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.
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.
The title of this post appears in this story about alternate NBA unis. Coolio. It’s apt, and the subtitle on the story is sad as only Cleveland sports things are sad. Also, the man who wrote it apparently has a Pulitzer Prize.
There should be no more undecideds in northern Ohio. Just sayin’.
Paul Ryan Mistakes Colt McCoy for Brandon Weeden.
Condi shoulda cold-cocked him.
Huzzah! The 2012 Brownies duck the ignominy of a franchise-record losing streak, a possible winless season, and maybe drafting quarterbacks in the first round two years in a row. Basking in the glow of competence, y’all!
It’s interesting, people seemed to feel very confident overall the Browns were going to win this game, despite the Bengals generally being the better team. On Cleveland.com, something like 57% of people thought they were going to win. Several other sources picked them as well. Hm. Wishful thinking? Perhaps it was a sign–the team had managed to be competitive, sometimes with strong defense and other times with an offense that appeared to working. Maybe new narrative in play–one of the youngest teams in the league comes together, just at the moment that the aging juggernauts of the division begin their inexorable declines. And this win was the first moment of the decade in which the AFC North and several Super Bowls finally belong to Cleveland? I saw the movie Looper over the weekend (it’s quite good, though hard for the father of a young son to watch at times), and by the rubric of the movie, this vision of the future is one possible vision, made fuzzy by constantly shifting probabilities. Writing this very very narrowly-read blog post has shifted the future just a little (actually, prolly not). Maybe Weeden stumbles across it while Googling his name. Maybe he’s inspired to not stare down his receivers so much. Things are becoming clearer now: 3-13?
“Oh my goodness, it was like a big weight off everybody’s shoulders,” said Joe Haden, who returned from his four-game suspension for taking meth (okay, it was Adderall–still meth, more or less). “It felt like we won the Super Bowl, honestly. Everybody’s excited.”
Oof. That quote brought a little smile to my face until I realized how sad that must sound to teams and fans that have actually won titles or gone to the playoffs regularly in the last decade or so. I like Haden a lot, but it’s like a little kid putting on a suit that’s way too big for him and marching around the room handing out business cards. It’s just a little too adorable. Charles Woodson wants to pat him on the head.
I like this one a little better: “It says they never give up,” said Cribbs (of the Cleveland fans). “We were 0-5 and they’re still packing the house. That’s why this is Believeland and we’re right there with them.”
Braves come up small in first ever MLB wild card game. The important stats: three errors, four unearned run surrendered, and 12 men left on base.
The worst part: Chipper Jones, in what turned out to be his last game as big leaguer, made the first and most costly error, which led to three Cardinal runs. (Click the photo to see it.)
Not a recipe for a win.