February 9, 2014 in Sports

M’s cold cash warms winter

A Grip On Sports
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle opened its wallet to pay closer Fernando Rodney $14 million for two years.
(Full-size photo)

On the Web

Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink.

Friday: I’m guessing the Putin wannabes running the Sochi Olympics would love our weather today.

Yes, it’s cold, but the Winter Olympics are supposed to be cold, right? They are the Winter Olympics. They aren’t usually held in a resort town known for its beaches.

But that’s what they’ve become. A television show sold to the highest bidder. Sort of like major college sports. But we covered that a bit yesterday in our discussion on the Wednesday night basketball games and signing day. So we won’t go there again.

Instead, let’s talk a warm-weather sport. Baseball. Yep, it’s just around the corner.

Yes, I know most of you have turned away from the Northwest’s major league team. I get it. I’m not going to get all excited either.

However, there seems to have been some sort of climate change in Seattle recently.

It started when Mariners president Chuck Armstrong announced his retirement. That small warm-up was followed by a heat wave, the $240-million contract bestowed upon free agent Robinson Cano. That was as unexpected as holding the Winter Olympics in a warm-weather city (Sochi is labeled “subtropical” if you didn’t know).

But one hot move doesn’t mean there will be a permanent thaw.

That’s why yesterday’s contract agreement (two years, $14 million) with reliever Fernando Rodney is so important. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Rodney. Yes, he can wing it upward of 100 miles per hour. And yes, he’s been one of the most prolific closers of the past decade. But Rodney is a bit of an enigma. I’m not talking about the way he wears his hat. Big deal. If he can strike out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth to seal a win, he can wear a clown nose as far as I’m concerned.

I’m more worried about his propensity to load those bases himself before he gets dialed in. That’s his MO. Still, the acquisition of Rodney just may be another sign the M’s have changed. They are spending money to fix holes in their roster. A big bat. A possibly lights-out closer. And all signs point to the notion they are not done. Another bat or arm may be in the offing. Whether they are spending wisely is a discussion for another day. Let’s just be happy they have exited their glacially slow rebuilding train and made some moves. Such largesse is welcome around here.

A lot more welcome than this morning’s snow.

Wednesday: No matter how cold it gets today, no matter how bad the traffic might be, no matter how much the boss yells at you before lunch, remember, it could be worse. You could be in Sochi, covering the Olympics.

We’re not going to get into the horror stories (and there are a lot, from no street signs to missing manhole covers) from non-Communist Russia today, because no one wants to hear journalists complain.

But I do want to pass along the story of the water that comes out of the taps from one of the hotels in the area. The folks at the hotel have been warned to not drink it – or even wash their face with it – because it isn’t all that safe. 

Three days before the opening ceremonies, that hotel was at least “almost” ready. There are a few that may not be ready for the closing ceremonies. But as long as NBC is able to show you downhill skiing and halfpipe, you’ll be cool, right? No big deal that they are rounding up the hundreds of stray dogs in the area and offing them, Sonny Corleone-style. It’s OK, as long as the events run on time.


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