With so much going on in the world of sports right now, I have to blog today in Larry King USA Today style. Yep it’s time for quick hitters like old Larry used to confuse the masses with. King’s former column was described by the New York Times upon its demise as “A weekly offering studded with plugs, superlatives and dropped names – all usually in close proximity to one another”. While name dropping and plugs aren’t my style, I do promise superlatives and close proximity. Rest assured though, I will not wax poetic about Frank Sinatra, critique any restaurants or break down my thought on a Broadway play or musical. And away we go…
NCAA Championship: Take Michigan over Louisville for all the marbles. Trey Burke and company are too young and athletic to know they shouldn’t beat the Cardinals. Shades of the Fab 5 with this Michigan group and reports that Jalen Rose has been working with Burke to keep them focused on the prize! NO TIMEOUTS! Louisville playing for Kevin Ware, but they really miss him on the floor. Foul trouble could and probably will be their undoing.
Mariners: Home opener and all the excitement that comes with it tonight. M’s are improved offensively; Morse and Morales seem to be solid additions. Not a fan of the M’s trying to nickname Morse “Beast”, no matter how many long-balls he strokes. In the name of Skittles and Marshawn Lynch can we not come up with something more original? “Re-Morse”…”Morse Code”…ok, so those aren’t great either, but c’mon.
Worried about Smoak and Ackley? Both are off to slow starts. Smoak concerns me more. His body of work over the YEARS has shown him to not be a cornerstone to build upon. Time to send him packing by the All-Star break and move Morales to 1st, bring up Zunino behind the dish and give the DH job to Montero. All will be upgrades. Ackley was rushed to the majors and it’s showing. He may need some the time in the minors he never really got to turn things around for the long haul.
The one nice thing about the M’s this year is a new feeling surrounding the squad. This team has some power for the first time in forever. You never feel out of ballgame. Hopefully this new offense will generate some fan interest that is burnt out on garlic fries, the King’s Court and choo-choo train giveaway night as the only reasons to hit Safeco Field.
Sonics/Kings: Pick your appropriate song title for this one: Should I stay or should I go? Or “Money Changes Everything”. Chris Hansen and company have done their work. Their presentation appears to be very solid and enticing to other NBA owners. That being said, I have been impressed with the efforts of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Don’t we all wish our Seattle and state politicians would have unearthed every stone the way he has when carpetbagger Clay Bennett came to town and pulled off his Sonic heist?
Both cities deserve teams, but money will be the deciding factor here. Look for more dollars coming from Chris Hansen before it is all said and done. David $tern wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus other owners don’t want to set a precedent allowing franchise sales to be overturned in this way even if they are rewarding the Maloofs while holding their collective noses.
Hall of Fame: Glove in, Haywood out. Happy for GP, well deserved. Those that question his HOF credentials either don’t know the game or didn’t see him play here in our “part unknown” locale called the Pacific Northwest, either way shame on you. Defense and leadership were Gary’s strengths. Find me an NBA coach that doesn’t want to build his franchise around those qualities. No Glove, no love and certainly no trip to the Finals for the Sonics in 96. Timing is everything, if not for a man named Jordan, GP would have brought another Championship banner to Seattle.
As for Spencer Haywood, the rebuff is familiar. How it went down this year is atrocious. Erroneously told he was in, only to find out it was a mistake…heartbreaking. It’s a travesty. Next time you sing the HOFpraises of Lebron, Kobe, and KG, realize that Haywood was the trail blazer that bucked the NBA system to allow college players in early. He made it possible for these guys to go straight from high school to the Association. It’s still being held against him despite 14 seasons, 20 and 10 career numbers, 4-All Star appearances, an NBA title and an Olympic gold medal. Somewhere the Wheedle is crying! Hopefully a wrong will be righted next year coinciding with the Supes return to the Emerald City
Lightning Round: I know that just barely scratches the surface, so…
I like the A’s in the West and to take it all this season. Worry less about who the Seahawks back-up QB is and more about the “improving by the day” NFC West. Enough with the faux astonishment over Auburn’s alleged cheating. Boeing Boeing opening April 19th at the Seattle Rep looks outstanding. You can’t beat the Frenched Rib Chop at El Gaucho and why does the song “There used to be a Ballpark” always come to mind this time of year
Damn. Larry got the best of me again.