Talking Points: Mariners moving on up

By

Published:

 

1

The Mariners have moved up to No. 12 in the aol.sportingnews.com power rankings of Major League Baseball teams. Up one slot from a week ago, this is the highest Seattle has been ranked this season and a far cry from the No. 29 ranking most folks expected of them.

This week’s poll blurb on the M’s: “Jason Vargas (shuts out Phillies) and Erik Bedard (seven scoreless innings against Angels) want you to know that there’s more to this rotation than Felix Hernandez and Mike Pineda.”

The Red Sox are rated No. 1 and the Phillies No. 2, with the bottom three being the Dodgers, Padres and Astros.

2

Anyone hoping for an end to interleague play can stop hoping. Not going to happen.

Major League Baseball delivered that message Monday by sending out a news release trumpeting attendance over the weekend. According to MLB, the average crowd of 36,578 for the three days was the largest for 45 games since the final weekend of the 2008 season.

“Fans coming out in these remarkable numbers demonstrate the popularity of interleague, especially given that many of our intra-city rivalries did not occur this weekend,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.

Translation: Interleague still sells.

3

Stanford’s status as a national football power got a bit more credibility this week when Graham Shuler, a 6-foot-5, 265 offensive tackle out of Brentwood, Tenn., made a commitment to the school. Stanford now has five players on board from far out of the Cardinal’s traditional recruiting area. They include players from Texas, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana and now Tennessee.

In February, Stanford signed 19 recruits and only six were from Pac-12 territory. This shows USC and Oregon aren’t the only Pac-12 schools that can recruit nationally.

Just to refresh, Stanford won 12 games last year, including the Orange Bowl and has Andrew Luck returning at quarterback.