The election, who the M’s favor, who best to read about the M’s, signing of McLendon and the frustration of Mr. Starbucks

By Terry Benish

Special to The Sports Paper


It is Election Day this cold, foggy Tuesday morning. It is not raining, but moisture clings to the grass outside my window like so much silver dross on an emerald carpet.

I voted on the genetically altered food issue, there were also a half dozen “advisory votes” on whether or not the voter approved actions taken by the legislature on certain obscure revenue and tax issues.

That was that.

Hopefully now all the misleading remarks on the GMO commercials will stop. There was a lot of money spent on that campaign and I was amazed at who the one side rounded up to say misleading and inane remarks.

Over in Seattle it seems as if the Mariners donated money to one of the mayoral contestants, Ed Murray, and to one of the city council candidates Richard Conlin.
Murray is NOT the former switch hitting first baseman of the Orioles and Dodgers and a member of the Hall of Fame.

Conlin is a long time politician who was initially elected as a liberal, but over the last 16 years has become the recipient of big money, conservative donations from said folks, so that follows given who Howard Lincoln is.

More to the point both of these guys should help the Mariners in their suicidal fight against the potential NBA/NHL arena as it has moved forward under Chris Hansen’s initiative. See this link for the case against Conlin:

Suicidal fight, you ask? Should these folks derail the effort and the Mariners be linked to the fight, it is hard to imagine a worst, more contemptuous PR gesture on the part of the Mariners. It boggles the mind, actually, like some altered vision from the old movie Major League.

There are a couple of groups that are championing the return of the Sonics, via websites, Twitter, and Facebook, almost to the point that it is a cottage industry for them.

Anyone that was a fan of the Sonics from start to finish would love to see their return. Last week Howard Schultz was on some sort of fringe infomercial talk show and opined that owning the Sonics was a nightmare. He decried the paradigm of 20-year-old millionaires would not respond to his “leadership.” Here is the link:

Here is a guy who forbids tips for his baristas and other retail staff, who has built his empire on minimum wage staff, and is angry because the market won’t allow him to threaten and fire the kids that won’t drink his Kool-Aid.

This could lead a rant that has been better done about him, but the point of the past several paragraphs is to say there are two crucial votes that will heavily influence the potential for a new arena.

Given the last 12 months, if I were asked to judge the likelihood of the NBA returning to Seattle, my response would be that it seems remote at best and unlikely for years and years. The league fought the Sacramento Kings sale, mostly out of spite by NBA commissioner David Stern for slights endured from politicians in the city of Seattle. While he is gone soon, his replacement is his son-in-law, which casts the NBA in the mold of the WWE.

Just after noon on Tuesday, the Mariners acknowledged they had hired Lloyd McLendon.

Lloyd McLendon

Lloyd McLendon

It does not seem as if the Mariners will sign any relevant free agents this winter, so McLendon needs to be an alchemist to turn the team into gold. Dave Cameron, admitting that he doesn’t follow the Mariners much nor is inclined to write about them, submits a plan that suggests they trade away the best of their prospects (James Paxton and Nick Franklin), sign Atlanta Brave catcher Brian McCann and play him behind the plate and first base.

McCann, an Atlanta Brave free agent and native of Georgia, is not likely to sign here, leaving a playoff team and moving over three thousand miles away to play for a team run by Dick Dastardly and Elmer Fudd. This is a 29-year-old catcher coming off an injury, who has nine years in majors. He has in the last year had three good offensive months whose innings caught have declined each of the last three years.

Oh, and the M’s have a number one pick (Mike Zunino) that would be destroyed by this move. Cameron writes this stuff every year, typing while folks write in about his genius. You make up your mind about him and this year’s plan at USS

When I was young man many, many years ago, the premier writer/columnist/reporter was a guy named Emmett Watson. He initially worked for the old Seattle Post Intelligencer (PI) and later moved on to the Seattle Times.  Watson also crafted words for Sports Illustrated, which used to mean something.

By far the best guy, in my opinion, that has covered the Mariners is a young reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, Ryan Divish.

Over the course of this last summer, the two guys that covered the Mariners for the Seattle Times, Geoff Baker and Larry Stone, went on to other stuff.

Baker was reassigned to write about sports investigative stuff, whatever that means. We’ll find out when he files his first story.

Stone is now a full-fledged columnist for the Times.

Watson continued to be a great, if a curmudgeonly read after he joined the Times.

Divish is succinct in the conveyance of information, writes well and does not float bologna. He is accessible, or at least he has been via twitter and a blog.

More information on that will come out soon.

Divish is a very, very worthy read.

As to bloggers, the herd has really thinned out in terms of covering the Mariners. Prospect Insider is good, but largely exists to cover draft and minor leagues, but there are pieces on the MLB roster and the team.