2013 Season Is A Lock: Mike Morse Edition

The Mariners have already secured a softer landing in the AL West for 2013, though it’s not thanks to new players Jason Bay, Kendrys Morales or Raul Ibanez. And now it won’t be thanks to sloppy seconds with outfielder Mike Morse, lately of the Washington Nationals, and as of a trade today a Mariner anew.  The thanks lie, of course, with Houston and the hapless Astros, whom Seattle fans are relying on to bring up the AL West rear.

Nonetheless, Morse is a potentially interesting acquisition.  He managed a .291 average last year, with 18 HRs sprinkled in. That average is better than anyone on the Mariners for 2012.

And, like Ibanez, Morse knows what it is to wear teal on your hat and seems to be a fan of Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch.


The Atlanta Falcons and the Art of Coming Up Meh

Dunta Robinson looks for something to hold onto while he and the Falcons defense weathered the Seahawks storming back in yesterday's divisional playoff game.

Dunta Robinson looks for something to hold onto while he and the Falcons defense weathered the Seahawks storming back in yesterday’s divisional playoff game.

In earning their league-best 14th win of the season and notching the franchise’s first playoff victory since 2005, the Atlanta Falcons proved that no team in the league takes more care to ensure that their vanquished opponents feel good about themselves.

Most teams—including the lowly Raiders, the QB-poor Cardinals, and the better-than-their-record Panthers—leave the Georgia Dome believing (often with just cause) that four times out of five, they would have won the game they just lost. The Seattle Seahawks certainly have to feel that way after narrowly losing to the Falcons despite coming back from a 20-point deficit by scoring 21-unanswered points in the first 14-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter of yesterday’s divisional playoff game. It’s hometown paper apparently does. The Seattle Times went with the relatively chipper headline: “Playoff loss hurts, but Seahawks will be back.”

After the game, all Russell Wilson could talk about was how excited he was for next season. The Falcons didn’t demoralize the seemingly unflappable rookie QB, they emboldened him. Whoops.

At halftime, it appeared that the Falcons, which in three of the past four seasons have come up small in the playoffs, were about to have their coming out party. But, by the fourth quarter the Falcons that we fans have been in an unhealthy relationship with for decades reared their heads, proving incapable of picking up first downs on offense and not surrendering them on D. They won the game on thanks to a drive authored by the aptly named Matty Ice. Great, but, c’mon man, we had a 20-point lead at home with 15 minutes to play?

Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson put it best, or rather put it as I have many times in the past: “”We’ve got to develop a killer mentality. We don’t put people away well enough when we get the chance.”

A win’s a win, I know, but when you play the Falcons, the NFL’s most considerate franchise, the door’s always open—both to you stealing a win and to the Dirty Birds coming up small.

…But For Those 25 Seconds

Against Atlanta, the Seahawks came up small in many ways today. Like the entire first half. And the Marshawn Lynch fumble. And that 4th and 1 play selection. And their disorganization after that sack.

And, in the end, they came up small with just 25 seconds to spare.



Just a few short months until pitchers and catchers report.

The Redskins Really DO Love Losing to Seattle

griffinGimpy sauce!

The Little League that Could, but Probably Won’t

It took 113 days of bitterness, mistrust, recrimination and name calling, but as in many a bad marriage, the NHL and its players kissed and made up yesterday, reaching a tentative agreement that appears to have ended the lockout and rescued the 2012/13 NHL season.

Had this weekend’s marathon negotiation failed to resolve the sides’ differences, hockey fans faced the likelihood of losing an entire season to CBA brinksmanship for the second time in eight years. Amazingly, rabidly loyal fans had continued to stream through the gates even after the catastrophe of 04/05. League revenues last year reached a record $3.3 billion. Still, the league clearly had a long way to go even before this year’s lockout. The recently inked 10 year TV deal with NBC pays a paltry $200 million per year. Compare this with the NBA’s current deal, set to expire in 2016, which is worth $930 million annually. But NHL owners don’t seem to mind because they rely on gate receipts (i.e., fan loyalty) for nearly half their yearly take.

How is it, you ask, that a league so dependent on its fans caring enough to show up, and with so much market share yet to gain, could come so near the brink of fan-alienating disaster? The short answer, friends, is that Garry Bettman and his band of merry pranksters run an entire league that comes up small; that’s small as in petty, myopic, and head-scratchingly obtuse; small with a lower-case s. Yes, they’ve put it all behind them for the next decade, but this is still the league that allowed Fox to superimpose comet trails on live action.foxtrax8xo

So let’s not waste anyone’s time dissecting the new agreement or rehashing the agonizing negotiations that produced it. And we certainly won’t pat anyone in the league office on the back. Instead, what better way to celebrate the imminent start of the NHL season than by taking a quick look at some even less successful pro leagues. Congratulations, Gary Bettman, you’ve come up bigger, than these guys:

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Smallness Imminent: Seahawks vs. Redskins

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.


The Skins Love Losing to the Seahawks

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