Thursday Links: Is Valentine the Right Guy for M’s?

Mariners manager: Bobby Valentine appears to have emerged as the leading candidate to be the next manager of the Mariners. Ryan Divish of the News Tribune gives you a pretty good look at Valentine. He also reports the Peter Gammons reportedly tweeted earlier this year that Ichiro would prefer Valentine as a  manager. News Tribune columnist John McGrath wrote back in September that the M’s should hire Valentine.

While working for CBS Sportsline in 2000, I covered the Subway World Series. Valentine managed the Mets and what impressed me about him was his fire. You could tell that he didn’t like to lose. At the time, I remembered thinking how did he get this team to the World Series. The pitching was solid, Mike Piazza was a dangerous hitter, but do you remember the Mets’ outfield? The starters were Benny Agbayani, Timo Perez and Jay Payton. So it’s not like you have to give him a veteran team to succeed. Maybe he is the right guy for the M’s at this time?  He’s regarded as a pretty good game strategist, and he’s been able to ignite the fan base at other stops and, we know M’s fans need something to get excited about.

Big Board: UW quarterback Jake Locker started the season No. 1 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board, which rates the top prospects for the 2011 NFL draft. Kiper’s now got Locker at No. 7. Stanford QB Andrew Luck is No. 1 on the board.

Seahawks Hit the (ugh!) Road: Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes: “For a team with Seattle’s baggage of road losses, this amounts to a two-month gauntlet as Seattle plays only two homes in the 61 days following their Week 3 victory over San Diego. Seattle is 2-2 because of a potent combination of defense and decibels. The Seahawks have forced seven turnovers in two home victories.” Read the entire story here.

Oregon vs. Boise State for national title? Could it, maybe … wouldn’t that be something. Boise State came out No.  1 in a mock BCS poll, ahead of the Ducks. Oregon and Boise State are 2-3 in the latest polls. Boise State beat Oregon the last two years. Don’t know about you, but that’s a game I’d like to see again. Forget the SEC, the Big 12, the Big 10. Here’s an AP story that takes a look at college football at the halfway mark. Here’s The Sporting News’ midseason report.

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