Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 2:50pm
UFC fighter and Parkland, Wash. native Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson stopped by the 710 ESPN Seattle studious this week to promote his upcoming fight against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8 at KeyArena.
In the video below, Johnson talks with Bob Stelton about his training and what it will be like to headline a UFC event near his home town.
Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 11:29am
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: "Cleveland/Indians"
*We are not suggesting any drink in particular.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 4:36pm
Jesus Montero entered Thursday's game with a .211 average, just five extra-base hits and plenty of doubts about his long-term outlook as a catcher. His work ethic has also been questioned.
But Jim Bowden provided some reason for optimism with Montero in the form of a reminder and an example when he joined "Bob and Groz" on Thursday.
Bowden pointed to Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion – whom he once traded for – as an example of a player who reached his potential later than anticipated. Encarnacion had a breakout season in 2012 at the age of 29, hitting .280 with a career-high 42 home runs and 110 RBIs.
"This game is really tough at the big-league level when you've got guys throwing 95 with nasty breaking balls and late life and they don't make mistakes over the middle of the plate like they do in the minor leagues," Bowden said. "It takes a lot of discipline and it take a lot of time to adjust, and for a lot of players they don't get it until they're 25, 26, 27, somewhere in there."
Bowden thinks that will be the case with Montero, who has hit .253 with 18 home runs in 160 games since he was acquired in a trade with the Yankees before the 2012 season.
"I would never give up on this guy because I think he's going to be a middle-of-the-order run producer," Bowden said. "I don't agree with Brian Cashman when Brian Cashman [compared him to] Miguel Cabrera; I didn't see that, but I did see a guy that I think's going to be a 100-RBI-type run producer in the middle of the Mariners' lineup.
"And if I had to bet on any of those kids – [Justin] Smoak and [Dustin] Ackley and him – there's no doubt which guy I'm betting on – that's Montero.
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby react to Bowden's comments on Montero in the video below.
You can listen to Thursday's show here.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 @ 5:06pm
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against CC Sabathia heading into Tuesday's game against the Yankees and their ace pitcher.
Seager broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when he ripped a two-out RBI double to right-center field.
The left-handed-hitting Seager was in the lineup and hitting third despite a southpaw in Sabathia on the hill. As Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss in the video below, that's a reflection of how important Seager has been to Seattle's lineup this season.
You can listen to Tuesday's show here.
Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 3:05pm
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com is among those who believe defensive tackle Jesse Williams is the Seahawks rookie with the best chance at making his way into the starting lineup this season.
"I say that because that's kind of where there is a hole," Farnsworth told "Bob and Groz" on Monday while recapping Seattle's three-day rookie minicamp. "Alan Branch, who started there the last two years, signed elsewhere in free agency."
Stelton and Grosby agree with that sentiment. In the video below, they share more thoughts on Williams and his chances of starting as a rookie.
You can listen to Monday's show here.
Saturday, May 11, 2013 @ 11:48am
By Brent Stecker
With the steroid era over, pitchers have taken over Major League Baseball. And according to ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian, the Mariners' resident King, Felix Hernandez, is at the forefront of the game's sea change.
Felix Hernandez's numbers in 2013 have been outstanding, including a 5-2 record and an AL-best 1.53 ERA. (AP)
While joining 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz," Kurkjian explained that the 27-year-old Hernandez is in elite company for his age.
"(With) this many innings pitched, this many wins ... this many strikeouts, this many dominant games, when you start looking at guys at this age that have accomplished this much, you start thinking two things -- he's going to the Hall of Fame if he keeps this up for any significant length of time from here, and he's got an outside, outside chance at winning 300 games," Kurkjian said.
That's high praise considering Kurkjian believes the days of 300-game winners may be over.
"We get asked all the time, 'Will anyone win 300 again?' My answer probably is no, but I think the best shot at it is Felix Hernandez, who throws this hard still, his stuff is still this dominant, and that's a lot of innings in there," said Kurkjian. "He's not Roy Halladay innings, but he's 10 years behind him (in age) and his arm is still going really, really well here, and that's an encouraging sign for the Mariners."
Hernandez has arguably been the best pitcher in the American League this year, as he sports a 5-2 record, a league-leading 1.53 ERA, 0.90 walks-hits per inning, 56 strikeouts and just eight walks. With his performance, he's helping set the bar during a historically dominant season for pitchers, who are striking out batters at an all-time high.
"It is really hard to hit these days. The pitching today is unlike any time that's I've seen in the 33 years that I have covered. We have more guys throwing in the mid-90s, more guys with not just one quality secondary pitch but two," Kurkjian said. "(Current Texas Ranger) Lance Berkman told me last year, 'Every night someone comes out of the bullpen throwing 95 miles-per-hour, and I've never even heard of him.' That's how many young, hard throwers we have. We used to just have hard-throwing right-handed starting pitchers. Now we have left-handed relievers, lefty starters who are in the mid-90s. That was unheard of to have this many or even close to this 30 years ago. Now they're everywhere."
Kurkjian said the combination of pitchers evolving and bad approaches by hitters are contributing to the dominant pitching numbers.
"Pitchers have just decided, 'Look, we can't do this anymore. We have to come up with something else.' I was talking to a pitching coach the other day who said that's where the cutter came from. So many pitchers were getting their brains beat out every night, because in the steroid era there were so many big, strong hitters, they said, 'OK, we gotta come up with something else.' Not necessarily something new, but different pitches have been perfected.
"The hitters aren't helping things by going up there saying I'm gonna swing as hard as I can on every pitch, or I'm gonna really work a deep count here. (They) try to draw a walk and before you know it they're 0-2 and the other guy has three pitches that they can't hit. And that's why the strikeout rate is at an all-time high right now."
Friday, May 10, 2013 @ 2:05pm
Tom Cable will have five new offensive linemen at his disposal after the Seahawks added three in the draft and a pair of rookie free agents.
"He's doing really well," Cable, Seattle's offensive line coach, told "Bob and Groz" on Friday before the start of the team's three-day rookie minicamp.
Carpenter, a first-round pick in 2011, was a starter at right tackle as a rookie before he suffered a season-ending ACL tear after the team's ninth game. He returned to the field in Week 4 of last season and started seven games at guard before reinjuring the knee in Week 13.
Carpenter remained in Seattle to continue his rehab and prepare for the upcoming season. Cable said he recently had a "cleanup" procedure on that knee and that it now "feels the best it's felt this whole time."
Cable also said Carpentrer is significantly stronger.
"He's had a monumental offseason in the weight room," Cable said. "For a big guy and coming out of Alabama you would think he was there in terms of strength numbers; he really wasn't, but he is now. So it's a real credit to him and [strength and conditioning coach Chris] Carlisle and those guys in the weight room."
Carpenter is among the four players competing for one of two starting spots at guard, the others being Paul McQuistan, John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 8:56pm
Seahawks guard James Carpenter is one of 14 players to enter the NFL as a first-round pick after playing for coach Nick Saban at Alabama.
Perhaps those injury issues are coincidental, but John Clayton made the connection to Alabama during Monday's edition of "Cold Hard Facts" when the conversation shifted to Carpenter, a first-round pick in 2011 whose first two NFL seasons have been cut short by knee injuries.
"Do you notice that a lot of the guys coming out of 'Bama are injured or suffering injuries or carryover injuries or (are) all banged up? They go through so much training when they're there," Clayton said. "... This is one of the reasons why Alabama is so successful and Nick Saban's got himself a mini-dynasty going on in college football, is because they work so hard."
Clayton cited a pair of Alabama players from this year's draft as further evidence: cornerback Dee Milliner and running back Eddie Lacy. Milliner, selected ninth overall by the Jets, reportedly underwent five surgeries while in college. Lacy has a toe injury that is believed to be part of the reason he fell to the Packers at the bottom of the second round.
"A lot of these guys coming out of 'Bama, they literally are out there practicing and lifting just about almost every day," Clayton said, "so you kind of wonder, is that just now what you get when you get an Alabama player – that he's not injury-prone but there is a little bit more of a chance that he is going to have more injuries than most?"
Which brings us back to Carpenter, who missed a total of 16 games while finishing each of his first two seasons on injured reserve. Carpenter remained in Seattle over the offseason to rehab and prepare for the upcoming season. He'll be competing with three others – Paul McQuistan, John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy – for one of two starting spots at guard.
Dave Grosby and Danny O'Neil pick up the conversation there, previewing what is one of the Seahawks' only expected position battles.
You can listen to Wednesday's show here.