5 takeaways: Something is different with the Mariners
By Michael Grey
Five thoughts on the week that was in Seattle sports and beyond:
The Mariners are different, maybe
Yes, it’s February. Yes, it’s far too early to go making predictions. Yes, as an M’s fan you’ve seen the team tear up the Cactus League and know that means nothing when it matters in April. However, there is an important difference with this team and it lies with the most obvious player for some not-so obvious reasons. Robinson Cano is the $240 million crown jewel of the offseason with the .300-plus career average and the defensive skills to lock up an important spot at second. What’s lost in the numbers is the time spent on right-field hitting drills with Justin Smoak and the film work with Kyle Seager and the swagger that a champion in his prime brings to the clubhouse. By all accounts, the Mariners’ big-dollar slugger has adopted the role of leader and that, if nothing else, represents a departure from last year.
Russell Wilson knows how to be a champion
First Russell Wilson hoisted the Lombardi Trophy and walked into the celebration at CenturyLink Field. Then the Seahawks quarterback accepted the invitation from the Texas Rangers to attend an MLB spring training and talk with the team about his experiences. Now Wilson says that he would like to be a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”. The saying goes “make hay while the sun shines” and Wilson clearly has the right idea. His name may never be hotter on the national stage than it is right now and he should squeeze each and every drop of fun and opportunity from it. The offseason in the NFL is awfully short and shortest of all for the Super Bowl Champions, so live it up, Russ. Then get back to that separation preparation thing.
Red Bryant’s release is business as usual
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have been lauded far and wide for the personnel moves that helped create the Seahawks’ roster, but the real challenge lies in managing all that talent. The news that defensive end Red Bryant, a consistent starter and fan favorite, would be released following the reports that receiver Sidney Rice will be released is going to become more commonplace as this team moves ahead. Carroll’s mantra of competition depends on a constant influx of new players, and with the NFL’s salary-cap restrictions Seahawks fans can expect more household names to leave town in the years to come. No one not named Russell Wilson would surprise me as the Seahawks change on the fly in an attempt to stay on top of the NFL.
The NHL is getting closer to Seattle
I know it’s the second week in a row on this topic but, per Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times, the NHL is going to make an offer of a franchise to Seattle in the next few months. The 30-person Seattle delegation that was sent to research NHL hockey in Vancouver walked away impressed and all involved are making the appropriate noises. Arena politics will dominate the conversation in the months to come and while part of me truly believes that this is too good to be true, the rest of me thinks that this just makes too much sense with too much momentum to not get done.
I will adopt your Ferrari and give it a good home
As you may or may not know, I am a big time car fan. I grew up wrenching on the big V8s made in Detroit and reading about the lightning-fast sports cars coming out of Europe. My all-time favorite car maker? Ferrari. There is nothing like those bright red, perfectly tuned race machines. In my eyes they will always be perfection in motion. It is with that in mind that I was especially pained at the latest chapter in the Richie Incognito saga in which police say he admitted to taking a baseball bat to his own Ferrari FF, which, while nowhere near my favorite is still worth more than $300,000. It is clear that Incognito has issues and I truly hope that he finds the help that he needs to live a happy life moving forward, but if he or anyone else is inclined to destroy a piece of Italian Perfection like that please just sign it over to me so that I may give it a proper home (especially if “it” happens to be a 458 Italia).