The Redskins and Seahawks face off this weekend in a clash of ComingUpSmall mainstays. One will come up small.
There are any number of ways to attempt to glean the outcome, including Las Vegas lines, past meetings (see: The Skins Love Losing to the Seahawks, below), road and home records, etc. We present to you, reader, an alternative means of judging Sunday’s contest.
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:
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.
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.
A win over the Steelers means it is not a wasted year, I suppose. Even if Chaz Batch and Plaxico Burress were involved. Eventually the Steelers are going to have to suck, right? Ravens, too. Regression to the mean and such. And then the Browns can progress to the mean. Based on the last decade, statistically, that means we’re winning the next five Super Bowls straight, starting next year. Mark it down–the numbers don’t lie.
Mariners fans had precious little to cheer these past few years, save for King Felix’s perfect game and these snazzy throwback unis:
The team finished last in the AL West for the third straight year in 2012 and seventh time since 2004. But there’s good news on the horizon…the NL Central doormat Houston Astros are joining the division next year. With a meager .340 winning percentage, they were the worst team in all of baseball this year, for the second time in as many years.
One more candidate for the AL West cellar sounds like good news to me.
With the Nationals backing into the NL East division title tonight, following a Braves loss, they are on a much clearer path to the World Series. Along with the Reds, they own the best record in baseball and spent much of the season atop the standings. Should Washington find a way to win at least seven postseason games, they’ll leave the Seattle Mariners as the last remaining Major League Baseball team never to have been to the World Series.
Yet, back in 2001, when the Mariners appeared to be on the fast track to the big show, they had plenty of company among the World Series deficient: Houston, Colorado, Arizona, Anaheim, Washington, Tampa Bay and division-rival Texas. But as the Mariners sputtered in the playoffs against the Yankees, the Diamondbacks were on their way towards a Series win. Anaheim treated their fans to their first World Series (and World Series win) the next season, after a long 42-year wait. The Astros, 43 years overdue, found their way to the World Series in 2005. Colorado and Tampa Bay followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively, in their 15th and 11th seasons. Fans of the Rangers suffered longer, dating to their days as the second incarnation of the Washington Senators: 49-years. But Texas has been to the last two World Series.
Washington, combined with its time as the Montreal Expos, has been waiting a long time for such an opportunity, much longer than the Mariners who joined the league in a 1977 expansion. The 1981 Expos represent their only postseason entrant and the franchise has been around since 1969. Meanwhile, Mariners’ expansion classmate Toronto is a two-time World Series winner.
And while it’s been longer than most Cubs fans have been alive (1945) since Wrigley Field saw a World Series, the favorite Chicago franchise has at least been.
Whether the Nationals deliver Seattle one more black eye, remains to be seen. But the 2012 Mariners are definitely coming up small.