O’Neil’s Week Sauce: Seahawks bore, young M’s impress and a boxer is shamed
Well, the best heavyweight boxer in America got beat until blood came out of his ear and then complained about the costume he wore to the ring. The baseball team that has reached the World Series two of the past three years seems to have a target on its back, one that opposing pitchers are hitting with some striking regularity, and the Seahawks coach and general manager spoke an awful lot without really saying much.
That’s only scratching the surface of what happened the past seven days, so we provide a more thorough appraisal in our Friday dose of Week Sauce:
Two Mariners prospects combined for an absolutely tantalizing first week of spring training.
That would be outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who hit safely in each of his first three Cactus League games, and pitcher Logan Gilbert, who’s long and strong and did not allow a run in the two innings he pitched on Thursday in Peoria, Ariz.
Gilbert with a 1-2-3 first inning. FB sitting 94, saw 95. Got the breaking ball over the plate. Not bad.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) February 27, 2020
Throw in 19-year-old outfielder Julio Rodriguez, who got his first start on Wednesday, and you’ve got three highly regarded prospects who give Seattle fans a reason to be excited for the future.
It’s going to require some patience, though. None of those three prospects are expected to be with the big-league club when the regular-season begins.
The Seattle Seahawks had a rather boring week.
Coach Pete Carroll says the Seahawks absolutely want to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. General manager John Schneider said they’re absolutely hoping to bring back Jarran Reed. And Quinton Jefferson. And Luke Willson. Actually, there wasn’t a player that either coach or general manager ruled out during their media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine.
For planning purposes, it was utterly unhelpful though the fact that Carroll told our very own John Clayton that the team had five or six pass rushers it was eyeing speaks to the fact that the Seahawks are preparing some contingency plans should Clowney opt for a bigger paycheck than Seattle is willing to offer.
Washington tight end Hunter Bryant had a really strong week.
I mean really, really strong. It just probably wasn’t as fast as he would have liked.
Bryant was tops among all tight end prospects at the scouting combine, performing 23 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds. That was great, especially because there was some discussion about whether he could be an end-line tight end or was better flexed out.
Then, Bryant was timed at 4.74 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which ranked No. 6 of the 17 tight ends who ran at the combine and you worried that strength came at the expense of speed.
Hunter Bryant, PFF’s TE1, runs a 4.75
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 27, 2020
It would be shocking if he lasted past the third round, but that 40 time didn’t do much to insure he would be selected in the first two rounds.
Joe Burrow had an impressively confident week.
Any concern that a team might have about the relatively small size of Joe Burrow’s throwing hand should be more than offset by the enormous confidence he showed in response to said measurement.
There’s a lot of data collected at the NFL scouting combine, up to and including a quarterback’s hand, which is spread flat on a table and then measured from the tip of the pinky finger to the tip of the thumb. Burrow’s hand measured 9 inches, which is on the small side of things especially since he’s 6’4.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is 5’11, had his hand measured at 10.25 inches at the scouting combine. Patrick Mahomes, who is 6’3, had his hands measured at 9.25 inches. But if confidence counts for something – and it counts for a lot for a quarterback – then you had to love Burrow’s response to that measurement:
Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.
— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) February 24, 2020
The Houston Astros had a painful week.
That is not a figure of speech. There were seven Astro players who were hit by pitches in the first four spring training games.
Jose Altuve was grazed on the foot in his first at bat. Alex Bregman took one in the back from the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Astros have been hit by seven pitches this Spring Training. It hasn’t even been a week. 😳⚾️
— theScore (@theScore) February 27, 2020
Houston won’t need to a trash can to tell the hitter what’s coming this year with all these pitches headed for the middle of their back.
Deontay Wilder had an utterly embarrassing, downright pathetic week.
There’s no shame in losing a boxing match. Not even if its to an Englishman. But when you try to say that said Englishman did not actually hurt you, and well, it looked like there was blood coming out a number of cranial orifices, including your ear, well, that seems to be a case of denial.
And when you try to explain away the loss by citing the fatigue that resulted from the fact that you wore a 45-pound costume to the ring, well that’s kind of pathetic.
Deontay Wilder says he’s exercising his rematch clause for a trilogy fight with Tyson Fury, per @pugboxing.
Wilder adds that his legs were weakened by the 45-pound costume he wore to the ring. pic.twitter.com/ERtlWOVGuM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 24, 2020
It’s not just self-respect, but some national pride here. No shame in being beaten, but we didn’t dump a bunch of tea into the Boston Harbor so that today’s fighters could say they would have won had they not worn such a heavy costume when they came to the ring.
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More from O’Neil: Week Sauce: Seahawks’ week was good, but a player’s was better