The Mariners lost five times during the calendar week (but won two of the final three), the Sounders were mashed 4-1 in Montreal in their return to MLS action, and a downtown rally in support of a proposed $490 million basketball/hockey facility drew thousands of supporters, including an array of ex-SuperSonics. That Was The Week That Was:
JUNE 11-17, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Four locals were named to the United States Olympic cycling team that will compete in the London Games: Tyler Farrar, Wenatchee, road race (1st Olympics); Tejay van Garderen, Tacoma, road race (1st Olympics); Jennie Reed, Seattle, track cycling (3rd Olympics); Arielle Martin, Spanaway, BMX (1st Olympics). Reed, who contested the sprint in 2004 (Athens) and the keirin in 2008 (Beijing), made a switch to endurance riding to contest the three-kilometer team pursuit. A local athlete hasn’t won an Olympic cycling medal since Rebecca Twigg (bronze, individual pursuit) in 1992.
- BAD WEEK — The Mariners, remarkably, took two out of three against San Francisco, the No. 2 team in the NL West, but they also lost five times during the calendar week, which included a sweep by the abysmal San Diego Padres, which included the 18th 1-0 home loss in franchise history. Even worse: The last-place (NL West) Padres came into Safeco Field batting .229 and standing 19.5 games out of first in their divisional race.
- PLAY OF THE WEEK –– Good: Justin Smoak’s walk-off single Sunday that gave Seattle a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants and a 2-1 series victory . . . Bad: Second inning, Mariners vs. Giants Friday: After leading off the inning with a double, Jesus Montero tried to get a great jump on a line drive to center by Michael Saunders. Two problems: As a runner, he’s a veritable sloth, and the ball was caught. The Giants doubled off Montero, the second time in three games this week that happened to him.
- STAT OF THE WEEK — Safeco Swoon: The Mariners scored 23 runs on 65 hits during the nine-game Safeco Field home stand that ended Sunday. On the nine-game road trip that preceded the home stand, the Mariners scored 64 runs with 96 hits.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, 1994-00) hit his 23rd career grand slam, tying former Yankees great Lou Gehrigs major league record. Homer was the 639th of Rodriguezs career, leaving him 123 behind Barry Bonds career record of 762 . . . R.A. Dickey (Mariners, 2008) pitched the second one-hitter of his career for the Mets Wednesday, becoming the first 10-game winner in the majors. Dickey also ran his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to a Met-record 32.1 before allowing an earned run.
- SUNDAY, June 17 — The Mariners receive a walk-off single from Justin Smoak and beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 in the final game of a nine-game home stand. Play of the game, aside from Smoak’s hit: In the top of the ninth, Tom Wilhelmsen fanned Melky Cabrera, the National League’s leading hitter, with the bases loaded — on three pitches! — en route to working out of a potentially disastrous jam. Ichiro (2,499) fails in his bid at 2,500 hits by going 0-for-4.
- SATURDAY, June 16 — The Mariners break out the bats, rough up former UW star Tim Lincecum (five earned runs in 5.0 innings) and score a 7-4 win over the Giants, snapping a six-game losing streak. The Mariners hit two home runs in a home game (Jesus Montero, Casper Wells) for just the third time in 2012 and for the first time since April 18 vs. Cleveland . . . Sounders suffer a bruising 4-1 loss to the expansion Montreal Impact, Eddie Johnson collecting Seattle’s only goal in the 61st minute. Former Sounder Lamar Neagle scores Montreal’s fourth goal, beating Bryan Meredith in the 87th minute. Tough to swallow: the Sounders played a man down after the red-card expulsion of defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado . . . UW football gets its eighth verbal commitment when receiver Darrell Daniels of Oakley, CA., declares for Steve Sarkisian’s program. Daniels rated four stars from Rivals.com and Scout.com.
- FRIDAY, June 15 — The Mariners manage just two hits through seven innings against Ryan Vogelsong and lose lamely 4-2, the club’s sixth consecutive defeat . . . Sue Bird hits her first nine shots and scores 21 points, leading the Storm to an 86-73 win over Tulsa. The victory ends a four-game losing streak at the end of a five-game road trip . . . Foiled in a bid to play in the U.S. Open, University of Washington All-American Chris Williams accepts a consolation prize, taking the Washington State Men’s Amateur Championship at Eagle’s Pride by a whopping 10 strokes, shooting 67-67-69-68 . . . Mariners first-round draft pick Mike Zunino of the University of Florida is awarded the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
- THURSDAY, June 14— A downtown rally held by San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, aimed at drumming support for his proposed $490 million arena, draws between 2,000-6,000 onlookers. For two hours, a steady stream of former Sonics, including Gary Payton, Slick Watts, Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf, plus a parade of politicians, take the stage and offer their support for the arena. “This is why I’m doing this right here,” Hansen says, pointing to the crowd . . . The Mariners lose their fifth in a row and get swept by the last-place San Diego Padres (NL West) 6-2. The Mariners scratch just two hits off Edinson Volquez before the seventh inning . . . LB Brian Banks concludes his mini-camp tryout with the Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll saying he exceeded all expectations, and heads to San Francisco to try out with the 49ers.
- WEDNESDAY, June 13 — Chris Hansen discloses that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and brothers Erik and Peter Nordstrom, Seattle business and community pillars, have joined him in the attempt build a $490 million basketball/hockey facility in SoDo and relocate an NBA team. The development leads councilman Pete von Reichbauer to wonder why an investment group with such rich individuals needs $200 million in public funds to finance the deal. “If Steve Ballmer’s involved, why aren’t they funding it privately, like the new owners of the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco?” von Reichbauer asks smartly . . . Mariners suffer the 18th 1-0 loss at home in franchise history to a San Diego team that entered the game 18.5 games behind in its division race . . . The Sounders receive bad news when they learn that leading scorer David Estrada will miss 8-12 weeks with a broken left foot, suffered in a training session . . . Storm (1-7) doused in Chicago 74-58 largely because of a 44-21 rebounding disparity. Sue Bird collects 10 assists but scores just eight points.
- TUESDAY, June 12 — The San Diego Padres, batting .229 as a team, rake Felix Hernandez for five runs on nine hits and beat the Mariners 5-4 at Safeco Field, Seattle’s third consecutive loss. The Mariners collect 12 hits, pushing their Safeco Field batting average to a major league-low .198 . . . DE Chris Clemons is a surprise no-show at the Seahawks mini camp, leaving himself open to a $10,000 fine. “I’m surprised he’s not here,” says head coach Pete Carroll.
- MONDAY, June 11 — Obit: Roger Jongewaard, the Mariners’ principal talent evaluator from 1985-04, dies of a heart attack in Long Beach, CA. Jongewaard presided over amateur drafts that netted the Mariners Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Jose Cruz Jr., Gil Meche and a host of other players.
TOP 5 NUMBERS
Roger Jongewaard’s top 5 draft picks: Ken Griffey Jr. (’87), Alex Rodriguez (’93), Tino Martinez (’88), Jason Varitek (’94), Adam Jones (’03).
Jongewaard’s 5 worst: Ryan Christianson (’99), Roger Salkeld (’89), Michael Garciaparra (’01), John Mayberry (’02), Marc Newfield (’90).
Mariners lost 1-0 Wednesday at Safeco to a San Diego team 18.5 games behind in its division, making it the worst 1-0 home loss in franchise history.
At one juncture of Chicago’s 74-58 win over the Storm Wednesday, the Sky grabbed seven consecutive rebounds en route to a 44-21 game edge.
.345: The Mariners winning percentage at Safeco Field after Friday’s 4-2 loss, making it the worst home ballpark in the major leagues.
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Mariners Never Far From Spank Or Hug: Just when its time to throw the Mariners over the civic knees and spank them for youthful indiscretions, they pull off a weekend like this one against the San Francisco Giants, instead inspiring all to pinch their cheeks and say, Wudgie, wudgie, wudgie” . . . MORE
Thiel: Arena Rally Sends Strong Vibe To Councils: As the Seattle basketball space-time continuum ripped across Pioneer Square on one end was Slick Watts for the gray-hairs and the other end Nate Robinson for the tat pack one little kid was clearly having the best time surfing the energy . . . MORE
Mariners: Not All 1-0 Home Losses Equal: In the 35 years since then-U.S. Senator Henry Scoop Jackson seemingly cursed the franchise with his ceremonial first pitch April 6, 1977, the Mariners have played 5,611 games, 2,993 of them losses. The Mariners failed to score a run 337 times in those games, including Wednesday night at Safeco Field when they went . . . MORE
Thiel: Banks A Star, But Not Necessarily A Player: What Brian Banks wants to be is an LB (linebacker). For sure, hes an MP (media phenomenon). His chance to close the gap isnt DOA, but he could be SOL. The best part: An abbreviated stay doesnt really matter . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: Walter Reuther, The Dutchman: Northwest sports fans have witnessed some dandy feuds, none more entertaining than the mid-1990s verbal smackdown between Wally Walker, former president and GM of the SuperSonics, and his flammable head coach, George Karl, who panned Walker in the public prints so relentlessly that the NBA first fined Karl $25,000 for making disparaging remarks, and then tacked on a $50,000 gouge when Karl refused to stop running his mouth . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (June 4-10): The Sounders continued their march through the 2012 U.S. Open Cup, the Seahawks gave a tryout to a former California prison inmate, and the former Seattle SuperSonics reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1996. But the story of the week: The Kevin Millwood-led combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday. That Was The Week That Was . . . MORE
“For me, it was disappointing. I’m tired of pitching like this. I’ve got to do something about this. I’ve just got to pitch better” — Felix Hernandez, Mariners, after allowing five runs on nine hits in six innings Tuesday
“Hopefully everything will go well with the surgery and he’ll be back sooner rather than later. But this definitely means more playing time for some other people. Different people have to step up” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach, after the club announced that leading scorer David Estrada would 8-12 weeks with a broken foot
“Offensively, we’ve just really got to figure this out here at home. I mean, it’s no secret. We’ve shown what we’re capable of doing on the road. We’ve just got to work to help these guy get over the hump here at home to where we can go out there and be the offensive team that we’ve shown to be very capably of being” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, after Seattle lost 1-0 to feeble San Diego Wednesday at Safeco Field
“It’s going to take us until we start playing games to where we’ll see something happen. At this point, they’re doing everything they can do with the opportunities, and they look good” — Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach, on the performance of his three quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson, at the team’s midweek, three-day camp
“This group of investors is making a remarkable offer to us. They are going to bring hundereds of millions of dollars, and the government investment is going to be so completely secured that we are definitely going to get paid back, paid far more than that in all the other taxes and other economic activity” — Dow Constantine, King County Executive, at the Thursday downtown rally held in support of a $490 million basketball/hockey facility
“Obviously as a shooter sometimes your shots don’t go in. But you can’t get frustrated. You know the shots will eventually have to fall” — Sue Bird, Storm, after scoring 21 points in a 86-63 win over Tulsa Friday
“We gave away soft goals tonight. That’s something we can’t do. We certainly have to play much better than we played tonight” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach, after his club’s 4-1 loss at Montreal Saturday