The past? That’s so yesterday. Sportspress Northwest introduces a new weekly feature, Crystal Balls, penned by Deidre Silva. It’s a look into this week’s future that the Amazing Kreskin would envy:
Mariners v. Rangers and White Sox
Prediction: Mariners fall short of .500 this week.
Unfortunate administrative oversight lands the Rangers in Safeco before the White Sox this week. Flip-flop this week’s schedule, and we’d be looking at .500 before the weekend. As it is, reality will hit harder than the Rangers’ mighty offense. Marketing department boosts ticket sales by capitalizing on last week’s successful road trip and letting it slip that Ichiro bobbleheads are wildly marketable on eBay. Area mothers launch a campaign to have Eric Wedge pitch Michael Pineda on Mother’s Day. Wedge doesn’t budge, and Seattle moms are instead offered up Erik Bedard, who is a fair consolation prize because chicks dig a comeback story almost as much as they flock to a lovable rookie. Bedard returns the love with his second win of the season.
College softball: No. 10 UW vs. No. 1 Arizona State
Prediction: Arizona State takes series over Washington, 2-1.
These teams are among the biggest scorers in D-1 (ASU ranked third, UW fifth) with lots to prove after disappointing finishes in the 2010 Women’s College World Series. Washington averages 7.5 runs per game but will have problems making contact against freshman strikeout phenom Dallas Escobedo (24-3), and will be held to less than 15 runs for the three-game series. The Huskies could use a couple big wins in the Arizona State series to impress the NCAA in hopes of getting a favorable WCWS seed, but it won’t happen. The Sun Devils, on the other hand, will pocket two impressive wins against the Huskies, finish up the regular season against No. 9 Stanford and fight off Michigan for the number one seed in the tournament.
Street League skateboarding
Prediction: Duuuuuude. Don’t be a hater.
Had Sean Malto stayed healthy, he’d be $150,000 richer after winning the May 8 SLS tour stop at KeyArena. But the 2009 Transworld Rookie of the Year and third place overall finisher in last year’s SLS tour has seen his skilz compromised by injury. So, mad props and the Seattle purse go to Mike Mo Capaldi. Currently seeded low in overall rankings, the king of the “switch tre flip” must focus on keeping his board from getting dizzy on landings. Mike Mo instructs his Twitter followers to “stay glassy” and identifies his ideal girlfriend as a hottie delivering free Domino’s. I’m thinking that, after Sunday, he’ll be able to hook that up.
NFL Draft withdrawal
Prediction: The world continues to revolve.
NFL implodes under the irony of picking players, hugging them, mugging with them, giving them team swag and big contracts and then not-so-politely asking them to bugger off. Meanwhile, after their annual month in the spotlight, talking head draft experts are stuffed back into their cages where they begin analyzing whether the lockout has any effect on their jobs. After armchair draft devotees emerge bleary-eyed from their dens to find their families enjoying barbecue chicken at a neighbor’s backyard party, they beg forgiveness and promise self-improvement. This causes a surge in gym memberships, flower deliveries and Home Depot revenue projections.
NBA Playoffs: Cascadia Clash
Prediction: What coulda been.
The Seattle Supersonics recover from an embarrassing Game 1 loss to the Vancouver Grizzlies in the second round matchup that has area fans buzzing from Auburn to Burnaby. Kevin Durant goes for 42 and 38 points in this week’s games as … oh, wait a minute. These are aren’t Northwest teams any more. Forget it.
Have your own predictions for the week? Leave them below or hit us on Twitter @SportspressNW or on Facebook.
Where do I get my Street League skateboarding tickets?!
Hey Mason Fan,
Go to http://www.streetleague.com and click on tickets.
How about developing some major league talent? Other teams have no problems hitting at safeco.
maybe it’s the lighting? or the hitting background? or the mound? or the distances? I have no idea, but the Ms execs should commission some studies and find out what the damn problem is. although zirkle has a point: lack of talent is obviously a factor. I mean, year after year, for at least five years, we’ve had high-strikeout guys who can’t draw a walk. And every year, in the spring, we hear that the Ms are changing their approach, and we are promised that THIS will be the year that the hitters are more patient and will draw walks and won’t strike out as much, and then a couple months into the season, we get to read articles like this one.
Here’s a novel idea: don’t try to change anyone’s approach – just draft guys who already know how to hit, and draw walks, and shorten their swings with two strikes. In other words, get guys who are NOT like Saunders and Smoak and Liddi and Seager. That might work.
The M’s should consider having Edgar Martinez working with the hitters or at least get his input. He was one of the few Mariners who hit well at Safeco, hitting for a .311 career average at both the Kingdome and Safeco Field however at Safeco alone he was over .300 until the last couple years of his career and even then he was hitting .248 at Safeco.
If the club moves in the fences all that does is make things easier for the visiting team. Instead of losing games at a 3-1 score they’d be losing at a 9-6 score.
Not hit like Seager? Are you an idiot? He’s one of our best hitters..
Uhhh, John, it may have been instructive to mention what Mariner OPPONENTS are hitting at Safeco this year. That’s about the only stat you didn’t mention, but it surely would’ve helped bring a sense of perspective.
Bringing in the fences isn’t the solution (why penalize your own pitchers?) so much as getting Seattle players to swing for line drives instead of long fly balls that MAY leave the yard. I’ll take a blooper into shallow center over a warning-track out anytime.
I’m a total broken record on this, but to win in Safeco, the Mariners need pitching, defense, hitters with GAP power and speed-speed-speed in the field and on the bases. Home runs are great (and fun to watch), but they don’t assure you a winner…you still have to outscore the other guys whether the final score is 2-1 or 8-7.