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Home Vacation THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: A vacation that turned out to be anything but a holiday

THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: A vacation that turned out to be anything but a holiday

by Staff


It seemed like a swell time for a short vacation.

You know, someplace warm.

There aren’t all that many times of year when a sports columnist can scoot away for a week or two.

Something’s always going to happen when you least expect it — so your best shot is to see if things look quiet, and pick a time when news that might make your readers’ hair stand on end is NOT likely to happen.

I learned ages ago, however, that rolling the dice on a holiday is like betting against the house in a casino.

In other words, the odds are always worse than they appear.

So.

Here I am again, having taken a bit of time off around Christmas, suddenly needing to catch up on a gazillion things that shouldn’t have happened.

But they did.

The best we can do now, I suppose, is to breeze through a few of the items that probably caught your attention.

Let’s start with a result that truly is hanging in the balance.

Like, today.

SEAHAWKS: When I left town, things seemed to be on cruise control.

Pete Carroll didn’t appear to have built his latest Super Bowl team, but the Hawks seemed headed for the playoffs, at least — with any big question marks coming up next season.

Hah.

A week ago, the Seahawks got totally rumbled in a 30-23 loss at home to Pittsburgh — allowing 202 yards rushing to just 88 on offense.

Now, the Hawks need to win at Arizona and have the Bears defeat Green Bay to slip into the wild-card picture.

The Cards are just 4-12, but they’ve split their last four – including a two-touchdown win over the same Steelers who ran roughshod at Lumen Field.

This doesn’t seem like a fun matchup, either, since 
Arizona is eighth in the league rushing — averaging 134.9 yards — while the Hawks are 28th on defense against the run.

Hmmm.

MARINERS: All of a sudden, a team that seem destined to stand pat during a boring off season came to life — and of course, I wasn’t around for most of the action.

We’re going to take a long, long look at the M’s various transactions later in the week, but it’s safe to say the big-name deal was an exchange with the Giants — or perhaps, we should call it a trade between the two clubs’ M*A*S*H units.

Seattle shipped one-time Cy Young winner Robbie Ray (who pitched less than one inning in 2023) to the Bay Area for Mariner favorite Mitch Haniger.

It will be no surprise to hear that poor Mitch was injured again in his only season with the Giants — he played just 61 games — and the Mariners will be praying they can keep him healthy enough to do some business in right field.

Meanwhile, the Mariners went fishing for a platoon outfielder who is almost the opposite of Haniger.

They sent popular infielder Jose Caballero to Tampa Bay for muscular (6-4, 245) left-handed hitting outfielder Luke Raley.

Why the word “opposite”?

Haniger has been around forever, and he’s hit when he’s been healthy.

Raley is 29, yet came out of nowhere to hit for power (as a rookie last year, no less) and play decent outfield for the Rays.

We’ll take a piercing look at these trades — plus the free-agent signing of Mitch Garver — sometime later this week.

Spoiler: Haniger (injuries), Garver (injuries) and Raley (only one season in The Show) are major question marks.

Not only that, but after insisting they wanted to get strikeouts out of their batting order, the Mariners seem to have replaced a lot of swings and misses with … swings and misses.

We’ll take a look at the possible advantages (and disadvantages) of these moves with a full Mariners scouting report.

ETC., ETC.: There isn’t space here to dig into those surprises (mostly unfortunate) with the Zags, better news with the Kraken, and the unusual situation that now faces Wazzu and Oregon State.

That deal deserves an entire column, as well.

For now, let’s just say that the Pac-2 has come out of a potential mess with things looking as bright as possible.

No, even brighter.

There are so many zigs and zags involved in that puzzle, we promise to type slowly and answer as many of your questions as possible.

But, of course, that’s ALWAYS true.

Email: [email protected]

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns appear in The Press four times each week, normally Tuesday through Friday unless, you know, stuff happens.

Steve suggests you take his opinions in the spirit of a Jimmy Buffett song: “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.”

 

  

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