I was listening to Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler on KJR the other day. He said now that Seahawks camp is open and the Mariners have waved the white flag of surrender they would no longer be talking about the Mariners. I am sure the station may mention the M’s from time to time, but there will be little or no talk about them. That was certainly my impression. I am a big fan of Softy’s, but that really pissed me off.
I understand the Seahawks are a big story with two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl and everyone loves to talk Hawks. I also understand that radio is a ratings game. But if you are a ‘sports talk’ station then you should talk all sports relevant to the city and any national stories that have merit. If you don’t talk about the Mariners you are excluding a part of your audience.
KJR should change their identity to football radio and talk Seahawks, Huskies, Cougars and Pee Wee football. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and was a Seahawk season ticket holder for eight years., but sports talk jocks like to denigrate fans who are frontrunners, and by essentially blackballing talk about the Mariners, KJR is nothing if not being a front runner. Seahawks win; Mariners don’t. We talk Hawks; we don’t talk Mariners. That is a front runner.
If I played for the Mariners, and next year during spring training and the opening of the season, if KJR came down from their front-running high horse and condescended to ask for an interview, I would say go to talk with Doug Baldwin.
The other sports talk station in town, 710 ESPN Seattle, is also spending more and more time talking Hawks. They are the flagship station of the Mariners, but they too want Hawk talk. At least they had Jayson Stark discuss why the Mariners were doing so poorly.
I don’t know what happens in other cities, but I hope to explore that as my cities sports talk stations will spend more hours talking about Russell Wilson’s contract than they will spend on a years worth of Nelson Cruz talk.
It might be a good thing the Sonics are gone and that the NHL is not coming anytime soon. There is no room for them on the airways. Unless they might win of course, but then the Seahawks would first have to lose.
I am a 12. I love the Seahawks, have for years. The way the Super Bowl was lost by the Hawks on Sunday was devastating, crushing, depressing, unreal, unbelievable. The local talk radio airwaves are filled with fans ranting and raving in despair and anger. It was the wrong play they say. Of course they wouldn’t say that if the play worked. But the Beast should have been given the ball.
There is a cure for the Seahawk blues and that is for the Mariners to have a great season. By doing so our minds will be diverted from pain. I won’t say anything about healing process. The wound will go away, but the scar will remain until we are buried-or cremated. I want my ashes in either a Mariner or Dodger urn and given to the Hall of Fame. Either that or have my ashes put in a rosin bag.
But back to the matter at hand. Seahawk 12’s need diversion, something to cheer about. Without it we will go insane with grief and sorrow. Or go into a violent rage out of frustration. The Mariners need to step up and help Hawk 12’s by winning. Not just having a good season, not just falling one game short of the playoffs as in 2014. No they must win, win win. They must crush the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs, then beat whoever in the World Series.
If the Mariners fall short, even worse, not make the playoffs (I will never attend an M’s games again if not in playoffs) then Seattle reverts to that city of sports failure. The Sonics were stolen by the 21st century version of carpetbaggers. The Seahawks blew the Super Bowl. The Mariners continue to flounder like a dying seal in Elliot Bay.
The baseball season can not come soon enough. We need to be rescued from the sea of despair by the Mariners.
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.
Diving right into Elliot Bay flotsam I have predictions based on trends, history, and a mental disease.
Robinson Cano, with no protection in the lineup, will hit .257 with 21 homers and 62 rbis, locking up the Chone Figgins Award given only to a Seattle Mariner, due to the fact all their free agents turn out like Figgins.
Corey Hart goes 2-3 with a homer on opening day, but in his fourth at bat slides awkwardly into second and suffers a deviated rectum and is out for the season. Mariner fans are happy that it was not a knee injury. Conversely, Logan Morrison bats .216 with 6 homers and 38 at bats. Unfortunately he lasts the entire season as Mariner fans do not understand how he avoids a knee injury.
Franklin Gutierrez gets off to good start batting .265 with 15 homers, 46 rbis at the all-star break. But during batting practice following the all-star game he collapses, is rushed to the hospital where he is diagnosed with a sickness which baffles doctors all over the world, including Dr. Who. Franklin, however, is honored when they name the new disease Gutitis, a disease so mysterious it has no symptoms.
Taijuan Walker finishes the season 7-16, but leads the league with a 1.27 ERA and strikeouts per inning with 10.8. Meanwhile Felix Hernandez is traded to the New York Yankees for Ichiro, Michael Pineda, and an autographed picture of Phil Rizzuto.
Justin Smoak bats .238 with 22 homers and 19 rbis. That is not a typo. Justin becomes first player in history to have fewer rbis than home runs, but sabermetricians do the math and verify the numbers. Mariner GM, Trader Jack, believes Justin is one year away from stardom. He gives Justin the vote of confidence from his room at Western State sanatorium.
Chris Hansen, who was stiffed by the NBA to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle as the Sonics, buys the Mariners from Nintendo. Safeco Field is renamed SubMariner Park after Subway buys naming right to stadium. Team also changes name to SubMariners and in press statement from Hansen, he states the name has nothing to do with the teams performance, but is meant to honor submarine sailors stationed at the naval base in Bremerton.
Mariner fans excited for 2015 with new owner, new stadium name, new team name, new manager Wally Backman, rumors of Mark McGwire coming out of retirement to DH for Seattle, and offer to all fans in attendance in 2015 with free sub sandwich each night Mariners attendance exceeds 1,200 on Mondays when Monday Night Football is on and Seahawks play anybody.
These predictions were written with the assistance of Trader Jack, my roommate at Western State. Happy New Year!
It came as no surprise to me, nor will it surprise anyone in the Pacific Northwest, that the City of Seattle is rated # 1 as the Most Miserable Sports City.
The misery in no way reflects the ambiance of either Safeco Field or Century Link Field, (better know as The Clink). Both venues are among the best in sports. Nor does it have anything to do with the fine food (gag) in these venues, though it may have something to do with the pricing.
No the misery comes from futility, including getting to the brink of championships, then losing.
Consider that the Seahawks, Mariners, Pilots, and Sonics have a cumulative total of 115 seasons. They have one championship, the 1979 Sonics, some 34 years ago.
Consider also that the Pilots lasted one year in Seattle before a used car salesman in Milwaukee bought the franchise and moved it out of Seattle, changing the name to the Brewers. Then the franchise was moved to the National League to further distance themselves from the Emerald City. Speaking of moving, The Sonics changed colors, changed their nickname, and are now disguised as the Oklahoma City Blunder-I mean Thunder.
And despite what looked like a shoo-in for getting the Sacramento Kings, NBA commissioner David Stern, who likes Seattle as much as he would like a Charlotte-Portland NBA championship, let the Kings stay in Sacramento, stiffing the fine city of Seattle.
And keep in mind when the Mariners won 116 games in 2001 they lost in the first round of the playoffs. That is misery. Want more misery? How about the Seahawks getting to the 2005 Super Bowl only to outplay and outgain the Pittsburgh Steelers, and have more than one controversial call go against the Hawks. Years later one of the referees even apologized to the Seahawks. Thanks ref!
Yes, it has been miserable for Seattle, especially the years that the University of Washington football team was coached by Tyrone Willingham. Technically it does not count. But misery loves company, so they say, so why not pile on more miserable company. It’s great to be number 1.
If you have not bought the DVD of “42” about Jackie Robinson, here is my film review: http://terrynelson.net/42.html
Friday night, September 21, the Texas Rangers in town. A division rival, a tough playoff team that has been to the World Series the last two seasons. Should be a big draw. Especially because it is Fan Appreciation Night.
It is a night of give-aways, not cheap ones, usually autographed merchandise and other wonderful stuff that fans flock to every year hoping to get some precious goodies.
Not this year. Only 17, 893 fans show up. The meager Friday night crowd certainly increases the odds of winning something. Wish I had been there. But like most years I would have come away empty-handed. It is a theme of my life. In the past there would be twice as many people in the stands to appreciate another losing season. This year every fan must have gotten something.
The message is clear. Fans are tired of losing, tired of Mariner ownership, tired of poor Mariner public relations regarding their opposition to the new arena that Chris Hanson wants to build, and will build, whether Howard Lincoln likes it or not.
They say they are fine with an arena, but in reality they want it far from Sodo. Downtown Seattle or Bellevue would be fine. It has been reported that Lincoln has told Hanson that he is coming after him and his proposal for an arena in the Sodo district. Not a personal threat, strictly political and business. Lincoln does not want the new kid on the block.
The Mariners have lost fans to the Sounders and will lose more fans when Seattle gets the Sonics back in town. And the reason is the Mariners refusal to seriously pursue top players, make bold trades, do anything to bring a winning team to Seattle baseball fans.
If the Mariners want to make lots of money, they need to spend money to make money. It is an old business adage. It works. So Mr. Lincoln, spend the money for players. Get in a pennant race, get to the playoffs, with luck the World Series. Then watch the money roll in.
You have until the Sonics return. You are on the clock.
To the sports fans in the Pacific Northwest, especially those of the Seattle Supersonics, a beloved team that was sold down the dustbowl by the city of Seattle and the NBA, Chris Hanson is Santa Claus. To Mariner ownership Chris Hanson is Satan.
Chris Hanson has made an incredible offer to the city to build an arena, bringing a new Supersonic team back to the Emerald City along with an NHL team. Unless a billionaire offers to spend all his money to build an arena, this is the best offer the city will get. Hanson has been accommodating, willing to work with whatever the city throws his way. He does not threaten, does not intimidate; but does everything to please.
Despite their pleadings that they are not against the proposal, just the location, the Mariner ownership, led by Chuck Armstrong and Harold Lincoln are throwing up a smokescreen.
The Mariners were good at promoting. I used the word ‘were’ because attendance has fallen dramatically. Their marketing of family and kids has worn thin. There is only so much money to be spent by sports fans and if the Sonics and an NHL team come to Seattle, there is more competition for those precious dollars.
The Mariners do not want, nor do they like competition. If they did want to compete, they would have done a better job of bringing a winning team to Seattle. But they are content to be mediocre while making a huge profit the past ten years. They have said in the past their goal is not to get to the World Series. Obviously that goal has been easily attained. They would make more money by spending more wisely, trying to get to the World Series where they can make even more money.
Any good business, any good corporation, any organization, private or public, is only as good as its leadership. The team continues to have losing records. It reflects a losing ownership. Their attitude is selfish because they want to control the sports dollar. They are already getting killed by the Sounders whose soccer team draws huge crowds. Anymore competition for spring and early summer dollars will hurt them even more. They are insecure because they are afraid to compete. Bring back the Sonics.