Somehow I missed this yesterday, but a strong write-up of our 6-7 power pitcher in yesterday's TNT. It's a quick read, but a strong one nonetheless. And Rogers better get used to the feature stories, because it will come with the territory this year.
What are your expectations or Rogers? I think he could have a big year, but it might come after a slow start. And, overall he's in a tough spot. Here's a tremendously talented guy with NFL size and arm strength who never got his shot for reasons we are all too familiar with. The thing that bowled me over is that Brink made 40 STRAIGHT STARTS?!? That's Favre-like in durability, because we all saw Alex take a beating in his years. I still can't get over how he continued to come back, week after week. A tip of the hat to him for that, but in the end it might really be a spur in Rogers' saddle this season. A new system, key pass-catchers in Bumpus, Collins and Dillon are gone, and a lack of playing experience? Hopefully he'll continue to work his butt off and have a GOD-like senior year. Would that piss you off, by the way, if Gary was just a GOD this year? Not mad about the present, but would you be mad about the prior staff's belief in Brink, no matter what??
The sad part is injuries did in Rogers in '06, or we might be talking about an experienced starter. If you remember, in the 3rd quarter of the Cal loss at home, the staff actually pulled Brink for Rogers. He suffered a shoulder injury, Brink came back into the game, and afterwards there were some ominous quotes from coaches, including Rosey who basically hinted that this was a change they were looking to make. Meanwhile, they beat Oregon the next week and that was it. I think with Rogers, no matter what he does this year we're always going to wonder what could have been.
Jerry Brewer wrote about Tony on Sunday. A good, honest look at the situation, but it's reality - every year, unless the program falls off the face of the earth (highly unlikely), Tony is going to be a candidate at Anywhere U. It's all based on perception of WSU being a nothing program. But is it? We're preaching to the choir here, but just because there are less TV sets in eastern WA doesn't make WSU a bad job. Get the travel stuff straightened out, and if you are pulling in a cool $1m per year in the Pac-10, with very little pressure to win? It's a GREAT job! Plus we get around 9 - 10,000 a game, and that's just as good as many other Pac-10 schools. Beasley actually has more seats than UW's BOFA arena. Did you know that? But remember, this isn't the 1990's anymore. You are coaching in a major conference in a unique college town experience that nobody can match, everyone is on TV, the internet has made the world smaller. You can be a coaching star basically anywhere.
So the M's kick another great Felix start. So far this year, 15 IP, 0 ER, 0 wins. Damn. So THAT'S why it's important to have a closer. You almost forgot what it felt like to blow late leads with Putz being such a dominant force. Well, thanks for the reminder. It sucks. Hurry back JJ.
Finally, quite a night at the Key last night. Sure, revenge on the Nuggets for the Harlem Globetrotter-like performance from a few weeks ago, in maybe the worst Sonics showing ever. And 72 points from Durant-Green was pretty special. But best of all, George Karl and that Space Needle tie! Talk about memories. I know he only wore it late in his Sonics career, but it really brought back thoughts of glory days gone by. I think George Karl and his era is the #1 reason I give a rip about the Sonics or the NBA. It's so easy to forget what it felt like back then, how much everyone cared, how much the Seattle sports landscape changed so much. Just seeing him in that tie made me remember my younger single days living in Seattle, and the Sonics were just so damn important. The clock is just about winding down on their days here, and barring a miracle they will be gone. What a shame.