Retiring Sounder Roger Levesque acknowledges a CenturyLink Field crowd Wednesday night following Seattle's international friendly with European champion Chelsea. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest
The Mariners won not one, but two series, the Sounders said farewell to an original, Roger Levesque, and the Seahawks inherited a major distraction when star running back Marshawn Lynch stupidly failed to call a cab and got pulled over for DUI in Oakland. Lynch issued the predictable apology, but the only talk on the matter that counts will come from Commissioner Roger Goodell when he decides how much punishment Lynch and, by extension, the Seahawks, warrant.
JULY 15-21, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Most professional athletes end their careers on some sort of scrap heap, unloved, unwanted, all used up. Not Roger Levesque, an original (MLS) Seattle Sounder, who played his last match last week when Seattle hosted Chelsea in an international friendly. Levesque, who will forever be remembered for scoring the game-winning goal in Seattle’s first U.S. Open Cup triumph in 2009, retired of his own volition, on his terms, and with a smile on his face, following a cameo against Chelsea. Sounders fans gave Levesque, who will enroll in graduate school at the University of Washington, a well-deserved Standing O.
- BAD WEEK — Oakland prosecutors charged Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch with DUI. Although Lynch said through his attorney that he would plead not guilty, he issued a mid-week mea culpa: “I want to apologize to my family, the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the 12th Man for the negative attention resulting from my recent actions. This is not the type of community leader I have been over the last two years or the one I’m striving to become. I want to assure everyone that I will work to be better and look forward to a very exciting, and very successful season with the Seattle Seahawks.”
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — Hard to beat what utility infielder Scott Savastano did for the Tacoma Rainiers Thursday. When the Rainiers ran out of arms in the top of the 18th inning, they brought in Savastano, who pitched a scoreless frame. In the bottom of the 18th, Savastano cracked a walk-off home run, giving Tacoma a 2-0 win in a game that matched the longest in Rainiers’ history.
- STAT OF THE WEEK — During their four-game series at Kansas City, which featured three wins, the normally lame-hitting Mariners scored 31 runs, bashed 50 hits and ripped eight home runs. The Royals threw a succession of stiffs at Seattle, but remember that Seattle was he victim of a perfect game by Philip Humber (3-4 since the perfecto).
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Franklin High graduate Aaron Brooks, who played in China last season, signed a two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings and will receive $3 million next season . . . Former Mariner Raul Ibanez hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the Yankees’ 6-3 win over Toronto Monday . . . Former Franklin guard Jason Terry signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Boston Celtics.
- SUNDAY, July 21 — Blake Beavan, in his second start since his recall from AAA Tacoma, throws a four-hitter over 8.0 innings as the Mariners win their second consecutive series, beating Tampa Bay 2-1. The Mariners end the seven-game road trip with five victories and take the Tampa series despite scoring just seven runs and striking out 40 times in three games.
- SATURDAY, July 20 — Jason Vargas notches his team-leading 10th win (establishing himself as prime trading deadline bait) as the Mariners snap a nine-game losing streak to Tampa Bay 2-1 despite fanning 15 times, giving the club 32 in two Tropicana Field games. Vargas did not collect his 10th win in 2011 until Sept. 26. “Getting it now is a lot better than waiting to the last game of the year,” Vargas says. “So yeah, I’m excited and I want to win more.”
- FRIDAY, July 19 — Ben Zobrist rips a 14th-inning, walk-off double off Tom Wilhelmsen, giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 win over the Mariners in a game that lasts a season-high four hours, 46 minutes. Seattle collects just five hits, at one point going two and a half hours without so much as a single. The Mariners also strike out a season-high 17 times, setting a franchise record — for Tampa Bay — in a single game.
- THURSDAY, July 18 — Felix Hernandez tosses another gem and the Mariners conclude four consecutive games of beating up on Kansa City’s junkyard pitchers with a 6-1 victory at Kauffman Stadium. Hernandez goes 8.0 innings and allows one earned run for his eighth win of the year. Jesus Montero revels most in Kansas City’s ineffective pitching, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He finishes the series with 10 hits . . . Scott Savastano, a utility infielder for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, has himself a night. He not only pitches a scoreless top of the 18th inning after the Rainiers run out of pitchers, he hits a walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning to give Tacoma a 2-1 win over Sacramento.
- WEDNESDAY, July 17 — In front of 53,309, Chelsea, the reigning club champions of Europe, earns a 4-2 victory over the Sounders at CenturyLink Field following the presentation of a Golden Scarf to former Sounder Roger Davies, in from Great Britain just for the occasion. Highlight of the match occurs when the retiring Roger Levesque checks in during the 64th minute and receives a tremendous ovation . . . Billy Butler whacks a walk-off homer off seldom-used reliever Josh Kinney, giving Kansas City an 8-7 win over the Mariners, spoiling three-hit games by Ichiro and Casper Wells and wasting home runs by Wells and Kyle Seager . . . Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is charged with DUI in Oakland, his attorney predicting he will plead not guilty.
- TUESDAY, July 16 — Mariners bust out to a 6-0 lead behind Blake Beavan and hang on to defeat Kansas City 9-6. Game features a three-hit show by Jesus Montero and another home run by Justin Smoak. Win marks Seattle’s first two-game winning streak in a month . . . Mike Zunino, Seattle’s No. 1 pick in the amateur draft, hits two home runs and goes 3-for-4, leading Everett to a 6-2 Northwest League win over Salem . . . University of Washington quarterback Keith Price is one of 34 players named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list . . . One day after allowing seven earned runs in a 9-4 loss to the Mariners, Jonathan Sanchez is designated for assignment by Kansas City, which begs the question: Is it more inglorious to end a career by getting raked by the 2012 Mariners, or by hitting into a triple play in your final at-bat, as Joe Pignataro did for the Mets in 1962?
- MONDAY, July 15 — Casper Wells and Justin Smoak crack first-inning home runs off a hapless Jonathan Sanchez and, with the impetus of a five-run frame, the Mariners rout the Royals 9-4 at Kauffman Stadium. It’s Smoak’s first home run since June 19 . . . Police in Oakland arrest Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch on suspicion of DUI . . . Mike Zunino, the Mariners’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 amateur draft, goes 2-for-5 and hits his first professional home run in Everett’s 11-2 Northwest League win over Salem.
TOP 5 NUMBERS
Mariners scored 8 first-inning runs in KC Monday and Tuesday after totaling just 41 first-inning runs in their first 90 games of the season.
3: Home runs by Mike Zunino, the Mariners first pick in the June free-agent draft, in his first two professional games for Class A Everett.
In the Sounders 4-2 loss to Chelsea, Fredy Montero became the first Seattle player to score a goal against a major European opponent (he had two).
Mariners used 7 pitchers against Tampa Bay in a 14-inning loss Friday. In the last inning, C Miguel Olivo was in Seattle’s pen, warming up to pitch.
In 3 summer league games for Memphis last week, ex-Husky Tony Wroten shot 37 percent from the floor, making 10 of his 27 field goal attempts.
Ear Torgeson, left and ( Johnny) Sain "pray for rain" in a variation on the famous saying "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." (see Wayback Machine below) / David Eskenazi Collection
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Penn State Makes Emmert Go Rogue: One of the reasons Mark Emmert left the University of Washington presidency to head the NCAA was that he wanted a job with national impact. I always thought that was funny. Being president of the NCAA is like being a department-store Santa Claus: Just because a lot of people come talk to him doesnt mean the guy runs the store . . . MORE
Thiel: Sports Fans Loud, Port Not Going Away: Numerous, boisterous and passionate as were the supporters of the proposed SoDo arena Thursday night at City Hall, I dont think the needle was moved by the publics last, best chance to weigh in on the project . . . MORE
Hickey: Time For Jack Z To Start Dealing Pitching: The mid-season mini-calendar is turning, page after page, for the Mariners. The time between the All-Star break and the July 31 trade deadline is about more than the chatter last weekend over whether Ichiro will be back in a Seattle uniform in 2013 and beyond . . . MORE
Thiel: Sounders Fare Well, Say Farewell To A Fave: For about six minutes in the first half, the Sounders, tied at 2, could say they were hanging with one of the best clubs in the world. Sorta. The second half was an altogether different emotion pure sentiment, as the crowd of 53,309 said farewell to retiring Roger Levesque and offered another hello to recovering Steve Zakuani . . . MORE
Thiel: Seahawks Already Burned By Lynch Risk: After signing his big contract extension with the Seahawks in March, Marshawn Lynch certainly has the money to hire a tough lawyer who might beat back the DUI charge he was stuck with over the weekend in Oakland . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: The ‘Earl Of Snohomish’ 2.0: Judging from the images on numerous of his Doo-Wop era baseball cards, the bespectacled Clifford Clark Torgeson (1924-90), the second Earl of Snohomish, easily could have passed for a mechanical engineer, a Mr. Wizard lab assistant, or perhaps even Mr. Peabodys pet boy, the geeky Sherman of cartoon fame . . . MORE
Thiel: City Disputes Attorney’s Claim About Arena: A Seattle attorney and advocate for liberal causes says the proposed SoDo basketball/hockey arena would violate environmental law if the city and county sign a memorandum of agreement with developer Chris Hansen ahead of a study of impacts by the $490 million project . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (July 9-14): With two losses in three games to Texas, the Mariners remained on track to lose 96 games amid a growing clamor to shorten the Safeco Field fences; the Sounders had a 2-2 draw in the Big Apple and also qualified for the title match in the U.S. Open Cup for the fourth consecutive year, and the Seahawks said adieu to WR Mike Williams, one of the great comeback stories in club history. This Was The Week That Was . . . MORE
“The big thing for me is that now that I’m in the NBA I have to work hard all the time. Keep working hard. That’s the only way I get out of bad habits. I have to push myself to try to get through that” — Terrence Ross, former University of Washington basketball player, during his Summer League season with the Toronto Raptors
“I’d vomit. I mean, really, no offense. No offense, but we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all that money on one guy” — Jay Buhner, former Mariner, when asked on 710 ESPN Seattle what his reaction would be if the Mariners re-signed Ichiro to an extension for between $35-40 million
“I know that the fans here are crazy about soccer and they created a wonderful atmosphere” — Roberto Di Matteo, coach, Chelsea
“Defensively, I think we got caught capping on counterattacks, on quick-cut turnovers. Our transition wasn’t very good and I think there were a couple of individual mistakes. There still is a difference (between Chelsea and MLS). The speed of the play in a little bit faster, for sure, especially the speed of play from a standpoint of when balls turn over. And then the quality — that’s why the value of the teams is drastically different” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach, after his team lost to Chelsea 4-2 Wednesday
“We scored six runs and four of those were mine. I’m swinging the bat well and seeing the ball well. I’m just trying to swing and see what happens” — Jesus Montero, Mariners C/DH, after going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in a 6-1 Seattle win over Kansas City