Updated May 17, 2013 - 12:12 pm
The Bob and Groz Show on 710 ESPN Seattle
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 12:23pm
Special to 710Sports.com
Former big-leaguer and current Mariners broadcaster Mike Blowers left no room for ambiguity in his response when asked when he believes Mike Zunino should be called up from Triple-A Tacoma.
Despite the well-documented woes of 23-year-old catcher Jesus Montero amplifying the outcry for Zunino, Blowers thinks making a rash decision to call up the third overall pick from the 2012 draft would be unwise.
"I don't see what the rush is to get him here," Blowers said. "I'd rather him have a lot of success (in Triple-A) and feel like he has earned his way up here."
It's important to note that Zunino has only played in 68 minor-league games since he was drafted as a 21-year-old junior from the University of Florida. Better yet, he's only had 297 plate appearances between his brief stints in Single-A Everett, Double-A Jackson and now Tacoma.
Zunino, in large part, has done his job and done it well.
In 29 games last year for Everett, he hit .373 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. His stint in Jackson lasted only 15 games, but his .333 average with three home runs and five RBIs earned him a promotion to start this season.
All early indicators coming from Tacoma were overwhelmingly positive about Zunino. Through six games he had already hit four home runs while driving in 17 – both league leaders at the time.
As scorching a start as that was, the star-prospect came down to earth, and then some.
Entering Wednesday's game, Zunino is hitting .220 with 29 RBIs and five home runs. The past 10 games have been very much an indicator that although talented, he still needs more seasoning, evidenced by his .162 batting average and 13 strikeouts in 37 at-bats.
"He is the future of this club – I don't think there is any doubt about that – so why not let him play a full season in Triple-A," Blowers said. "Let him get his numbers, and let him have a lot of success and gain his confidence there before you have to rush him up here."
Monday, May 6, 2013 @ 3:28pm
Shannon Drayer's latest blog post details Jesus Montero's inability to throw out opposing baserunners, an issue that was especially evident Sunday when the Mariners catcher allowed four stolen bases during a loss to Toronto.
That's not his only defensive shortcoming, according to Drayer.
"In talking to different broadcasters throughout the different places that we've gone – a lot of them ex-pitchers – they're saying that he's costing them strikes right now. And if you watch him, he is swiping at balls, he's not holding anything in the strike zone. I think that's hurting his pitchers," Drayer told "Bob and Groz" Monday.
The growing sentiment that Montero should be sent down to Triple-A Tacoma has just as much do to with his offensive struggles. He's hitting .203 with four extra-base hits this season, which isn't the type of production the Mariners envisioned when they gave up all-star pitcher Michael Pineda to acquire Montero in a trade with the Yankees last offseason. Montero hit .260 with 15 home runs in his first season in Seattle.
"I think at this point ... there needs to be more intense work done with him," Drayer said. "I think the offense needs to be the priority, he needs to be playing every day and if he can't carry his end of the deal defensively he can't be playing every day, so you need to find a place where he can."
In the video below, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss Montero's struggles and the best course of action for the Mariners.
You can listen to Monday's show here.
Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 6:13pm
The Seahawks' Russell Wilson posted one of the most impressive seasons by a rookie quarterback in recent memory last season, but he is by no means coasting on his previous success.
While joining 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz," Wilson explained that there's plenty about his game he's working to improve.
"There's so much more learning to do now. I'm trying to learn as much as I can, be on that constant quest for knowledge," Wilson said. "I've definitely matured even more. (The Seahawks staff has been) giving me everything they possibly can, and I took it as a challenge."
Quotes like that just solidify how impressive Wilson is, especially for a 24-year-old former third-round pick, as Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton explain in the video below.
Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 2:44pm
The NFL's unofficial workouts are ongoing, and Marshawn Lynch has been noticeably absent for the Seahawks. While that could be cause for alarm – especially since the free-spirited running back also has a pending DUI case in California's Alameda County – ESPN's John Clayton told "Bob and Groz" that the lack of Lynch shouldn't be a concern.
"I think that we know that Marshawn kinda beats to a different drummer and is a little bit different in the way he handles things," Clayton said.
Marshawn Lynch was absent from the start of voluntary workouts. (AP)
Coming off a 2012 season where he rushed for 1,590 yards, the 27-year-old Lynch has earned some goodwill to miss workouts, Clayton said.
"As long as he takes the football with the talent that he has, (and) he's not gonna miss any of the mandatory things. ... If he's not here for some of the voluntary I don't think it's that big of a deal."
Clayton added that running backs have a history of missing voluntary workouts.
"Remember these things supposedly are voluntary, and a lot of times running backs, more so than other positions, tend to want to be away because they just want to get their minds right and their bodies right because they have to take such a physical pounding. ... Edgerrin James didn't usually go back to the Indy practices as much. He wanted to be in Miami. And you really go through the history of the sport, and that happens to a lot of the running backs."
Rumors have emerged that Lynch's absence could be related to new Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin's big contract, but Clayton doesn't believe that's the case.
"I just don't buy that. (Lynch) knows that there's not going to be any change in (his) contract," Clayton said. "This is his second team, and he had to kinda fight his way back and regain the stature to be able to claim this type of a contract. ... I don't know if he puts as much energy into something like that."
Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 11:30am
Here are the rules for the "Bob and Groz" drinking game*.
Each of the following words/phrases is good for one drink.
When Bob says: "Alright" or "Exactly right" or "How 'bout that?"
When Groz says: "Uhhh" or "supposebly"
When John Clayton says: "Let's put it this way" or "But also, too"
Today's additional word: "Mariners"
*We are not suggesting any drink in particular.
Thursday, May 2, 2013 @ 3:29pm
The absence of many immediate needs allowed the Seahawks to approach the draft with the bigger picture in mind. That helps explain why they used three of their first five picks on positions that didn't need solidifying for this season.
Chris Harper doesn't figure to factor heavily into Seattle's passing game as a rookie considering its abundance of weapons, particularly at receiver. But the decision to use a fourth-round pick on Harper makes more sense when considering the decisions the Seahawks will have to make next offseason.
Golden Tate (unrestricted) and Doug Baldwin (restricted) are scheduled to become free agents. Sidney Rice's contract will count $9.7 million against the 2014 salary cap, which could be a prohibitive amount considering all the money Seattle committed to Percy Harvin. Even more so if the Seahawks remain a run-first offense.
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby pick up the conversation from there.
You can listen to Thursday's show here.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 @ 4:04pm
Pete Carroll insists the 2013 Seahawks will still be a run-first team even though Russell Wilson will have a year of experience under his belt and Percy Harvin at his disposal.
That means they'll still have plenty of use for a fullback.
Less certain is who will be playing that position for the Seahawks after they drafted LSU running back Spencer Ware in the sixth round with the intention of making him a fullback. Michael Robinson has played that position for Seattle the past three seasons, leading the way for Marshawn Lynch and what has become one of the league's best rushing attacks while also serving as a special-teams captain.
Robinson, though, is 30 years old and is scheduled to make $2.5 million in 2013, the final year of his deal with the Seahawks.
"Mike Rob's done a great job for us, and we expect him to continue to do that. But he's really played the position all by himself for a while, so fortunately we have a guy now that can play both spots," Carroll said. "It does get tough on the roster to fit those guys together, so we're expecting that Spencer's got to do a lot."
The video below includes thoughts from Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby about other Seahawks veterans who appear to be on the spot based on positions the team addressed in the draft.
You can listen to Wednesday's show here.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 @ 1:47pm
Special to 710Sports.com
The NBA relocation committee's 7-0 vote against moving the Sacramento Kings puts another obstacle in the path that Chris Hansen has been clearing for a team in Seattle. NBA TV legal analyst Michael McCann joined "Afternoons with the Go 2 Guy" on Monday to assess Hansen's legal options and explain some concepts to the Sonics faithful.
Can a higher bid lose? It isn't an auction. Offering more money or having a better arena deal would not give Hansen's group a legal right to the team. "[Bid approval] really is the NBA's discretion for whatever reasons it wants to employ," McCann said.
Should Hansen sue? A case could be built citing antitrust laws but McCann said the argument "would be difficult to win on, and also it would take years." He added, "I don't think that the litigation path is a likely method of getting a team."
How could Hansen get the Kings? The best immediate move is to convince the Board of Governors "that the relocation committee was somehow decidedly wrong" and get 16 owners to vote against their advice.
What if Sacramento doesn't pull through? McCann thinks that's unlikely, but if the Sacramento offer falls apart it gives Hansen leverage to ask the league to re-evaluate its relocation decision.
Can the Maloofs refuse the sale? The Maloofs aren't obligated to sell to the Sacramento group. "Why they would do that ... is a separate question," McCann said. "If they're interested in just getting as much money as possible and then moving on to other endeavors, then they probably would sell the team."
How about expansion? An expansion team is feasible and won't make a great impact on quality of play or sharing of resources but "the business folks at the NBA apparently believe otherwise and they're the ones making the decision." McCann's odds of expansion are "Better than 50-1, better than the Kings."
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