My first week at 710 ESPN

Feb 20, 2009, 11:03 AM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:55 pm

How lucky could I be than to find out Wednesday that Ken Griffey Jr. is coming back to Seattle with the Mariners? Why? Ask any of the people you interact with everyday in this town. Especially seek out those who don’t give a hoot about sports. Ask them about Ken Griffey. I’ll bet they have an opinion or have at least have heard that he’s coming back to town. And when you are hosting a new sports talk format on a great radio station like 710 ESPN beginning on April 1, the table has been set. And did I mention that the exclusive home of live Mariner play by play with the Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus is here on 710 ESPN? That alone makes my new venture a dream “gig”. A year ago all I could look foward to professionally was a trial in Seattle between the city and my then employer Clay Bennett. Now I look forward to hearing from the fans as we dig ourselves out of the worst sports year in Seattle history. And with the economy tanking, we all need a healthy diversion. We all know the poetry. Spring, the chance for forth. Well it helps to have the Griffey story and the Tiger story. Two sweet swings into Spring. Tiger Woods announced he is golf ready and will begin play again. We last glimpsed Tiger limping to his car at Torrey with the US Open trophy. His 14th majore 4 short of tying the Bear for the all time record. Tiger is back in the hunt after mending a torn ACL in the left knee and stress fractures in the leg. Griffey had his left knee scoped and should be able to get into some pitches. If you have children encourage them to become orthopedic surgeons.

Spring also marks the renewal of pro soccer in Seattle. I was at QWest field on a sunny midmorning watching the Sounders going through the paces. Sigi Schmid had one end of the pitch working on corner kicks while the assistant coaches work on five on five drills on the other end. No standing around, constant motion, coaching on the run…great stuff. The similarities between a crisp soccer pratice and an NBA practice are very similar. We’ll find out March 19 on radio wether the new play by play guy is ready. Yes, I do that too. Keep you eye on the new guy. F, Freddy Montero. I saw him play at an exhibtion match between Seattle and San Jose. He is one of those players on the offense end who can be just as effective without the ball as he is with the ball. Quick,sudden,powerful near the net…this guy gets a chance and can score. He doesn’t stand or dominate the ball. He reads and moves without the ball. That is a talent.

Fans ask if I still follow the Sonics-Thunder? Yes I do. I think Sam Presti has done an outstanding job of building this team. With Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russ Westbrook, Nick Collison, Kyle Weaver, new coach Scott Brooks, 5 first rounds choices in the next two years and cap room I think they are set up for success. And yes Oklahoma City is supporting the NBA. We’ll discuss the NBA on our show as well as the possibilites of the NBA back in Seattle. I not sure that will happen inside of the next 5 years. And a shameless plug to watch ESPN Sunday night during the Academy awards. I’ll be on the call when the Pistons travel to meet LeBron James and the Cavs. The Cavs are geared up to make another run at the Cletics this year but with an improved team with the additions of Mo Williams. The speedy guard from Alabama is having an all star year. Meantime, the Celts may have to rest Kevin Garnett for a few weeks after he tweaked a knee.

Husky mens hoops is having a really fine year. You knew UCLA was going to come strong after the Huskies beat them at BAA two weeks ago. I thought the Bruins trap on the sides and double teaming of Brockman made a difference. And it seemed that every loose ball scramble was won by UCLA ,not for a lack of trying by UW. Catch me and Francis Williams March 3 on FSN when the UW play Seattle University. That’s a make up game for UW. Lehigh was unable to travel because of Seattle snow in December. Ah yes snow. I have not been on the mountain enough this year so today seems to be as good as any to take in some spring runs. If I stay inside writing this and watching CNBC(market tanking) I’ll go nuts. Later. Kevin Calabro

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My first week at 710 ESPN