. This Saturday, against the Cal Golden Bears, Oregon would meet it's gruesome demise. I could picture Oregon being swallowed whole by the Cal juggernaut. Sure, I knew Cal had QB issues but I just assumed possible Heisman front runner RB Jahvid Best would run over the Ducks and QB would not be a factor for BSU. How wrong I was.

Oregon beat the holy hell out of Cal. I mean they did Cal like Monica Belucci in "Irreversible". It was a grisly scene at Autzen Stadium with the mangled corpse of Cal laying there after a 42-3 mauling by the Ducks. It turned my stomach worse than a Luis Buñuel film. My head is still spinning with confusion.

How had this team that seemed destined to fall on black days and start it's slow descent to the bottom of the Pac-10 managed to not only pull out wins out of it's ass but to also dismantle a Top-10 team like Cal?

I wish I knew how this turnaround has occured. Sadly, all I really do know is that Oregon's success has left me flaccid. And that's no way to be.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leroy Hill Out Til Week 8. Fans Rend Their Garments.

I remember for my 12th birthday my dad took me to Toys 'R' Us and told me to find a toy a 12 year old would like. I figured this was his fucked up way of telling me to pic out my present. Vague directions such as these were nothing new, my dad was often rather indirect about what he wanted. It was easier for him to get mad later that way. Anyway, I frantically searched up and down the aisles for my present, admiring action figures, looking over board games, ogling legos. Then I found it, my excalibur, a Nerf Ballzooka. 8 barrels of ball blasting menace sure to make me the king of all Nerf wars. I was stoked. I could already imagine the pwnage I would inflict upon my opponents. I could picture them running from a hail of little yellow Nerf balls.

I took my prize up to my dad, doing my best not to lose my cool from my excitement. He brought it up to the cash register, paid for it, took it out to his Blazer and put it in the back. There it remained for weeks, mocking me. Every time I got into the back seat I would inevitably look into the back seat and see the ballzooka sitting there in it's box just waiting to be used. Every time I'd look at it and get depressed thinking of all the cool things I could be doing with it. My dad eventually gave it to one of those buy a present for a needy kid places in the mall.

Losing Leroy Hill for 8 weeks after just a few plays in the first game reminds me exactly of this situation. Hill was to be a integral part of the new look West Coast defense. His blitzing and ability to track down plays in the backfield made him an intriguing weapon for D coordinator Gus Bradley. Now Bradley has to sit and watch as hill stands on the sideline with a groin injury. He'll probably cast a longing glance at what he can't have, much like a 12 year old me. The difference is Bradley gets Hill back after a few long weeks where as I never got my ballzooka.

UW Upsets #3 USC. Sark asks Carrol "How's My Ass Taste?"

Many Dawg fans believed that USC was vulnerable after last week's tough win over Ohio State. I, however, was not one of them. I'll admit that. I was afraid that USC would run us over and leave just a purple and goal smudge on their helmet.

Such fear was not unfounded. USC looked solid playing a tough OSU team on the road and coming out with a victory. UW, on the other hand had a lot tougher game with Idaho than the score would indicate. If not for a few costly mistakes by Idaho there might've been a game. The defense looked less than stellar and against a monster like USC not a mistake could be afforded.

The first drive by the Trojans did little to allay my fears. It took all of 6 plays, 80 yards and a little over two and a half minutes for USC to score the first touch down of the game. The Dawg's defense looked over matched against an elite O-Line as they were gashed for big yardage. It was the moment I feared. Playing an elite team that already had a tough game to get everything in line for I worried we wouldn't be able to sneak up on them like perhaps we did against LSU.

A quick three and out by the UW offense did little to instill confidence in me. I was close to slipping into the abyss of dejection after a Trojans field goal gave USC a 10-0 lead but was thankfully saved the next UW drive when Jake ran the ball in for the score. That drive kept the Dawgs more than close enough to feel confident about their chances. A game that seemed almost out of reach at 10-0 felt damn winnable tied at 10 going into the half.

Even then I worried, though. I should have felt ecstatic about the former 0-12 Dawgs hanging with a National Championship contender. Instead I knew that USC was a second half team. I'd see too often USC not play sharp in the first half against a lesser opponent only to steam roll them in the second half. I feared a disembowelment when the Trojans came down the the tunnel and took the field for the second half.

Luckily, what I saw was a defensive battle throughout the second half punctuated with USC turnovers. Key turnovers at that. It seemed everytime USC would get into scoring position they would magically turn the ball over to the defense. That's not to take anything away from the UW defense, they played out of their minds. Holding USC to 13 points is impressive no matter what but the turnovers were uncharacteristic of a Pete Carrol coached team.

What impressed me the most about that game, more than the defense coming through, more than special teams doing a great job on Joe McKnight, was the continuing development and stellar play of Jake Locker. USC might very well have had the best player at nearly any position. There was one position where UW had a clear advantage and that was at quarterback. Despite consistent pressure and taking hits like the sham-wow hooker, Jake looked poised throughout the game. He did his best to stay in the pocket and make USC pay for keeping a spy on him.

The 3rd and 15 will be a play forever remembered in Husky lore. It was a perfect example of Jake's using his legs to keep the play alive down the field where in years past he woulda just ran with it. When Jake started to get flushed out of the pocket he kept his eyes downfield and spotted Jermaine Kearse open down the sideline and hit him to convert the crucial first down.

Jake went 21/35 completing 60% of his passes against a tough Trojans defense. He made reads, put touch on his throws and all around looked like the savior he has hyped to be when he arrived down on Montlake. Jake very well could be the best QB in the conference and I think he has the tools in his playmakers to have a great season. Best of all he allowed Steve Sarkisian to ask his old boss "Pete, how's my ass taste?"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Woooo!!!!! Holy Fuck!! Wooooo!!! Dawgs beat #3 USC!!!
I say this without hyperbole, that has to be the biggest win since the Rose Bowl win over Michigan for the National Championship. On another note, Jake Locker very well might be the best QB in the Pac-10.
How crazy is it that a year ago Jake was shakier than a Sodo bum going through DT's when he's dropped back to pass and this year he's making throws with precision and confidence. The turn around is amazing and has to be attributed to the ability of the new coaching staff to actually teach unlike the last regime who seemed to feeling learning was done via osmosis.

I'll have more on this game later. But, for now, Go Huskies!!!!!! WOOF!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seahawks Pwn Rams in Season Opener

2009 marked the beginning of a new era for the Seattle Seahawks under head coach Jim Mora. As often is the case with new things people worried about the changes to the team. How would the offense fair without offensive mastermind and devourer of clams, Mike Holmgren? With John Marshall gone would that mean no more zero blitzes for the defense? And if that was indeed the case people wondered what new surefire play would the 'Hawks design to give up first downs? All these questions and more haunted 'Hawks fans until Sunday afternoon.

I doubt anybody really expected the Rams to be any good this year, even Rams fans. That said the 28-0 ravaging of St Louis was still damn impressive considering all that separated the two teams last year was one win. If not for a turnover filled 1st quarter the game would have been even more of a blowout.

After a rocky start Hass looked as comfortable as ever under center. Hell, there was a decent number of plays where Hass took snaps from the shotgun, something Mike Holmgren only occasionally let Matt audible into.

Overall the thing that impressed me the most, other than Aaron Curry absolutely leveling Stephen Jackson, knocking him off his feet before escorting him to the turf with his shoulder, was the creative new play calls on both side of the ball. This was not The Walrus' ordered yet predictable West Coast offense. In fact, I'm pretty sure Holmgren must have knocked over his bucket of clams in anger and astonishment on more than one occasion while watching the game.

The quintessential play that demonstrated how far the play calling has come since the old full back draw was run out of a Sea-Cat formation. Seneca Wallace lined up at QB in the shotgun with Hass out wide on his right. After receiving the snap Wallace threw the ball to Hass who faked like he was going to go upfield with it before he threw the ball back to Seneca who took off up the sideline for a huge gain.

I've opined for years that Seneca, while a decent back-up QB, could be so much more than that given the chance. Like Antwaan Randle-el but with a better arm. I often dreamed of all the crazy plays that could be designed to use Senecea's athleticism and sighed knowing Holmgren would never dare to risk injury to Seneca even if the gain from such plays far outweighed the chance at injury. Seeing my dreams materialize in front of my eyes like that gave me a lot of hope for this season and a lot of love for this new coaching staff.

The run game looked decent with Julius Jones breaking off a 62 yard run that showed he still had some of his old speed still in him. Edge was serviceable, plodding forward and taking what he was given while always falling forward. Justin Forsett looked solid as a 3rd down back and proved worthy of wearing Maurice Morris' old number, 20.

The receivers went all Jack the Ripper on the Rams secondary carving them up all day. TJ Houshmazode(championship!) looked like Bobby Engram 2.0 running crisp routes over the middle, absorbing contact and making good yards after the catch. Deon Butler caught a couple passes and threatened with his deep speed. The true star was Nate Burleson. Always a great athlete Nate struggled with the demanding precision that Holmgren's offense required. The new coaching staff recognized his talent and instead of trying to force him into a role for which he is not quite suited they are trying to develop a role that takes advantage of his strengths. Bubble screens, quick hitches and getting the ball out to him fast if his man plays off were all part of the new Burleson repetoire.

Remember when people complained John Carlson was slow? Well, how does the fact that a slow player got off for 6 catches, 95 yards and 2 tubs grab you? I loved JC last year. In a lost season his play was a savior. As he develops more of a rapport with Matt he will become even more of a monster.

Defense was solid. Some fools worried that the 'Hawks had shown too much of their new defensive schemes in the preseason and that once the season started teams would be ready for our defense. Like I said before, no one expected the Rams to be good or even decent but a shut out is damn satisfying. The depth of versatile players on the defense means the days of zero blitzes with Brian Russel left in cover-1 are over. And thank Christ for that.

I have faith that the 'Hawks can regain their winning ways this season and prove last year's 4-12 record was a fluke. With the way 'Hawks played yesterday the division title will be back in our hands by the end of the season. And that, friends, is always a good time

Sunday, September 13, 2009

College Football Round-up: Jim Tressel Shits His Sweater Vest, Charlie Weiss' Fupa Loses To Michigan, Chip Kelly Escapes to Lose Another Week

I fucking love College Football. I love it even more than I love the NFL. I love the crazy offenses. I love the spread options, the pistols, the triple options, none of which would you ever see in the Pros. I love all the conferences and big time programs and their storied histories. I love the great monuments to sport with names like The Horseshoe, Death Valley, and The Swamp. What isn't to love about stadiums that become the largest cities in their state on game day? But more than all that I love all the teams, and I love their coaches.

Or, I should say, love to hate their coaches. After watching Dave Wannstedt attempt to coach the Miami Dolphins years ago I made a vow that I never wanted to see him or his mustache succeed. Therefore, I hate Pitt. I was never a fan of Charlie Weis or his gunt in New England and I've always hated the chi-mo endorsing Golden Domers of Notre Dame. Now that they've joined together I can focus my dislike of them into a burning beam of hate like the sun through a magnifying glass. It doesn't matter who the head coach of Oregon is I will hate them til my heart turns black. Ohio State is much like Ben Affleck, their undeserved earlier success has led them to have a false sense of importance.

The fun thing with College Football is the preseason rankings which the networks hold up as the one true barometer of how good a team is before a single game is even played. As one might expect with such a flawed system teams are often vastly overrated in the season. Often times the overrated programs have coaches on my hate list which makes my hatred for that school/person that much more potent. I'll sit intently staring at the screen channeling my will hoping it will cause them to fail. And when they do, how sweet it is!!

Saturday and Saturday night provided so much fail I could hardly keep from ripping off my pants and masturbating I was so excited. Let's do a quick lengthy recap, shall we?

I was at the Dawg's game when Michigan upset Notre Dame and Charlie Weiss' FUPA in the waning seconds on Saturday. Despite my inability to see Notre Dame's demise, my heart grew two sizes knowing that ol' Uncle Charlie might not be long for the head coaching job at Notre Dame. You see Michigan has been terrible in recent years falling from perennially proud contender in the Big 10 to a team that lost to Appalachian State just two years ago. Then the school that was built on the tradition of the I formation and running over people decided to switch things up and hire the architect of West Viginia's high powered spread option offense, Rich Rodriguez.

Sad thing is, the current personnel of Michigan fit Rich-Rod's system like Oprah in Britney Spears' "Oops...I did it again!" cat suit. I thought the Wolverine-spread experiment was destined to fail and all signs seemed to be pointing that way. However, after a win against hated rival Notre Dame and the man whose gunt enters a room 5 minutes before he does Rich-Rod just bought himself more time. Conversely, Charlie Weiss and his flap are now on the hot seat from the loss. A Notre Dame team on the rise isn't supposed to lose to a Michigan team in the doldrums rebuilding. That they did gave me a schadenfreude hard on at a rather uncomfortable time. It's tough to stand and cheer when yer worried about cock-braining the old lady in front of you.

The most anticipated game of Saturday was a rematch of last years rout of Ohio State University by USC. Despite losing 8 players to the NFL draft many thought USC's defense would destroy Terelle Pryor and the Buckeye's offensive while the Trojan offense would be able to make enough plays to win handily. Others like OSU Alum/former player turned announcer, Kirk Herbstreit, thought that playing in front of 106,503 fans would rattle USC's true freshmen QB Matt Barkley. That combined with OSU's tough defense would spell doom for the young USC team.

There is a reason no one really listens to Herbstreit, and scrotum sucking ball-fondling odes to his alma mater are a large part of that. Never trust Herbstreit to be objective when it comes OSU. Actually just never trust him in general when it comes to OSU.

USC trailed 10-15 starting their last drive of the night and they faced an uphill battle against a tough OSU D and the 100,000+ strong of the Horseshoe. A touchdown would win the game. However, USC should have never been given the oppurtunity to score and win. They should have been down at least 19-10 in the waning minutes of the game. But the Buckeye's went conservative and kicked field goals on two occasions when inside the USC 5 yard line. Buckeye fans can blame Jim Tressel for the loss.

Jim Tressel's attire is a perfect reflection of what kind of play caller he is. His short sleeve button up wants to say "laid back and cool guy" but is drowned out by his cinched up tie, glasses and trademark sweater vest all of which scream "The stick up this man's ass has a stick up its ass!!". Tressel's arch-conservative, anti-abortion, pro-deregulation leanings were on full display early in the second quarter when a long drive left OSU with a 4th and goal from the USC 1. The playcalling the prior 3 plays had been bad enough, a weak pass play, then two runs straight into the USC line. Then rather than do something crazy like spread out the USC D and let Terelle try and make magic happen with either his arm or legs or even try a QB sneak with the 6'6" 240 lb Pryor Tressel opted to just kick a field goal.

Now, I realize it was early in the game and common football logic dictates that you just take the points in that situation. However, you are playing USC who destroyed you the year before, you are at home, you know that you NEED points against a Pete Carrol team AND even if you didn't convert on 4th down you leave USC backed-up worse than me after a cheese binge. Your defense has been lights out all game and chances are you get the ball right back.

But that's not the Tressel way. Nor is it to try and create mismatches for your WRs by spreading out the offense every once and a while. Hell, if Tressel does that he might have actually have given Pryor some room to run, the one area USC had trouble with OSU's offense. Tressel however decided to rail against universal health care and kick the field goal. He lost as a result.

The night cap of despised coaches/programs was the University of Oregon vs. Purdue in a way less cool match-up of Big-10 vs Pac 10 than USC vs OSU. After last week's debacle against Boise State I was hoping to witness Oregon's descent into a season of hell. A loss to Purdue would be a healthy push down the stairs. Sadly that was not the case.

The head coaching job at Oregon is Chip Kelly's to lose and he looked perilously close to losing it last week. As Kelly watched his team fall apart due to sloppy play and mental errors you could see he had the Ty Wilingham face of "Oh shit, this is not how I thought things would happen. What do I do now? What do I do now, dammit?!?!". The whole while Mike Belotti the former coach turned AD was down on the sidelines giving pep talks to players and telling what they were doing wrong. Yup, the AD was down on the sidelines doing more coaching than the head coach. Not the way to start the season.

The were various times in the Purdue game, a turnover here, a missed assignment there, when the Ty face would start to creep onto Kelly's visage. Luckily the Ducks managed to stop Purdue on 4th down with a minute left to seal the deal. That didn't stop Belotti, again down on the sideline, from dispensing coaching wisdom to the sideline reporter.When asked when asked what he thought of the tams play so far he got rather specific saying something to the effect of "Well if the WR made a crisper cut out of his break and the QB wasn't drifting away from the line when he threw and the right guard kicked out instead of in on that last play I think we could've had a touch down.". In the brief interview Belotti also mentioned that he still hadn't figured out where he wanted to be on game day up in his box or down on the field, but the manor in which he said it made it seem as if he intended on being down on the sidelines but knew that his proper place, as an AD was up in the booth.

The fact that Oregon escaped another terribly sloppy game, this time with a W was rather upsetting for me. I'm an addict for Oregon fail. But still, seeing them struggled with a lower tier team like Purdue did warm the cockles of my heart. For I know that they are not the contender they painted themselves as to start the season. They are not in the top tier of the Pac-10 and since the second tier includes everybody but USC and Cal at the top and WSU at the bottom that means that there is a decent chance we can beat them when they come up here this year. That'd be sweet!

All in all it was a fun Saturday of football with lots of good game and some quality fails as well. Who knows what next week holds? Will Charlie Weis' gunt gain sentience and attempt to remove itself from it's host? Will Jim Tressel have tie too tight and suffer at stroke because of it? Will Mike Belotti push Chip Kelly out of the way and resume the mantle of head coach, the headset with it, while Kelly cries in the corner like a kid who had his favorite transformer stolen? Only time will tell.

Huskies Destroy Idaho. Vandals Rape Dawgs D

It was a beautiful late summer day down at Montlake. A slight breeze rustled through the trees as fans walked through the perfect 80 degree day to take their seats to see UW play The University of Idaho. Though the crowd was noticeably smaller than the week prior at the rainy LSU game there was still a feeling of anticipation and nervous excitement in the air. And how could there not be? The Dawgs were favored by 21 over Idaho to end their losing streak that had spanned parts of 3 seasons. The Dawgs were gonna win big and everyone knew it. The crowd wanted blood. A Roman coliseum crowd faced more uncertainty than those in attendance at Montlake today.

After a quick first down and then 3 and out by the defense Jake and company took up residence at their own 3 yard line to start their first drive of the day. And what a drive it was as the Dawgs moved at ease through the over matched Vandals defense. Jake Locker used his legs to scramble for the 3 yard td to cap the 97 yard drive. I'm not sure the last time The Dawgs had a drive near that long but the crowd ate it up. That drive gave creedence to most fans' thoughts that this game would be a cake walk and that the starters shouldn't be back in after half. Sadly, that was not to be the case. Idaho would not go quietly into their locker room.

The Dawgs defense that displayed dominance in the opener against LSU played as passively as possible. The second Vandals drive started with decent field position thanks to terrible kick-offs by kicker Eric Folk and poor coverage on the returns. Those expecting to see a complete and total mauling of the Vandals offense were sorely disapointed. The Vandals drove 40 yards and kicked a field goal. This seemed to be the story all day. The Dawgs would have a solid drive for a score only to have another shitty kick-off combine with lack of pressure on defense to result in a Vandals' field goal.

Field goals are not much to worry about and by halftime the Dawgs were up 21-9. But the Vandals refused to give up and after two second half touchdowns(one was in garbage time, but still) they covered the spread and only lost by 19.

I want to be happy about this win. The Dawgs amassed 374 yards of offense and moved down the field almost at will on the Vandals. The running game led by Chris Polk again looked solid. Johri Fogerson toted the rock and caught some passes and looked impressive while doing so. Jake Locker again spread the ball around completing 17/25 passes. He showed touch and timing that had never existed prior to this year. Yeah, he stared a couple receivers down like Oprah at a buffet line but hopefully he'll be coached out of that. Like I said, the offense was amazing.

However great the offense was the defense was inversely mediocre. Most pundits thought that UW would dominate the line of scrimmage and live in the UI backfield disrupting the QB all day. Sadly, this was not at all the case. Amazingly the same defense that manged to get adequate pressure against a far superior line in LSU was having massive troubles making a ripple against Idaho. And when blitzes were called the middle of the field was often left susceptible to big gains. It made for a maddening combination. It also made me shit my pants in fear at the thought of hosting USC next Saturday.

If the Dawgs play anywhere near this poorly on defense/special teams against the Trojans they'll crumble like R.Kelly's will around young women. Nick Holt needs to find something and fast otherwise the Dawgs'll just be a smear on the road in the wake of the big red USC machine. And I really would rather not see that.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dawgs Dominate LSU. Lose Game. New Era Brings Hope

Keep this man smiling by winning some games this season!

I'll admit, when the Dawgs chose to receive the opening kickoff of the 2009 season I was rather nervous. The sickly sour taste of fear in my mouth was overwhelming. 14 straight losses can make even the most optimistic Dawg fan a cowering pup. This is especially true when playing a national powerhouse like LSU. A team like that could dismantle a 0-12 UW team and leave more psyches shattered than a Catholic Priest at camp full of Boy Scouts. With a violent defeat all the talk about coaching the players up and causes for optimism would drain down the players' legs. I worried about the ramifications of a quick 3 and out before LSU took the ball and scored.

All fears of failure were erased when The Dawgs marched down the field like Sherman through Georgia, consistently picking up good yardage on the ground as well as through the air on the first two downs allowing them converting manageable third downs. Then Jake Locker hit true freshman James Johnson for a 17 yard catch and run touchdown. A statement was sent, "These are NOT your 2008, 0-12 Huskies!" The stadium erupted in cheers and a huge burden was removed from the backs of UW players.

The entire team was crazy with excitement after the crowd caused Ciron Black, he of the Outland Trophy watch list, to false start moving the Tigers from 3rd and goal from the 2 to 3rd and goal from the 7. The Tigers failed to get a td and had to settle for the field goal. Momentum seemed very much on the Dawgs' side. Then the first costly mistake happened.

Jake Locker had improved much in the offseason under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. That much was one display during the first drive. But the fact that Jake still has a lot of work to do to become the QB he can be was shown very clearly to start the second drive. First play of the drive Jake dropped back and fired a pass out to his right failing to see linebacker Jacob Cutrera who tipped the ball to himself and ran for the TD. The Dawgs were all of a sudden down 10-7.

After a brief stint on the sideline during the kick off Jake and the rest of the Husky offense took the field again looking to make up for the mistake on the last drive. And for the most part they did as they drove 63 yards and were much like an early 90's junky on Capitol Hill, they were looking to score. Then disaster struck this team again as Chris Polk, who had a great night running the ball and ripped off a 33 yard run earlier in the drive, fumbled on the LSU 5 yard line. The defense held and forced a punt but the chance to go up was lost. On the next drive UW had to settle for a field goal to tie it up.

Those two plays, in my mind were the most critical in determining the game's outcome. If UW puts together a second drive to match their first or their third, sans the fumble, there is a good chance they are up 14-3. At that point the defense had been shutting down the vaunted LSU run game and it is entirely possible that they could have gotten the ball back with another chance to score before half.

That's huge when facing a superior opponent, to get on them early and not let up. The relatively Young LSU team might have been rattled and probably would have had to alter their game plan. In that case the Huskies would have been in control and playing like the favorites. Sadly, that didn't happen. While the Dawg's managed to stay within barking distance the rest of the game, a slow 3rd quarter combined with the expected come aparts in the secondary made the chances of them pulling out a win rather slim.

Overall though, I was very impressed with this team. They out-gained the Tigers 478-321 and absolutely controlled the time of possession 36:52 to 23:08. Chris Polk, whom I thought look way over-matched last year was dynamite all night. He was quick to and through the hole. He managed to get to the edge well and he rarely went down after first contact. My favorite play of the night was his dishing out two terrible stiff-arms tow LSU defenders on his 33 yard run, damn impressive.

Jake Locker passed for 321 yards and 2 tds in the game. If not for the interception it would have been a near flawless performance as he went 25-45. His completion percentage might have been a few ticks higher if some of Jake's receivers held onto the passes. Jake's scrambling ability for big gains was limited by the fast secondary of LSU. Patrick Peterson, a 6'1" 211lb corner made sure that Jake was kept in check and no quick passes to receivers were going to go for anything after the catch. Peterson seemed to be everywhere for the Tigers. Even being relatively limited Jake still managed to run for 51 yards and pick up crucial first down with his legs.

The Wideouts looked solid, Aguilar and Johnson really impressed. Though Aguilar did have a crushing drop in the 4th quarter on a perfectly thrown ball by Jake. It hit his hands but he just could not reel it it. Johnson, however seems to be the prototype for the new UW WR. Big, fast, strong and great hands. In just his first game he had 6 catches for 60+ yards. If the WR's can hold onto the ball Jake might have some fine options in the passing game.

The tight end, a crux of the pro-style offense Sark ran at USC, as well as a traditional position of talent for UW, seems to be making a resurgence. Both Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki saw a lot of playing time and did well with their blocking. However, it was Middleton who flashed his much talked about athleticism and pass catching prowess by snagging 5 passes for 45 yards and the last TD of the game. If the kid keeps it up he could be something really special.

The D game up some big plays and struggled a bit with the option last night. But for the most part they played damn well. Daniel Teo Nesheim managed to occasionally get into the LSU back field and get pressure which is incredible considering the talent on LSU's line. Also impressive was Ta'amu Alimeda who was constantly commanding double and triple teams all night. He even got a sack and a pressure on consecutive plays when he twisted left into the backfield on one play and then mirrored the twist to the right on the next. LSU's running game was supposed to run us down like a dog in the street. That the Tigers had to run the option to get to the edge says a lot of out the d-line and linebackers.

Special Teams was remarkable in that they didn't let any of the Dahmer-dangerous LSU return break loose for a long gain or a TD. Folk, the kicker missed a 42 yard field goal and was kinda shaky on a few of his PAT's but still I'll take it.

The entire game the coaching staff could be see right in the ears of their players coaching them up. Regardless of whether it was a successful play or not the coaching staff was wanting to talk with their players and let them know what to do better next time while at the same time letting them know they did good work. Compared to the old Willingham regime's style of coaching this hands-on approach felt almost like bondage. And who doesn't like a little pain with their pleasure?

I was also impressed with how varied our offensive sets were. When Sark was hired I was worried about his pro-style leanings and what that would mean for Jake's legs. I should have known that a bright mind like Sarkisian's would not let such a tool go to waste. Aside from the normal single back pro-sets and various I-formations seen last night there were also glimpses of the spread shown. Jake even ran a read option keeper, something straight out of last year's playbook. To keep LSU honest UW ran and threw out of the spread and had much success. Jake also had some designed rollouts and bootlegs drawn up for him. As the season wears on and Sark gets more comfortable with his personnel and his personnel with him I think we will start to see that playbook really start to open up. When that happens watch out because who knows what wrinkles Coach Sark will add to maximize his talent.

The refs were terrible missing a few calls and a calling a few they shouldn't have. All in all another day for Pac-10 officiating.

The broadcast crew was terrible. There was a real homosexual overtone to everything they talking about and that is aside from voraciously fellating the Bayou Bengals the entire game. There were numerous mentions by one of the broadcasters about how good looking the LSU's football players were followed by b-roll footage of the Tigers walking into the stadium. The broadcaster went on to say that he felt many of the Tigers could win beauty competitions. I'm not sure what relevance that held on last night's game but that didn't matter to the announcer. After the gushing over the (se)x factor for LSU the conversation turned to how much Jake Locker reminded them of Brady Quinn. To prove this point they showed Jake at pre-game warm ups, wind blowing his purple workout shirt against his body, steely blue eyes looking out across the lake, not a shot of him doing anything football related just sexy shots of Jake. The whole thing was hilariously uncomfortable. .I wonder what the folks in the smaller towns of western Washington thought about such homoerotic antics being beamed into their house.

From the way the Dawgs played last night I think it's safe to say that 2009 will be nothing like the dismal years preceding it. If the coaches can get their players up to play at that level every game, something I think they are very capable of, then watch out! This team could shock some people and maybe pull out 6 wins. I'm keeping my expectations muted until we get our first win and see if this intensity is as lasting as I hope it is. I'm predicting 4 wins on the season. Believe me though, it would not shock me at all for the Dawgs to beat some Pac-10 teams and make a bowl game for the first time in 7 seasons. WOOF!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Matt Millen on ABC

So, I'm sitting here basking in the glory of the opening Saturday of College football while watching Oklahoma State play Georgia on ABC. Life is good, I think, and then I recognize a voice. It's the same one I heard giving his professional opinion during the NFL draft. It's presence in the braodcast booth at this college football game is just as baffling as it's presence at the draft. I shake my head in disbelief, trying to tell myself that this voice I heard could not be the destroyer of Detroit dreams I believed it to be. Then I am greeted with terrible confirmation with a shot of both broadcasters in the booth. My ears hadn't deceived me. The voice I heard did belong to one Matt Millen. I punch myself in the face.

Last January I tuned into NBC to watch some playoff football. Normally I bypass the windbags on the pregame show and turn on the braodcast only right before kickoff. This day I was slightly off with my timing and what I saw shocked me. There was Matt Millen, recently fired GM of the winless Detroit Lions, sitting on the set going on about what this team needed to do to get their offense going and what that team needed to do to keep up on defense.

I didn't understand it. How could one so inept, who had failed so spectacularly on such a grand scale, be allowed to attempt to disseminate information on the exact thing he was so terrible at? How was anybody supposed to take Matt Millen seriously, let alone NBC for hiring this train wreck of a man? I know that sports are an old boys network that run more on who you know rather than how well you do your job but even given that knowledge Millen's hiring made no sense.

Then came the draft. I managed to miss most of it due to prior obligations(read: work crew) but what I did catch was Millen again going about why this player of that player will or won't be successful in the NFL. One of the most consistent failings of Millen's reign in Detroit was his failing to draft productive players and yet there he was telling America which college kids would or would not make in the NFL. The zombified corpse of Layne Staley giving out advice on how to kick heroin and stay clean could not have been more unqualified.

Now I'll be forced to listen to Millen every Saturday comment on the game I'm trying to watch on ABC. I can only hope that, somehow, Millen's stache grows over his mouth inhibiting him from talking. Either that or during a broadcast at Michigan or Michigan State a disgruntled Lions fan goes all Mark David Chapman on Millen. Otherwise it may a long college football season.

Another Reason To Drink Today: Seahawks Cut Brian Russell

It's the opening Saturday of college football today which means many of the readers of this site are out drinking somewhere in celebration. They now have another reason to beer bong another half rack of Pabst. Brian Russell, the ball cancer of suck, was cut today by the Seahawks.

BRuss has been much maligned not only here and Seahawks super-blog Field Gulls but his suck is so glaring that NFL humor site Kissing Suzy Kolber has a "Brian Fucking Russell" tag. That's right he's so bad and KSK mocked him so much he warranted his own tag. Fucking terrible!!

I'm not going to go into detail about the level of BRuss' suck or write a long mocking ode to a terribly incompetent player. The summation of the dark age of Brian Russel at free safety can be found here and here as written by intrepid 'Hawks blogger John Morgan. He details the depressing depths of suck that BRuss created far better than I ever could. Also, check out the gifs in the comments section here to relive the white terror that was Brian Russell. Then after you get done with that pound a couple drinks down in celebration over the fact that, as a Seahawk fan, you will no longer have to worry about Russel making nobodies like Domenik Hixon into stars.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Neck Beard Out, 6th Round Rookie In

That 2010 first round pick the Seahawks acquired from Denver in return for Seattle's 2009 2nd and 3rd rounders is looking better and better. First, the Broncos got rid of Cutler. Then, they had a less than stellar draft. More recently, WR Brandon Marshall was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team after fucking around in practice and batting passes down and generally acting like an ass. Now, the Bronco's will be without their starting QB, Kyle Orton, for the final preseason game and possibly the first game of the season.

After slapping the hand of Bear's player Adewale Ogunleye Kyle Orton received what is known as an open dislocation. Apparently this is when the dislocated bone cuts through the flesh and pops out through the skin, fun. The Bronco's are trying to be coy about this whole thing and are reporting that Orton will only miss the last preseason game this Sunday and that he should be ready to go by the season opener.

Now, I'm no doctor and have no medical experience outside of occasionally smoking medical marijuana. That said, I have to believe that when a finger is dislocated to the point that the bone is sticking out the person with the dislocation won't be able to throw the pigskin around for awhile. Let alone throw the pig-skin with 300+lb men chasing after you. Plus with dislocations and especially dislocations involving lacerations there is always a chance at ligament damage which means rehab would be necesary and that would push the time table for Orton's return back even farther.

Should Orton not be able to go and back-up Chris Simms out for another 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain the Bronco's playcalling duties fall to 6th round rookie from Fresno State Tom Brandstater. In other words, the game would be a sure loss.

This is great news for Seahawk fans. A top 5 pick is looking more and more like a real possibility with the way things have shaken out in Denver this season. I still find it amazing that one man could destroy a team so throughoughly in his first few months on the job. But damn if Josh McDaniel's hasn't done exactly that. Oh well, I'm on a schadenfreude high right now and will be cheesed out of my mind until the placement of the pick from Denver is official.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stay Classy University of Oregon

As a fan of the Pac-10 or of college football in general, for that matter, there are many reasons to hate the University of Oregon. They are a new money program in the Pac-10 whose fans think WAAAY too highly of themselves and their teams and are reputed for their assholish actions, Nike Founder Phil Knight bankrolls their athletic program and pays for cutesy uniform changes every few years like the addition of the silver wings on the shoulder pads this season, and the town of Eugene is a shithole from all accounts I have heard. Tonight UO gave fans a new reason to hate them, LeGarrette Blount and his über-classy sucker punch of a Boise State D-lineman.

Now, I'm sure the lineman said something rather unpleasant to Blount to elicit such a reaction, possibly having to do with the comments he made prior to the game about Oregon owing Boise State an ass-whoopin' after the embarrassing loss at home last season. And perhaps it was an even worse comment than that and he deserved to be punched. But for Blount to cold sucker punch the Boise State player as he turns away to talk to his coach is terribly low. Even for Oregon.

To cap off the altercation with a little more class Blount lost his damn mind on his way out of the stadium. A couple Boise State fans had a few choice words for Blount that did not sit well with the already steamed star. Blount shook his escort out of his shoes with a Barry Sanders like fake as he went to confront the fans. In the end it took almost 6 people to tear Blount away from the stands before he could decimate the offending asshole.

Again, the fans probably had some pretty fucked up things to say to Blount as he walked by. Blount's blow up probably stemmed from rather racist comments judging from Blount's reaction and the fact that the game was in Boise. Still, incredibly racist/fucked up comments or not there is no excuse for the player to attempt to get into the stands like that. No matter how much he may want to and no matter how much the fan(s) might deserve it.

Blount, who is arguably Oregon's best player, will more than likely be out the rest of the year if not kicked out of school and out of college football for good. I have a hard time seeing a different outcome.

As messed up as the sucker punch and following quasi-brawl were it's hard not to take enjoyment in this incident at Oregon's expense. I'll admit I got a nice little schadenfreude hard-on right now thinking about the ramification on the Oregon program. Thanks for the good times and stay classy fellas!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon in Philly

After an Odyssean journey that led him from the back woods of Virginia, to the federal court house, to the county jail and house arrest Mike Vike (aka Ron Mexico) has found a new home, the City of Brotherly love, Philadelphia.

Apparently( and not surprisingly) Eagles' management doesn't have faith in former second round pick Kevin Kolb as the heir apparent Vick will start the season as the back-up to Donovan McNegro. Perhaps as the season progresses Vick will be incorporated into the Mad Dog formation with DeSean Jackson. It will be at that point the sporting world will finally find out how much of that once jaw-dropping, pants shitting, erection giving, atheleticism Mike still posseses.

Philly seems like a good fit for Vick both in terms of personel and scheme. More importantly though, the notoriously surly Philly Phans seem like the perfect fan base to boo root for the Felon. Philly doesn't strike me as the same type of city like Seattle, San Fransisco, or San Diego where extreme liberal leanings will cause protesters to congregate and mindlessly protest their teams signing of an animal abuser like zombies at the mall in "Dawn of the Dead".

I'm sure protesters will show up in Philly, as well. But I hope that some of the more rough Iggles fans threaten or just plain kick the shit out of the PETA style douchebags who will inevitably flock like vultures on a carcass, jockeying for best camera position to properly display their moral indignation. Much like the stupid hippy protesters at Grey's Harbor, I hope these self-righteous fucktards get the shit kicked out of them. The battle between Philly fans and protesters is now my reason for giving two shits about the Iggles.

With Vick's arrival in Philly routine camp battles lose their allure compared the incoming spectacle. All of a sudden the preseason got a lot more interesting.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome To The Seattle Mariners Jack Wilson And Ian Snell. Hope You Survive The Experience!!

Much happened yesterday in the 100+ degree heat of hottest day in Seattle history. People complained, children swam, workers sweated through their clothes completely and The M's made a much anticipated trade. Former Pittsburgh Pirates Ian Snell and Jack Wilson are now Mariners.

Given up in the trade was former 3rd overall pick, failed catcher Jeff Clement, utility player turned everyday shortstop who's hitting woes make my struggles to put bat on ball as a little leaguer look good by comparison, and 3 Single A arms. Clement had lost favor in the organization because of his inability to catch, a required skill for a player signed to be a catcher. Clement's papíer maché knees caused him to miss significant time this year and also hindered his ability to get into the catcher's stance, another not so good sign. He looks to be a 1st baseman for the Pirates. :(edeño was only ever brought in to be a back up, but with Yuni sucking and subsequently traded he was forced into starting duty where his bats was about as effective as the French resistance. None of the 3 minor league pitchers were all THAT exciting, they were single A after all, but Brett Lorin was supposedly a pretty interesting prospect.

In return we get Jack Wilson, a light hitting, defensive wiz of a shortstop. The down side is that he is 31 years old and owed a decent amount for 2010, $8.4 mil. A major upgrade of the shortstop position to be sure. Still it's like going from a flesh light to a real doll, sure it's an upgrade but you can still do a lot better. Ian Snell was a highly regarded pitcher before mental health issues forced him to request a demotion to AAA. Many fans gave Snell no end of shit for being a pussy and wussing out when the pressure was one. However, if George Romero's "...of the Dead" movies have taught me anything, and they have, it's that the greater Pittsburgh area is an apocalyptic wasteland filled with flesh hungry zombies. If my commute to work was filled with fending off the undead and hearing the constant baritone of their guttural moans I would become suicidal as well.

All in all not a bad trade. Though not the trade many fans were hoping for. Wilson is not as sexy and Reid Brignac or even JJ Hardy, who're 8 and 5 years younger than Wilson respectively. Both seem to have better hitting upsides as well and would be cheaper longer term solutions at the position than Wilson. Snell could be a great value if he regains his form of a couple years ago, as he has a few relatively cheap club options left on his contract. But Snell was done with Pittsburgh and everyone knew it. Many thought it would be possible to trade someone like Wlad for Snell. Even if that was an exaggeration of Snell's stock, it probably wasn't too far off base.

Giving up the arms we did along with Clement and :(edeño seems to tilt this trade in the Pirates favor which is odd. I was hoping that Jack Z would pull off some jaw dropping trade like the 3 team deal with Tampa and Cleveland that had been rumored. Not only would have we aquired the long term shortstop of the future but we might have been able to get rid of Washburn(probably provided we ate the rest of his salary). Now, it seems, the M's over played their hand with Washburn. They made the deal with the Pirates and hoped they could restock what they lost by trading Wash. It looks like now he might not being going anywhere(which isn't a terrible thing) and we might not get anything for him when he leave(which rather sucks).

I have faith in Jack Zduriencik. He's made some damn good trades and pick-ups prior to this trade and I hope he pulls off some deadline move that will cause me to quieltly rise out of my seat and give a monumental slow-clap.

Monday, July 27, 2009

People always complain about red sox fans taking over Safeco. And rightly so. Those bastards descend upon Safeco like a plague of locusts decimating everything in a cloud of bandwagon douche baggery replete with pink Boston hats and matching shirts.

Forgot in the hatred of Massholes is the annoying surge of politeness that comes from the mass of unwashed Canadians who storm the Safe when the Blue Jays are in town.

There have been a couple times during the course of the game today where a loud cheer has erupted from the crowd. When I look to see what splendid feat the Mariners have performed or if some streaker is eluding the cops I become disapointed. Instead of being blessed with something good going on I am forced to watch a replay of a Toronto base hit or nice defensive play. It's damn tiring getting ones hopes up only to see fail.

Damn it, Seattle fans!! Beat those pinko commie Canadians into a stupor by fucking out cheering them. Quit being so polite to opposing fans. People are starting to get the wrong idea about us. It's bad enough I have to listen to their goddamn farce of a national anthem before the game. But to be outcheered by these sub-human Canucks is more degrading than co-starring in a Rocco Siffridi movie.

So, I'm trying something new. Mobile blogging!!! Dunno how this'll work but it'll allow me to post any breaking news on the blog while I'm at work. My first post will be quick.

There have been rumors swirling about a possible trade of Jarrod Washburn + parts to Milwaukee for shortstop JJ Hardy + parts.

I like this trade. Perhaps The M's don't receive as much back as they would in the rumored 3 team deal that would send Morrow and Clement to Cleveland, Victor Martinez and (can't recall who else) to Tampa, minor league switch hitting short stop Reid Brignac and pitcher Scott Kazmir to Seattle. But they don't give up near the potential of Morrow and Clement.

For my money the M's would be hard pressed to get a much better deal than a year and a half of club control JJ Hardy for half a year of Jarrod Washburn's unsustainable results.

Make it so, Jack Z!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Well, That About Does It

The Mariners were outscored 33-5 while getting swept this series. That fucking sucks! It especially fucking sucks because for the first two games this series The M's faced the two worst pitchers of the Indians rotation and could still barely muster up any offense getting shut out once.

Meanwhile, the Angels refused to lose and have opened a 7 game lead over The M's in the division. The M's had racked up one of the best records in the AL since late May and are two games farther back as payment for their efforts.

Surprisingly I have not come here to bitch. In fact I am rather...ok with the circumstances. I wish The M's coulda stayed in the race for longer but I know it's for the best that they didn't. Much more time stuck in limbo and the M's might not have been buyers nor sellers. At least by falling out of contention now The M's can unload out valuable players for useful parts. A shot to make the playoffs still exists for the M's, for sure. Though it is doubtful that the M's will be able to overcome the obstacles and overtake the Halos. These losses allow Jack Zduriencik and his staff to make the moves necessary to not only build this team for this year but to also make moves that will be good for the club in the future without the fans bitching that he is waving the white flag.

With some solid additions to the big league club that a trade of veteran talent could acquire and a couple tweaks to the roster The M's could almost be more competitive now than they have been. A quality shortstop, a decent bat at catcher, more pop at 3rd and actual production from the DH spot can help get the M's farther than most would have thought possible especially after trading their veteran pitching.

If Veteran pitching does end up going it will be Washburn alone, sadly. Often I had prayed to Jobu to keep Erik Bedard healthy, if only long enough for us to trade him. My prayers and rum were taken with no result. Erik Bedard, after a great start to the season, is headed back to the DL and therefore will not be eligible to trade. Barring a long term signing(not sure if that's a good idea) Bedard will turn out to be one of the worst trades in M's or, hell, MLB history.

Still, Washburn can fetch a nice prize with his sparkly ERA and impressive w-l record. Plus there are other prospects who might be traded, Morrow and Clement, two players whose respective roles on this team have been in question, have been part of may rumors.

All said falling out of contention might have been the best thing possible for the M's to stay in contention as odd as that sounds. A few roster moves and this line up might be better than currently constructed. I have faith in Jack Z. So far he seems to know what he's doing and will do the right thing like Mookie in "Do The Right Thing". In his moves that he has made so far this season he has been damn good and finding quality talent for cheap. Ryan Langerhans and Chris Hannahan have been nice, above average players acquired for next to nothing. Let's see what he does with his moves in dealing "proven" talent for "propect" or "young" talent. My guess is it will kick ass. I mean, the JJ Putz trade has been nothing short of a coup.

Already Z is looking towards the future while still caring about today. Michael Saunders came up yesterday and looks to be the new starting left fielder for the rest of the season. Perhaps Shelton will get more looks at DH and 1st. DH has been a sarlaac pit of suck with Griffey occupying it, young talent might be all that is needed.

So, while I'm bummed that it appears we are not going to make the play-offs, I'm also damn excited about the future of this team not only for the rest of this year but also going forward for 2010 and beyond.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stuck In The Middle With You

Since May 27th the M's have gone 30-18, one of the best records in baseball and something I would have sacrificed my first born for at the beginning of the season (I have 4 nieces. I don't need my own kids to screw up when I have my brothers I can screw up with no consequence to me.) And yet despite winning at a pace faster than a meth-head on a cleaning binge The M's have LOST 2 games on the Angels in the division standings.

I have lamented for some time now that I am growing a bit weary of this tease of a season. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic that we are even in contention. Especially last year when dreams of contention went tits up after the first month. But still, this Jimmy Cliff like limbo that The M's have themselves waiting in is less than ideal.

The M's have some valuable trade trips in Bedard and Washburn with which they could add quality pieces that could fill holes at a place like SS. But I fear that if Zduriencik were to trade Washburn now, which he really should do, Wash's trade value will never be higher, there will be a large backlash. Smart fans might recognize the trade as a savvy move but the majority of fans would be screaming their heads off. Despite Jack Z's prior successes with trades so far I worry that this fan uprising might put pressure on Lincoln and Armstrong to do something.

Even if L&A stay above the fray and let Zduriencik do his thing I worry that just being so close to contention will force Jack to hold onto his two pitchers. I worry that if The M's hover on the fringes too long they'll lose Bedard and Washburn at the end of the season for almost nothing.

I'm all for staying in contention as long as possible. This will instil in the fans a sense of confidence in the front office and carry over to next season, which is always nice. But goddamn is it ever annoying to see that hard scrabble wins the M's have been accumulating fail to make a dent in the Angels division lead. It feels like The M's blew up on of Cybertron's moons only to see the Angels/Unicron come through it unfazed. To quote Spike Witwicky "It's not even dented!!! Ahhh shit! What're we gonna do now?" Damn good question. I wish I knew

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Ohhh We're Halfway There. Oh-Whoa Livin' On A Prayer!" A Mariners First Half Recap

The lazy days of summer are my my half-breed ass like bloggers on this whole Erin Andrews Fiasco. As such I haven't posted in a bit. Granted, not a whole lot significant has gone down since I last posted. Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn are still with the team. There is no shiny new shortstop on the team nor a load of prospects to scrutinize. I guess Yuni got traded for something more than a bag of horseballs. This along with the move of picking up Hanahan for a 3rd base stop gap upgrade and the Lnagerhans for Morse deal show Zduriencik's ability to incrementally add to the team for little expense now or in the future.

Upgrades used to feel like such a zero sum game. Need a 5th starter? Trade your best bullpen arm for Horacio Ramirez. Need a DH? Trade away an oft-injured but damn-useful-when healthy player for a washed up Jose Vidro. Close to contention? Trade the farm for a damn-good pitcher who even at his prime isn't worth what was given up. That the new front office recognizes that +.5 wins here, +.3 wins here and +.75 wins there add up to just the same as a +1.55 upgrade but for much cheaper, is fucking great. It's like the act of cleaning your bong, combined with a new bowl piece and building a make shift ice catch is a lot cheaper than purchasing a new bong altogether.

Anyway, now that we are a little over the halfway point of the season I figured it was a good time to look back on what has been and what might be. As opposed to recapping every player or unit as a whole I will give out awards that highlight various players or units. At 49-43 The M's have been alternatingly great and terrible. They started off the season that made me look prescient when I mentioned the possibility of play-offs before the season started. Then they had a terrible May that made me look like a fool for the exact same statements. But a quality June and July has brought this team back into contention. Now if those damn teams ahead of us would stop winning.

The Beer Goggles award-Jarrod Washburn: Yes this man pitched as one hitter his second to last start and yes he's been one of the more consitent pitchers we've had. Here's the thing, Jarrod Washburn isn't that good and he knows it(check out thought #3). He has benefited from great outfield defense and spacious Safeco Field. His peripheral stats are all in line with his career norms save for a low BABIP(batting average for balls in play) which may rise a bit as the season wears but not too much with this D. So he's pretty much the same pitcher as he's always been. Trade him no for fuck's sake!!

The Private Willian Hudson Award-King Felix: In stark contrast to Jarrod Washburn King Felix has made the leap from damn good when he's on pitcher to a true ace. Opponents cry "Game over, man! Game over" every 5 days. He has finally learned to mix his pitches better to keep hitters off balance and is unafraid to throw his breaking stuff for a strike in any count. If he keeps up this type of work throughout the season the M's might have a Cy Young winner in their midst.

The R. Lee Ermy Award-Rob Johnson and Ronny :(edeño: I was unaware that they stacked shit that high. This award is a tied because both have been attrocious with the bat so far this season. Dave at USSM thinks there is hope for RJ and others feel :(edeño is bound for a major uptick in production.

"That's right, Iccccemaan! I am dangerous!" Award-Franklin Guitierrez: Many saw him as a decent player thrown in the Putz deal. Your average all glove no (bat) love outfielder. After a slow start Frankling Guitirrez has gone on a power surge. With his new found power stroke Gutz has blossomed into a beauty like Allyssa Milano post "Who's the Boss?"

The Moonraker award: Another great pickup by Zduriencik, Russell Branyan has gone apeshit once given regular playing time. Currently he has one less dinger so far this season than his career high. WTF?! While he's been struggling a little as of late, smart minds point out he soon should be hitting balls closer to the moon than Apollo 11 ever did.

"Who are those guys?!"Award- Justin Vargas and Garret Olson: Two more players from the Putz deal. These two have come on like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid in place of fallen starters Carlos Silva and Chris Jakabauskus. These two prove with moderate stuff and great defense much success can be had. The fact that these two have been decent at the end of the rotation makes me higher than Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet".

"I'm so gangsta prissy chicks don't wanna fuck with me!" Who else but Ichiro? I'm not sure Seattle fans know just what a special talent they have in Ichiro. Much like people didn't realize for a long time how damn good Jay-Z was. Jay then went on to go make the Kingdom Come album and people realized that the great HOVA was gone. Don't do the same with Ichiro Seattle.

I'm damn tired and my brain is bleeding from the after effects of a crazy weekend. I may add a second part to this post for some of the unmentioned other stars on this damn team. Until then, peace be upon you!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Perfect Day Ruined By Mariners Game, Larry the Cable Guy

Yesterday I attended my second Mariners game of the season and while all the events surrounding the game were fun the game itself was one of the worst M's losses I've ever seen.

Meeting up with my friend Pat, I was crazy excited about going to the M's game. The game I had attended earlier this year I had been with a bunch of friends and co-workers so I didn't get to watch much of the game. This time I was sure to be able to focus on the action all the field. This proved to be my undoing.

Everything was going fine prior to the top of the 9th inning. We had brought in some delicious Tetsu Hellfire ramen for lunch from Samurai noodle that we ate while periodically heckling players. The flask of Crown Royal served to keep us warm in the overcast and drizzly weather.

The game had been fun. Yes, Jason Vargas had been lucky to give up no runs. He had men on in scoring position almost every inning he pitched and that was damn nerve wracking. But somehow he managed to get through it and the M's held on to a 3-0 lead. The ballpark seemed to be kind yesterday as it allowed me to see Jose Lopez hit a dinger out to left field. I've been to many games where the most exciting part is the hydro races. The ballpark also gave me a great driving catch by should-be-all-star Franklin Gutierrez. There was a sense of universal euquilibrium that hung in the air. Another series win seemed imminent. Then the 9th inning happened.

David Aardsma came in to some crazy montage on the big screen and it felt like the game was over. I mean the win expectancy was somewhere in the mid 90's. It's just you never know when that ~5% of failure will strike. Earlier in the season Aardsma's appearances inspired more fear in M's fans than the entirity of the Sinestro Corps. His command had been suspect and the atkins diet of all fastballs seemed to be a portent of looming failure. However, recently Aardsma has cleared up his walking ways and been damn near dominant. I expected him to come in and dominate. How naïve of me.

Out of the gates Aardsma's comman was off, getting behind in the count to the 7-8-9 batters. A fly ball dropped in, then he issued a walk, at which point a line drive single was scorched to the gap in right center. Bases loaded, no one out. Still I remained optimistic. A strike out and a double play could end the inning and the game. That was not to be.

To be clear this wasn't the terrible walk the world Aardsma of earlier in the season. Yes he gave up one walk, but the other two men of base got their via surprising luck. The same luck would be his undoing as the next 6 of 7 balls in play were groundballs, a pitchers friend, an omen of a possible double play. Not for the M's. Adam Jones singled to third base and Chris Woodward not being Adrian Beltre was unable to make a play on the ball and get an out, run in. Then a sure double play ball was hit to Jose Lopez, who picked a terrible time to play like shit. Jose dropped the ball on his was to second for the first out. Still no one out, still bases loaded, 3-2 now. A force out keeps it at 3-2 now with one out. Then a succesful pick off attempt got Aubrey Huff for the second out. A groundball single up the middle scored one more and the game was tied. It very well could have stayed there if not for Jose Lopez again. This time he rushed his throw to first baseman Russel Branyan and skipped the ball to him, still 2 outs.

The entire crowd was in shock. There had been glimmers of hope in that inning and Jose Lopez chased them away. The crowd had been lively before now they sat stunned as if 2girls1cup had been played on the big screen. The inning ended with The M's down 3-5. Little hope remained with Wlad and :(edeno as the first two batters of the inning.

Normally when a team is down in the 9th inning by a managable margin the scoreboard operator puts on some hackneyed montage of inspirational clips from movies like "Rocky", "Hoosiers", or even "Animal House". While not very orginal or fun they at least are not maddeningly offense. That was not the case at this game where a video of LARRY THE FUCKING CABLE GUY(!!!!!) was shown to the crowd teling the M's to "Git r dun". More than anything in the innings prior this pissed me off and saddened me the most. This is what we have come to for inspiration? Racist faux truckers with an insipid catch phrase and a overly managed "every guy" image" are now replacing the cliché but sensbile movie montages? Sweet merciful Zombie Jesus eat my brains now so I no longer have to watch my country devolve into a bunch of morons spouting out tired catchphrases like "Git r dun" and little John's "Hohkaay", as they are fresh and orginal. "Idiocracy" wasn't a great movie but as the days go by it seems more and more prescient.

Wlad and :(edeno made two quick outs as expected, pushing us to the brink. There was a rumbling in the crowd, a feeling that rose up to our superstar and pleaded with him to do something, anything, to keep the game alive. They were saying "Help us Ichiro Suzuki, you're our only hope!"

Ichiro did his best by lining a double into the gap. The crowd came back to life when it was revealed that Griffey was coming up to pinch hit for Chris Woodward. The fans started to clamor as hope filled the void that had been created by Jose Lopez' ineptitude. As much as I wanted to believe that there was something magical that could happen, I just couldn't. I knew better. Everyone around me saw Griffey as he was years ago when he played here, a once in a lifetime talent that could make a pitcher pay for a mistake. I however, saw a sad old man unable to catch up to a low 90's fastball. That sad old man hit a soft roller to second on the first pitch he saw. Game over man, game over.

This was twice in the past two games that the bullpen had fallen apart like a post-Evander Mike Tyson. Many had warned of regression from the pen. It still hurts when those warnings come to pass. Luckily Dave Cameron of USSM says that there may be help on the way. Though until those options come through it is hard to know how many more cock punch game like the last two the bullpen might dole out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jarrod Washburn Flirts With Perfection. Perfection Tells Him To Tuck His Sack Back. Wear Some Rouge

All manner of improbable things have occurred this week for the Mariners.

 First, they acquired a damn good outfielder, Ryan Langerhans, to replace the injured Endy Chavez for practically nothing. Then, they managed to go 5-4 on a road trip against the best teams in baseball in some parks that should spell death for our pitchers.

It was a road trip over which fans expected the M's to go 2-7 or 3-6  . That they managed to come out with a winning record revived hope presumed dead in April. Then came the return home against a tough pitching match-up against a hot Brad Bergenson and Jarrod Washburn who's results belied his peripheral stats. Not did the M's manage to mount some decent offense against Bergenson but Jarrod Washburn threw a one hitter. The one hit was the only thing keeping Jarrod Washburn from a perfect game.

Part of me is happy he didn't get a perfect game for a few reasons. First, I wouldn't have been able to see it and that woulda been a bummer. Second,  Jarrod Washburn has been a miserable acquisition prior to this year. High paid and poor performing, Washburn blamed his struggles on the poor pitch-calling of his battery, Kenji Johjima, which doesn't sit well with me. I'd rather the benevolent King Felix, throw a perfect game. It would sit better in the soul of this life long Seattle fan.

Despite these petty misgivings, a perfect game is a perfect game. When a pitcher is close you always root for the magic to continue. Plus, the accomplishment would have increased Wash's already elevated trade status,which could have have meant an even better haul for the M's in trading the soon-to-be free agent.

Right now the M's need to sell high on Washburn. He is an improved pitcher this year but, like I linked earlier in the post, his recent success is far more luck-based that skill baswed. The M's should trade him before that luck trends south.

I'm pretty sure team like the Phillies would be willing to give up some pieces to have Washburn shore up their injury-riddled rotation. Guys like Jason Vargas, Ryan Rowland-Smith when he comes up from Tacoma, and Garret Olsen provide the same profile of a pitcher with extreme fly-ball tendencies who rely on outfield defense to make outs.

Same goes for Erik Bedard. Sure he's been great when he's healthy but Bedard and health get along like The Sham-Wow Guy and hookers. Even when healthy it's not as if Bedard has gone deep into games. The best to hope for is for him to string together a few good starts so he can be traded before the deadline.

It's nice to be excited about possible trades to keep us in contention. At this point last year we were 18 games under .500 hundred. To be 4 games over this year and only 3 1/2 out of first means my summer banter can have a qaulity sports tinge to it and not just be about the badassness of the Black Lantern Corps.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

NLS Discussion Post: How Much Do An Athlete's Off-Field Activities Color Your View Of Them

The recent passing of Michael Jackson opened an intense debate among the populace. Namely, how much do Michael's alleged chi-mo ways effect the way we, the public, view his legacy. Do the multiple allegations of banging boys change the fact that he may have been the greatest entertainer of our time?

There were many people with whom I talked in the days following his death who said something along the lines of "Fuck him! I hope he burns in Hell for being a pederast!" They didn't think about him as the King of Pop or his huge influence on pop culture. To them he would be remembered as someone who he diddled kiddies. Nothing else he did during the rest of his life mattered in the least.

Other people I talked to felt like the allegations should have nothing to do with how they view Michael The Entertainer. They felt that all his accomplishments and the body of work over the course of his career stood on its own. That his later legal troubles should be a footnote in the legacy of Michael.

Me, personally, am somewhere in the middle. I don't think it can be overstated his influence on pop culture. Modern R&B artists like Usher, Ne-yo, Chris Brown, et al. owe their entire careers to the work Michael put in all those years ago. Groups from New Edition, a J-5 clone, to N'Sync were built in a mold that the Jackson 5 created years ago. Pop music had never seen such a prolific single artist prior to MJ and more than likely won't see one after.

My childhood memories are filled with memorable Michael Moments. I remember how excited I was when Michael guess starred on my favorite TV, The Simpsons. I remember the video premiere of his epic video "Black or White" on Fox. I still get chills when I see clips from the Super Bowl XXVII halftime show. The way he popped out from under the stage and paused a moment to revel in his awesomeness set a bar for half time shows that I doubt will ever be topped(unless you count the Janet/Justin wardrobe malfuction. But that was awesome in a completely different way).

While I will always hold a special place in my heart for MJ, but there was a certain amount of luster removed from his status by the allegations that he fondled a few children. I don't buy the idea that these charges came from people just looking to cash in. Even in such a litigious nation such as this charges of child molestation aren't filed lightly.

Even with the knowledge that he may very well have gone all Catholic Priest on a few kids in his time, I view Michael's career as a net positive. This is interesting for me because I often hold players' off-field/off-court actions against them. Kobe Bryant might be one of the better players ever but he's an asshole and a alleged rapist. Jim Brown may be an all-time great running back and social justice crusader but he also beat the shit out of his wife and girlfriend. Muhammad Ali, might have been the best boxer to lace up a pair of gloves but from what I read in Ghost of Manilla by Mark Shram he was quite the slandering asshole. I have a hard time separating my hate of Karl Malone and his dirty play from my hate of his being repeated dead beat dad.

Despite my feelings that players actions off the field and their deeds on it should both be considered when discussing how great they are, not everyone agrees. I have a friend who cares not about a player's off field transgressions. He feels that whatever accomplishments a player has should be the only means of judging them. That Michael Jordan's habitual gambling was so crippling that he would cheat a grandma to win has no bearing on Jordan the ball player. The Fade Away speaks for itself.

So what say you, faithful reader, intrepid fellow bloggers? Should be judge a player only on the merits of his game? That is what we tune in or pay to see after all. Or do you feel a player should be responsible for his downtime actions? Do you feel being accused of something like rape should forever be a black mark on the resume of a player? Let me know in the comments section. Or my fellow bloggers on this site, write a response post.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"If Only Someone Had Warned Us The Bullpen Was About To Implode!"

After a rally the inning prior tied the score at 5-5 and the game feeling winnable again Sean White displayed the pitching ability of his snowboarding namesake. Which is to say, he allowed 3 runs and fucked things up quicker than Artie Lang on Joe Buck's talk show. If only some sage-like person had warned that the high highfalutin ways of our bullpen were about to end. Oh wait, someone did. Armed with this knowledge today's implosion would seem less painful. This is not the case, or at least not for me. I kept hoping that somehow the 'pen could push their regression back just a few more days at which point they would suck all collectively at once before returning to mediocrity. Sadly, this did not happen.

In a battle of highly touted bullpen arms turned struggling starters the M's tried their best to stay with the Yankees. Going into the today the game was predicted to be a death march for the M's. This prediction was due to Brandow Morrow being a extreme right handed fly ball pitcher going against left hand heavy lineup built to take advantage of the short right field porch like Jerramy Stevens on a drunk girl. These factors combined with the fact that even pop up bunts are being blown out for homers in the new stadium made the chances of a close low scoring game about as likely as finding a well adjusted person on reality TV.

In a reversal of expectations Morrow magically managed to give up 2 fly balls compared to 12 ground balls which helped him not have the Yankee's hitters go all Kobe Bryant on him. However, ever struggling with his command, Morrow walked 5 compared to just 4 strike outs. The walks ended up being his undoing and he was pulled after 98 pitches. He limited the lumber of the Yankees to just 3 runs with only one of them coming as earned.

Things look bleak for the rest of the series as the M's run out Washburn, another extreme fly ball pitcher, against Petitte and then another flyballer in Jason Vargas against CC Sabathia for the finale. I'm holding my expectations low and praying to Jobu that the Mariners can manage to come out of the series with at least 1 win. However if things start to fall apart I'm gonna root for some real fail only so that there is an impetus to trade Bedard and Washburn.

In reality, with Beltre gone and Chris Woodward not being the answer, this team needs some serious luck to make it into the playoffs. I know many would see trading two of our better pitchers as punting the season and giving up on '09. In reality this is not the case. With the upgrades in areas like the middle infield could make for a net gain for the pitching loss.

These next few series before the all-star break will prove our mettle. My guess is, though, without key contributors like Beltre and his awesome glove at 3rd this team will start to fall apart. Sad but true.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Well, That Was Unexpected

Behind the decent pitching of Garret Olson and the bullpen combined with a few timely runs the Mariners managed to escape Chavez Ravine in East LA not only with their wallets and money but also come out 2 wins richer putting them at 3 games over .500 this year. Going into the series I had felt we would be lucky to come out with just one win. It's a damn pleasant feeling to double that prediction.

After getting knocked around like Rihanna in the first game the M's went all Lifetime movie and took the fight back to their abusers. Felix threw 8 innings of 4 hit 1 run(unearned) ball, keeping hitters off balance with his pitch selection. He even threw 8 breaking balls out of his first 20!!! In the past few games Felix has been looking deserving of his title of King, mowing down all opposition. He has come to chew bubblegum and kickass and he is all out of bubblegum!!

The M's offense, while not a juggernaut, has come back from it's comatose state in May and shown some quality power. This is a nice change of pace as there was a stretch where even the shittiest of right handers(Vincente Padilla, Sidney Ponson et al) could make this team look like a bunch of blind little leaguers. There is a comfort from not expecting to be shutout every time this team faces a moderately good right handed pitcher.

This stretch of 7-3 over the last 10 games has all come at a time when this team has had more injuries than a hypochondriac. Outfield defensive specialist Endy Chavez was lost this week when he tore his ACL in a collision with "shortstop" Yuniesky Betancourt. A few games later Betancourt was put on the DL with a hamstring pull or possible tear. Jarrod Washburn has missed time with a back injury and Erik Bedard has been bothered by shoulder inflammation and will hopefully be back on July 5th.

An already injury plagued team was told yesterday that it would lose 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre for 6-8 weeks when he goes in for surgery to clear out bone spurs in his shoulder. There is a lot of speculation on how the team will make up for the production of his combined bat and glove. While the organization has a derth of oufielders and 1b/DH types in the system 3rd base is not a position of depth. To get the most out of Beltre's absence it may take some creative ideas on player positions.

Many people are lobbying for Griffey to take over as the every day left fielder for the team. What people fail to realize is even if Jr didn't have to get 3 liters of fluid drained from his knee every time he sees extensive time out in the field, he is simply not a good defender. Luckily the front office recognizes this and brought in Ryan Lagerhans, whom Dave Cameron lobbied for the team to pick up. Lagerhans isn't quite the defensive wiz that Chavez was,though who is? But he brings more patience and lefty power to a team in desperate need of both.

As the team heads out to the east coast to face the Yankees and Red Sox there looks to be little hope to continue to play so well against top teams. But hell, no one expected them to take 2 of 3 from LA. So maybe with a little energon and a lot of luck they can come out of the road trip above .500. If not, I make a simple request, tank the damn trip and acknowledge that you are now sellers!! We have a lot of attractive and valuable pieces for trade. I'd like to either see us gain a little ground on those ahead of us or just end the suffering all together.

US loses 3-2 To Brazil In Confederation Cup Final. Americans Make Collective Wanking Motion

After much hype and hope had built up surrounding Team USA's advance into the Confederation Cup final for a rematch with Brazil the end result demonstrated to burgeoning American soccer fans what the rest of the world already knew. The US has a long way to go before being on the same level of the elites of the soccer world

Many pointed to Team USA's victory over #1 ranked Spain to advance to the finals as a a soccer equivalent of the Miracle on Ice minus the cold war implications that made that game so poignant. The truth is to even be allowed to play Spain the US was afforded an absurd amount of luck. After being dismembered by the far superior Brazilian team the US not only needed to defeat Egypt by 3 but needed Brazil to kick the shit out of the Italians by at least 3. Somehow both these improbable events transpired and the US had it's shot at#1 ranked Spanish team.

Many people, because they lack originality, are dubbing Team USA's toppling of soccer powerhouse Spain, "The Miracle on Grass". Personally, I feel that title is more fitting for Michael Phelps. I barely have the motivation to put on pants when I am high and yet he managed to win 8 Gold medals? THAT'S impressive. Anyway, more than skill or tenacity or teamwork or any of the other horseshit the media throws out as the cause of the worst defeat of Spain by the Americans since the Spanish/American War there is only one reason Team USA came away with a 2-0 victory. They were luckier than Longshot holding a four leaf clover with a rabbit's foot shoved up his ass. The US team had all of 2 shots on goal and magically they both went in. Meanwhile, Spain had 11 shots on goal and failed to score worse than me on prom night. So yes, the result was a nice shiny win but the idea that the win was somehow a defining moment that would propel the team on to better things was wrong. You play that game out with the same amount of shots on goal and I bet 9 out of 10 times USA loses.

Truthfully I expected another beat down at the hands of the Brazilians. They do so many things better than us it's not even funny. Better waxing, better women, better movies about street gangs, better plane crashes, you name it they do it better. So it only made sense that their soccer team would be far superior as well. The first time these two teams squared off the disparity between the teams was evident and the US went down 0-4 to Brazil.

This time though the confident US team came out and kicked some Brazilian ass, going into the half up 2-0. Coming out of halftime the Brazil team woke up and realized that they could beat the US team drunk and high. They then proceeded to score 3 goals in the half to win 3-2.

Here in Seattle, where soccer is the new hip thing to like, this years fixed gear bikes, there were people who actually cared about this loss. The rest of the country made a dismissive wanking motion and either went back to watching NASCAR or baseball or drinking heavily, as it should be. Soccer pundits try to pump fear and say that one day America too, like the rest of the world, will bow to almighty deity of soccer. Good thing that'll never happen. Because if I know one thing it is this, Nobody Likes Soccer

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

M's Continue To Flirt With .500. Heavy Petting Expected Soon

The M's came into the series against hated rival San Diego their Catholicism looking to pick up a few more wins before they head out on the hellish 9 game road trip that takes them to the home run heaven of the new Yankee Stadium, minuscule Fenway Park, and out to Chavez ravine in East LA. Today was not a good start to the series.

Garret Olson showed why he is a back end rotation starter/long reliever by taking the M's Win Expectancy down below 10% before handing the game over to Roy Corcoran to add another 3 runs to the Padres lead. Corcoran has been less than stellar in his small amount(10 2/3 innings) so far this year. His line drive percentage is at 27% compared to last years 10.2%. Combine that and a walk rate of 10.13BB/9 innings and you got a dealy mixture like Codeine and Promethazine. Hopefully as he gets healthy he'll start pitching better, until then I'd like to not have him in while the game is at all still in question.

The M's decided to show itself later in the game with both Griffey and Branyan homering do satisfy the crowd with requisite dingers to keep them distracted from the loss. Griffey's homer was the 5,000th HR in M's history. Rather fitting he be the one to hit it.

Scoring 7 runs and only losing by 2 stings like a mofo. Many fans will blame Corcoran for not stopping the bleeding by letting the 2 runners he inherited score but then adding 3 earned runs of his own to the mess. In reality Olson put is in the tough spot by giving up so many runs earlier. Over 90% of the time the M's lose that game with just the 4 runs that Olson gave up in his 5+ innings of work.

No matter who was to blame for the runs given up there was no excuse for the M's offense to only awaken once the decidely mediocre Chad Gaudin left the game with the best line of his career. Same old story I suppose. Right handers with a pulse are the M's kryptonite. It's really sad.

Tough loss against a pretty terrible team. We do it again with Morrow starting again(I know WTF?!) and then Washburn to close out the series. Hey M's try to not to lose the series to a terrible Padres team. PLEASE.