BY Steve Rudman 07:25AM 03/21/2011

That Was The Week That Was

The Washington Huskies had another great week, despite their ouster in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, NC.

March 14-20, 2011

  • Good Week — Lorenzo Romar won his seventh NCAA Tournament game for Washington, a 68-65 victory over Georgia, and had his Huskies within five minutes of the Sweet Sixteen before North Carolina prevailed. Romar might never win an NCAA title at Washington, but already he is the greatest coach in school history.
  • Bad Week –The Sounders began the week with a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy and ended it with a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. Easy to rationalize the losses, given that the Galaxy and Red Bulls are two of the favorites to win the MLS Cup. Not so easy to swallow: 0 goals in 2 games. In expansion Vancouver’s first MLS match, it scored four goals.
  • Sunday, March 20 — The Huskies hang with North Carolina until the final five minutes when a series of gaffes, notably Venoy Overton’s out-of-control play and a botched in-bounds pass by Justin Holiday, allow the Tar Heels to escape with victory, ending Washington’s season. Alas, UW could have been a Sweet 16 team if not for a few little things.
  • Saturday, March 19 — Despite Gonzaga’s best efforts to stop him, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette scores 34 points and adds six assists as the Cougars oust the Zags from the NCAA Tournament, 89-67. Gonzaga, like Washington, will probably never win the NCAA Tournament, but the Bulldogs max out every year — a huge achievement.
  • Friday, March 18 — The Washington bench outscores Georgia’s bench 28-0 and the Huskies advance in the NCAA Tournament with a 68-65 victory over No. 10 seed Georgia. After botching 12 of 14 3-pointers in the first half, UW uses a 17-7 run early in the second half to put the game away. Good news: great follow-up to UW’s Pac-10 tournament triumph over Arizona. Bad news: North Carolina next.
  • Thursday, March 17– Gonzaga guards Steen Gray and Marquise Carter combine for 40 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and four steals while committing only four turnovers in an 86-71 win over St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. On of these days these years, the Zags are going to sneak in there an win the whole thing.
  • Wednesday, March 16 — Snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee, the Washington State Cougars roll to an 85-74 win over Long Beach State in the first round of the NIT in Pullman. Klay Thompson scores 25 points and collects seven rebounds, setting up a match with Oklahoma State. The Cougars would have madethe NCAA T0urnament — probably — if they could have beaten Washington in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Tuesday, March 15– The Seattle Sounders FC open the 2011 season by suffering a 1-0 shutout at Safeco Field, marking the club’s first-ever loss to the hated Los Angeles Galaxy in a “First Kick” match. A throng of 36,433 groans repeatedly as the Sounders fail to finish several scoring opportunities and fall to the Galaxy for the fifth consecutive time.
  • Monday, March 14 — The University of Washington ousts head women’s basketball coach Tia Jackson after a four-year run in which her teams never did better than 13-18 and made just one postseason appearance. When Todd Turner hired Jackson to replace June Daugherty, he cited “a lack of “buzz” around the program. Under Jackson, whatever buzz there was went zzzzzzzzzzzz. The surprise here is that Jackson wasn’t booted a year ago.

“That Was The Week That Was (TW3)” is published every Monday as part of Sportspress Northwest’s package of home-page features collectively titled, “The Rotation.”

The Rotation’s 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.

YourThoughts

  • Jamo57

    Art, when looking at that list of perfect games, why does the memory of Dave Valle calling for a first-pitch fastball to Ken Phelps come to mind?   Am I a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy?

    • Artthiel

       You are half-empty, Jamo, but so are most fans because ownership has helped make them that way. The consistent squandering of money and talent has most feeling like jaded lovers burned too many times with bad relationships.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608757232 Jake Gravbrot

        Serious question Art:  Is there any hope ever for Chuck & Howard getting ousted?  Accountability has to come from somewhere and the M’s have continued to pass the blame to everyone in the org. except for those two.  At some point (in any normal corporation) the people at the top would have stepped down or been fired.  When is that going to happen here?  

        • Artthiel

           This has never been a normal corporation. Its purchase by Yamauchi was a political payback for favors done by then-Sen. Slade Gorton. Yamauchi either doesn’t know or care about the impact the losing has had on the fan base in Seattle. Until Yamauchi gives word for the corporate owner, Ninendo of America in Redmond, to sell, nothing is likely to change.
           

  • Joe fan

    Look on the bright side, we’ve got a great stadium and can watch baseball in our home town. That’s what Chuckie and Howie want us to think anyway. That message is getting old. But, deep down, I still just like watching baaseball, even if it is the other team that does great things.

    • Jamo57

      I agree with everything you say.   However as to Chuckie and Howie, that doesn’t entitle them to become urban planners and become obstructionist towards putting an arena in SoDo.  There are people around town who would love to watch a hockey or basketball game in a great arena!

    • Artthiel

      There is no killer instinct in the front office here, Joe. You’re right. Not when compared to Texas, Anaheim and a lot of other win-first outfits.

  • Trygvesture

    Great achievement– I seem to recall the last pitch of Larsen’s game looked a mile outside in the films– but the strikezone for THAT kind of last -pitch is always a mile wide, and no kind of swing would be called a checked swing. Ryan was fooled, got beat –and gettin pissed was bush-league. Disappointing — the fans were great, and they don’t get paid to be out there.

    With this I suspect the franchise has dropped off the charts in terms of resurrectable good-will: Mr Button-Down Baseball ( “Damn that insubordinate upstart Lou Pinella!”) Lincoln and Mr. “I don’t really have a job that can be identified” Armstrong are goats that will remain goats until the M’s win the Series.( Insert life-expectancy tables here).  They’ve earned it, and, worse, continue to earn it: The pathetic bobbleheads are killing fan base loyalty, and the little dashboard-adorning giveaways aren’t helping either.   Wait till Felix wants to walk to a winner– they’ll probably have a George Argyros bobblehead extravaganza. Remind me again– Who didn’t fire these guys?

    • Artthiel

       Losing three games in brutal ways can leave a scar, but remember, they have 14 losses in a row to catch last year. Regarding Ryan, I think he checked his swing, but he won’t get that call in that moment. And give him credit in the post-game for shutting up about it. He knew not to saying anything, and he stuck to it.

      • Trygvesture

        Hard to give extra credit to a guy who lost it at the plate on a call that had to go to the pitcher in that situation– and anybody with 6 baseball synapses knows it. That he got told to shut the F up in the post game — and then did it begrudgingly with his “authentic” line– just points to a lack of understanding and respect for the game. He’s got talent, but with his repeated fielding gaffes and this stunt I’m thinking Crash Davis might refer to the five cent head on this one.
        The point for me is that it’s a lousy, non-baseball franchise, modeling the stance and the sensibilities of the CEO, just like any other corporation and their corporate “culture”. It’s always like that: the organization mimics the leader, knowingly or not. Wedge, too.  Yikes. 3 balls don’t equal a walk. Not once, not twice. Figgins can’t throw from center field.  Olivo.. oh, too obvious. Big talk, but not overflowing with anything but personnel management talk– no sense of ‘baseball in the blood’ from anybody there.
        Sadly, the game is too good for these guys: they don’t do it justice.
        Who didn’t fire these guys? Did the board OD on valium?

        • Artthiel

           Well it was ball four, he did check his swing and he was amped. Hard to imagine NOT reacting in the moment.
          But your points about the greater issues are mostly true and a part of the discussion for some time. As far as the point about firing, Nintendo/Yamauchi have majority control of the board and want someone they trust, Lincoln, to remain in charge. Baseball results obviously are of secondary consideration to business. Hard to see it changing if it hasn’t been necessary to this point.

          • Trygvesture

            Thanks for the insight. Ryan, however, still begrudges the call, and it’s just so entirely without a sense of the history or a sense of the game as bigger than a triple-A caliber ss… Who was the guy Larsen ended it with? Did HE scream at the ump, show obvious sour grapes for two days on that called strike?  Sheeesh– our guys need, really, to grow up. Even Wedge mentioned it.

            It seems that minority players on the board are nonetheless — players on the board. They have their own interests in the community to  protect, even if the net value of the franchise is stellar relative to their investment: they gotta live here. Are they somehow more beholden to Nintendo America than to, what?, anything else? As board members, they have autonomy and they have a mandate to oversee the well-being of the organization. Is Lincoln holding compromising pictures of this group? Is Armstrong known as anything but a lackey? How do these guys hold their grip on absolute power in the realm of corporate governance when they are such terrible performers? I am mystified there isn’t at least some noisy, leaked squawkin goin on at the board level.

  • Earth Daze

    Not exactly a game for the ages, despite the lipstick that Art is trying to apply to the pig here.  Watching the national TV Fox broadcast, I still got saddled having to listen to that clueless homer Dave Sims (wearing another of his 3 Stooges porkpie hats).  Watching Humber go thru our virtual-AA lineup of hitters (sic) like the proverbial warm butter knife.  And then in the latter innings hearing the majority of the in-stadium M’s ‘fans’ cheer wildly for the opposing team.  Forget Cooperstown.  This production can go right into the archives of Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.

    Think our dirty little parochial secret that Seattle is truly a bush league sports town is now well known by the rest of the country?  My, oh my……..Howie & Chuck:  what clowns you both are.

    • Artthiel

       Earth, regardless of the broadcast or what you think of Lincoln and Armstrong, Humber had it going like few others you will witness. Agreed that the Mariners abetted it with their futile offense. But the there’s nothing wrong with the crowd here expressing appreciation for something special on an otherwise ordinary Saturday. People in 29 other parks would have done same. Try not to let your cynicism bleed over everything.

      • Earth Daze

        Like few others I will witness?  I’ve witnessed many of the greats going back to Drysdale, Koufax, Gibson, Seaver, et al.  Humber’s stuff yesterday doesn’t even remotely compare.  And you’re wrong about people in 29 other parks acting like cheerleaders for the opposing team.  Dead wrong.  Ever been to Yankee Stadium or Philly or Fenway?

        Save your moralizing and faux condescension for the PLU pulpit, Art.  Nobody has thinner skin than those in sports media.  Art meet Al Michaels.

        Howie & Chuck must have comped you – again – for the head of the media buffet @ Safeco.  Have heard about your own cynicism bleeding red when others in line are too slow for your esteemed POV.  Enjoy the cheesy grits and humble pie.  And keep cheering the opposing team.

        • Trygvesture

          What’s THAT all about? Somebody got their nose out of joint on a discussion board?

        • Brett

          All of those ballparks would have given Humber a standing o just like the Safeco crowd did. You’re right about Chuck and Howie though.

          • Artthiel

             Brett, you’re offering up a response about Lincoln and Armstrong that tells what happens to a sports franchise that breaks the bond with its fan base. Fans look, and find, the worst in a situation. Not saying you’re wrong, it’s just human nature when trust evaporates.

        • Artthiel

           Been to all the parks, Earth. Seen many great pitchers and great games. Not saying Humber was best ever, but it damn sure was special. And deserving of the recognition it got from Safeco crowd, which I guarantee would have happened at Fenway, Philly and everywhere else, although there would have some guys like you, earth, booing.
          And yes, I have been at times too cynical for my own good. But I still appreciate splendid sports achievement no matter the uniform. 

  • Jamo57

    On the bright side, at least we haven’t had any falling ceiling tiles.

  • Artthiel

     That bobblehead night attendance shortfall means there are 57 bobbleheads still stored on premises. Ichiro Bobblehead II? Be there!

  • Artthiel

     And unlike the Kingdome days, you can also go half a block to a strip joint if, during a perfect game, you need to see a couple of hits.

  • Joe Fan

    Promo for a future game, “The first 57 fans receive a free Ichiro bobblehead!”