Dave Niehaus Dies at Age 75

Dave Niehaus passed away earlier today and took with him a generation’s worth of Mariner memories.  In an era dominated by the increasing presence of TV, Internet and Sportscenter highlights, Dave’s was a voice that mattered. He narrated some of the best Summers that Seattle has ever seen: 1995’s refusal to lose, the record breaking season of 2001 and all the ups and downs before, between, and after.

If you’re a Mariner fan, chances are that Dave’s voice is intertwined in all of your favorite baseball moments. One such moment for me occurred during the 1995 Divisional Playoffs against the Yankees. My grandmother was damn near on her deathbed with cancer, but listened intently to every single game, most of all to follow the exploits of Edgar Martinez. She had a bit of a crush on the friendly Puerto Rican DH.

Game 4 of the divisional series occurred on a night when my parents had already planned to take her out to a nice dinner.  No problem it turned out, she could bring a portable radio, and Dave Niehaus, with her to follow all the action. And what action there was. My grandmother provided her tablemates with brief updates throughout the game. From what everyone could gather, the Mariners had stormed back from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game at 6-6 in the 6th inning….and Edgar Martinez was up with the bases loaded.

A few moments later, my grandmother points her finger and jabs it into the air repeatedly, reaching higher and more gleefully each time. But, what had happened? If you watched carefully, you could see her mouth the words to a now familiar Dave Niehaus home run call…

“BREAK OUT THE RYE BREAD AND THE MUSTARD!”

 

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Cheer Up Husky Fans

I cried a bit after the Dawgs lost 41-0 on Saturday. What of it.

and the next Barry Sanders is….Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders Jr has been tearing it up at Heritage Hall HS in Oklahoma, with 17TD in his first few games. He’s only a Junior but already has offers from nearly every major school. Scope out a video of his highlights….

..compared to his father…

Seattle Sports Links: 20101004

In lieu of me actually writing a post about the goings-ons in the sports world, here’s a few places I’ll suggest you go:

Boomshakalaka! NBA Jam Secrets Revealed

Just like I do every Wednesday afternoon, I was cruising around the interwebs reading articles about ’90s video games and happened upon a gem. NBA Jam creator Mark Turnell was interviewed by ESPN’s gamer blog back in 2008 and reveals all sorts of amazing tidbits about the iconic arcade game and the culture that surrounded it.

Most notably, he reveals that the game had a secret code that made Scottie Pippen miss nearly every last second shot when playing the Pistons. Turnell, a Pistons fan, probably never thought twice about including it.

Did Scottie Pippen’s ratings in the game really drop when he played certain teams?
It’s true, but only when the Bulls played the Pistons. If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks. There was the big competition back in the day between the Pistons and the Bulls, and since I was always a big Pistons fan, that was my opportunity to level the playing field.

Other gamer cocktail party conversation fodder:

  • Shaq had two copies of the game. Once was kept at home and the other was flown to all Orlando Magic road games
  • Gary Payton and Michael Jordan were so disappointed at not being included in the original, that they sent in pictures of themselves so that their characters could be added to a special release
  • The original NBA Jam arcade machines are said to be haunted, because they came out just before Drazen Petrovic died, but included him in the game. Every so often, the game starts spouting out “Petrovic! Petrovic! Petrovic!”
  • NBA Jam still holds the world record for most money earned at one location in a single week, with $2,468.

Don’t Sleep on This Year’s Overused Sports Phrase

Last year’s inescapable catchphrase was “throw him under the bus”. Everyone and their brother was accusing someone of throwing them under buses. The Seahawks threw Jim Mora “under the bus” after his swift departure, or was that because Jim Mora threw Olindo Mare under the bus earlier? Obama, the most powerful sports fan on the planet, threw Reverend Wright under the bus. Roger Clemens tried to throw Brian McNamee under the bus, not knowing that McNamee would turn around and throw Debbie Clemens under the bus. Clemens is being arraigned for perjury, while McNamee was subsequently hit by a bus. Turns out you can double bus a single bus. Where is Jerome Bettis in all this? But I digress.

2010 isn’t over yet, but I’ve noticed one phrase making a late season surge: “don’t sleep on X”, where X can be damn near anything. So far in the few months I’ve been told by…

Why do inane phrases like these catch on the so damn strongly within sports commentary? Is the level of discourse that low, are the vocabularies involved that lacking? Are people rushing from one analysis to the other so quickly that they only have time to reach for the phrase du jour?

Fear not loyal Rainout reader(s), I won’t sleep on anything. I’d rather be thrown under the bus.

Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced

The rosters for the Arizona Fall League were recently announced. The fall league generally takes the 6 or 7 of the best AA and AAA prospects from every organization and brings them together in a 6 team league each Fall in….wait for it….Arizona.

If you’re looking for an off-season baseball fix and would like a glimpse into the M’s future, the league is an easy non-stop flight from Seattle, offers cheap and readily available tickets in great spring training ballparks, and plenty of sun. This year, the league boasts 30 former first round draft picks amongst the 1 or so players invited.

The Peoria Javelinas are playing games from October 12 to November 18 and feature 7 M’s farmhands:

  • Dustin Ackley, the 2009 #2 overall pick and the only AFL player on the M’s 40 man roster
  • Maikel Clieto, a burly righthander who came over in the JJ Putz trade and is rated our 11th best prospect.
  • Josh Fields, a hard throwing reliever who was the M’s #1 pick in the 2008 draft
  • The much ballyhooed Josh Lueke who, regardless of his past, does throw cheese and held AAA’ers to a .217 average
  • Tom Wilhelmsen, who has an equally interesting, but less nefarious, past. He’s back in the game after 8 years away.
  • Matt Mangini, the Rainiers third basement who jacked 18 homeruns this year.
  • Nate Tenbrink who sported an OBP of 1.095 at High A before finishing the year at West Tennessee.

BONUS QUESTION: Which Peoria Javelina player pictured below is the infamous Josh Lueke?