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September 2012 - Ketel One Vodka Major Championship Challenge Trip to Pebble Beach
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
We’re biased about the Sonics over here in Seattle, whether we want to admit it or not.
The bias shows Seattle is dying for a basketball team, but it also shades our eyes to just how much the Kings deserve to keep theirs.
Former NBA player and GM Steve Kerr joined the show today and expressed optimism about the Seattle market for basketball, but he was equally optimistic about the NBA’s desire to reward cities for supporting their teams for many years.
That sentiment rings ironic for Sonics fans who had their team stripped from them after 41 years of loyalty. Mitch opined that perhaps the NBA is sending the message: “Had you (set money aside for an arena deal) we would have leaned in your direction and protected you as well, but you didn’t do those things.”
But there’s an obvious difference between the Sonics move and the Kings upheaval. For one, the economy was “In the tank” when the Sonics moved, Kerr said. Seattle was also still recovering financially from two sports stadiums built in SoDo.
Not to mention the Key Arena had yet to be paid off.
“Everything that’s in place now for Sacramento is not there for Seattle and that’s the biggest difference,” Kerr said.
The NBA Board of Governors are scheduled to meet at 11am PT today. Sports Radio KJR has learned from multiple sources that Hansen and Ballmer made a presentation to the NBA last night and the two sides are in ongoing conversation.
Congratulations to Taylor, who is the winner of The Dance 2013!
Taylor called from Alaska, where she said it’s a downright freezing fifty degrees.
She’s been playing since 2007, when her husband introduced her to the game. Taylor didn’t know where she would like to go, but said she’d like to go to a soccer event and threw out Spain as a potential location.
“You don’t have to decide now,” Mitch said. “You get a lot of time. We’re going to give you 90 seconds.”
Mitch was joking, of course.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Russell Wilson made mince meat out of the competition running the read-option last season. When the Seahawks started running that play, it kicked the offense into high gear.
But that success may not translate to Wilson’s second year, Charley Casserly said as he joined Mitch this morning to talk Seahawks. When told Mike Holmgren, who was in-studio yesterday, said Wilson may face more challenges in his second year, Casserly agreed with him. This is because defenses will have had a whole year to digest and analyze the Seahawks offense from last year, and come up with ways to try and stop them.
Casserly emphasized Wilson may have to tweak his game in his second year, in a more traditional way than the read-option tweaked it last season.
“What he’s going to eventually have to do is win the game from the pocket like Drew Brees does, and he got better at that as the year went on last year,” Casserly said.
He said the read-option took the offense to “another dimension,” but defenses may be better-prepared to take on the read option in 2013.
But defending the Seahawks may not be as easy as a few scheme changes. The Seahawks also added another big play-threat this year, someone defenses will have to account for in addition to Wilson’s “Excellent throwing talent.”
That someone is Percy Harvin.
Harvin’s addition gives the Seahawks a “True number-one receiver” who can line up all over the field. In order to defend the option, defenses are forced to guard Harvin one-on-one, Casserly said. That dynamic poses an obvious conundrum because they are facing an offense that has many passing and running options at its disposal.
“Harvin changes the coverages, and opens up the offense dramatically,” Casserly said.
The offseason additions combined with the team the Seahawks already had thorugh last season make for a 2013 in which the sky could be the limit.
“If they hadn’t done anything [in free agency], they would have been one of the contenders this year,” Casserly said. “With some of the additions they’ve made, I think that they’re the favorite right now.”
Listen to the full interview with Charley Casserly below.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Just when Seahawks fans may think the team has everything, they go and get parts they’ve never had before.
Or at least that’s how it appears after three days of rookie mini-camp, Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune told Mitch this morning. Boling said Carroll expressed high marks in the "unique" category in post-camp interviews.
“One of the things that was his first reaction at the end of the camp was that the drafted guys all seemed to fit the specific roles they have targeted,” Boling said.
Two players in particular Boling said stood out were fourth-round Wide Receiver Chris Harper and fifth-round Tight End Luke Willson. Boling described them as “Unique guys,” and Willson, who comes from Rice University and had a modest nine catches for 126 yards in 2012, could become the most unique tight end on the Seahawks roster. The 6’5” big man ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at the combine.
“In context, [the 40-time] is what Sidney Rice ran at his combine,” Boling said. “So you hear that but then you see it in action on the field and he’s gaining ground against DBs, so you’re thinking, ‘Okay, now we see the possibilities of how they can use this guy.’”
Another player who could affect defenses in a unique way is Harper. He may not burn defenses the way Willson does at his position, but the former Kansas State receiver can use his linebacker-like size to “overpower” cornerbacks.
“[Harper is] a very physical guy who’s not going to get shoved around by big secondary players … He will be able to get separation with his body alone.”
Willson and Harper were just two players who stood out in camp. Boling breaks down how all the draft picks looked in this Tacoma News Tribune article.
Larry Stone talks about the progress of Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin in AAA Tacoma. Zunino has cooled down since his red hot start. However, Franklin has found his groove at the plate.
Stone flirts with the idea of bringing up Franklin to the Mariners and seeing what he can offer at the shortstop position. After 26 games, he is battting .340 with 14 RBIs. Ryan and Andino's batting averages combined come out to about .180. The knock on Franklin is his fielding, he is not sure if he has the range and the arm to play shortstop.
When Stone was asked who is the next starter at shortstop for the M's not named Andino or Ryan he answered, Carlos Triunfel. Triunfel is hitting .302 this season and Stone says is the better overall defender than Franklin.
"He's got a rocket arm and some range. He can be at worst a utlity guy because he can play second base and even third base," Stone said about Triunfel.
Moving from hitting to pitching, Iwakuma has been lights out since joining the starting rotation. This season he holds the record of 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA, but why has he been flying under the radar to the rest of the MLB?
"A couple of things going against him, one, he's in the same rotation as Felix, he's the guy people gravitate too... The other thing is, no body knows his personality yet..." Larry Stone on Iwakuma.
To the hot topic, "What do you do with Montero?" With Zunino on the way, should the Mariner's still spend a lot of time trying to make Montero a everyday catcher?
"You either need to play him or send him down to play everyday. Because playing every 5-6 days, I don't know what good that does for him."
You can listen to the whole conversation between Larry Stone and Mitch here on KJR.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
In the first three Seahawks’ drafts in the John Schneider/Pete Carroll era, they have drafted obscure players who have risen to pro bowl status.
So with the fourth draft class hitting the field for rookie minicamps today, there is high intrigue surrounding the first-year players.
Hugh Millen joined Mitch this morning to talk about the newest players. He said he is especially curious about the dynamic running game Christine Michael brings to the offense. Michael could add something the Seahawks don’t already have in backup Robert Turbin.
“If I were to assemble what I think is the greatest 25 plays that Robert Turbin has ever had at college or his first year with the Seahawks … And then I were to do the same thing with Christine Michael … my gut tells me that Christine Michael’s highlight tape looks a lot better than Robert Turbin,” Millen said.
Millen said Michael is a player who has the potential to be an explosive, starting-caliber runningback in the NFL.
But Seattle’s fifth-round choice, Tharold Simon, brings something the Seahawks already have and may want more of. Millen said when thumbing through critical reviews of the LSU cornerback, he came across something all too familiar.
“It’s exactly what they were saying about Richard Sherman (before the Seahawks drafted him),” Millen said. “Good hip turn, great height, long arms to play press coverage, but some question ultimately whether he has quick feet.”
Millen said he wants to see how Simon handles press coverage at the rookie minicamps today.
And then there is Chris Harper, an impressively-built 230-pound receiver with strong hands. Millen said the Seahawks are hoping to line Harper up as an X-receiver on offense, but Millen will hope to see some explosiveness from Harper as he breaks off the line of scrimmage.
Seahawks fans have little clue whether these players will develop in the NFL. But after today, they will have a better idea of just how good these rookies are.
Millen was on the air during the 9am hour.