Athletes with state connections reaped five more Olympic medals in London, the Sounders produced a perfectly horrid week, the Seahawks made their preseason debut with two new quarterbacks and, as part of a mostly nightmarish road trip, the Mariners suffered a pair of walk-off losses in a three-day span. This Was The Week That Was:
AUG. 6-12, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) and Hope Solo (ex-University of Washington) became multi-gold medalists at the Olympic Games, Bird collecting her third in basketball, Solo her second in soccer. Bird played a prominent role in USA wins over Australia (semifinals) and France (finals), while Solo made a couple of monster saves in the USA’s 2-1 win over Japan in the gold-medal match. Their medals brought to five the number of golds won by athletes with connections to Washington state.
- BAD WEEK — Lauren Jackson of the Storm went to London hoping their her fourth Olympics would end in her first gold medal. In spite of Jackson’s 14 points and 17 rebounds, it didn’t happen, in part because of Storm teammate Bird’s 13 points for the USA in its 86-73 semifinal win over Australia . . . Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert and Eddie Johnson all mangled penalty kicks, handing Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 victory and the annual U.S. Open Cup and preventing Seattle’s chance to claim an unprecedented fourth consecutive title. Sounders followed by losing at San Jose 2-1, whiffing the week . . . During the Mariners’ nine-game road trip that ended Sunday, OF Michael Saunders went 2-for-33.
- PLAY OF THE WEEK —Alex Morgan, who spent part of the summer with the Sounders Women, headed in a goal in the 122nd minute, giving the United States women’s soccer team a 4-3 victory over Canada and a berth in the gold-medal match against Japan. Morgan got a chance at scoring the winning goal when former UW goalkeeper Hope Solo made a spectacular save on a shot by Sophie Schmidt.
- STAT OF THE WEEK — When Josh Kinney ended Friday’s loss to the Angels by throwing a walk-off wild pitch, it marked the third time in Mariners history that a game had ended in such dismal fashion. The Mariners also sustained walk-off losses at Toronto June 16, 1989 on a Mike Schooler wild pitch, and again June 21, 1999, on a Jose Mesa wild pitch.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Ichiro (2001-12) not only produced his first multi-hit game as a member of the Yankees Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with a double in a 6-5 loss to the Tigers, he matched a career high with five RBIs Friday (RBI grounder, two-run single, two-run double) at Toronto. It marked Ichiro’s first five-RBI game since Aug. 17, 2004 . . . Terry Stotts a former Sonics assistant to George Karl (1992-97), was hired as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers . . . Ex-Mariner R.A. Dickey (2008) notched his 15th win (15-3), defeating the Marlins 6-1 Thursday. He had 10 strikeouts and stopped Jose Reyes’ 26-game hitting streak . . . Ex-Seahawk (2009) and current UCLA head coach Jim Mora, talking up the virtues of the UCLA campus while making not-so-sly reference to the slayings of two Chinese graduate students near the USC campus earlier in the year: “We don’t have murders a block from our campus.”
- SUNDAY, Aug. 12 — Jesus Montero bangs a pair of home runs off the AL’s hottest pitcher, Jered Weaver, and Jason Vargas works 8.1 innings for his 13th win as the Mariners beat the L.A. Angels 4-1. Series oddity: In the only game the Mariners didn’t win, they had Felix Hernandez on the mound and a 5-0 lead.
- SATURDAY, Aug. 11 — Four athletes with state ties win medals at the London Olympics and a fourth misses one by a fraction of a second. Sue Bird claims her second career gold when the women’s basketball team crushes France, former UW volleyball players Courtney Thompson and Tamari Miyashiro win silvers when the USA surprisingly loses to Brazil, and Lauren Jackson of the Storm collects a bronze, her fourth Olympic medal, when Australia defeats Russia. Former WSU middle-distance runner Bernard Lagat misses a bronze medal by .63 of a second in the men’s 5,000 meters . . . Steven Lenhart’s header three minutes into stoppage time gives San Jose a 2-1 win over the Sounders and caps a dreadful week for the locals, who also lost the U.S. Open Cup final in penalty kicks . . . The Mariners stake Hisashi Iwakuma to a 7-0 lead, John Jaso homers for the second night in a row and Seattle snaps a five-game losing streak, defeating the Angels 7-4 . . . Russell Wilson, Seattle’s third-round draft pick, impresses in his NFL debut, throwing a TD pass and running for a TD in the Seahawks’ 27-17 win over Matt Hasselbeck (2 INTs), Jake Locker (7-for-13, 80 yards) and the Tennessee Titans.
- FRIDAY, Aug. 10 — Of all the stupefying things, the Mariners blow a 5-0 lead with Felix Hernandez on the mound, give up a rare, two-run sacrifice fly, and lose on a walk-off wild pitch by Josh Kinney. The 6-5 loss to the Angels gives the Mariners a 1-6 record on the nine-game road trip . . . Just four months after joining the UW hoops squad, Mark McLaughlin, already connected with seven schools in six years, disconnects from the Huskies by quitting the squad. McLaughlin offers no explanation for his bolt. McLaughlin’s former coach at Tacoma Community College, Carl Howell, says, “I just never would have envisioned this. I’m as shocked as everyone else.”
- THURSDAY, Aug. 9 — Former University of Washington goalkeeper Hope Solo makes two monster saves, one in the 18th minute, the other in the 83rd, to preserve a 2-1 USA victory over Japan in the women’s Olympic soccer final at Wembley Stadium. It’s Solo’s second gold, following the one she won in Beijing (2008) and pretty much punches her ticket to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.
- WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 — Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert and Eddie Johnson all botch penalty kicks in a shootout, costing the Sounders an unprecedented fourth consecutive U.S. Open Cup. Kansas City prevails 3-2 in PKs, thwarting Seattle’s bid for soccer history . . . Rookie Steve Johnson, making his MLB starting debut, fans nine Mariners as Baltimore sweeps Seattle with a 9-2 win at Camden Yards. Orioles bombard three Seattle pitchers for 14 hits and shoo Seattle starter Kevin Millwood after 4.0 innings . . . Expected to contend for playing time at tailback, the University of Washington’s Deontae Cooper instead is headed for a third surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at practice, following two ACL tears in his right knee . . . Obit: Pete Pedersen, a native of Washington state and a longtime thoroughbred steward in California, dies at age 92. Pedersen helped build Longacres Race Course that opened in 1933 (closed in 1992) and worked for more than 60 years in California. He presided over some of racing’s most prestigious events, including the inaugural 1984 Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood Park. Pedersen received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2002.
- TUESDAY, Aug. 7 — Former Mariner Adam Jones slaps around his old club again when he delivers a 14th-inning, walk-off single off Shawn Kelley, giving the Orioles an 8-7 win at Camden Yards. First base umpire Brian Knight rules that Mariners first baseman Mike Carp pulled his foot off the bag after second base after Dustin Ackley made an excellent play on a ground ball up the middle by Baltimore’s Omar Quintanilla leading off the 14th inning. The run came around to score. Manager Eric Wedge gets tossed arguing (see “Said” below).
- MONDAY, Aug. 6 — The Seahawks sign 38-year-old WR Terrell Owens, out of the NFL since 2010, to one-year contract worth a reported $1 million. Owens once famously autographed a football with a Sharpie in the Seattle end zone after scoring a TD while playing for San Francisco . . . Former Mariners prospect Chris Tillman, dealt to the Orioles in the Erik Bedard trade, continues to haunt the Mariners, allowing one run in 7.1 innings in a 3-1 victory that snaps Jason Vargas‘ winning streak at five games. Tillman improves to 3-0, 0.83 in his remarkable career against Seattle . . . Eddie Johnson, who scored on a header in Seattle’s 4-0 win over the L.A. Galaxy, is named MLS Player of the Week . . . Alex Morgan of the Sounders Women heads in the winning goal in the 122nd minute, sending the USA Women’s National Team into the gold-medal match against Japan. A spectacular save by former UW goalkeeper Hope Solo had sent the match into OT.
6: Had Jason Vargas beaten Baltimore Monday, he would have been the first Mariners pitcher since Joel Pineiro in 2003 to win six in a row.
With 12 points in a 75-60 win over China, the Storm’s Lauren Jackson (Australia) became the Olympic scoring record holder with 536 points.
In the U.S. Open Cup final Wednesday, the Sounders received five yellow cards and one ejection (Patrick Ianni). The refs did not book one KC player.
8: Walk-off losses suffered by the Mariners in 2012 after Josh Kinney bounced a pitch past John Jaso Friday, giving Seattle a 6-5 loss to the Angels.
5: Medals won by athletes with state connections at the London Olympics in the week just ended, including two gold, two silver and one bronze.
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Civic Hug Near For Hasselbeck, Locker: Except for Alex Rodriguez, Seattle sports fans generally have a forgiving nature toward former athletes returning here to slap around the local teams. When it comes to Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, the civic bosom may not be large enough to cuddle simultaneously both former football heroes . . . MORE
Thiel: Emotional Spikes At Huskies Practice: The capacity of college football to produce weirdness, on and off the field, is like no other sport. And were not talking about Penn State. Take the 24 hours in Huskies football from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. One player goes down with his THIRD knee injury requiring surgery . . . MORE
Thiel: Trials Of Being A Sports Knucklehead: If Seattle sports fans found room for Vince Coleman and Jerramy Stevens, they will find room for Terrell Owens. Sports fans tend to lump every athletic miscreant into the same barrel of knuckleheads. One caller to a local radio show said his girlfriend heard that the Seahawks this week hired the guy who fights dogs . . . MORE
Thiel: Flynn In, T.O. Coming, Seahawks Out There: Team Outlier, a k a the Seattle Seahawks, took down the big top on one act Tuesday and put up a fresh one for another: The Terrell Owens Humble as Dirt Show, wherein one of the great sad-clown acts in pro sports transforms into . . . um, Gabby Douglas, all smiles, innocence and triple back flips for America . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: Swim Guru Ray Daughters: Friends used to insist that, while swimming existed long before Ray Daughters came along, he was the one who perfected it. His cronies obviously jested, but an Associated Press article, published three years after Daughters tutored Queen Helene Madison to three gold medals at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, contained this tribute to the acclaimed coach: Daughters is so good at what he does that he could probably teach fish something about swimming. . . . MORE
Thiel: Sark Doesn’t Much Remember The Alamo: This just in: After an exhaustive investigation, the NCAA has determined the 2011 Alamo Bowl is over. As football fans of the University of Washington and Baylor University may recall, their December bowl game in San Antonio found a breach in the space-time continuum and entered into a parallel universe, with Baylor ahead 67-56 when telemetry failed and lost connection with ground observatories . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (July 30-Aug. 5): The Mariners lost two of three to the Yankees, but enjoyed a winning week overall; a dozen athletes with state connections earned Olympic medals; the Sounders won a Champions League match and romped over the L.A. Galaxy; the Seahawks confirmed they will bring WR Terrell Owens into camp for a Monday tryout; UW and WSU football geared up, and Brandon Roy made his NBA comeback official . . . MORE
“I’m a new player and when I go on the field I want the ball. It’s all about doing what’s best for the team” — Eddie Johnson, Sounders forward, after he was named MLS Player of the Week Monday
God is good. Thankful. Grateful. To ALL my new teammates & the 12th Man . . . Lets Do This! — Terrell Owens, on his Twitter account, after signing with the Seahawks
“It’s the big leagues. Games shouldn’t end like that in the 14th inning. Our guys are fighting their asses off out there to compete and win. For an umpire to get involved like that is just ridiculous. It was clear that Carp was on the bag, and Ackley made a great play. It’s a shame the umpire has to get involved in that way. When you talk about first basemen coming off the bag, it’s been in the game for 100-plus years. But he didn’t even come close to coming off the bag. It was evident he was on there, and noticeably so. It’s just a shame he has to make the call right there and cost us the ballgame” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, after a controversial call at first base Tuesday in Baltimore led to the Orioles scoring the winning run in the 14th inning
“It’s all about, for me, now being part of something rather than being the center of something. And I understand. Obviously, a lot of the media is here because of me, and again, by a lot of things that have occurred in the last two years” — Terrell Owens, Seahawks receiver, at a press conference Wednesday
“It’s difficult when you are playing against a team at home , so the crowd helps them, and then you’re playing against the referee as well, and he makes some absolutely, I thought, ridiculous calls. It’s very tough to win” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach, after Sounders lost the U.S. Open Cup final at Kansas City Wednesday
Its a tough one for her. Shes one of my closest friends. I love her to death, but when we step on the court on opposite teams I just cant let her have it” — Sue Bird, Storm, after her USA team beat teammate Lauren Jackson and Australia in the semifinals of the Olympic women basketball tournament Thursday
“Today Hope Solo had a very good game. She brought back the gold medal to the United States of America” — Pia Sundage, USA women’s soccer coach, after her team clinched gold in London
“It kind of left me dismayed a little bit. I was almost baffled by it. How could this happen again? This time, on a good knee, with nobody around, nothing” — Steve Sarkisian, UW football coach, after running back Deontae Cooper suffered a season-ending knee injury Thursday
“It’s inexcusable to give up that goal late. You can’t give Lenhart a free path where he has three or four yards to run up to the ball because he’s a big guy and he jumps well and we paid the price for it” — Sigi Schmid, after San Jose’s Steven Lenhart scored in stoppage time, giving the Earthquakes a 2-1 win over the Sounders Saturday.