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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

June 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Seattle Times sports readers sound off

Mariners

Don’t always bring in Seattle’s closer

Baseball has changed dramatically in the past 50 to 75 years. Now, for some reason, using a closer is sacrosanct.

It used to be common for pitchers to pitch nine innings. Are today’s pitchers wimpier? Less athletic? More fragile? I don’t think so.

It has become a mindset. All teams must have a closer, a specialist to seal the victory. Jeremy Bonderman of the Mariners recently pitched a magnificent game, was still going strong and had a relatively low pitch count. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to finish the last inning.

What’s wrong with letting him throw the ninth? If he walks someone or gives up a hit, there is still time for a closer. Is one more inning going to make the starter’s arm drop off? Will he have to miss his next start because he pitched nine innings?

Let them pitch. If they start to tire in the last inning, then look for relief.

- Don Rogers, Camano Island

Don’t let Ackley bump Franklin

I hope that Dustin Ackley does not bump Nick Franklin from second base when he returns to the Mariners. Ackley isn’t ready to return to the majors. His batting stance and constant strikeouts drive me crazy.

- Jim McDonald, Auburn

Fire Wedge, bring in some tough love

After last Sunday’s debacle against the New York Yankees, I finally realized manager Eric Wedge inept.
The Mariners worked a walk from Raul Ibanez, then a single from Endy Chavez. Wedge let Michael Saunders face one of the best closers of all time, Mariano Rivera, after he had struck out twice against menial Yankees relievers.
Was there no one on the bench? Saunders has been in free fall for about a month!

Fire the manager and bring someone in with positive energy, a sense of humor, and maybe some tough love! Wedge must go!

- Phil Payne, Everett

Baseball

Just say no to not-so-instant replays

You published a letter advocating adoption of baseball replays. I have two words why that is a bad idea: Continuing Action.

The idea of the instant decision is an integral part of the fabric of baseball. Players make decisions based on what just happened all the time. If you can go back and change the decision, it would irreparably harm the flow of the game.

Any simple-minded advocacy for instant replay fails to appreciate the nature and history of the game.

- Chuck Collins, Ferndale

NBA

James is best who has ever played

Regardless of how the ongoing NBA Finals play out, it needs to be universally recognized that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.

No other player has so consistently changed the outcome of games via scoring, play-making, defensive intimidation, intelligence and raw will — from every position on the court.

All you Michael Jordan fans, who say championships should be the ultimate measuring stick, will be consistent, I’m sure, in raising the banner for Franco Harris over Jim Brown.

- Lew Witham, Seattle

Send us your backtalk: Letters bearing real names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less.
They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-493-0934, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or email to: sports@seattletimes.com

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