Seattle close to relocating NBA team (Sacramento Kings)

Reports indicate that the Sacramento Kings are in negotiations with a group headed by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to move the team to Seattle. Yahoo Sport’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the NBA’s relocation committee will ratify the motion to move the team to Seattle for the 2012-2013 season.

Surveying has begun at arena site in Seattle. Can

Surveying has begun at arena site in Seattle.

Other reports also confirms that Chris Hansen has also begun purchasing additional parcels of land in the SODO district.  It is possible that plans are being made for a new parking garage to accompany the arena.

If the team does move to Seattle for the 2013-2014 season, they will play temporarily in Key Arena for two years.  Down the road, the group may eye a new NHL team to serve as co-tenants. Read also: The NHL in Seattle: Can Key Arena provide a temporary home?

Key Arena

Key Arena in Seattle, Washington






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Concussion discussion VI. Panel on sports-related concussions in youth

Today, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council are holding meetings to discuss study on sports-related concussions in youth. The group began a 15 month study in October and will prepare a report on sports-related concussions in youth, from elementary school through young adulthood. A goal of the meeting will be to review the science on concussions, including risk factors, long-term consequences, and the effectiveness of protective devices and equipment among other topics.

Interestingly, the group will also cover potential impacts on military personnel and their dependents. specifically, there will be a focus on concussion resulting from sports and physical training at Service academies and recruit training for military personnel between the ages of 18-21

The specific list of topics to be discussed are:

-the acute, subacute, and chronic effects of single and repetitive concussive and non-concussive head impacts on the brain;
-risk factors for sports concussion, post-concussive syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy;
-the spectrum of cognitive, affective, and behavioral alterations that can occur during acute, subacute, and chronic posttraumatic phases;
-physical and biological triggers and thresholds for injury;
-the effectiveness of equipment and sports regulations for prevention of injury;
-hospital and non-hospital based diagnostic tools; and
-treatments for sports concussion.

One of the primary deliverables for the group is to provide recommendations to specific agencies and organizations (governmental and non-governmental) on factors to consider when determining the concussive status of a player.



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A collection of twelve “Top 10″ hockey lists (Videos)

With the NHL and NHLPA agreeing to terms, another hockey season begins. If Twitter is any indication, fans and players alike appear excited to get back on the ice.

Mikael Backlund Mikael Backlund (@mbacklund11) So excited to to fly back to Calgary and play for the @NHLFlames again. Great day for hockey. Thanks to all the patient fans. #lockoutisover

Colby Armstrong Colby Armstrong (‏@armdog) Back to MTL tomorrow to join back up with the fellas on the ice to get the chemistry fired up. Looking forward to it. #habs
Andrew Ladd Andrew Ladd ‏  (@aladd16) Ok @Bogogo_44 you can stop milking you injury now! Time to get back to playing the game we all love!So, to tide you over until the season begins, here is a collection of twelve “top 10″ hockey lists.


Top 10 most infamous plays

Top 10 most hated players

Top 10 creative moments

Top 10 hockey meltdowns

Top 10 hockey moments of the 2010 Olympics

Top 10 Moments When Goaltenders Leave the Net

Top ten Stanley Cup Finals moments

Top ten goal celebrations

Top 10 skilled players

Top 10 goalie gaffes

Top 10 Game 7 moments

Top 10 Wayne Gretzky moments

Read another article here: “The Wayne Gretzky analysis”




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VIDEO: Randy Johnson & Dan Wilson throw out first pitch

Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson together threw out the first pitch on Saturday when both were inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.




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Randy Johnson & Dan Wilson inducted into Mariners Hall of Fame

Randy Johnson back at Safeco Field

On Saturday, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson were inducted into the Seattle Mariners‘ Hall of Fame. The pair were featured in a video montage recounting their contributions ranging from the 1995 play-in game, Randy’s relief appearance in game 5 against the Yankees after one days rest, Wilson’s in the park home run, to both players extensive community service.

Johnson is a sure bet for the baseball Hall of Fame. Regularly topping 300 strikeouts a year, the intimidating lefty found his game as a Mariner before anchoring the Arizona Diamondbacks staff to a world series. He won a Cy Young in Seattle with a .900 winning percentage, which is the second highest of all time. Johnson also threw a no hitter in 1990 against the Tigers and struck out 18 batters in 1992 while throwing an unthinkable 160 pitches.

Dan Wilson came to the Mariners from the Cincinnati Reds to play under Lou Piniella. A defensive stalwart, Wilson’s game included an AL record 1051 putouts in 1997 while submitting a 0.9987 fielding percentage. Wilson settled in as a valuable game caller who helped develop a talented pitching staff anchored by the likes of Johnson and Jamie Moyer. In 2001, Wilson led a staff that was the engine for a record 116 wins.

Read also: VIDEO: Randy Johnson & Dan Wilson throw out first pitch



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Moyer, Hernandez & Hultzen embody the Mariners past, present & future.

Moyer & Hultzen

Jamie Moyer & Danny Hultzen at Cheney Stadium

While a heat wave rolled through much of the country, a perfect storm was forming on the west coast Thursday night. The Seattle Mariners past, present and future was on full display, embodied in three starting pitchers – Felix Hernandez, Jamie Moyer and Danny Hultzen.

The present: King Felix delights his “supreme” court.

Felix Hernandez submitted yet another classic performance in shutting down the resurgent Boston Red Sox 1-0 at Safeco Field Thursday night. King Felix used 128 pitches over 9 innings to record a career-high 13 strikeouts. After starting the season slowly and seeing his pitch velocity topping out between 91 and 93 mph, Hernandez has been gaining velocity every outing and is again throwing upper 90’s heat.

But even as Felix was leading the way for the Mariners (that’s not news), an equally intriguing game was being played far away from the bright lights of Safeco Field. Just 50 kms south, a minor league matchup pitted the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners affiliate) against the Las Vegas 51s (Jays affiliate) and showcased two pitchers at opposite ends of their professional careers.

The past: Jamie Moyer won’t stop believing.

Jamie Moyer, the former Mariners ace, signed a minor league contract with the Las Vegas 51s this week. The agreement suggests that the Jays will decide whether to promote Moyer (or not) after two triple-A starts.

At 49, Moyer is by far the oldest member of the 51s. He is being considered because the Jays starting rotation has been decimated by a combination of injury and mediocre performance. After being released by the Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles earlier this season, Moyer still aims to compete at the sports the highest level. His quest to return to the majors brought Moyer back to a market he once owned.

During his time in Seattle, Moyer led the team both on and off the field. In the 2001 season, Moyer was a 20-win anchor for a pitching staff that won a record 116 games. As a leader in the community, the Moyer Foundation has remained active in the region long after the pitcher ended his Mariners tenure.

Thursday was, in a way, a return home for the soft-tossing lefty, who is clearly still loved in the Pacific Northwest. The last time Moyer made a start in Tacoma was during a 1997 rehab assignment with the Rainiers. On Thursday, Moyer received roaring applause from the sellout crowd as he walked in from the bullpen before the game. The pitcher appropriately tipped his cap to the crowd acknowledging the fans appreciation.

Once the game started, Moyer displayed his varied arsenal of slow, slower and slowest pitches. He topped out at 84 mph, but sat comfortably between 70 and 80 mph for much of the game. After running into trouble in the first two innings, Moyer settled down and blanked the Rainiers over the next three. He exited after throwing 82 pitches, 51 of them for strikes and handed off a 7-3 lead.

It was by no means a dominating performance and the end is clearly nearing for Moyer. The only question is whether the former Mariner can throw father time a change-up to earn one more major league ride.

The future: Danny Hultzen rises.

Moyer’s opponent on Thursday was young Danny Hultzen, the second overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft who was making his first home start for the Rainiers.

After blazing through the AA ranks earlier this season, Hultzen has been pegged as a future number two starter for the Mariners behind Hernandez. The pitcher may have found the game particularly unnerving facing such an accomplished opponent. By the time Hultzen was born in the fall of 1989, Moyer had already made 94 starts in the major leagues. For further context, it should be noted that Thursday was not the first time the two pitchers had crossed paths.

When Hultzen led his University of Virginia team to the 2011 college world series, none other than one Jamie Moyer was serving as an analyst for ESPN. Moyer’s analysis was not entirely flattering and focused on the prospects need to develop his complementary pitches and his inability to hold runners on base. Fair or not, the comments were surely not forgotten before the game last night.

Against the 51s, Hultzen was consistently hitting 92-93 mph, but struggled mightily with his control, walking in a run during the second inning. The command problems are particularly surprising for the lefty and in sharp contrast to the tight control he displayed in college, Arizona fall league and AA.

Hultzen left after four innings, 90 pitches and with a 3-1 lead. His stuff was impressive, but he may require more time to harness it at the next level. Still, Hultzen looks like a star in waiting and is certainly a key to the Mariners future.

Three pitchers thinking about tomorrow.

Like ships in the night, the three pitchers passed one another Thursday as they each pursue their major league dreams. Each has built an impressive list of past accomplishments, each has designs on future professional glory and each lives in the present just trying to get the next out.

Notes: Shortstop Nick Franklin played second base and third baseman Alex Liddi played first. A possibly interesting development considering the continued struggles of Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak with the big club.

Nick Franklin

Nick Franklin



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Mariners fans still waiting for a hero

In 2008, a group led by Clay Bennett ripped the Supersonics from Seattle to search for browner pastures in Oklahoma City. It is rumored that during the move they took Seattle’s baseball team with them. The Mariners have finished last in the AL West in three of the past four seasons, while finishing next to last in the other. After committing in earnest to a rebuilding effort with a cohort of promising young players, the 2012 Mariners again find themselves in the West’s basement. The team, its players and their fans are again left searching for answers.


Safety not guaranteed: no home field advantage.

With the season nearing the halfway mark, one alarming truth has emerged for the 2012 Mariners – they struggle to win at home. At 12-19 (.387), the Mariners currently hold the worst home winning percentage in baseball. The most obvious problem appears to be rooted in the team’s inability to score runs on their home turf. Over the past month, Safeco Field has been a house of horrors for the Mariners where they score a mere 2.8 runs per game while allowing 3.9 runs against. On the road, however, the Mariners have scored 5.2 runs per game while allowing a comparable 5.3 runs (throwing out the crazy 21 run outburst the Mariners had against Texas on May 30). Although opponents do tend to score less at Safeco Field, the large outfield and thick marine air appear to be getting into the heads of some of the Mariners young hitters. Justin Smoak, expected to be a heart of the order masher, has shown outward signs of frustration both on the field and during recent post-game interviews. Things have gotten so bad that talk around Seattle now centres around whether the Mariners should bring the fences in during the offseason. Until the team starts making it tough for opposing pitchers to come through Seattle, they will remain an easy out in the West.

Looking for a leadoff hitter… Buehler? Buehler?

For over a decade, Seattle managers have penciled Ichiroin at top of the lineup and went from there. But this offseason the Mariners superstar was asked to bat third, allowing Chone Figgins, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders to audition for the leadoff spot. Things were so bad at one point that manager Eric Wedge had CATCHER John Jaso leading off for a game. By May, Ichiro was struggling mightily with runners in scoring position and Kyle Seager had emerged as a clutch hitter (24 RBI with 2 outs), so the team moved their veteran outfielder back to his customary leadoff position. Unfortunately, this is not the 2001 version of Ichiro, but rather a 38 year old outfielder sporting a 0.282 on base percentage. It appears the sun is finally setting on Suzuki’s all-star career and the Mariners now need to find a long-term solution to fill the top of their order.

We Are Young, but this is not Fun.

Seattle fans entered the season understanding that any rebuilding plan requires above all else, patience. The core of the team is clearly talented, but the growing pains have been overwhelming with no guarantee that any of them are future franchise players. Smoak started the season as the cleanup hitter, but he struggled early and was batting an ugly 0.183 on the “Smoakamotive” promotion night. He has raised his average to 0.218, but his inability to power balls out of Safeco Field has led to frustrated comments such as this,

“You go up there and you try to put yourself in the best position to succeed. And you hit a ball like that and it goes nowhere.”

Thus far, results from the other youngsters have been a mixed bag. Michael Saunders and Jesus Montero have hit for a 0.270 average, Kyle Seager 0.256, Dustin Ackley 0.247 and Mike Carp 0.157. As the losses began to pile up, and with the veterans unable to right the offense, the younger players on the team started to play with an air of desperation. For example, Montero may be the slowest player in the MLB, and yet he has been caught three times in recent games as a result of overly aggressive running errors. These gaffes emerge because the young catcher is pushing himself beyond his natural game in hopes of helping the struggling offense. If the veterans on the team cannot provide some cover for these talented youngsters, this will be a painful season with periods of regression and long hitting droughts.

The slow progression of so many young prospects has been all the more painful when compared to other rookies that are successfully making adjustments on more stable rosters (e.g., Bryce Harper hitting 0.294 and Brett Lawrie 0.286). Most alarming, however, is that the resurgent Los Angeles Angels are being led by youngster Mark Trumbo (0.321) and phenom outfielder Mike Trout (0.324). For a Mariners team committed to rebuilding with youth, it looks very much like they are being passed by a divisional rival that is simply reloading.

The Seattle fans that rallied to bring back their beloved Sonics last week are evidence that in sports, there are always second acts. For the young Mariners, there is much baseball left to be played this season and their fans will continue to wait for a hero.


It’s fast approaching the time to bring in Danny Hultzen.





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Mariners roundup: The kids are alright.

After inserting a slew of young players into their lineup in 2011, the Seattle Mariners needed to see production from their youth in 2012. Many youngsters were given a taste of the majors in 2011 and manager Eric Wedge is now pushing for results. The plan requires above all else, patience. Early in the season the Mariners offense was as impotent as it has been in the past. Justin Smoak, who started the season as the cleanup hitter, struggled early and was batting 0.183 on Smoakamotive promotion night. As May was winding down, Michael Saunders was hitting 0.226, Dustin Ackley 0.242, Mike Carp 0.155, Kyle Seager 0.255, Jesus Montero 0.247. Things were so bad that the debate around Seattle was whether the team should pull the fences in at Safeco field.

At the same time, other rookies (Bryce Harper 0.287, Brett Lawrie 0.283) were successfully making their adjustments to the major leagues. More alarming, however, was that the resurgent divisional rival Angels were being led by youngsters Mark Trumbo 0.338 and phenom Mike Trout 0.306. For a Mariners team that is committed to rebuilding with youth, it looked like they were at risk of being passed by a team that was simply reloading.

With few signs of progress from their young position players, the Mariners limped into Texas and prepared to be shelled by one of the leagues best offenses. But then something funny happened against the Rangers. The Mariners young hitters found their feet.The team scored 35 runs over three games including one 21 run outburst that sent the team to a series win over the Rangers. The Mariners offense continued to click with Justin Smoak slugging his way to an AL player of the week award.

Since the Texas series, Michael Saunders has continued his hot streak batting 0.500. After carrying a league-worst 0.149 batting average in 2011, the talented outfielder is now contributing power, defense and steals. Saunders revamped a loopy swing in the offseason and adopted a much more aggressive approach at the plate that allows him to better dictate the at bat.

But the biggest revelation has been the ascendance of Kyle Seager, who has turned into a clutch hitter (23 two out RBI’s). Seager is now batting third, allowing for Ichiro to move back to his traditional leadoff position. The next obstacle is for the young players to continue hitting at Safeco Field, where fly balls go to die.



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A perspective on going into environmental law.

I was never one of those people who grew up wanting to be a lawyer. I guess you could say I kind of fell into it in a really round about way.

I did my undergrad in environmental biology. I have always loved being outdoors and studying and learning about wildlife. I focused my undergrad on the more global picture.

After the third year of my undergrad, I spent a summer at the Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island where I fell in love with the West Coast and marine biology. I thought for sure I would continue on and do a masters in the area. After my undergrad, however, I got a job with the University of Alberta doing forest research in northern Alberta where I also fell in love with the boreal forest. I spent two summers and one fall at a research camp an hour and half away from the nearest town and the rest of my time in a lab at the University of Alberta and the Canadian Forest Services.

I had always considered doing a masters but I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. I was looking for something that would give me the broader picture. That’s when I kinda fell into law.

A friend of mine mentioned that I might be good at law because I was quite argumentative. I thought about it because I thought it would be a useful degree and would give me a fuller understanding of environmental issues.

I wrote my LSAT on a whim and applied to the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia (mainly because all the deadlines for the other law schools had passed but also because I had moved to B.C. and really didn’t want to leave). My advice would be to apply sooner than later because law schools start accepting students before the deadline for applications. If you wait until the deadline, like I did, many spots have already been offered and you may end up on a waiting list. The deadline for applications for the University of Victoria is the beginning of February but a friend of mine applied early and was offered a spot in December.

I chose UVic partly because of the location but also because I had heard they had a really good program and in particular a good environmental law program and co-op program. I was happy with my choice but honestly I think it is the only law school that would have been suitable for me so I am a bit biased.

UVic is a very progressive school and really fosters a non-competitive atmosphere as much as that is possible in law school (all exams and assignments are written under code names and students are not ranked). I was quite involved in the Environmental Law Clinic which is the only one of its kind in Canada and provides great opportunities for students to be involved in local environmental issues.

I had also hoped on getting into the co-op program. Unfortunately, being the fair institution that UVic is, the co-op program is a lottery system where all interested students submit their names and the school randomly draws the first 30 or so to be in the program. I was number 72 out of 75- there was no way I was getting in. My word of advice would be not to choose UVic for this reason alone.

In summary, UVic law school is a great choice for someone who is looking for not quite a mainstream law school. If you are wanting a law school heavy on the corporate commercial law, the warm fuzzy feeling at UVic may not be for you. One should also bear in mind that the City of Victoria is rather small and I know many in my law class that itched to get back to a bigger City. I personally loved the place because there are tons of outdoor activities to do but again I am biased.



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Boat fire on Lake Union, Seattle

Crews battle boat fire on Lake Union, near Gasworks Park. It turns out that the fire started when hot cooking oil spilled when the wake of a speeding boat rocked the vessel. Damages from the fire were estimated at $250,000.



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