Three thoughts on three people:
1. Jake Locker.
The more you watch Jake Locker, the more you start to wonder if he shouldn’t be playing another position.
I started thinking about this before he broke his thumb in Saturday’s game against Stanford. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be a quarterback. While throwing on the run he’s still wound up tighter than a vice presidential candidate getting grilled by Katie Couric – ya gotta relax Jake – but I think he’ll figure it out.
Besides quarterback, maybe he should be starting at free safety? If there was ever a football team that needed to get its best athletes on the field, it’s the Washington Huskies. If there ever was a defensive team, that needed somebody to make a play or hit somebody, it’s the Washington Huskies. If there ever was a defense that needed a quality safety, it’s the (yeah, you’re right) Washington Huskies.
Unfortunately, Locker’s out with a thumb injury. Too bad, because he’d be a helluva two-platoon player. At the very least, the Huskies should consider putting him on defense on third down situations when he returns. Heck, he could even play in a cast.
Admittedly, it would be a bit out of the ordinary. Pretty soon, I’ll be calling for high school athletes to play a minimum of two sports and major league teams to have their pitchers throw every fourth day.
Come to think of it, maybe Locker should play baseball for Washington this spring (he does have a better professional future in that sport).
2. Ichiro Suzuki.
Thousands of baseball fans, young and old, can mimic Ichiro’s pre-swing pose.
Everybody knows about this hit-producing machine.
But nobody really knows him.
This week, the Seattle Times, citing “a clubhouse insider,” reported that a teammate threatened to knock Ichiro out. Jeff Baker, the reporter, stands by his source.
It’s created quite a season-ending storm for a team that’s been sailing in choppy waters all season.
Nobody faults Ichiro’s preparation or results. How could you after he’s put together eight straight 200-hit, 100-run seasons, matching a record held by Lou Gehrig. But he’s a singles hitter who happens to be a lousy baserunner who lays low in the clubhouse. No crime against that, but with the M’s facing a major rebuilding project, the debate is on: Trade Ichiro or keep him? What do you think? The face of the franchise is 34 years old. Would the M’s have lost more than 101 games or finished more than 39 games out of first place without him this season? We know he puts fannies in the seats, but what’s his on-field value to this team? What do you — the people who put their fannies in the seats — think?
3. Paul Newman.
In honor of the legendary actor who passed away over the weekend, I’m going to find time to re-watch one of the classic sports movies ever made – the hilarious “Slap Shot.” Newman, played the role of a carousing minor league hockey player-coach. Newman, who grew up playing hockey, said it was the most fun he had on a movie set. Trivia: What was the name of Newman’s character? First person to respond with the correct answer doesn’t win anything, but at least I’ll know somebody’s reading this stuff. Mom, you don’t count.
We have a winner. It was e-mailed to my personal e-mail. Newman’s character was Reggie “Reg” Dunlop.