SSN Twitterbag: Antoine Winfield’s future, Mariner busts, the limit on what we’ll let fall in our beer, and more

winfieldIt’s like a mailbag, but with Twitter. Because outside of work, no one sends emails anymore. To participate in future Twitterbags, look for the #SSNTwitterbag hashtag and follow along, @alexSSN.

Will Antoine Winfield sign [with the Seahawks]? -via @caseyc8

Winfield, a 35-year-old free agent cornerback just released by Minnesota, is one of the premier players at his position, even at this late stage in his career. A former All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl honoree, Winfield reportedly worked out with the Seahawks just a few days ago.

To atone for my relative ignorance on Winfield’s contractual prospects, I went to one of the brightest football minds I know for some help. My buddy Curtis Crabtree (speaking of Twitter, follow him @Curtis_Crabtree) — who covers the Seahawks for Sports Radio KJR, as well as the west coast for ProFootballTalk — was able to provide some insight for us on the situation:

“Winfield would fill a big need for Seattle as a slot cornerback,” said Curtis. “Seattle has more cap space available than Minnesota and his release from the Vikings wasn’t particularly amicable. Minnesota is pushing hard to keep him, but the manner of his release may push him to head to the Seahawks.”

Winfield was released by the Vikings on March 12, a move made in large part to clear cap space. His termination was brought to his attention while he was working out at the team’s facility, hence the less-than-amicable separation.

With more money to offer and the potential of a Super Bowl season ahead, it certainly appears like the Seahawks may have the inside track on Winfield right now.

Is it still too early to call [Dustin] Ackley and/or [Jesus] Montero a bust? -via @AndyTheG

Yes. Without a doubt, yes.

Sure, both Ackley and Montero have struggled for the bulk of their tenures in Seattle, and have especially struggled of late. While each were deemed top prospects, both have been seemingly cursed by the expectations that come along with such lofty praise.

Though there’s still time for both Ackley and Montero to develop, perhaps most concerning is the fact that neither player has shown much in the way of improvement over much of the past year. Ackley has showcased a revamped batting stance that looks about as comfortable as a pair of skinny jeans, while Montero’s weight transfer has been atrocious, sending him flailing out in front of pitches before they’re halfway to home plate.

Ackley will be granted plenty of time to work out his issues, with seemingly no other options at second base. (Unless the team wants to shift Kyle Seager over there and see what they have in a third base prospect, such as Nick Franklin; unlikely at this point.) Montero, on the other hand, is under the gun with 2012 first-round draft pick Mike Zunino off to a blazing start at Triple-A Tacoma. Fans are already eager for Zunino’s arrival, and if the organization is forced to promote him out of merit, it will likely be Montero that either finds his way to the minors or suffers from limited playing time.

Another factor in all this is Justin Smoak, who may be closer to “bust” status than either of his younger counterparts. Smoak is hanging by a final thread with the M’s, and if he can’t reveal any promise over the first few weeks of the season, his days in a Mariners uniform are undoubtedly numbered. Smoak and Montero are inextricably tied to one another in that each can lay claim to a finite number of at-bats in the lineup. Should Zunino arrive in Seattle and remain entrenched behind the plate, as expected, the team will need to find an alternate plan for Montero. Were he to shift to designated hitter, that would push Kendrys Morales over to first base, eliminating Smoak’s role with the ballclub. Longer term, the M’s may have plans to utilize Montero as a first baseman, since that is really the only other position on the field he could capably play.

Either way, one fact remains: Zunino’s arrival in Seattle will dramatically alter the roles of either Montero or Smoak, and possibly both. And it’s not so much “if” Zunino arrives as it is “when.” Between Montero and Smoak, will a bust emerge in due time? Probably so.

How much are you going to miss Abdul Gaddy running the point next year? -via @AZinSeattle

About as much as I miss Ed Hardy shirts, episodes of Gilmore Girls, awkward middle school slow dances, and Chone Figgins, combined. Good riddance.

What will our NHL team be called? Thunderbirds, or something new and fierce like Seattle Frozen Rain Droplets? -via @waltswarriors

First of all, nicknames that invoke nature or acts of nature are usually reserved for WNBA teams. The Sun, the Storm, the Sky, the list goes on. That said, a fiercer act of nature like Frozen Rain Droplets may have potential. Perhaps something even more geographically relevant — like Seattle Icy Pavement, or Seattle Drive Slow In The Rain — might be worth considering.

In reality, the favorites in the clubhouse so far seem to be Thunderbirds and Metropolitans, with Metropolitans getting the early nod. The Metropolitans reference is a tip of the cap to days gone by — the Seattle Mets were the first Stanley Cup Champions, after all — while the Thunderbirds are of course most pertinent to today’s generation of local hockey fans. Personally, I’m not really biased towards either nickname, which may mean we need something new altogether. Perhaps a naming contest is in order…

How good will Husky hoops in general be next year? Nationally ranked? Tourney bound at least? -via @AndersJorstad

Over the span of a few weeks, the Huskies have gone about revamping their roster in a curious fashion, putting themselves in the conversation for a return to Pac-12 relevance in 2013-2014.

Back in March, the Huskies landed a verbal commitment from JUCO swingman Mike Anderson, a 6-5 guard-forward who averaged 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds at Moberly Area Community College this past season. Though not a big name, Anderson’s résumé immediately invoked memories of another former junior college transfer from days gone by, Tre Simmons.

In addition to Anderson, it’s been rumored in recent days that UNLV forward Mike Moser will be playing his senior season on Montlake as a graduate transfer, meaning he’s eligible to contribute immediately and will not need to redshirt. Moser is finishing up his undergraduate studies this year and because of a prior redshirt season taken when he migrated from UCLA to Las Vegas, still maintains a year of NCAA eligibility. Though he’d only play one year with the Huskies, the 6-8 Moser would undoubtedly be a major contributor if healthy. Coming out of high school in the Portland area, Moser was heavily recruited by a number of teams across the nation, including Washington. Though Lorenzo Romar ultimately missed out on Moser, he may have a chance to secure the ex-Rebel for his collegiate swan song. You can read more about the impending transfer here.

With another senior, 6-9 power forward Perris Blackwell, set to make his Washington debut in 2013, the Huskies suddenly become an intriguing blend of young and old. Should C.J. Wilcox forgo the temptations of the NBA and return for his senior campaign, the Dawgs will boast a trio of fifth-year players who could lead them back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons.

Beyond the aforementioned additions, Washington brings in a freshman recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss, a 6-3 point guard from Happy Valley, Oregon. Darin Johnson, a 6-4 shooting guard from Sacramento, and Jahmel Taylor, a 5-11 point guard from Los Angeles, round out the crop of first-year players. Williams-Goss, especially, should have an instant impact, offloading some of the playmaking duties from returning redshirt sophomore Andrew Andrews, and likely assuming a fair share of the scoring duties, as well.

It will be interesting to see how the new players blend with the returning roster. With a marked improvement in talent, at least on paper, it will be up to Coach Romar and staff to mold personalities and ensure a comfortable working environment for all involved. Should this team play up to its potential, and more importantly play together, a return to the Big Dance and national relevance isn’t out of the question at all.

You seemed so confident about the Sonics next season. Are you still? -via @bryanwhite05

For months, I’ve operated under the assumption that the Sonics will be playing in Seattle in 2013. All of Kevin Johnson’s pomp and circumstance, all of the NBA’s rhetoric, and all the back-and-forth between the Maloofs and the city of Sacramento can’t change my opinion: I’m convinced the Kings are destined to become Seattle’s team before year’s end.

Sure, I’ve followed the saga on sports radio, in the news, on Twitter, etc., but I’m not letting the roller coaster ride sway me. I’d rather stay positive, trust the businessmen (and the lawyers) involved, and look towards that light at the end of the tunnel. I’m absolutely confident.

Regardless of how you may feel, however, we should have a better idea of where things are headed within the next eight days. Assuming everything goes according to schedule, we’ll know by April 20 whether we will or will not have an NBA team in the Emerald City next season.

Will Saved By the Bell ever do any 20- or 30-year high school reunion specials? -via @HuskyThor

This is one of those things that’s near and dear to my heart. Saved By the Bell is without a doubt one of my favorite sitcoms of all-time, and in recent years the people behind the show have gone about teasing us with the prospect of a reunion special on more than one occasion. Problem is, there are two holdups: Lisa and Screech, or more accurately, the real-life actors who play them, Lark Voorhies and Dustin Diamond.

Voorhies has battled her own personal demons, a battle that has been documented in the press over the past year or so. It’s rumored that she may be bipolar and, as a result, has all but given up acting while she sorts out her personal life.

Diamond is the cast’s pariah, an abrasive figure who has fallen out with just about all of his former Bell-mates. Whether or not he’d be on board for a reunion wouldn’t so much be determined by his own desires as it would by his standing with those he’d be working with. If Screech can’t get along with everyone else, a reunion project probably can’t be green-lit. While spinoffs of the original show have done okay without Lisa’s character (Lisa did not appear in recurring fashion during The College Years), the role of Screech has graced every SBTB-related project to date.

It’s been two decades since Bayside High School’s most famous class received their diplomas. A 20-year reunion would be well-received by an entire generation that still watches SBTB reruns to this day. For now, though, we continue to wait.

What is the limit to what you would let fall in a beer while still chugging it? Given that a sports beer is ~$8, when is enough, enough? We saw [the beer catch] but what about an earpiece, etc? -via @johng365

First of all, if you haven’t seen Wednesday night’s beer catch, go, now. It’s pretty amazing. Definitely worth a few seconds of your time. Catching a baseball in one’s plastic pint cup has got to be a bucket list item for any self-respecting, beer-drinking baseball fan. Would any of us not be willing to sacrifice a cold one for a souvenir as coveted as a foul ball? I like to think we’d all give up our beers for that.

This raises that all-important question, however: Where is that line on stadium beer sacrifice? A debate for the ages, without a doubt.

For me, personally, the cost of a stadium beer pales in comparison to a moment of infamy. Catching just about anything worth YouTubing in my drink would be valuable. But I’m a media whore, so naturally a bit biased. And this all assumes that a camera is in place to capture the moment of (glory?) glory. For instance, if someone chucked an earpiece into my Coors Light and it wasn’t recorded, then I’d just be some poor sap who wasted $8 or $9 on a now-tainted beer. The thought of guzzling a drink that may contain a fair amount of ear wax turns my stomach, so that beer is bound for the garbage either way. I can happily live with it, though, if I’ve found my way to the pages of Deadspin as a result.

If we operate under the hypothetical of a camera-free world, the list of things I’d let fall into my beer dramatically shortens. A baseball is still a definite yes, and likely rises to the top of the list when it comes to exciting beer finds. Anyone who’s ever taken a baseball home from the ballpark understands the excitement associated with that moment. Including me:

webAfter the prospect of a foul ball gracing your beverage, the awesome sports-related paraphernalia you could drop into an already-full pint glass are few and far between. A hockey puck? Totally cool. A golf ball? Absolutely. A tennis ball? Sure. But then what?

A player’s mouthpiece? Eh, probably not worth it.

A batting glove? Maybe.

A wad of Bazooka chewed by your favorite player? Some might go for it, but not me.

A shooting sleeve? No.

Really, outside of a baseball, there aren’t many coveted stadium items that would warrant losing a beer over. If you want to open the book up to include the likes of a World Series ring or a $100 bill then yes, we can absolutely talk about ditching that ale you’ve been chugging. Beyond that? Well, let’s just be thankful for cameras and the world of social media. Because really, those fleeting seconds of fame and relevance are all that make an $8 waste of money okay.

Thanks to everyone for contributing their questions to this edition of the Twitterbag. Stay tuned via Twitter for our next Twitterbag request.

One thought on “SSN Twitterbag: Antoine Winfield’s future, Mariner busts, the limit on what we’ll let fall in our beer, and more”

  1. “First of all, nicknames that invoke nature or acts of nature are usually reserved for WNBA teams. The Sun, the Storm, the Sky, the list goes on.” — I love the sly correlation of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the WNBA.

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