July 27th will end up being one of those Seattle Sports days I will likely never forget. I have to be honest, after the way the Mariners were mowed down last night in New York at the hand(s) of CC Sabathia, I really wasn’t sure how I wanted to treat today. I had the day off from work and going for a walk, feeding the homeless, or doing Hot Yoga seemed like better life goals for the day.
But I was up late last night, caught some extra Z’s and then I awoke to my iPhone buzzing like mad (y’all sleep with it on vibrate mode too, right?). Most people don’t bother to reach me in the morning, so I knew I was either getting fired from work or something important was happening. BOOM! I had to get up-to-speed!
Who is Robert Gallery? He is a former Iowa Hawkeye that was the #2 overall pick by the Raiders. He came into the league as an offensive tackle, “struggled” a bit and slid over to guard. The Raiders have not been an offensive juggernaut since Rich Gannon was working magic in the Bay Area, but Gallery was a key cog to a very impressive offensive line that sprung guys like Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas to some monster rushing totals the past few seasons.
(Note: JaMarcus Russell was at one point in time his starting QB… say what you will about the Seahawks current stable, nobody will be worse than Russell) Hawks Nation witnessed the dominance of Oakland’s line firsthand in 2010 when the Raiders smoked Seattle’s D-Line with ease. An ugly nightmare of a game. Gallery will do is best to duplicate that success here with former Oakland HC Tom Cable (now Seattle’s offensive line coach!).
Simple Boydwonder Analysis: The Hawks have needed a guard desperately (since Steve Hutchinson left for Minnesota in 2006) and to be a real contender, you MUST sure up the offensive line. The Acquisition? Thumbs up!
Switching gears to my heart, my rock, my soul: the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners were in New York for their 3rd game of the series and final game of a 9-game road trip. They had not won since July 5th in Oakland. 17 flippin’ losses later (and many antacids*) they finally won a ballgame!
* – Beers
17 hits today to end a 17-game losing streak. Dustin Ackley is showing early signs of Seattle rockstar status, Ichiro pretended it was 2004 and had 4 hits, and Mike Carp resembled a real DH (despite playing LF today – I think his future is at DH). And oh by the way, King Felix worked his magic and escaped from the slightest signs of trouble. The Mariners win, the Marrrrrrrrrrriners win!
Simple Boydwonder Analysis: As soon as I saw Brandon League and Josh Bard with an embrace at the pitcher’s mound, it finally clicked. The nightmare was over. There were smiles on faces that had not used those facial muscles in what felt like forever. The season is over in regards to “contention” but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from this and get better. End result? Loved it.
Back to the football team. I read reports kicker Olindo Mare (Panthers) and wide receiver Brandon Stokley (Redskins) were leaving town. And then Will Herring to the Saints. All three players had some key contributions in 2010 and were considered assets. Nothing franchise-ruining, but they’ll be missed for the good they accomplished in the eyes of the 12th man. Feelings? A little bummed but let’s see who replaces them before final reaction.
I was then surfing through Twitter and then it was like Mount Rainier erupted! But instead of Rainier, people were rattling off another –R- word: RICE. As in, Sidney Rice, the former #1 wide receiver of the Minnesota Vikings. He was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft (44th overall) out of South Carolina. He doesn’t turn 25 until September 1st.
His first two years in the league were nothing eye-popping but he was learning. It all paid off in 2009 when he had a monster season as Brett Favre’s #1 WR, caught 3 TD in a playoff game, and earned a Pro Bowl selection. The talent is in there. I believe he could soar as a Hawk!
Things got rocky for him after what many called his “breakout” season. Rice suffered a hip injury in the 2009-10 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints. Many thought he would have off-season surgery to repair it but he didn’t want to, fearing it would affect his performance. However, in August of 2010, he decided to go through with the surgery and didn’t play for the Vikings until November. Burned a bridge? Who really knows…
Simple Boydwonder Analysis: How can I be mad? Sure the money I’m hearing he’ll get his pretty up there for a WR who has had only 1 “good” season… but why not support it? Mike Williams and Sidney Rice as the Seahawks 1/2? Yes, please. If he’s a bust like Housh was, then so be it, but I love the aggressive signing and obviously Darrell Bevell (the new Seattle offensive coordinator) knows him well. Bevell was Minnesota’s OC from 2006-2010.
Sprinkled inbetween all of the Rice excitement on Twitter, I see Mike Curto (Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster – and hopefully with the Mariners in 2012) tweet ‘Wily Mo Pena signs with my team’. This was a total “OMG” moment for me.
I’ve tracked Pena for what seems like forever and I’ve always wondered how he didn’t have a 40 HR season in the bigs. He’s pretty much all boomstick. He was a heavily sought out minor league player on and off for years on the merit that “if you could harness that power, you’ll have something really special”.
In his age 29 season, this year at Triple-A Reno: 63 games, 21 HR, 63 RBI and a .363 AVG… amazing stuff. He was called up to Arizona and hit 5 HR in 46 at-bats. Problem is he never walked and had 7 hits total. They released him and the MARINERS stepped up and signed him.
He’ll be on his way to Triple-A Tacoma and you can expect to be hearing “Tonight’s Mariners Banner Bank Building to the Future player is…” in a future Mariners TV broadcast when he hits 5 HR in a 4 game span in August.
Simple Boydwonder Analysis: Why the heck not!? He’s like one of 5 men who can hit a ball out of Safeco Field so I’m all for it. I’ve been a fan since 2004 and maybe just maybe I get to talk to him in person. That’d be pretty special for me.
This posting was finished at 7:00PM… something else in regards to Seattle Sports is likely to happen tonight. Too many wild things to stop 5 hours shy of a new day.
Maybe in honor of all the Seattle Supersonics legends at Safeco Field on Friday, the NBA announces tonight the Sonics will become an expansion team in 2015? One can dream big.
After all, sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can come together.
P.S. – I’ll miss you Matthew Hasselbeck! Thanks for the great memories!