Jan. Feb. 21-27, 2011
- Good Week — The Washington State Cougars complete a season sweep of the frigid Washington Huskies (17 points in the first half) with a surprisingly easy 80-69 victory at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Cougars score their eighth Pac-10 win, but still need two more to interest the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee (see next Wednesday’s Nobody Asks But us). Even if they don’t make the Tournament, they handled the Huskies big time in 2011.
- Bad Week — Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez exits spring training and returns to Seattle to undergo tests to determine what, exactly, is still giving him stomach problems, which plagued him throughout the last half of 2010. Gutierrez returns to Peoria two days later and can’t play in the Mariners’ Cactus League opener, still bothered by the mysterious ailment. This is now officially very worrisome.
- Sunday, Feb. 27 — The Mariners, who featured the most dismal offense in the American League in 2010, put up 13 runs on the San Diego Padres in their annual Charity game at Peoria, AZ, in a 13-12 victory. While good for the Mariners, spring training will always remain, as baseball writer Art Hill once, “a season written in the sand.”
- Saturday, Feb. 26 — The UW women’s softball team routs Cal State Fullerton 14-2 at Cathedral City, CA., to improve to 12-0. Obviously, Heather Tarr’s program has evolved into a lot more than Danielle Lawrie, great as she was.
- Friday, Feb. 25 — Former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker tells the assembled media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that he has been working out with former NFL quarterback Ken O’Brien in California, with the aim of improving his technique. Although prone to overthrowing receivers, Locker shrugs off criticism, saying, “I think all that stuff is fixable, and I’m working on it, trying to get better every day. We’ll see.”
- Thursday, Feb. 24— The Boston Celtics trade former Rainier Beach/UW star Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma Thunder, nee Sonics, and the Houston Rockets send former Franklin standout Aaron Brooks to Phoenix. Charles Barkley once called Robinson “the best athlete in the NBA”, but at 5-9, he’s just too height-challenged to get significant minutes. In five seasons, Nate has been drafted by the Suns, traded to New York, traded to Boston and now to Oklahoma City.
- Wednesday, Feb. 23 — Major League Scocer releases its new 2011 playoff format. Ten clubs will qualify, the top three finishers in each conference based on points, and four wild cards. It’s a far better playoff format than in 2010, but way too many teams — 56 percent — qualify for the postseason (highest percentage among major professional sports leagues). But from the MLS perspective, it needs more cities engaged in playoff races, not fewer.
- Tuesday, Feb. 22— The Huskies dominate from start to finish in polishing off Seattle University 95-74 at KeyArena. Even with the expected win, the Huskies’ national RPI rank of 35 still isn’t where it needs to be to make UW a serious postseason contender.
- Monday. Feb. 21 — The Sounders lose to FC Dallas 2-0 in a training game in Orlando, FL., and falls to 2-2-1 in preseason matches. Can’t see — yet — that the Sounders have improved enough offensivwly to make a serious run at an MLS title.
“That Was The Week That Was (TW3)” is published every Monday as part of Sportspress Northwests package of home-page features collectively titled, The Rotation.
The Rotations weekly schedule:
- Monday: That Was The Week That Was (TW3) A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
- Tuesday: Wayback Machine — Sports historian David Eskenazi’s deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
- Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us — We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
- Thursday: Water Cooler Cool — Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
- Friday: Top 5 List — The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as we’re concerned.