There was a point last week when a reality set in: the Seahawks won’t be starting for a very long time, and the Mariners probably won’t be a championship team any time soon.
So fine, we never thought the Mariners would be a championship team. They’re probably something like a 75 win team without Robinson Cano, and even if some of their past turds – namely Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak – are able to blossom into beautiful flowers, which are occasionally the fruits of turds, they probably still weren’t going to be a playoff team.
The Mariners swept the Angels to open the season, Ackley and Smoak looked good, and Mariners fans reached their highest heights in a couple of seasons. Such is the bipolarity of this specific fanbase.
The Hector Noesi era is officially over. There was a time when I thought he had a chance to be a hidden gem in the trade that brought Jesus Montero to Seattle and sent Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to New York. As it turns out, the hidden gem in that trade may be Pineda, who has returned with his past fastball velocity and strikeout rates. Pineda hasn’t changed his ways so far as a third-pitch is concerned, still throwing his slider a ton, but the news on him wasn’t limited to his return to prominence, but also included a bit of controversy surrounding a mysterious substance on his hand. Pineda won’t face any punishment regarding the supposed “pine tar.”
After suffering a lat strain, James Paxton was put on the 15-day disabled list. Paxton has been a pretty big coup for the Mariners in the past calendar year, going from a walk machine to a guy who can handle himself well in a starting role. This is a setback in what could have placed him as a permanent fixture at the top of the Mariners rotation – or at least as permanent as any pitcher can be. Instead, Paxton will try to recover from an injury that has caused long-term issues for some pitchers, though usually older pitchers than Paxton. Right now the entire “Big Three,” or “Big Four” depending on your perception of Brandon Maurer, is injured, or recovering from injuries.
Clint Dempsey scored two more goals, and Sounders FC came from behind against FC Dallas for three points on the road. Dempsey now leads MLS in goals scored, after everyone hated him for parts of last year. Our very own Matthias and Harrison have updated their goalie ratings over at American Soccer Analysis, and Stefen Frei has fared poorly this year, though he may be due for some lucky breaks based on the degree of difficulty of shots he’s faced.
The Seahawks didn’t do anything of positive note this week, though their receiver Ricardo Lockette was involved in an incident that seems to have fizzled to nothing. The incident involved Colin Kaepernick, Quinton Patton, and Lockette all partying with a girl who ended up in the hospital. It seems like there was more smoke than fire, and for the sake of humanity, let’s hope that nothing happened. Sure, I’d love if the Seahawks didn’t have to face Colin Kaepernick as much as the next guy, but it’s pretty disgusting to root for a sexual assault to bring someone down. I wouldn’t trade the well-being of any of my family members for a couple of Seahawks wins.
In a case that is far less difficult to determine one’s feelings of, Aldon Smith was arrested at LAX on Sunday. Smith has had huge issues with substances, and in this case it appeared he was drunk, and claimed to be in possession of a bomb. I’m not going to beat the man when he’s down, Smith has problems, and I hope he finds help for them. That said, Jim Harbaugh has really looked like a hypocritical asshole since the whole “above reproach” saga.