Monthly Archives: February 2014

NHL Is Set To Announce Expansion No Later Than June

The rumors of a NHL expansion franchise to Seattle are looking more like reality than rumor after Geoff Baker’s latest article in the Seattle Times – warning, that link is behind a pay wall. According to his newest article, the NHL is expected to sign a letter of intent with one of three potential ownership groups, and officially announce expansion by no later than June, 2014.

According to Baker’s article, Seattle could be awarded an expansion franchise by no latter than June, 2014:

“Many expect the NHL to award a letter of intent no later than June, at which time the league and chosen ownership group would hold a news conference announcing they plan to bring hockey to Seattle.”-Baker

This rumor comes on the heals of a very successful trip by a delegation of sports, business and political leaders returned from their trip to Vancouver, B.C. This group spent a lot of time touring the B.C Sports Hall of Fame; the delegation even took in a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues. Continue Reading->


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Comeback Watch

juanrinconThis offseason, more so than others in recent years, we’ve seen pitchers who haven’t taken the Major League mound in years, making legitimate comeback attempts. Today we learned about Juan Rincon’s case. As first reported by Jon Heyman of yesterday, Rincon might not be ready to hang the cleats up for good just yet:

The right-hander last pitched for the Rockies in June of 2010. He’s pitched in parts of ten different seasons, eight of them for the Twins. He has a 35-29 career record, with a 4.03 ERA. He has spent time in the Dodgers’ and Angels’ organizations since his release from the Rockies, but has not seen the Major League mound in nearly four years. Heyman has not elaborated as to which teams might be in the running for the righty reliever.

Tomo Ohka will pitch for the Blue Jays in today’s Spring Training game. The 37-year old Ohka hasn’t appeared in the big leagues tomoohkasince 2009, when he went 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA for the Indians. Ohka re-emerges this year as a knuckleballer, presumably studying under former Cy Young winner RA Dickey. After learning the new pitch in a matter of months, Ohka signed with the Jays in December after he impressed them in a workout. Ohka, who was unable to find a job in the Nippon League the past couple years, looked to be done with pro baseball until recently, when he discovered the Knuckler as an attempt to revitalize his career. His chances of emerging from Blue Jays camp on the big league roster seem slim at this point, but stranger things have happened. Best of luck to the Kyoto, Japan native for a Major League comeback!

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Ozzie Smith Does Ozzie Smith Thing, And Petitions The White House To Make MLB’s Opening Day A National Holiday

Former MLB shortstop Ozzie “the Wizard of Oz” Smith has petitioned the  White House to make MLB’s opening day a national holiday. Smith’s request comes in the form of a Budweiser commercial. This commercial plays on the emotions that baseball fans experience as opening day draws nearer; and Spring Training draws to a close.

Here is the commercial: Continue Reading ->


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Obscure Athlete Spotlight: Stephane Yelle

Yelle celebrates a goal with Ray Borque’s dad…oh wait, that’s Ray Borque. Holy crap.

Stephane “Rebel” Yelle was never a great NHL scorer (season high: 27 pts) but he made a solid career for himself at hockey’s highest level, bringing grit and leadership where he came up short in style points.

Yelle, an Ottawa native, was picked in the eighth round of the 1992 draft. He made his debut in 1995 as a member of the inaugural Colorado Avalanche– though he was, for a short time, the property of the Quebec Nordiques before the team relocated to Denver. As such, he was one of the last members of the old Nordiques to suit up in the NHL. He was like Jamey Carroll, Bruce Chen, and the other former Expos , except he played hockey.

Yelle was a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams with the Avs. The first came in 95-96, his rookie year, in which he appeared in all but one game for Colorado. Yelle and the Avalance hoisted the Cup again a few years later, in 2000-01, before Yelle was traded to Calgary. The Flames went to the Cup Finals in 2004, and there was Stephane Yelle, playing both forward and defense for the Flames– the year’s Cinderella team, which nearly won it all, but got totally screwed in game 6 , and ultimately lost in seven games to the Lightning.

Calgary was Stephane Yelle’s home for five years, where he was a fan favorite. He was near the end of his career when the Bruins signed him for the 08-09 season. He played 77 games in Boston, before moving on to the Hurricanes, again for just part of a year. He was traded back to the Avalanche, where it all started, toward the end of the 2009-2010 season, after which Yelle hung it up for good. He played in 991 NHL games, and collected 265 points along the way, in addition to the two Stanley Cups. Yelle is a working man’s hockey player, and one of OA’s very favorites.

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of The 2014 Winter Olympics


Sochi 2014

Another Olympiad has come and gone. The XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia came to a close on Sunday with a spectacular closing ceremony that followed a surprisingly successful games. Despite the fears of terrorist attacks, the imposing presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin, hotels that were too small, water that didn’t look like water, weather that was too warm and facilities that were finished at the last second, the games went on with nary a hitch and few complaints. In fact, according to most sources, it was a smooth and organized games that were praised by many members of the foreign media. But as per usual, not everything went well in terms of the competitions. There are winners and losers. Therefore here are the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Good:

Canadian women gold

The gold medal game in women’s hockey will go down as a…

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Rants From the Palouse: Stupid Narratives Are Stupid

The media has a tendency to create these narratives that don’t make a lot of sense, and it’s all in the name of getting clicks/selling page views. These narratives often inform public opinion and in such a way as that the public becomes ill-informed, and an ill-informed public is a bad situation for all involved.

For example, there is a portion of the Mariners fan base that think the ownership group is unwilling to spend money to bring in top-notch free agents. This narrative ignores the act that the team spent $118 million for 101-losses in 2008; or the fact that there are currently $49 million a year tied up in Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano. Fans in Seattle are starting to not go to ball games, and that makes it harder for the team to make money; and attract free agents.

The other narrative regarding the M’s is that the management is run by meddling people who don’t understand baseball. Continue reading

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Design The New Obscure Athletes Banner: A Contest

Not the MOST interesting contest ever, that’s for sure.

But the fact is, Obscure Athletes needs a new banner to replace our years-old version. The reader who designs the best new banner for OA will be the proud winner of this never-worn 1999 Fenway Park MLB All-Star game t-shirt, officially licensed by MLB.


All you need to do is go to Obscure Athletes, and check out the contest page. Leave a link to your banner design in the ‘comments’ section of the page, or email your submission to

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 21, with the unveiling of the new banner coming the following week. Enter today!

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SBM Exclusive: Sports Doppelgangers, Volume 58 – The Winter Olympics Edition

Since today marks the last day of the Sochi Olympics, it’s time to point out this Olympiad’s slate of look-alikes.

jayson werth per spett

For starters, we can point out the transition from the Olympics to baseball’s spring training with the resemblance between Washington Nationals’ outfielder Jayson Werth and Norwegian skier Per Spett.

norway curling pants partridge bus

Speaking of the Norwegians, we couldn’t help but notice their curling teams’ pants had to have been inspired by the bus from the 1970’s sit-com “The Partridge Family.”

vladimir putin and dog

Then, there is the man who brought us this Olympiad, Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has a decidedly canine appearance.

mirjam ott shawn white

We close by paying homage to pre-haircut Shawn White, whose influence in filling the Winter Olympics with bullshit quasi-sports made for stoners only makes us realize how much he looks like Swiss curling legend Mirjam Ott.

shawn white rocky dennis

The resemblance between Ott and White is a bit weird, because she isn’t nearly as butt-ugly as White…as his resemblance to “mask” main character Rocky Dennis illustrates.



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Steve Ballmer Is Rumored To Be The Third Potential NHL Owner in Seattle

In an interview with Vancouver’s Team 1040 radio host Serkes and Price, Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker stated that the third rumored NHL owner in Seattle is billionaire Steve Ballmer. Ballmer is part of the ownership group that is trying to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, and attempted to by the Kings last year.

If Baker is correct, Ballmer would end up being one of the wealthiest owners in the league. His inclusion into the ownership group list has to make the NHL just salivate at the fact that it is unlikely his club would end up struggling financially for a long period of time.

Continue Reading ->


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Obscure Athlete Spotlight: Glenallen Hill

Originally Posted at

When I think of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen, the first that comes to mind is the “It’s gotta be the shoes” homer by Glenallen Hill in 2000, when Hill was a member of the Cubs. It was later confirmed that the home run reached over 500 feet onto the roof at Wrigley:

glenallenhillLater on, we found out it was the juice, not the shoes. But nonetheless, “Spiderman” Glenallen Hill was a solid ballplayer throughout the 90’s. He hit 20 home runs four times, and all told, Hill suited up for seven different teams in parts of 13 MLB seasons.

He earned the Spiderman nickname because of an incident in  1990, in which he had a terrible nightmare about spiders, and sprung out of bed, only to fall down a flight of stairs, sustaining injuries that resulted in Hill being placed on the Disabled List.

Hill was one of…. wait, I’m pretty sure THE worst defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen at the Major League level. He was an adventure, whether in left or right field. In the National League he was often featured as a pinch-hitter as a result of his comical ineptitude in the field, and for the same reason, saw a lot of time at DH when he played for AL clubs.

Another thing that I’ll always remember about Glenallen Hill is the LEGENDARY stretch he had in 2000 after he was traded to the Yankees. On July 21 of that year, Chicago sent Hill to the Yanks for Ben Ford and Oswaldo Mairena. Hill would play just 40 games in Yankee pinstripes, but in that time he hit a whopping sixteen dingers and gathered 29 RBI. He hit .333 in 143 plate appearances. The man simply could not be stopped. For his efforts, Hill would earn his first and  only World Series ring for the Yankees.

That 2000 season would end up being Hill’s last full year in the Majors, however, as the Angels released him during the following season. Hill has been a coach in various positions since 2003, and is currently the manager of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Rockies. I hope, before long, Hill ends up joining fellow 90’s ballplayers Mike Matheny, Walt Weiss, and Robin Ventura as MLB managers.

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