Tag Archives: Walter Jones

The Most Important Reason to NOT Trade Felix Hernandez

A decent argument can, and has been made (almost weekly) for trading Felix Hernandez. I think we’ve all heard the basic elements of the discussion, but let’s review.

Trade Felix:
Felix is the most valuable chip the M’s have, and the likelihood of competing for a World Series before his contract expires after 2014 looks bleak (thanks to Tex and LAA). The national assumption is Felix will land in a big market the next time he hits free agency, because one can only handle so much rain, lack of offense, and of course, losing. And oh by the way, the Mariners offense is not so hot if you’ve tuned in this past decade, and there aren’t many top tier bats in the pipeline to change this. Speaking of top tier prospects, the M’s do have them, but they are pitchers. This side says trade your best asset to acquire offense (Pineda for Montero part 2), rather than stay this depressing course.

Do Not Trade Felix:
The argument I hear for not trading Felix mainly comes, naturally, from Mariner fans. This side says to be successful, you need an ace, which Felix is, and trading him for 1-2 MLB ready players plus a handful of prospects is not equal value. Furthermore, re-signing Felix may not be impossible based on his steadfast comments about the city and organization, and his desire to be a Mariner. Check out his comments from just two days ago:

“I’ve got two more years to go on my contract,” said Hernandez. “It’s not my decision. But I would love to stay. I love Seattle. I love the organization, and the city. I would be disappointed [to be traded],” Hernandez added. “I don’t think they will do that. I love them. And I think they like me, too.”

Lastly, what’s the rush to trade him now? Whether Seattle can contend before 2015 remains to be seen, but if two years from now the team is still struggling, and a trade must be made, Felix will still demand a nice package in return.

If you just consider the main points of each side, from 30,000 feet trading Felix looks logical, and inevitable. The trade Felix side has a compelling case. But let’s land this plane in Seattle, and dissect the lesser discussed, but most important reason the M’s should not trade Felix Hernandez: The Mariners needs an ace, yes, but more importantly, they need a face.

As a long suffering Seattle sports fan, I (and the other Good Guys) have insight and a pulse of the sports community that national writers and transplant Seattleites just don’t have. This town has seen too much losing, both in the record column, and in seeing it’s homegrown stars depart at the peak of their career. This list is long, headlined by the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Kevin Durant, Rashard Lewis, Joey Galloway, and Steve Hutchinson. These are the superstars that began their pro career in Seattle, then for various reasons left in their prime, leaving fans wondering what if? The other list is short, most notably Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Shaun Alexander, Walter Jones, and old timers Steve Largent and Fred Brown. Adding Felix to this list would mean so much more than a couple prospects that may or may not become MLB players.

Losing Felix via trade or free agency would not only hurt on the baseball diamond, but the morale blow and symbolic loss would be felt for years. To this day I wonder what Kemp and Payton could have been had they stayed in Seattle another 5 years. Or those mid-90’s Mariners that had the best core in baseball, could Jr., A-Rod and Randy have brought Seattle a World Series? I tend to think yes. The Mariners especially can ill afford to lose a superstar, given its history of doing so, and also its current public relations state. Felix has made clear time and time again his desire to be a Mariner, and he backed his words by signing a 5 year extension. The Mariners owe the fans to put up a fight to keep Felix in Seattle past 2014, rather than trading him. He is too unique, too special, too important to this city, both in the short and long term. He is the king, our ace, our face.

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Happy Walter Jones Day!

If you haven’t heard, Seahawk great Walter Jones announced his retirement yesterday.  It was certainly not unexpected after he missed all of last year after surgery.  He was one of the best left tackles to ever play in the NFL, legitimately in the discussion with just two or three others as the greatest ever.  It’s incredibly doubtful we’ll ever see anyone on the Seahawks offensive line come close to the dominance Jones showed.  I heard this morning that he gave up nine sacks in his career, which is just one sack every season and a quarter, and happened to be the same amount of quarterbacks that he blocked for.  The Seahawks were just as likely to have a new quarterback as Jones was to give up a sack.  His #71 jersey will be retired immediately.  Good luck to Walt in the future and thanks for the memories!

The governor has declared today to be Walter Jones day.  I don’t really know what you do with that, other than reminisce and listen to sports radio, but I guess you could try to eat 71 hot dogs or something.  Luckily, there are plenty of other sports things going on today, so if you’re not into hot dogs, watch for these instead:

3:30 Terrence Jones and Terrance Ross Announce Their Commitments

Jones and Ross are probably the two best remaining basketball recruits on the west coast, and they are both considering the Huskies along with a host of other schools.  Classmates at Portland’s Jefferson High, they will announce their choices at a 3:30 press conference with two other teammates.

Ross is rumored to have committed to the UW Monday on a visit, but is delaying the announcement so he can do it with his friends.  That’s not for sure, but I’m about 90% positive he’ll be a Dawg at this point.  He’s a 6′ 5″ wing with great athleticism and an excellent shot.  He wasn’t able to play at Jefferson this past year due to transfer rules, but as a sophomore in 2008 he was the Oregon player of the year, and now can be found as high as the top 30 in recruiting rankings.  He’d be a huge add, with his size and offensive talent playing in nice contrast to Isaiah Thomas’ small and slashing game.  There are concerns with both players about getting into school, but Ross himself has said that he’ll qualify, so there’s no reason to doubt him until he doesn’t get in.

Jones is not as clear of a lock for UW as is Ross, but he’s an even higher ranked prospect and arguably a better fit for next year’s team.  A 6′ 9″ forward, Jones is an inside-out type player who reportedly can do a little of everything offensively with good defensive to boot.  Honestly, I’ve heard a little of everything about Jones skills, including that he does or doesn’t have a low post game, shot, or premium athleticism.  It’s clear he’s more of a three four swing guy than a true post-up four, though.  Think a bigger Pondexter rather than Brockman, I guess.  Whatever the case, he’d be a huge get and would likely step right into Pondexter’s starting spot.  Kentucky and now Kansas seem to be his most likely landing spots if not UW, but I’d say there’s a better than even chance he’s a Husky.

Keep your fingers crossed.  Getting both guys could mean the Huskies are Pac-10 favorites (if they’re not already) and a big threat to go to the Final Four.

6:30 Husky Spring Game Under the Lights

This is the first time the spring game is being played at night, and I’m really looking forward to it.   The spring game is always a little weird to watch since it’s all Huskies (see Andrew’s post below), but it’s a lot of fun if for no other reason than it’s a chance to watch some football again.  Plus, it can give an idea of how the team and individual players have progressed, especially the non-linemen.  Look for Deontae Cooper to put on a show, and hope that the back-up quarterbacks show anything.  I think parking’s $7 but the game’s free, so come on out!

7:00 Cliff Lee!

Lee finally makes his Mariner debut against the Rangers tonight, and there’s a definite sense that the season is finally starting for real.  He won’t help the offense, but if they start to come around, this team could come together quickly.  This is also the first series where the opponent has to face both Felix and Cliff, which will be a lot more fun for us fans than it will for the Rangers.  Snell goes to the bullpen, but I haven’t heard who is being taken off the roster yet.  Candidates would be Colome or maybe Kelley or Texeira.  The Mariners are just a game back of the division lead, and a sweep could really get momentum going in their direction.

It should be a fun day and weekend.  Hope you enjoy it!

-Matthew

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