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Take 2

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

March 1, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Mariners, Seahawks: Seattle Times readers sound off

Mariners

Thanks for giving
us cold, hard truth

Ryan Divish laid it on the line with an article on Jesus Montero (“Mariners are blunt about Jesus Montero: He’s overweight, needs to find motivation,” Feb. 23). Not every talent-laden athlete has the mental make-up to match his ability. Some prefer to be fat and lazy. Statements attributed to Jack Zduriencik were clear and brutally honest. I hated to hear it, but I loved being able to access the cold hard truth. It’s better to know what’s happening than to hope for something that is not realistically going to come.

— Tom Likai, Shoreline

Zduriencik needs to
take responsibility

I read about Jesus Montero with frustration. However, the source of that frustration was not just the player, but also toward Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. When addressing underperforming players, he commonly uses the public refrain of “it’s up to him”. It seems clear he is attempting to distance himself and the organization from the failures of players.

In most cases, these are players Jack Z. himself scouted, drafted or traded for. And when his projections prove to be wrong, or Mariners coaches fail to develop them, Jack offers a stiff arm toward the player in the form of an “it’s up to him” statement. This approach lacks accountability.

Successful sports organizations develop and nurture talent. Look no further than the Seahawks. When players struggle or get suspended for rules violations, John Schneider and Pete Carroll support the player and embrace the opportunity to help them grow. This takes courage and patience, attributes Jack Z. could use more of.

— Ozo A. Jaculewicz

Baseball

MLB needs to balance
playing field like NFL

Imagine for a moment that the Seahawks payroll was $50 million. Then imagine that division rival San Francisco 49ers had a payroll of $200 million, that Arizona’s payroll was $150 million, and St. Louis’ was $100 million. How likely is it that the Seahawks would win a Super Bowl under this scenario? Wouldn’t we be outraged at the inequality?

Yet this is exactly how Major League Baseball operates. Where is the outrage? When will baseball, and its laughable luxury tax, finally level the playing field for all teams?

— Raymond S. Wilson, Bellevue

UW basketball

Like the man,
not the recruiter

I like Lorenzo Romar as a man, but I have lost all confidence in him to take the Husky men’s basketball program to the next level. He set the bar high for himself, and he hasn’t lived up to those expectations. Going to the NCAA tournament every year should be happening, but it isn’t. It is time to for a change.

Another factor in wanting a change is that Romar is not getting the high-profile recruits from this state. In fact, they aren’t even looking at Washington.

— Jeff Swanson, Everett

Still believing Romar
is right for Huskies

I read that Washington coach Lorenzo Romar should be worried. I don’t get it. Doesn’t anyone remember that he lost Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. early to play in the NBA?

Romar is the best we’ve got. He recruits as well as I believe we can: Nigel Williams-Goss is the real deal. The team plays good defense, and is in almost every game. Plus this program is clean. Doesn’t that count for something? It does for me.

— Keith Brown, Seattle

Youth sports

A reminder of what
sports are all about

No newspaper story ever choked me up and brought a tear to my eyes. Until today. Jon Johansen’s poignant story of his son, Michael (“A father’s story: A coach, a loss and the toughest kid I’ll ever know,” Take 2, Feb 25) and the barriers he has overcome remind us that the everyday speed bumps we all experience are trivial. Michael is an inspiration.
In a world of ego bloated sports superstars, it is nice to be reminded that sports is really all about kids — the kid in all of us.

— Richard McLeland-Wieser, Tukwila

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

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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