Saturday, December 17, 2005


Friday night on 950,KJR we aired my sit down with Nate McMillan. Nate said more about his decision to leave Seattle then he had previously. He opened up about some of the battles he had in Seattle. In addition, he shared how he is now and what this experience has been like in Portland. Plus, a strange coincidence about his return to Seattle on Jan 30th.

You can download or podcast the interview.

Thanks I hope you enjoy.


Jeremy Reed may be staying in Seattle after all. Whether or not this is by Seattle Mariner’s choice is not clear. What has become clear is that Reed is not the only centerfielder the Boston Red Sox are investigating.

The Red Sox are in discussions with the Cleveland Indians for Coco Crisp. The same principals are involved in this deal as well, as the Red Sox are willing to part with Matt Clement or Bronson Arroyo.

With the signing of Washburn it is fair to guess that the Mariners are no longer interested in Clement due to his contract, but could still be willing to make the move for Arroyo.

Here are a few other notes of interest around the world of baseball. Jacque Jones is close to signing a deal, maybe with Kansas City. It will be interesting to see what he got $$ compared to what the Mariners gave Carl Everett. Same applies for Jeremy Burnitz.

Preston Wilson is another name that may sign soon. He has been a produced of Coors Field during his success, but it is another good barometer deal. His year last year for the Nationals was pretty strong considering that ballpark and the league wide drop in numbers due to steroid testing, .260 25HR 90 RBI. Wilson could become a centerfield option if Reed is moved.

Friday, December 16, 2005


CBS Sportsline is reporting that the Mariners are close to a deal with Jarrod Washburn. The deal is initially thought to be for 4 years around $38 million dollars.
The Mariners were committed to adding pitching to this year’s team. Evidently, they were committed enough to pay large money for an average pitcher.
Washburn was 8-8 last season with an impressive ERA of 3.20. Positively, his ERA was far better away from Anaheim Stadium then it was at home. In addition, he has made 25 starts for 5 straight seasons and been over 175 innings in 4 of the last 5 seasons. This team needs innings eaters and he will do that.
The area of concern is that in the statistical world Washburn had what is referred to as a very lucky season. Considering the things a pitcher controlled his ERA should have been a good deal higher and these numbers are usually a very good indicator of future ERA.
In addition, Washburn is fly ball pitcher. The Mariners must believe that Safeco Field will help his numbers.
Also at 31 years old, the Mariners are basing the deal on his 32,33,34 and 35 year old seasons. It is fair to assume that at some point he breaks down.
At this moment the starting rotation is Washburn, Felix Hernandez, Jamie Moyer, Joel Piniero and a question mark.
Look for the Mariners to trade Gil Meche. They have not been able to get anything other then minor leaguers for Meche. Franklin is also on the market.
Overall, I can’t say I am greatly disturbed, but I don’t like giving an average pitcher who is 31 years old nearly 10 million a year for 4 seasons.
The statement is the Mariners are committed to getting better. This was the vechile that was available to make this pitching staff better and they acted. Those that have complained that they are not committed to winning no longer have an argument. Those that want to question the baseball acumen this is open territory.


Sonics 111 Blazers 99 Final Score
Sonics win this in the first 17 minutes and then cruised.
27-2 run when the Sonics hit 11 straight field goals.
They win with Offense not defense
Portland is awful.
Don;t fret over the late rally that is the reality of the NBA
Vlady Radmanovic does not play in the game and was out of rotation.

Sonics 103 Blazers 93 with 1:03 left in the 4th Quarter
Blazers on a 16-3 run
Weiss pulled Allen and had to bring him back in the game.

Sonics 100 Blazers 84 with 4:19 left in the 4th
Just because nothing this season is going to be easy.
The Blazers on a 8-0 run just enough to make you say no way is there….
Sonics are sleep walking.
Starters are still on the floor.

Sonics 91 Blazers 70 at the end of 3
Blazers had a little flurry but then the Sonics answered with ease.
Without Darius Miles I seriously wonder how many games this Blazers team is capable of winning. 5,6 or maybe 7 the rest of the year. Luckily, Miles comes back in a fewe weeks then they might win another 10 games this year
Not sure this tells anything about the Sonics

Sonics 87 Blazers 65 with 2:57 left in the 3rd Quarter
Not a lot happening worth mentioning. Sonics are scoring at a good enough rate they are in fine shape. The Blazers seem to play hard defensively about 1 every 10 possessions.

Sonics 67 Blazers 46 at the half
Falling apart – let’s hope not but the Sonics forgot to play the last two minutes
The Sonics have allowed the Blazers to scored on 14 of 18 possessions to close the quarter
Ray Allen hits a buzzer beating 3.

Sonics 60 Blazers 29 with 5:01 left in the 2nd Quarter
Sonics scored their 50th point at the 8:00 mark of the 2nd quarter
Sonics have hit all 8 threes
The Blazers are doing everything soft so the Sonics can stay in rhythm.
This is absurd.
The Blazers are fielding is one of the worst teams I have seen.
Truly, they don’t look coached which is strange. They have no defensive rotations, no double teams, seemingly no plan. I know that isn’t the case but that is how it looks.

Sonics 44 Blazers 16 with 9:46 left in the 2nd Quarter
The onslaught continues.
The Sonics have now hit 10 straight field goals and 13 of 14.
Collison opened the quarter with a bucket and Flip hit the next two.
Nate McMillan must be losing his mind

Sonics 37 Blazers 16 at the end of 1 quarter
Rashard Lewis went nuts in the first quarter. He hit threes, he got fast break looks, he pump faked Patterson out of the gym and finished the quarter with 20 points.
The Blazers are awful and the Sonics are slicing them up.
So much of the story coming in was bad defense against bad offense but the real story is the Sonics good offense against the Blazers bad defense
The Sonics hit their final 7 field goals of the Quarter

Sonics 17 Blazers 12 with 5:06 left in the 1st Quarter
The Blazers are as bad defensively as the Sonics
Rashard Lewis is not playing with a lot of energy on the defensive end.
Luke Ridnour is wearing headband from a pre-game incident where he got hit in the head during the team pre-game huddle and needed stitches.
The Sonics better not lose the rebounding and turnover battle or they will lose this game

1) If you can't stop the Blazers you are the worst defensive team ever!!!
2) Sonics must win rebounds and turnovers
3) Sonics energy
4) Ray Allen being guarded by Martell Webster

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Rockets 93 Sonics 90 with 2:20 left in the Quarter
Welcome to the Ray/ Tracy show – Ray has 14 in the Q – Tracy has 11 in the Q

Sonics 84 Rockets 83 with 6:52 left in the 4th Quarter
Ray Allen has put Seattle on a 7-0 run all by himself.
Sonics are -11 when Flip is on the floor and +12 when he is on the bench.

Rockets 83 Sonics 76 with 8:04 left in the 4th Quarter
If you play Flip Murray you lose. That simple.
Moochie Norris just burned Flip for back to back to baskets that had to be the worst defense. Once Flip came off his feet at 35 feet and Norris blew by him and then on the next possession Flip allowed Norris to go backdoor on a basic give and cut.
Luke who is not playing well either replaces Flip.

Rockets 77 Sonics 76 with 9:26 left in the 4th Quarter

Close game – Neither team has lead by more then 4 in the second half.
This game is very slow. Each possession is dragged out

Rockets 73 Sonics 71 at the end of the 3rd quarter
McGrady had 11 in the quarter
Reggie Evans played very well in the quarter, however some of Reggie Evans weaknesses are exposed in that Howard is 8 of 10 for 16 points.
Luke Ridnour is 3 of 11 . He has to shoot better for this team to win.

Sonics 64 Rockets 60 with 5:18 left in the 3rd quarter
Ohhhh No !!!!! Tracy McGrady has heated up.
Interesting move by Van Gundy to put McGrady on Ridnour defensively in the second half.
The Sonics offense is Reggie Evans in the paint.
This makes you wonder what kind of a defender Yao Ming is
Yao Ming is mammoth.

Sonics 51 Rockets 48 at the half
The Rockets look like a team that played last night
Danny Fortson played great against Yao Ming
Seattle got 48% of potential offensive rebounds in the first half
McGrady is just 3 of 11 and looks noticeably uncomfortable.
Sonics had a poor defensive second quarter.

Sonics 41 Rockets 37 with 4:26 left in the 2nd Quarter
Danny Fortson has played 8 minutes without a foul.
Rockets were +3 with Ming on the bench
The ball movement with Flip Murray on the floor disappeared.
Ridnour returned and sparked a 8-3 run with great ball movement.

Sonics 31 Rockets 28 with 8:35 left in the 2nd Quarter
Not much feel to this game.
Sonics need to take advantage of Yao Ming on the bench and they have not done that yet in this game

Sonics 22 Rockets 20 at the end of 1st Quarter
Snail paced game
Seattle took care of the ball well.
Flip Murray dominated the ball when he was in and scored just 1 point in the 3 possessions that he used.

Sonics 19 Rockets 13 with 3:39 left in the 1st Quarter
Luke Ridnour is conducting the offense as well as you could ask from a point guard
The Sonics twice allowed Juwan Howard to drive the basket without restistance.
Reggie Evans is wrecking havoc and flopping everywhere. Jeff Van Gundy came off the bench yelling, “he weighs 260 pounds and he is falling all over the place. That is a flop.”

1) Can the Sonics defend at all
2) Rockets do not force turnovers and commits a good deal
3) Take advantage of Yao Ming's lack of mobility.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


If you have listened to 950, KJR's Locked on Sports this is one of my hot topics. Other then the NBA where the phrase, "Defense wins Championships" is ture, this is the greatest misnomer in sports.

In the NBA it is true, becasue everyone can score. In the NFL it is almost the opposite, everyone can defend.

Here are some numbers to prove my points. Thanks to the Sports economist for some of these.

Over 1970-2000, only 10 of 31 Super Bowl winners had higher ranked defenses than offenses. Only 22 of 62 AFC and NFC champions had higher ranked defenses than offenses.
Since 1970, Of the 10 best defensive teams Four of the top ten did not even make the conference championship game. On the other side of the coin, 6 of the top 10 offenses won the Super Bowl, 7 made the Super Bowl, and all but one made the conference championship.
Since 1980, only the Ravens could really be described as winning the championship with great defense and mediocre offense. Even they were pretty good. From Week 10 to the Super Bowl, a span of 11 games, the Ravens averaged 26.2 points per game, an output that would have ranked them # 5 in the NFL had they maintained it during the season.
I will add this. Rush defense is a strong barometer of championship potential. More than three-quarters of Super Bowl teams had a top-10 rush defense, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Nine of the past 14 participants were in the top five ...

So next time some commentator professes "Defensive wins Championships." Scream at the TV.


The Carl Everett signing is finally official. Don’t bring any dinosaurs to the park. He thinks they are fake. Here is the breakdown on the field. He fits what the Mariners are looking for: he hits left-handed, he comes on a one year deal

That is it for the positive news. He is aging and declining. He is 35 in June and his last two years he hit .260 and .251, his slugging has been .402 and .435 in hitter friendly parks. Another point don’t classify him as a switch hitter his career numbers are dramatically less good against left handed hitters. Truly if he is your DH his numbers the last two seasons are below average for a DH in the American League. Therefore you have to assume in a pitchers park and 35 years old that he is going to have a career jump to make this a good signing.

While you are signing a DH this has a defensive impact. Let’s remember the Mariners pitching staff over performed what many anticipated last season and the reason was the defense was great. The best part of the defense was Wynn,, Reed and Ichiro ability to get to balls. Wynn was a terrific left fielder. With Evertt you are now asking Ibanez to play 140 games in left field. That will hurt the staff.

Finally considering Bavasi's track record of signing decent mid-level players I would be concerned that this is another Aurilla, Speizio or Reese.

Did I forget to mention that he has been arrestted for child neglect, had one of his kids taken away from him, he got to a highly publized fight with an umpire, he hates gays, he hates fans and he is coming to a town near you this summer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Warriors 110 Sonics 107 – Final Score
Baron Davis hits a three to win it.
Ouch --- great game – great entertainment – but wrong outcome.
Tough loss.
The pick and roll from the top in the middle of the third quarter and the fourth is where the game was lost.
Flip Murray did a nice job getting the Sonics back in the game.
Maybe this game can ignite then Sonics to play with the fire they need to play with for the season.

Sonics 107 Warriors 107 with 4.3 seconds left in the overtime
Ray Allen time. He is money. Unreal how clutch he is.
Allen scores on back to back buckets and then hits Collison on back to back high pick and rolls.
Murray is still on the floor and he may not have anything left in the tank
Fischer is such a killer
Baron Davis for no reason rises up to take a three to win it win :27 left and misses.
Sonics get the ball tied and Allen drives to the hoop and misses a tough look drive.
Still tied

Sonics 98 Warriors 98 – Going to Overtime
Flip Murray buries two clutch free throws after Richardson missed two that would have given the Warriors the game.
Murray had 12 in the quarter
Warriors became on outside team.

Warriors 92 Sonics 90 with 3:31 left in the 4th Quarter
Flip has scored the last 3 buckets for the Sonics
Lewis gets an offensive foul with Fischer guarding him in the post – Lewis has to win that battle.
Vlady commits an open floor turnover by holding onto the ball too long.
Derek Fischer is kicking Seattle’s ass.

Sonics 88 Warriors 88 with 5:32 left in the 4th Quarter
Sonics on a 10-0 after the ejection
Sonics have changed their pick and roll defense and are now switching the defense.
Flip Murray is a match-up the Warriors can’t handle.
Bob Hill has not gone back to Rashard Lewis yet.
Great work by Jack Sikma – he just went to Hill and told him he had Rashard on the bench and now Rashard will check in.

Warriors 80 Sonics 76 with 9:30 left in the 4th Quarter
Bob Weiss just blew his lid. The first time he got his Tech on purpose after Davis missed both free throws off a flagrant foul on Danny. I think Bob waited to make sure both free throws were missed before he missed the free throws. Then he went out to half court to meet Benny Adams. On the next play Adams called a really really really late whistle on Danny and Bob went crazy. He met Adams before he got the call out on the foul and got ejected,
The crowd loved it. Bob Hill is now coaching
80-72 Warriors lead at the end of this mess.

Warriors 69 Sonics 66 with 2:46 left in the 3rd Quarter
The Warriors have made a great pick n roll adjustment. They have moved the pick n roll to the top with the ball going to the middle it has eliminated the use of the stopper and is allowing the Warriors to get in the paint.
The Warriors are also running a ton on the curls.
Reggie is just wrecking havoc in the paint
He has no intention on the offensive end to do anything but get the offensive reb

Sonics 50 Warriors 48 at the half
Sonics aren’t shooting well but they are playing offense well. They have a 50% offensive rebounding rate and they have been to the line 20 times while only committing 6 turnovers. Shooting is vital to success no question, but this is an example of how to survive when the shot is not falling.
The Sonics had a little lapse in the second quarter, but for the most part are still playing well on the defensive end.
The amount of deflections will tell if the Sonics are defending.
You would have thought Lewis would go off tonight, instead he is 2 of 9

Warriors 42 Sonics 41 with 2:42 left in the 2nd Quarter
The Sonics offense has gone cold. They have not scored on 5 straight possessions.
The bench veterans of the Warriors, Derek Fischer and Calbert Chaeney are getting the best of the Sonics.
Do we ever get a defensive stop when Mikki Moore is in the game?
Same story as early in the season. The Sonics go to the bench and then never regain rhythm.

Sonics 32 Warriors 23 with 8:48 left in the 2nd Quarter
Sonics defensively are getting a lot of deflections which is a sign of active defense.
The T on Danny Fortson was a good call.
The good Flip is the one the lets the game come to him and takes what the game gives, the bad Flip is the one who forces his game onto the game. We are getting the bad Flip today.

Sonics 26 Warriors 20 at the end of the 1st Quarter
Seattle got out in transition early in the quarter and took advantage of the Warriors poor transition effort.
The Sonics have been very aggressive going to the basket
Jason Richardson was matched on Rashard Lewis and Lewis took him to the post.
The defensive game plan on the pick and roll has been good. They are going under the pick to force the outside shot. In addition, they have helped and rotated well.

Sonics 8 Warriors 2 with 7:20 left in the 1st Quarter
Sonics have 6 offensive rebounds already
The Sonics want to go to the rim, becasue the Warriors have the same amount of shot blockers as the Sonics. -- ZERO
The arena is dead.
There are two match-ups the Sonics want to exploit -- Dunleavy guarding Lewis and the slow rotations of Troy Murphy.

1) Sonics must play some defense
2) The Sonics stopper -- which is their big man helping the penetration from the guards
3) Winning the Turnover battle
4) Ray Allen outplaying Jason Richardson
5) Defensive rating better then 110.