Worlds collide this weekend when the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. One of those teams will come up small. And the good money is on the Redskins again disappointing ComingUpSmall colleague Washdz. Combine the Seahawks’ recent scoring proficiency — 170 points in four games — with their maturing defense, and factor in Robert Griffin’s sore knee and one can expect some sad faces in Raljon, MD.
But there’s one other factor: the Redskins love losing to the Seahawks in the playoffs:
Jan. 5, 2008: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14
Jan. 14, 2006: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10
Is Raul Ibanez the answer? General Manager Jack Zduriencik thinks so. Ibanez will get his third go with the Mariners in 2013 and ComingUpSmall is pretty sure it’s not a home run. The man will turn 41 as a Mariner next year and at .240 last year he was not a sure thing in the batting order. But he’s got some power and could launch a few over Safeco’s new more hitter-friendly confines.
Zduriencik has been doing some interesting things this offseason, including trading away one of the Mariners’ most consistent pitchers of 2012 — Jason Vargas — for some oomph in the lineup by way of Kendrys Morales. Of course, Morales is a first baseman just like perpetual future-superstar Justin Smoak. That could set up some intrigue in spring training this year.
With these moves in place, C.U.S. predicts the Mariners will not finish last in the AL West. Thank you, Houston Astros.
Squawks fans are understandably thrilled with what has turned out to be their best season in recent memory. They are on the precipice of the postseason and are not pushovers, having beaten heavyweights Green Bay and New England.
That’s all about to change.
The Seahawks have gotten this far on the strength of their defense. But the league has suspended cornerback Brandon Browner for the final four games of the season, which includes a crucial home game against the 49ers, for testing positive for attention deficit disorder drug Adderall.
Here’s the rub: Richard Sherman, Browner’s fellow cornerback, may be out too for taking the same pills. That leaves some big holes in the secondary.
If the Hawks can get into the postseason Browner can return, but the trip to get there will be that much harder.
Never underestimate the inexplicable allure to Mariners management of signing an athlete with local roots. How else to explain their signing of Jason Bay, who spends the offseason in the Seattle area and went to Gonzaga in eastern Washington State?
Bay has not been impressive as a Met. His batting average dropped in every year since his first with the New York team, when he managed just .259 and 6 home runs. He was also injury-prone: sustaining concussions and rib injuries.
To be fair, at $1 million for a year with the Mariners, with only $500,000 in guaranteed money, it appears the deal is not overly expensive and could be a bargain if the 34-year-old can turn things around.
And the Mariners are still wooing Josh Hamilton to Washington State [insert marijuana joke here]. Would be nice for once to have a household name on the field that’s not playing for the other team.