Mariners - HEY NOW! Erik Bedard! First of all, I automatically hate anyone who spells Erik with a K. You're not a viking, STOP IT!
Second of all, we're looking at a left-handed power-pitching strikeout-machine. I believe we've found the greatest 1-2 punch in M's history since Randy Johnson & Chris Bosio or Bob Wells & Paul Abbott. Felix and Bedard ... you're looking at 500+ strikeouts this year if they stay healthy. You're looking at Felix another year older, sans pressure to be THE one and only guy. With a second anchor holding down the boat, with a couple steady freddies in Carlos Silva and Miguel Batista, and the 5th Best 5th Man In Baseball in Jarrod Washburn, I'm seeing an entertaining season forthcoming.
And what have we lost? We lost prospects who are what we think they are: prospects. We don't know! Adam Jones COULD be the next Griffey ... but it's more likely he'll be the next Jose Cruz Jr: lots of upside, but when it boils right down to it, a good-looking .250 hitter with marginal speed and enough talent to be a career backup/disappointment. Yes, losing George Sherrill weakens what was once our biggest strength - our bullpen and our lefty specialist - but we've still got Eric O’Flaherty who held left handers to a .183 batting average in mostly long-relief situations. We've got Ryan Rowland-Smith who had solid major league experience last year, and if we can get ANYTHING out of Arthur Rhodes (non-roster invitee), I'm not worried in the least. We still HAVE Brandon Morrow in the 8th inning, as well as the greatest closer in baseball, J.J. Putz.
Losing prospects won't keep us out of the playoffs. That job falls to our 1-9. Lots of guys had career years last year. Or, at the very least, they played above expectations. With expectations now raised, can we count on Beltre and Ibanez to continue producing? Can we expect full seasons out of Betencourt, Lopez, and Johjima? Are there any little league pitchers who fear the combo of Richie Sexson and Brad Wilkerson (I can almost guarantee they bat 5 and 6 in the lineup next year, pencil in plenty of back-to-back strikeouts at curve balls in the dirt)? You got me, I'm finally sold on this Ichiro guy, and I guess I'll take Jose Vidro's .300 batting average, but it's going to take more than two powerless on-base machines to score enough runs. I know our rotation is new and improved, but the back-end is going to need 5 runs minimum to win any games and you never know when Felix is going to give up a Grand Salami.
I'm cautiously excited for the upcoming season; I'm also vigorously rooting for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman to throw out their shoulders. I'm tired of the Mariners being made the fool in these lopsided trades for prospects!
Redskins - Look who hired Jim Zorn as their head coach! Way to go Zorny, I hope you crush the NFC East in the years to come.
Seahawks - And the award for least-surprising coaching agreement goes to: Jim Mora being guaranteed to be head coach in '09! He's a quality motivator, he's young and energetic, he's a "players coach" ... sounds to me like all the ingredients required for a winning COLLEGE coach, but okay, I'll bite. Consider me bathing in the Jim Mora Kool Aid. He just better not fuck up this good thing we've got going up here.
Tacoma - Look who's getting the U.S. Open in 2015! I knew you could do it?
Suns - Wow. This could either give them the title or be the biggest blunder in NBA history. How happy is Miami to be rid of the albatross that is Shaq's 20 mil? PER season, as in plural, more than one season. Wow. Does this mean Phoenix will be playing 4 on 5 while Shaq takes the entire shot clock to run down court? Can we expect Phoenix to start scoring in the 80s? The Phoenix Suns: Home Of The Semi-Mobile 3-Second Violation!
Sonics - I thought this was an amusing line after Earl Watson had a triple double the other night in a rare Sonics victory: Jason Kidd 98, Earl Watson 1. Yeah, I'd expect Earl to close in on 98 triple doubles any decade now.