Friday, June 25, 2004
The first quarter final of Euro 2004 took place. The hosts Portugal edged England 6-5 in penalty shootout after playing to a 2-2 draw after extra time. Beckham missed yet another penalty (as the English lost once again on penalties, almost setting a trend if not for the lone victory against Spain back in 1996). Mixed feelings for me as I saw little used Tottenham reserve striker Helder Postiga scoring for his country on home soil to force extra time. Hopefully he'll get to play more come next season. (Though he seems quite behind in the packing order after Robbie Keane, Jermaine Defoe, and Fredrick Kanoute for the 2 forward positions.)
Meanwhile at Wimbledon, Venus Williams was taken out in the 2nd round by Croatian teen Karolina Sprem. A blunder by the chair umpire undeniably sped up the process, but the 3rd seed of the ladies' draw was basically outplayed by her lower ranked opponent for most of the match. Also, Navratilova's amazing comeback journey in singles came to an end. She actually looked like the more probable winner in the first set as she generally dominated and rarely looked troubled. However, 19-yo Gisela Dulko, who also won against Martina in the French Open just a few weeks ago, settled down and worked the aged veteran around the court and wore her down. Despite the tough loss, it was nothing short of an incredible show of resilience and great conditioning of the 47-yo legend. (In other news, Alicia Molik also won her 2nd round match in straight sets.)
Making it even more eventful a day, the NBA draft also took place. The Sonics finally landed a decent center prospect. Unfortunately, he doesn't look liek he's ready to contribute right away, meaning we're still stuck with the mediocre three headed monster for at least another year.... Well, at least I guess it's not all bad as long as they didn't draft another small forward.
In related news, Northwest college stars Luke Jackson and Blake Stepp both got drafted. Jackson ended up being a lottery pick at #10 by the Cavaliers and will probably form a dynamic one-two punch with Lebron, while Stepp barely avoided being undrafted, being chosen by the Timberwolves with the second to last pick, 58th overall. Washington State PG Marcus Moore and Gonzaga C/F Corey Violette were both undrafted.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Weirdly, after about 3 innings, the local station (in Spokane) that carried the broadcast of today's game somehow went through techinical difficulties and I couldn't catch the game live from then on. Fortunately (*ahem*), Fox Sports Northwest came to the rescue with Mariners Double Play! That's right! When the team is this bad, people simply need a second chance to see it to believe... not to mention, to Get All Of It!!
Anyway, instead of talking about how the Rangers came out on top by a score of 10-2, there're better things in life. (ok that's a little bit too serious there. hehe) What I meant to say is, it's time for me to rumble about my random thoughts on other sports happenings on the day! Yeah! (If only the M's could get me this excited....)
Since I couldn't watch the M's game, I looked for something else on TV and stumbled upon seeing the Seattle Storm. They ended up losing too but at least it was a good fight, and seemingly the team really have some talent (outside of Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird, even). One thing I didn't understand, however. As much as I love rooting for Lauren Jackson, I wonder why the coach kept on giving her the ball from every set play in the last two minutes or so. Granted, she's tall, pretty strong in the post, and talented, but it wasn't like she was scoring at will since she was almost always double or triple teamed when she touches the ball inside. I don't oppose having her as the go-to player. It's just that, isn't it obvious for the other team to mark her tightly when the ball only kept going to her every single time?
Now for my Euro 2004 portion of the post.... Italy is out! Whoo-hoo! Denmark and Sweden played a thrilling match, it seems, that ended 2-2 which put them both through. Both teams vowed to go for victory but it turned out better this way as the neighbors both qualified for the next round. Also, after losing to Italy, Bulgaria became the only team in this tournament to lose all three games.
More from Europe! Wimbledon is underway and ran into rain delays again just like they would traditionally. I haven't been watching much tennis for years but some random things still caught my eyes for picking out players to support. As of this time (in women's tennis), it's Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. I actually haven't seen her play yet, but hey, she shares my birthday! :-p (Good enough a reason for me. Since I usually don't jump on bandwagons, I seldom support the already well known players. It's much more fun to cheer on the underdogs!) Unfortunately, against a certain prediction, she was knocked out in the first round in 3 sets.... Eyes on Navratilova then, to see just how far she can go in singles at the advanced age of 47.... (And maybe quick checks on Alicia Molik, who probably won't make any significant noise....)
Monday, June 21, 2004
Sunday, June 20, 2004
So Greece didn't breeze by Russia afterall... they actually lost. Though it's all good in the end as they still manage to qualify for the second stage, with hosts Portugal also booking a place in the last 8 by defeating their neighbor, Spain. The Spanish once again had a flying start but couldn't live up to expectations, remaining as underachievers. England and France tomorrow, playing against Croatia and Switzerland, respectively. Should be interesting as all four teams still have chances to advance. Go England!!
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Just like I had hoped, Latvia stayed alive in Euro 2004, holding Germany to a 0-0 draw. With the Netherlands losing their 2-0 lead and the game altogether to the Czechs, Latvia can actually advance to the next round if they somehow beat the Netherlands (not really likely, but...) and hope for the Germans to not defeat the Czechs.
May Greece breeze through Russia and confirm their place in the quarter finals tomorrow! Then we'd get to see two powerhouses Spain and Portugal battling for their lives in a hopefully high standard encounter.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Meanwhile, Bulgaria became the second team to be ousted from Euro 2004 after losing to Denmark. I'm curious to see if Latvia can somehow stay alive tomorrow, playing against an experienced team in the form of Germany.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
On the other side of the earth, Russia became the first team to be eliminated from the European Championship. It would be really strange if Latvia still stay in the mix after their second game. That'd be like in the Olympics that one time (was it 1992?) when Lithuania defeated Russia to win the basketball bronze....
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Germany and the Netherlands drew! (Ruud Van Nistelrooy's equaliser looked awfully similar to Van Basten's winner in the semis against W.Germany back in 1988)
The Mariners' win streak snapped at 3 once again and the offense got shut out by a nowhere-near-stellar pitcher, again. Bocachica made another nice catch in center, and Ichiro's getting-on-base streak is snapped. I lost count long ago though.
Monday, June 14, 2004
There're bigger things happening this summer in Europe, with the European Championship (soccer -- a big deal to everyone outside of the U.S.) underway in Portugal and the Olympic Games in Greece not long after. Greece grabbed the headlines in Portugal though, by upsetting the hosts 2-1 in the opening match. Then yesterday, the highest profile match to have taken place so far, France came from behind in the dying minutes (2 goals in injury time) to see off England -- my favorite national team, 2-1. Beckham's missed penalty has to be a key turning point as England would probably have sealed the match at that point. Though the team I like lost, there's a mixed feeling for me because the French team's coach, Jacques Santini, will take the helm at my favorite team Tottenham Hotspur after the tournament. I'm hopeful that he will lead Spurs to contend after what seemed like an eternity of underachievements. That being said, even though I'm not a France supporter, I do hope to see them do reasonably well.
It's too bad that all the coverage I can get of the tournament is only what I read from the official web site. There's no TV broadcast of the event other than pay-per-view. I wonder if the Mariners one day become a dynasty like the Yankees, would the money-hungry management make a lot of the M's games on pay-per-view only?
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Lately I'm also involved in an anime fan-subbing group, Anime Haven. Before I got sick, I managed to finish the timing of subtitles for Galaxy Angel Season 3 43-44. It's been a very nice experience to try out something new and being able to contribute to a product that I enjoyed. I should be timing episode 45-46 soon as well. Those who're interested in anime should really give this show a shot! It's a very funny comedy. Season 1 and 2 are already licenced in North America and the first season is released on DVD available in most video stores. Meanwhile one can try getting some episodes of the 3rd season through bit torrent at animesuki.com.
Later on, I'm going to typeset (setting fonts and effects for the subtitles) for a new anime that's just newly coming out in Japan! It's called Phantom Memory Kurau. It's a futuristic show, but so far I don't know much about it yet. I'm just happy to be in charge of an aspect of a fan-sub release at this point. :-)
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Anyway, it seems like maybe I should keep slamming the M's as they generally had better success the following days when I did. Hehe.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Interleague play starts today and Clint Nageotte makes his debut as a starter. I hope that this time his command and control will be better than his first outing out of the pen, since he had days to prepare for the start. It's good to see him getting a chance though.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Bret Boone won the game with his bat flip making a rare appearance of late (2nd hit in his last 20 ABs)... what a rally killer, right Bob?? Otherwise, the offense didn't look particularly good... at least now the whole country got to see some of our agony on offense with Willie Bloomquist and Pat Borders both starting, making up the bottom of the batting order. (I wonder if the Fox network would demand a money-back from the M's for featuring such quality [or lack thereof] in a nationally televised game?)
Anyway, it was good to get a win. Hey now, get all of it!! (Because who knows when our next win would be? It could take a while!)
So Ramon Santiago, who slugs less than .200 in AAA, is the one called up to take our cleanup hitter's roster spot....
I think we should brace ourselves for the second half of the season.... It could still get worse yet!
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Now that it looks like Ibanez will head to the DL, here's hoping that the M's would bring up someone actually good from AAA, which means they probably won't.... Meanwhile, I'll be making use of my voice here, no matter how small it is, to root for Justin Leone in Jeff's absense.
Leone for 3B/LF/SS, or wherever he can play, in Seattle!!
Tuesday, June 01, 2004