BY Seth Kolloen 02:46AM 03/15/2011

Exit 164: Sounders ready to kick it

Seattle opens MLS season tonight against powerful Galaxy

Sounders first game is a huge game: Ideally you want to start your season with a warm-up game against a patsy opponent, but the Sounders will not have that luxury. Instead they get the MLS’ best team, the L.A. Galaxy, who embarrassed the Sounders 4-0 last year in the famous refund game, on what’s likely to be a soggy, cold night. Bring your coats, people! I’ll be in mine, in Section 119.

Felix Jr. to go north with M’s? Fireballing 22-year-old Venezuelan Michael Pineda looks likely to win the M’s 5th starter spot. With Nate Robertson out until June (elbow surgery, the team announced today), mediocre lefty Luke French is the only healthy guy who has started a game this spring who isn’t already in the rotation. Hernandez, Vargas, Fister, Bedard, Pineda? Hmmmm.

Romar prepares us for worst: Coach Romar told reporters today that first-round opponent Georgia “defends like USC”. OH GOD NO! Southern Cal tortures the Huskies on D. Last defense I remember Romar comparing to USC’s was West Virginia’s, who knocked the Dawgs out of last year’s tourney.

Lady Dawgs need a new head coach: After four losing seasons and one of the most embarrassing defeats in school history, Tia Jackson stepped down as Husky coach. On the bright side, Jackson managed to keep the Huskies’ 16-year winning streak over Wazzu going. On the dark side, well, everything else–like the 112-35 loss to Stanford in 2009, and never making the NCAA tournament after her predecessor got there six times in eleven years.

What they’re saying…

“Last year wasn’t much of a rivalry because they beat us all the time.” — Sigi Schmid on the L.A. Galaxy

“We did not accrue the amount of wins ultimately desired.” — Tia Jackson (possibly ghost-written by Jeeves the butler)

“I could not have asked for a coach who committed more, worked harder, and cared more for her players.” — Scott Woodward on Jackson

In other news…

The Mariners won again, beating the Cubs 5-3. Doug Fister allowed 2 runs in 4.1 IP, and the bullpen held things down after that. Backup IF candidate Adam Kennedy had a key two-RBI single.

Prospect and second base candidate Dustin Ackley continues to make his case. The Ack-Man hit a huge homer in a B game yesterday. In regular Cactus play, he’s hitting .350 with a .519 OBP. YUM.

M’s comeback player of the year candidate Chone Figgins writes a mystery something in the dirt before every at-bat, but won’t tell anyone what it is–even his family. His ATM pin? His gmail password? The location of THE MISSING TREASURE???

Here are pictures of Edgar Martinez imparting wisdom at Mariners camp.

The M’s send five players to minor league camp, none of whom was really a candidate to make the club.

The Mariners announced they turned a $1.7 million profit in 2011. In that economy–with that team. Impressive! Their marketing people need a raise.

The Huskies’ bus leave Hec Ed at noon tomorrow for their flight to Charlotte, should you want to go down there and wave at them.

Seven days closer to a championship…

Today, March 15
Soccer: Sounders vs. Galaxy @ Qwest Field, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, March 16
Baseball: Mariners vs. Milwaukee, 7:05 p.m. (FSN)

Thursday, March 17
First Full Day of NCAA Tournament: ALL DAMN DAY WOOOOO! (CBS, TNT, TBS, truTV)
Baseball: Mariners @ Kansas City, 6:05 p.m. (710-AM)

Friday, March 18
NCAA Tourney: Washington vs. Georgia in Charlotte, 6:45 p.m. (CBS-7)
Baseball: Mariners vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m. (FSN)

Saturday, March 19
Baseball: Mariners @ Texas, 1:05 p.m. (710-AM)
Soccer: Sounders @ NY Red Bulls, 4:30 p.m. (KONG)

Sunday, March 20
Baseball: Mariners vs. San Diego, 1:05 p.m. (710-AM)
NCAA Tourney: Washington/Georgia winner vs. North Carolina/LIU-Brooklyn winner, Time TBD

Monday, March 21
Baseball: Mariners @ Cincinnati, 1:05 p.m. (no local radio, check MLB.com)


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