Remember back in 1998 when the Mariners traded an aging Randy Johnson because he had a bad back and was getting too old to be a productive pitcher? Ten years and four Cy Young awards later, the team still has yet to acknowledge they made an immensely huge mistake with the Big Unit. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop them from making the same mistake again just two years ago, this time with the aging Jamie Moyer.
Again, citing lack of youth as the primary motive for Moyer’s departure, the M’s shipped the beloved soft-tossing southpaw off to Philadelphia for two minor leaguers who will never see the inside of Safeco Field (unless they pay their way like the rest of us). That faux pas coincided with the downward spiral of the Seattle organization, and was underscored by the continued success had by Moyer in the city of Brotherly Love.
Now, two years later, Moyer is a world champion and benefactor of a two-year, $13 million contract extension that will keep him employed until his 48th birthday. How’s that for old? Since he’s left Seattle, the Ageless Wonder has compiled a 35-21 record with a 4.33 ERA over 74 starts. If we take a look at just the past two seasons (excluding the final two months of the ’06 season when Moyer first became a Philly), Moyer has put together a 30-19 record with a 4.36 ERA. By comparison, the best Mariners starting pitcher over that time span (Felix Hernandez) had a 23-18 record with a 3.68 ERA over the course of just 61 starts. There was no Mariner starting pitcher who posted numbers comparable to those of Hernandez between 2007 and 2008, meaning Moyer, on paper at least, would have been the clear-cut number two pitcher on the Seattle roster the past two years.
It’s quite possible that the Mariners have just committed another Moyer-Johnson by letting Raul Ibanez sign with those very same Phillies. If Ibanez can defy age and continue to put up big numbers for a championship team, the M’s may very well witness their organizational errors haunt them for a third time. Johnson, then Moyer, now Ibanez. Three old guys who could help the Mariners win a few games right now. In your face, Seattle.
PJ Carlesimo, head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was fired following the team’s 105-80 loss on Friday night to the New Orleans Hornets. The loss was the tenth straight for OKC, who is now 1-12 on the season.
Suffice it to say that Carlesimo choked as Sonics/Thunder coach. He can best be described as a fiery guy who hates everyone he works with. He never stops yelling, rarely lets up on the cussing, and has yet to make a friend out of any of his players in nearly two decades of NBA coaching. Carlesimo, like Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier in the NFL, is the epitome of a successful college coach that hasn’t been able to cut it in the pros.
When he wasn’t being choked out by one of his players, Carlesimo had created a Grand Canyon-sized divide between himself and the rest of the team with his intense personality. Arguably, he was hired as the coach of the Sonics in 2007 because management realized he would be dealing with a group of young, impressionable players who would be more susceptible to his teachings. Having had limited success with veteran players in the past, we now know that Carlesimo is incapable of coaching any professional players in a lead capacity and has likely headed up his last NBA team.
The only real bad thing about all this is that Seattle fans had to deal with Carlesimo throughout the Sonics turbulent final season. Who knows what a different coach would have been able to attain with a young, talented group like the neo-Thunder have. Now that Carlesimo’s out, the future looks bright for the one-time Sonics. In your face, Seattle.
Yep, by now I’m sure most of you are aware. The Husky football continued their dismal season by falling 27-7 to Rick Neuheisel’s UCLA Bruins, while the men’s basketball team kicked off their season with a 80-74 defeat at the hands of the Portland Pilots.
The Husky athletic program is setting new standards for loseability. The football team I can understand, because they’ve had nearly three months to flaunt their awfulness. But I figured the basketball team would give us something to root for, and last night that wasn’t the case. We expected an athletic team capable of running all over opponents and playing better defense than a year ago. What we got was a team making the same mistakes, playing similar D, and missing the same shots on the offensive end.
Continue reading In your face, Seattle: Two Husky losses on same day
Welcome to the maiden voyage of a piece I like to call “In your face, Seattle.” Here at IYFS, we’ll examine a wide range of sports-related topics that are essentially salt in the wounds of Seattle sports fans. Whether it be Jim McIlvaine returning to the NBA with a 50-point performance off the bench of the Oklahoma City Thunder or Bobby Ayala closing out Game 7 of the World Series, IYFS will be here to cover it and get the fan reaction.
Our first IYFS is dedicated to former Mariner manager Lou Piniella, who today was named National League Manager of the Year. Piniella led the 2008 Chicago Cubs to a first-round playoff exit (not exactly MOY-type material, but the voting is conducted before the playoffs begin) and a National League-best 97 regular season wins in capturing the award.
Piniella, as many of our sober readers may recall, managed the Seattle Mariners from 1993 to 2002, before gracefully taking his leave to be closer to his family in Florida following the ’02 season. Major accomplishments include the Mariners first winning record in 1993 (82-80, .506 winning percentage); first postseason appearance in franchise history in 1995; subsequent postseason appearances in 1997, 2000, and 2001; and an all-time record 116 regular-season wins in 2001 (tying the 1908 Chicago Cubs for that achievement). Piniella also posted a winning record in seven of the ten seasons he was in Seattle, which may not seem that impressive to the untrained observer, but is pretty much grounds for Hall of Fame induction here in the Northwest.
Though he’s been somewhat of a nomad in the six years since leaving Seattle (having spent three years as the manager of the then-moribund Tampa Bay then-Devil Rays, one year as a color commentator for Fox, and now two years with the Cubs), Piniella has seemingly found the greener pastures he went searching for more than a half a decade ago in Chicago. While we applaud the successes of one of our former hometown heroes, it really serves to underscore the municipal sports scene when a man who walked out on us like a weekend parent with three kids is still near and dear to hearts in the Emerald City. So in your face, Seattle, Lou Piniella is doing just fine.