A GRIP ON SPORTS
Today seems like a perfect day to talk about hot seats. After all, if you are outside and sit down, you are on one. But does the term really apply to anyone in the Mariners front office? Read on.
• If you are a fed-up Mariners fan, then Geoff Baker's blog post from last night is a must. I'll sit here patiently while you click the link and read it. (Soft elevator music plays in the background and a ticking sound can be heard.) OK, done? To be clear, I agree with just about everything Baker writes in this post and have written similarly in the past couple years. The M's problems are not just with the players on the field, the manager, the coaching staff, the GM and the other people under Howard Lincoln (right in picture) and Chuck Armstrong (left). The main problem is Lincoln and Armstrong. They are the common denominator with all the failures in the past decade-plus. Baker makes that abundantly clear. But there is more. I, unlike Baker, believe Armstrong and Lincoln are not all that good at managing the bottom line either. Yes, the M's are making money. But not as much as they could be. If the M's had invested wisely in players and management the past decade, the stands would be full – everyone latches on to a winner – and the TV ratings higher. Thus, the media deal quite possibly would have been worth even more and the value of the franchise even higher. Give them props for making the woeful Mariners a billion-dollar franchise, but ding them big time for being responsible for the woeful part. ... You know, I wouldn't be adverse to Baker writing these types of blog posts consistently over the next few months. We used to have an editor at the S-R who constantly quoted an old journalism saying about a newspaper's main role being to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Well, with all the losing, M's fans are the sports world's definition of afflicted. And the front office is way too comfortable with all of it. So it makes sense Baker should continue to afflict Lincoln and Armstrong, using their failures as the bludgeon. After all, they are the guys in charge. And they are the ones whose glutes should be roasting.
• WSU: The Cougars received a verbal commitment (announced first over Twitter by the player himself, mind you) from Tramaine Isabell, a Seattle-area point guard who will enroll in the fall of 2015. Christian Caple has more in this blog post. ... Ted Miller wants to attend the WSU vs. Cal game this fall. ... Phil Steele's preview magazine is out and there are some Cougar mentions.
• Gonzaga: Kelly Olynyk was introduced to the Boston media yesterday and the take there was similar to our take last week: Just what type of team Olynyk is joining is still to be decided. ... We know of one game on the GU schedule this fall. New Mexico State is coming in for a December visit. ... Women's assistant Julie Shaw is leaving for a head coaching position in Southern California. ... Is Kyle Wiltjer thinking about staying at Kentucky? ... A BYU star is getting valuable experience this summer.
• Preps: Lake City's Casey Stangel earned a national award last week. That news is part of Greg Lee's weekly youth notebook.
• Hoopfest: One last ode to the event, this one written by Lewis and Clark High graduate and current Seattle Times sports news assistant Kaelyn Sayles.
• Mariners: No game yesterday but there is some news, including more thoughts on the young core of the team from Ryan Divish and from Jerry Brewer. ... Taijuan Walker had another good outing for Tacoma. ... Larry Stone feels the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig belongs at the All-Star Game. So do, but I'm prejudiced, growing up a Dodger fan and all.
• I'm ticked. The official high yesterday was just 99 degrees, not triple digits. To do my part, I'm going to hit the golf course today, thus ensuring it will be at least 100 degrees out there. And, for once, my quest to shoot the temperature should be possible. So is heat exhaustion, but we'll try to keep hydrated. Until later ...