Friday, March 05, 2004

Seattle Signs a Big Butt 

Okay, so its not a big bat for the Mariners, but Seattle sports fans have to be excited. Your Seattle Seahawks signed Rams stud defensive end Grant Wistrom to a 6-year, $33M contract that includes a $14M signing bonus, the largest bonus ever paid by the Seahawks.

Wistrom should provide the pass rush that has been lacking in Seattle for years, and may be the final piece in the Seahawks championship puzzle. In fact, this optimist predicts this will be a banner year for Seattle sports fans, as the Seahawks and Mariners will both take home titles (heck, Gonzaga may too for that matter, if they can get by the pesky Rice Owls).

Wistrom had 7 1/2 sacks last year and has 41 1/2 in his career. Another bonus is that the Rams wanted him back, so we not only got stronger but our main rival in the division got weaker. Sweet!

Compare Wistrom's contract with the 5-yr, $30M contract that Dan Snyder gave to ex-Seahawk Shawn Springs, and you gotta like the way the Hawks are spending their money. Now if they can manage to retain Darrell Jackson and tackle Cedric Woodward, it will be an A++ offseason.

Wistrom was considered the 2nd best pass rusher on the market behind Jevon Kearse, but his contract is half the size of Kearse's. Throw in that Wistrom has no health issues, and is considered stronger against the run, and you can see why the Mariner Optimist is a Seahawk Optimist as well.

Interestingly, defensive end Marcellus Wiley arrived in the area yesterday, and although Seattle signed Wistrom, Seahawks GM Bob Ferguson said Wiley will still meet with team officials today. Now, wouldn't that be something...

Mariners lose Charity Opener to Padres 3-2
Rett Johnson walks first three batters he faces and this is an improvement from his first outing last year, when he beaned the first three guys at the plate. By next year, he'll be striking out the first three hitters and he'll be in the Show. Melvin shows sense of humor by telling reliever J.J. Putz when he is brought in, "It doesn't get any easier than this." Putz goes Nuke LaLouche on two photographers while warming up, driving them off the field with two pitches near their heads. The intimidation worked, as he got out of the bases-loaded no outs jam. Gil Meche gave up two runs on a 2nd inning walk a home run from Terrence Long. And Julio Mateo gave up a homer in the fifth. Jeff Cirillo played second base for the Padres, showing he will be their super-utility infielder. Edgar was scratched for Justin Leone due to wet grounds - take no chances with the Franchise. The new guys continued to flash the wood with Ibanez going two for two with a double and McCracken and Spiezio each driving in runs. Mike Myers pitches 1-2-3 inning getting lefties and righties out.

Your Mariners on TV
On Monday, March 8th at 11AM PST, ESPN will televise the Mariners vs Angels where we'll get our first gander at Vlad in an Angels uniform. Nice to have a tough division, and I reiterate that the Wild Card will once again come out of the AL West this year.

In News that Just Frustrates the Beejeezus Out of Me
Both the Rice Women AND Men lost to Louisiana Tech last night. The men fell 72-58 on Senior Night at home. Ouch. Rice (20-9, 11-6) now must win the WAC tournament in order to get a NCAA bid. And the way they have failed to show up for big games, makes me very nervous about this possibility. Hopefully, they can finish strong and beat SMU on Saturday to regain some momentum heading into the tournament. At this point, they have definitely put the press clippings of a month ago into long term storage and know they may not even get an NIT bid without a win or two in the WAC tournament.

The Lady Owls (18-8,15-2) put up the bigger fight, losing 82-70, but were up early, and battled the #6 team in the country to the end on their home court. The ladies should get a chance at a rematch in the WAC tournament, and will likely also need to win the tournament to get a NCAA bid.

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