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Take 2

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

May 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Mariners replays, Seahawks’ White House visit: Times readers sound off

5-25-14Mariners

Baseball’s death
by 1,000 reviews

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon’s feelings about instant review were best summed up recently in one sentence: “I don’t know when to celebrate.”

Look at last week’s close play against Houston where Michael Saunders reached first base just ahead of the pitcher, the pivotal play of the game. The umpire signaled safe. The crowd cheered loudly, but noticeably not as loudly or as long as in past years after similar plays. Why? Because baseball fans have already internalized the likelihood of a challenge, and sure enough, they were right. A minute or two later, after the crowd had milled about in near silence, the umpires dropped the headsets and one of them again signaled safe. The crowd cheered, but at a fraction of the level immediately after the original call. After all, they were just applauding a decision made by anonymous review judges watching from a continent away. How excited can a person get about that?

Baseball is a game with relatively few significant plays where the fans get to really let loose in exultation, be it positive or negative. When just the possibility of an instant review challenge is enough to dampen that enthusiasm, when every close play is tentative, pending final approval from corporate, the game is diminished.

— Dick Sanders, Kent

Iwakuma arrives
as elite pitcher

Hisashi Iwakuma clearly outpitched Felix Hernandez last season. And with his continued dominance in 2014, Iwakuma has arrived as a truly elite pitcher.

All of which hardly hurts King Felix, who can soon add “Best No. 2 Starter in Baseball” to the laurels he’s already had heaped upon him.

— Lew Witham, Seattle

No wonder team
isn’t doing better

One reason that Mariners have not done better so far this season is that they are second-to-last in Major League Baseball in batting average on balls in play (BABIP).

— Dennis McFeely

Seahawks

Why did D.C. visit
take three months?

As a Seahawks fan, I am glad the team was able to celebrate its victory again at the White House with President Obama. And while I certainly understand that it takes time to schedule something like this, I wonder why it took more than three months for it to happen.

— Yin Hong Chan, Seattle

Seattle scene

City of hard
sports knocks

I opened the Sports page on Saturday, May 17 and was greeted with the following headlines: “Opening with a thud,” “Seattle comes up empty in the ninth,” and “Sounders want to prove their worst loss a fluke.”

You’ve gotta love Seattle sports fans for enduring the hard knocks. At least the top story had a positive spin, about Keith Price fitting in with the brightest spot on the local sports scene, our Seahawks.

— Dave Yao, Seattle

Storm

Storm needs stay
competitive and rebuild

I know coach Brian Agler prefers veteran players, but how in the world is he ever going to find someone to replace Sue Bird as the face/heart/soul of the Storm if he never drafts and keeps a (possible) rising star? I think it is something that every ardent Storm fan thinks about. There has to be a way to put a competitive team on the floor and build toward the future.

— Kit Raney, Edmonds

Mike Leach

Hint to WSU coach:
Stick to football

If I wanted to know more about the famed Indian leader Geronimo (Larry Stone, “Leach studies, and writes about, unique leadership,” May 18), the last place I would look for information would be the football coach for Washington State University.

I’m sure Coug students had nothing to do with this, but please drop a hint coach Leach’s way to steer clear of a repeat literary performance.

— Creig Hamstad, Kenmore

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. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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