Talking Points: Up in Smoak

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

The Mariners’ offense appears to be in midseason form. Through the first 100 games in the American League this season, there have been nine shutouts, and Seattle’s bats have accounted for two of them.

While there are many holes in the lineup, the most important question is when the Mariners will pull the plug on Justin Smoak. Through Friday, Smoak had played in 162 games since coming to Seattle in a 2010 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Texas. The result has been a .233 average with a .311 on-base percentage and .392 slugging percentage.

That’s barely acceptable for a middle infielder and wholly unacceptable for a first baseman. Smoak is only 25, but it’s time for the Mariners to find somebody who will actually provide production at a key offensive position.

2

Sometime in the next six weeks or so, the most uplifting sports moment this side of the Olympics will take place. We’re talking, of course, about the awarding of the Stanley Cup.

The postseason is under way, and already it has served as a reminder that nothing compares with the Stanley Cup playoffs. Through three days and 11 games before Saturday, there were four overtime contests and three other one-goal games.

So while sports fans in this area might be distraught that the Blazers will almost certainly miss the playoffs, Talking Points isn’t upset. Just more time to watch hockey.

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