Seattle Mariners: This Week in Walk-Up Music News

It’s been a sad time lately for the Mariners. Before Robinson Cano signed, the team was coming off a 71-91 season in which they struggled mightily. More importantly, outfielder Mike Morse and his A-ha walk-up music were traded.

I like rap as much as the next guy, but Morse’s usage of classic 80’s music was a breath of fresh air in terms of walk-up music. As a fan of 80’s music it’s nice to see, but when you can get the crowd to do this… well, let’s just say it’s entertaining.

The Mariners’ newest acquisition, Corey Hart, will go a long way to replacing and or improving on the production Morse gave the Mariners.

No, not that Corey Hart. Corey Hart, the former Brewer who M’s GM Jack Zduriencik drafted during his time with the Brewers.

“Sunglasses at Night” may be a slight downgrade from A-ha and the Eurhythmics (another Morse walk-up favorite), but Hart’s on-field play will likely pay bigger dividends than Morse’s.

Seattle Mariners: Why the Team Should Trade for Matt Kemp

The Seattle Mariners reportedly had conversations with the Dodgers about incumbent outfielder Matt Kemp.

Kemp is reportedly not being moved, but the M’s should maintain interest in the two-time All-Star.

After the ambitious, low-buy acquisitions of Logan Morrison and Corey Hart, the team’s lineup will look something like this-

  1. CF Dustin Ackley
  2. 3B Kyle Seager
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. DH Corey Hart (he only wears sunglasses when it’s sunny, just so we’re clear)
  5. 1B Logan Morrison
  6. LF Michael Saunders
  7. C Mike Zunino
  8. SS Brad Miller
  9. RF Abraham Almonte

That’s a pretty solid lineup. In terms of the division standings, that group would probably get you higher than the Astros, and should the pitching hold up, above the Angels. If Hart and Morrison can have bounce-back years, and (again) pitching forbid, the team has a good chance to surpass Texas.

Acquiring Kemp would vault them past Texas and the Angels. Something that seemed absurd four months ago. Oakland may be out of reach, but bringing in Matt Kemp would put the Mariners in a position to legitimately contend for a Wild Card berth.

The Dodgers’ outfielder would bring a perfect blend of, well, everything to the Mariners. Kemp’s defense would shine in still-spacious Safeco Field. Hitting him cleanup in the lineup listed above could be potentially lethal. Imagine this-

  1. RF Abraham Almonte
  2. 3B Kyle Seager
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. CF Matt Kemp
  5. DH Corey Hart (he still only wears sunglasses when it’s sunny)
  6. 1B Logan Morrison
  7. LF Michael Saunders
  8. C Mike Zunino
  9. SS Brad Miller

Almonte is the “projected” leadoff hitter only based on the fact that he has the foot speed to create at the top of the order, and Ackley can’t play right field. A leadoff hitter would probably be the next item on the Mariners’ to-do list. Ackley could be traded in an effort to get one.

The Yankees, among others, have inquired about the former first-round pick.  Ideally, Seattle could flip Ackley and one of their lesser relievers for one of their incumbent outfielders, Brett Gardner. Here’s another lineup prediction with Gardner (bear with me on this)-

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. 3B Kyle Seager
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. CF Matt Kemp
  5. DH Corey Hart
  6. 1B Logan Morrison
  7. RF Michael Saunders/Abraham Almonte
  8. C Mike Zunino
  9. SS Brad Miller

That lineup would contend with Oakland for the division. Not only could that lineup, coupled with the Mariners’ underrated pitching staff, contend with Oakland, but they could compete with the best of them. Outside of Detroit, St. Louis, Los Angeles and a regressing (for the moment) Boston, Seattle could have the most talented team.

This isn’t even mentioning former top-prospects Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Nick Franklin, all of whom could be shopped to add to the M’s bullpen or rotation.

Getting to this point won’t be easy. Seattle’s going to have to take on some money as well as give up a solid player or two to acquire Kemp. The other trades won’t be cakewalks, but should the Mariners do it, they could be looking at a playoff berth for the first time in a long, long time.


Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson Providing Team with Long-Term Quarterback Stability

In the NFL, “stability” is a funny word. However, that’s what the Seattle Seahawks have with star quarterback Russell Wilson.

Sure, Andy Dalton and Phillip Rivers provide quarterback stability. But unless they have superb, and I mean superb, supporting casts they aren’t winning much.

Russell Wilson provides that stability, and supporting cast or no, can win you something. The Seahawks have always had a strong defense during Wilson’s time, but the receiving corps hasn’t always been consistent. Part of that has to do with the Seahawks’ quarterback’s tendency to spread the ball around, but that’s not all of it.

As stated, regardless of the supporting cast, Wilson is good enough to put his team in a position to win.

This kind of stability is something that the Seahawks needed.

Everyone knew Matt Hasselbeck had a glass ceiling. He was fantastic when he played for the Seahawks, but he had an expiration date, and everyone knew that. Hasselbeck was always a good, but not great, QB.

Russell Wilson is a great quarterback. He was good last year, and he’s taken the step up to great this season.

Wilson brings a sense of long-term stability that we’ve never seen at the quarterback position before in Seattle.

Quarterback may be the most important and/or scrutinized position in sports. Period. Watching a Seahawks game with Russell Wilson and being able to say, “Ok, he’s our QB for the next decade. We’re going to win, we’re going to be fine.” That’s a nice statement to be able to say.

Throw in the fact that we’ve seen the likes of Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Flynn under center in Seattle and having Russell Wilson seems even better.

Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners: The Importance of the Signing

Robinson Cano is a member of the Seattle Mariners. Let it all set in.

The Mariners are trying, folks.

People can talk all they want about Cano’s production. How fantastic it will be for the first couple years. How it will look bad at the back end. How many runs he will drive in next year.

Take Cano’s on-field production aside, this is what people need to consider with Cano. He’s a marquee signing.

Yes, I just stated the obvious, but I’ll compare it to the Knicks signing Amar’e Stoudemire a couple years ago. The Knicks stunk before they signed Stoudemire, but signing him to go along with all the pieces that they had made them an instant playoff team. I’m not saying the M’s will do this, but they still have a lot of holes to fill. Signing Cano signifies a shift made by the Mariners in the free agency market. It signals that star players are willing to go to Seattle.

No one has wanted to come to the Emerald City lately. Star players at least. Seattle whiffed on Josh Hamilton, lost out on Prince Fielder and was turned down by Justin Upton. Who could blame them? They were all in their primes at the time and wanted to go to winning teams to do just that, win. The M’s weren’t a winning team. Sure, give it three or four years and Seattle could become a contender, but at that time they weren’t ready.

Signing Cano helps the Mariners in two ways in terms of helping them attract other players. Not only does it signal that star players want to come to the Pacific Northwest, it also means that the M’s will improve. Even if Seattle doesn’t acquire anyone else of note (an unlikely situation), Cano immediately makes them better.

The former Yankee isn’t the LeBron James of baseball. People aren’t going to hit free agency and say, “I want to go play with Robbie Cano. Agent, get me on the next flight to Seattle!” But at least they’re going to listen when Jack Zduriencik comes calling.

Adding another big name player via trade or free agency could do wonders for the M’s. Not only will it add to the misconception that big players don’t want to go to Seattle, but it will also take the M’s to another level in terms of competing. I don’t necessarily mean the World Series. Seattle is a number of pieces away from that, the playoffs, or at the very least a wild-card game isn’t out of the question. Oakland will be better next year, but outside of that, each division team has its warts. Anaheim continues to look like a terrific team on paper, but looks average when you see the actual statistics. Texas was already hurting from losing the power bats of Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, but now with the losses of Nelson Cruz, David Murphy and Ian Kinsler, the Rangers will suffer even more.

Seattle has a legitimate shot to make the playoffs if it can get some more reinforces for their new poster child Robinson Cano. If the team can pick up David Price and/or Matt Kemp to add to a nucleus of Cano, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyle Seager and Danny Farquhar, then the future is looking bright in Seattle.

Just like signing Amar’e opened the door for the Knicks to get Carmelo Anthony and eventually Tyson Chandler, Cano will open the door to other exciting options for the Mariners.

The Seattle Seahawks’ Most Important Win of the Season

The Seattle Seahawks’ most important win of the season was not the thrashing they gave the San Francisco 49ers on a wet Sunday night in mid-September. Nor was it their recent thumping of the Saints. Well, if it wasn’t two of the teams’ primetime, nationally televised games, which game was it?

It was the 12-7 victory the Seahawks opened the year with. The one that they ground out over the Carolina Panthers.

The Carolina Panthers.

Coming into the year, San Francisco was/is going to be tough. Houston was very good last year, as was Atlanta. Indianapolis and Minnesota both looked like they were on the upswing. The Giants certainly aren’t going to be an easy game. Of all the teams the Seahawks have played this year, who would have thought Carolina would be the most important?

Most people, myself included, probably thought Carolina was going to be a somewhat difficult game. Tougher than, as say, a game against Jacksonville, but nowhere near as tough as a game versus New York or Minnesota. This is all before the season, mind you.

As it stands, Seattle owns tie-breakers over projected NFC playoff teams New Orleans, San Francisco and Carolina. Regardless of what happens this Sunday, San Francisco probably isn’t going to catch Seattle for the NFC West title. That being said, the Seahawks biggest competition for home-field advantage will come from one of its’ NFC South contemporaries.

With Seattle owning a tie-breaker over both teams, it would take something truly catastrophic, and nearly impossible, for the Seahawks to lose home-field advantage. However, one of these teams could put the pressure on Pete Carroll’s squad. That team is the Panthers. If you look at it purely based on momentum, and the fact that the Panthers and Saints play twice in the next two weeks, you would pick Carolina.

New Orleans laid an egg in Seattle, which judging on the Seahawks’ play this year, isn’t too big of a deal. Still, the Saints aren’t necessarily on a hot streak. That is exactly what the Panthers are on. Cam Newton and company have won eight straight games.

At the end of the season, the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC will likely go through Seattle. The Seahawks should get home-field advantage without too much of a fuss, but Carolina will make it close. Thank goodness the Hawks beat them earlier in their schedule.