Four athletes with ties to the University of Washington, a discus thrower and three rowers, qualified for the London Olympics; save for another superlative outing by Felix Hernandez Saturday, Mariners starters endured a horrific week; the Sounders managed a draw and an abysmal loss, and the resurgent Storm had a perfect week. This Was The Week That Was:
JUNE 18-24, 2012 25
- GOOD WEEK — Three former University of Washington rowers qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games. For Mary Whipple, a 2002 graduate, London will mark her third Games. Whipple, who won a silver medal in Athens in 2004 and a gold in Beijing in 2008, becomes the first female rower with ties to the state to make three Olympic teams. In addition to her two Olympic medals, Whipple has won four World Championship gold medals as part of the USA eight. Earlier this year, she won a gold and set a world record (5:54.17) at the Samsung World Rowing Cup.
- BAD WEEK — Jason Vargas not only had a bad week, he’s had a bad month, going 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA and eight homers allowed in 18.1 innings. Arizona banged five of those home runs Wednesday, enabling Vargas to tie the franchise record for gopher balls, set by Mark Langston April 19, 1988 and matched by Jamie Moyer July 21, 2006. “I gave them (the Diamondbacks) some opportunities,” said Vargas, “and they didn’t miss any of them.”
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — Came in the 15th minute of the Sounders’ 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City Wednesday at CenturyLink Field when Patrick Ianni took a free kick from Mauro Rosales and slammed in a side-winding volley that rocketed past goalie Jimmy Nielsen into the back of the net. It marked the quickest goal for the Sounders in 2012 and the best goal of Ianni’s career, according to Ianni. “My best goal, yeah definitely. Best goal — practice, games — since I was born.”
- STAT OF THE WEEK — Six former rowers from the University of Washington will represent the USA in the Olympic Games in London, England. In addition to Scott Gault (2006), Brett Newlin (2005) and Giuseppe Lanzone, selected last week, Mary Whipple (2002), Meagan Kalmoe (2006) and Adrienne Martelli (2010) made the Olympic team this week.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — R.A. Dickey of the Mets, a knuckleballer who pitched for the Mariners in 2008, became the first major leaguer in 24 years to throw consecutive one-hitters when he defeated Baltimore 5-0 Monday. Coming off a one-hitter at Tampa, Dickey struck out a career-high 13 in running his streak of consecutive scoreless innings 42.2. Dickey, who went 5-8, 5.21 for the Mariners, became the first 11-game winner in the majors.
- SUNDAY, June 24 — Former University of Washington discus thrower Aretha Thurmond qualifies for the Olympics for the fourth time with a best of 204-2 to finish second at the U.S. Track & Field Trials in Eugene. Thurmond also made Olympic teams in 1996, 2004 and 2008 and becomes the fourth athlete with UW ties (see rowers) to qualify for the Olympics during the week. . . The Mariners end a 2-4 road trip through Arizona and San Diego by getting blanked 2-0 by the Padres in a game in which they rarely stress starter Edinson Volquez. The Mariners scratch out four singles and a double, helping send starter Hector Noesi to his ninth loss . . . Sounders extend their winless streak to seven matches by losing a Cascadia Cup clash with Portland 2-1. Worse, Fredy Montero draws the club’s third consecutive red card, mandating a sit-down for Seattle’s next MLS match . . . Storm, led by 14 points each from Sue Bird and Ann Wauters, demolish the Washington Mystics 72-55 extending their winning streak to four games in front of 6,979 at KeyArena. Wauters adds seven rebounds and two assists.
- SATURDAY, June 23 — Felix Hernandez collects his first win since May 21 by allowing one earned run over 7.0 innings and aids his own cause with a two-run double as the Mariners finally beat San Diego 5-1 . . . Danny Hultzen, the prized Mariners prospect, is rocked in his Pacific Coast League debut, an 8-4 Tacoma Rainiers loss to Colorado Springs. Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, lasts just 3.0 innings and gives up five hits and five runs, all earned . . . Lynnwood’s Teshome Kokebe (2:31.47) and Redmond’s Sheila Croft (2:41.38) take the men’s and women’s divisions of the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, marking the first time in the four years of the event that two locals prevail.
- FRIDAY, June 22 — The Mariners blow a 4-0 lead (20th blown lead of the season) and lose to the hapless San Diego Padres 9-5 at Petco Park. More specifically, they lose to San Diego pitcher Clayton Richard, who allows just one unearned run after a rocky first inning and collects two hits, including a two-run single in a five-run San Diego fourth inning . . . The Storm, behind Tanisha Wright’s 20 points, surprisingly extend their winning streak to three games with an 82-76 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars at KeyArena. Key play: Katie Smith’s 3-pointer with 1:46 to play after San Antonio had cut Seattle’s lead to four . . . Three ex-UW women, Mary Whipple, (2002), Meagan Kalmoe (2006) and Adrienne Martelli (2010) are chosen by U.S. Rowing to represent in USA in the London Olympic Games, Whipple in the eight and Kalmoe and Martelli in the quadruple sculls. It’s the third Olympics for Whipple, the second for Kalmoe and first for Martelli.
- THURSDAY, June 21— Despite Kevin Durant’s 32 points, the Seattle SuperSonics Oklahoma City thunder bow out of the NBA Finals after five games, losing 121-106 to series MVP LeBron James and the Miami Heat . . . Montana authorities say that former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf could return to West Texas as early as next week to face a judge who could revoke his probation on drug-related charges. Randall County district attorney James Farren says Leaf has waived extradition and says he will seek jail time for Leaf.
- WEDNESDAY, June 20 — The Arizona Diamondbacks rake Jason Vargas for five home runs, belt six overall, and defeat the Mariners 13-10, handing Seattle its 13th series loss of the season. The game features 30 runs and 24 hits, including two homers by the Mariners (Kyle Seager, Franklin Gutierrez). It also features the first inside-the-park home run, by Ryan Roberts, vs. Seattle since Tony Gwynn Jr. of San Diego had one June 13, 2010 . . . A season-high 46,932 at CenturyLink Field watch as Patrick Ianni equalizes in the 15th minute, enabling the Sounders to battle Sporting Kansas City to a 2-1 draw that leaves Seattle winless in its past six, the worst six-game stumble since early in the 2009 season. . . . Bothell High point guard Zach LaVine, the state’s top prospect in the Class of 2013, turns down Gonzaga, Louisville, Texas and Washington and commits to UCLA.
- TUESDAY, June 19 — Ichiro collects his 2,500th career high as part of a 4-for-5, 2-RBI effort and Kyle Seager and Brendan Ryan bash three-run homers in the fifth inning as the Mariners rally for a 12-9, 10-inning win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ichiro reaches 2,500 in the fourth-fewest games in major league history, 1,817 . . . A Montana district jsentences former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf to seven years with the Department of Corrections with two years suspended if Leaf abides by certain conditions. Montana authorities arrested Leaf in April on felony drug possession charges . . . An autopsy reveals that two-time Olympic equestrian Amy Tryon of Duvall died April 12 from an accidental opiate overdose. Tryon won a bronze medal in team eventing at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
- MONDAY, June 18 — Already perfect-oed by Philip Humber (April 21), the Mariners get “cycled” by Aaron Hill of the Diamondbacks in a 7-1 loss at The Chase. Hill singles in the first (Hector Noesi), triples in the third (Noesi), doubles in the fifth (Noesi) and homers in the seventh (Shawn Kelley), the first cycle against the Mariners since Miguel Tejada of Oakland in September 2001 . . . Seattle boxer Queen Underwood is named to the Olympic team by USA Boxing and says, “I now have a chance to write my own story, and my winning the gold medal is now going to be the headline.”
TOP 5 NUMBERS
5: Number of cycle hitters against the Mariners after Aaron Hill accomplished the feat Monday, and the first since Miguel Tejada of Oakland Sept. 29, 2001.
Fewest games needed for 2,500 hits: Al Simmons, 1,784; Ty Cobb, 1,790; George Sisler, 1,808; Ichiro Suzuki (1,817). Ichiro got No. 2,500 Tuesday.
When the Mariners hit a pair of 3-run homers in the fifth inning Tuesday, it marked the first time they had done that since July 30, 2003.
15: Number of different starting lineups that coach Sigi Schmid of the Sounders used in the team’s first 15 MLS matches.
5: Homers allowed by Jason Vargas Wednesday, tying team gopher ball record set by Mark Langston (1988) and matched by Jamie Moyer (2006).
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Why Rich Guys Won’t Fund Entire Arena: From most witnesses, Chris Hansen has drawn high marks for his presentations to city and county councils, both for his mastery of information and his willingness to engage officials, fans and media in the discussion . . . MORE
Thiel: Sizzling Day In The Arena-Site Argument: While the sports world fixates on LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant, the match between Seattles arena proponents and opponents became a whole lot grittier and more compelling Tuesday . . . MORE
Thiel: Arena Location Violates City Law, Says Expert: City land-use law would be violated by the plan to put a basketball/hockey arena on the SoDo site where developer Chris Hansen has purchased land, according to a former Seattle city councilman who helped draft the legislation . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: ‘Mad Russian” Lou Novikoff: Several days after the July 6, 1948, straight-cash sale of Rainiers outfielder Lou Novikoff to the Newark Bears of the International League, Seattle Times baseball beat man Emmett Watson, later a popular columnist and author, wrote a lengthy piece lamenting the departure of The Mad Russian, who had, in Watsons view, done more to enliven Sicks Stadium than any player in the three years Novikoff spent with the club . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (June 11-17): 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 . . . MORE
“We’re trying to give him a period of time here to have success and to get it back going again. That’s where he’s most comfortable (leadoff). That’s where he likes to be, so we’re just trying to give him a period of time to where, hopefully, he can find it and take off from there” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, on his decision to sit Ichiro Monday in Phoenix
“I have enjoyed my time in there more than my previous 15 years. Prison time will be bliss for friends, family and everyone else tired of hearing about my drama.”– Ryan Leaf, former WSU quarterback, talking about his time in jail
“I thought it was a very physical match, but I was pleased with our effort and our heart that we displayed and that we showed. I thought it was a major jump forward from the way we played in Montreal. I thought our effort and our desire was very good and unfortunately it didn’t bear the ultimate fruit for us in terms of winning the game, but we did get a point tonight and we’ve got to build upon this and move forward” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders head coach, after a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City Wednesday
“In the fourth quarter we let up just a little bit. Luckily for us, we were able to pretty much outscore them (32-31). When a game is tough like that, that’s when you’ve got to bear down and rely on your bread and butter” — Tanisha Wright, Seattle Storm, after an 82-76 win over San Antonio Friday that extended the club’s winning streak to three