This day is only about 8 hours old as I write this at 8:15am, but already it has been one of the most impactful days in Seattle Sports history. The University of Washington has just secured the coach with the 2nd highest winning percentage in the HISTORY of college football at any level and the Mariners...the SEATTLE FRIGGIN MARINERS have just signed Robinson Cano to the 3rd largest deal in sports history.
First on the new coach. Chris Petersen's .885 clip is 2nd only to Lance Leipold of UW-Whitewater as the best ever. Has Petersen been aided by a terrible league? That answer is of course yes. But should that minimize how great a coach he is? No more than Brad Stevens or Mark Few be minimized by their lackluster competition.
Peterson brings a fantastic football mind and the amazing ability to turn 3 star recruits into 5 star college football players. That is unquestionably his strength. Will he be able to go into LA and grab the best talent that city has to offer and wrestle them away from Jim Mora, Steve Sarkisian and Mark Helfrich? That remains to be seen. Even if he can't get the best of the best talent, we know that he can win at a high level with less than the best talent. So at the very least, we should be able to safely expect the Dawgs to continue the success they've had under Sark. We should however hope for more and expect more. With Petersen's cache and the facilites the UW provides, we should expect Peterson to get the best of the best talent. If he can, there is no reason to assume that the UW won't be right at the level of the best of the best in the Pac 12 for years to come.
Keeping Justin Wilcox will be key in my mind. Wilcox worked with him at Boise and the two of them would make a powerful 1-2 punch at Montlake. I'm really interested to see what the future holds for Wilcox as well as this big time recruiting class that has already committed verbally to UW. If Wilcox stays and these recruits stay...look out Pac 12, the Dawgs are here to stay.
As for the M's. You all know how I feel about the way this franchise has been run. It's been a train wreck. But the departure of Chuck Armstrong apparently has already paid dividends because I really doubt he would have stood around and watched this franchise write a 240 million dollar check to 1 player!
Am I excited at this signing? I'm cautiouly optimistic...this signing was a must for two reasons. First, the M's had to show their fan base that they could actually land and not just come close to landing a big name free agent and second, they had to show other free agents that they are a major player in this game. For this signing to be beneficial both in the short and long run, they MUST continue this momentum and gobble up at least 2 more bats via free agency or via a trade and get 1 starter and a closer. We all know they can't stop with Cano. What good will Cano do if the rest of the team is at a 70 win level? Two more middle of the order bats, a #3 starter and a closer and then I can believe that this team can compete with the Angels, Rangers and A's for a title in what should be the best division in baseball.
It's an exciting time to be a Seattle sports fan and for one day at least, it has nothing to do with the best team in the NFL. That being said. Go Hawks!