Walter Jones - Decision Time

Part II


Q.  So the Hawks lost Walter Jones, LT, and Mike Wahle, LG, in one shot... but they had a good idea both were hurt.  Why didn't they plan better?

A.  They did.

Their plan was for Locklear to play LT, Willis to play RT, and they brought in Unger as well.   What messed up their plan was not Jones and Wahle's injuries, but Locklear's and Willis', especially Locklear's.

The Seahawks had a ton of OL's.  How many linemen can you carry at one time?


Q.  Why would Jones want to play?  He's got the money and the respect, right?  Doesn't he want to be able to walk when he's 50?

A.  Lorenzo Romar was asked this question today, too. 

For pro athletes, there's nothing worse than losing the camaraderie of the friends and the locker room.  It's equivalent to you and I losing our families.  (Segway Ken Griffey Jr.)

The next season hits, and they go fishing when their friends are back at work, playing football or baseball... they're on the outside.  Hey, I can relate...


The competition is a true addiction for them.  Romar explained that it can be just as fun to go on the road, and silence a house full of people, as it can be to play in front of your home fans.

This makes sense, if you visualize it.  You've got 12,000 people in the NBA, or 35,000 in MLB, or 70,000 people in the NFL, all watching .... you.  And they're all adrenalized, and the electricity is rolling... and (like the Cards here last Sunday) you just shut them all up and send them home quiet.

Dale Carnegie said that the key to winning friends and influencing people is ... hey, everybody wants to matter.   An athlete who shuts up 70,000 people matters to those 70,000.  Have you ever mattered to 70,000?  It's got to be a tremendous adrenaline rush. 

Why give it up?   Because some sportswriter thinks you're merely "average" now, as opposed to being great?   Why base your life on his expectations?   I wouldn't.


Romar pointed out, as well, that most pro athletes do not prepare for retirement day.  

Obviously, for a ballplayer, baseball* isn't part of life, in the sense that your job at the auto shop or graphic-design studio is a part of life.  It is their life.

Which is why ballplayers refer to a minor-league sendout as "dying."  They ain't lyin'...


Q.  Anything else about #71?

A.  Robbie Tobeck had a great quote. 

"If I'd been as good as Walter, I'd have been a jerk."  But Walter was a humble, funny, likeable guy all the way through.

If he's hurting the team, fine, move on.  But if Walter thinks he can play, well, he's got a chance to be my best lineman in 2010.

Baseball segway again:  Ken Griffey Jr. was not a charity case in 2009.  I’d have rather had Dunn, but since you didn’t, Griffey did a whale of a lot to establish the new era here.  He wasn’t a charity case.  He helped the club.

I’m not saying it’s probable, but it’s possible that given the right 250-300 AB’s in 2010, he could OPS+ 120 and help the club.   With guys like Jones and Griffey, it’s not as simple as saying, “well, he’s old now.”

Everybody does get old, that’s true.  With the all-timers, we need to be on our toes as to when that day arrives, because we don’t always know.


Q.    Dr’s R/X?

A.  If Walter is resolved, I’m penciling him in next year.  … the offseason goes badly, fine, cross that bridge then.  But as of now, I’m working towards ‘010.




Anonymous's picture

Is the fact that if his kidneys could handle a OTC ant-inflamatory Walt would be playing right now. The fact we're being robbed of watching the greatest player in the history of the franchise because he can't take a drug tens of millions of retiree's take every day seems incredibly cruel.


Any idea why the doctors can't find a safe prescription anti-inflammatory?

Anonymous's picture

I'd imagine that all of the Cox-2 inhibitor's, including the newer prescription one's like Celebrex would be just as stressful on his kidney's. I'm curious why a corticosteroid isn't an option...


Anybody ever tell you football fans that you're wayyyyy too smart?
We can fix that.  Hang with us after a loss.

Anonymous's picture

To know I'm not. ; ) Does your oppinion change if I think the M's *should* trade Lopez?


with some other blog, maybe :- )
I've been a JLo fan since Gillick made him an untouchable at 16 or whatever... just the same, would love to find out the return...  any suggestions from The Mother Brain as to what that return would be?

Anonymous's picture

I think it unlikely Jack drops big dollars on any one FA, and with the number of gravity wells / unknowns on offense it wouldn't be prudent anyway. I'm not sure its a smart bet long term to try to buy your way out of more than one or two holes. You goto the well enough w/ FA's, eventually you get bit. Not gonna argue its the prudent move, but i'd love to see Tui get a chance to stick at second. Teams with production from up the middle defensive positions allow for such a higher celeing. That being said, I'd be giddy just to not have to see anyone approaching the futility utility that was Bill Hall or Big Sky Elvis and hhis "cERA" swing a bat next year.

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