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Seattle's MLS franchise, slated to take the field in 2009, has opened up voting on the franchise name. The choices are Seattle FC, Seattle Alliance and Seattle Republic. This has sparked quite a bit of outrage amongst longtime supporters who apparently assumed that the team would retain the Sounders moniker. There is a write-in option, and quite the call to use that to vote for the Sounders. A personal note - one that we also left on GOALTacoma's blog - We hate the name Sounders. It's a throwback to the old NASL team, and it's always struck us odd that every soccer team since has adopted it. The official choices are Seattle FC, Seattle Alliance and Seattle Republic. If the Seattle-types would have the brains to ask us here at No Rhubarb! we would suggest a combination. Call it "Seattle Alliance FC" and we'll be happy.

Now the taking notice moment. According to MLSRumors, Thierry Henry is supposedly in negotiations to join the Seattle team when they open play. We have mentioned M. Henry before on this blog, but a small refresher course may be required:

Henry in MLS automatically becomes the best player and most dangerous striker in the league. While David Beckham is more of a celebrity, on the pitch he's more of a supporting player. Henry scores goals. Lots and lots and lots of goals. He's the French National Team's all-time leading goal scorer. He ranks third on the list of the Premier League. He's Arsenal's all-time leading scorer. Put him in a Seattle uniform and I'll go out and buy a Henry shirt.

Even if it does say "Sounders" across the front.

WARNING: If you have any particular allergy to pretentious middle-aged white guys, you may want to skip this. The introduction to Ken Burns' Baseball.

People Will Come

James Earl Jones. Field Of Dreams. Need I say anything more?

During the inaugural season of No Rhubarb! we faithfully followed the exploits of Our Favorite Rainier, outfielder Adam Jones. Jones is in Baltimore now, on his way to what we firmly believe will be a long and excellent career. The title of Our Favorite Rainier cannot stay vacant though, and we will take the next few days to find our new favorite. This year we will let you, the reader chime in on the subject. No Rhubarb! will present the case of several players and then let you vote who you think is Our Favorite Rainier. After which we will almost certainly ignore the results and just name whomever we want anyway.

First up: Matt Tuiasosopo!

The Mariners first draft pick (3rd Round) in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Tuiasosopo hails from an almost ridiculously athletic family. Father Manu was a first round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Sister Leslie played volleyball with the UW Huskies and trained with the US National Team. Brothers Marques - merely the best quarterback in UW history - and Zach both played in the NFL last season. Matt was a high-school star in both baseball and football, and turned down the chance to follow in Marques' footsteps to sign with the Mariners. Originally signed as a shortstop, but moved to third soon after, Tui 2 has been aggressively pushed through the system and should land in Tacoma at 21. Tuiasosopo is widely considered one of the ten best prospects in the Mariner system. Baseball America, Armchair GM and SportsCity all list Tui in the Mariners top ten, and Minor League News called him the 36th best prospect in baseball.

Three Reasons Matt Tuiasosopo is Our Favorite Rainier
1-High-ceiling power-hitting thirdbasemen are cool
2- Mike Curto likes him
3-Fun to say "Tuiasosopo".
Three Reasons Matt Tuiasosopo is NOT Our Favorite Rainier
1-Not yet technically a Rainier. No reason to name "Our Favorite Diamond Jack"
2-Prone to slow starts. Upon first making the Double-A San Antonio in 2006, Tui hit an anemic .185/.259/.218.
3-Very difficult to spell "Tuiasosopo"
Photos Courtesy of the Seattle Mariners and Whiteyball

The Sweet Sixteen starts on Thursday afternoon, and what better time to check out the standings of the First Annual Feed Tacoma Bracket Challenge. Automagic has hit on 36 of 48 and has a slim two point lead over No Rhubarb!, PSP, and Cole's Lousy Picks. Can Automagic stay ahead? We'll check up again after the Final Four is finalized on Sunday.

It is officially spring. It is time to get ready for baseball. First in a series of videos to get you in the mood is Conan O'Brien trying out old-time baseball.


Mike Curto has been sent to blog his trip to spring training. While on one hand this is indescribably cool - Curto is simply the best announcer working in the minor leagues and a first rate baseball mind - we are slightly nervous that the team might be moving in on our turf. If Curto starts making lousy jokes and comparing mascots to demons, then we might get nervous.

Until then we will certainly enjoy Curto's writing.

Just no mascot jokes, okay?

And Rainiers? The next time you want to spend someone to blog spring training, maybe you wanna drop me a line?

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