As many of you know the Texas Rangers drafted Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson in baseballs recent amateur draft. He has no intention of playing baseball and the Rangers have no desire for him to play-not that the Seahawks would allow that anyway. No the Rangers had something different in mind, and Russell said he will report to Rangers spring training and do what they ask. Maybe every year. But has Russell sold out the Seattle Mariners and the city of Seattle in the process?
What the Rangers are asking him to do is based on his reputation as an inspirational leader. They want to bring him to camp and talk to minor leaguers about preparation, about on the field and off the field success. In other words a motivator. This sounds like the beginning of a second career as motivational speaker for Russell, one perfectly apt ,and I wish him well. My thinking is that Russell should have turned Texas down, saying, “The Seattle Mariners are more in need of my services than the Rangers, who have twice gone to the World Series in recent years, who have signed Shin-Soo Choo and traded for Prince Fielder.” Their lineup is loaded, the Rangers minor leaguers stuck on the farm. How can you motivate someone when his path is blocked?
The Mariners have young players in need of help today, not in the future; these youngsters are at the major league level. Where is Russell’s loyalty to his next door neighbor at Safeco Field? Where is Russell’s loyalty to the city of Seattle? Russell is aiding, abetting, and consorting with a division rival, one that pounds Seattle every season. What will he do next, consort with the Oklahoma City Blunder, the team stolen from Seattle by Stern and his Okie buddy? Will the 49’ers ask Wilson to motivate Colin Copperhead?
One can argue, and justifiably so, that the Mariners once again missed a golden opportunity. It would have been great publicity, superb public relations for the Mariners to extend such an invitation, not Texas. Of course that would mean the Mariners would have to cozy up and snuggle with the Seahawks, the number one sports franchise in the city, and that is not the Mariners style. They prefer thinking the Seahawks aren’t really there. Despite Mariner protestations, they did not want the Sonics back in town, for they knew that would drop the baseball team to third most popular. If I counted soccer, which I don’t, they would drop to fourth.
Maybe the Mariners can have a Russell Wilson bobblehead night where is bobble is wearing a Mariner uniform. Oh wait, I forgot, Russell is baseball property of the Texas Rangers. He will get his bobblehead in the Lone Star state. A nice coup for Texas and another missed opportunity for the Mariners. No wonder Texas will battle for the West title and the M’s will strive to stay out of the cellar.