Talking Points: We’re talking NBA power rankings, man, not the games




OK, we know this is kind of silly, but still have to report it: The Philadelphia 76ers started the week at No. 1 in several National Basketball Association power rankings.

The team that almost universally is accepted as the worst franchise in the league opened the 2013-14 season at 3-0, topping Miami and Chicago.

So, for one week, they get the lofty honor.

Following the 76ers in the rankings were No. 2 Indiana, No. 3 Houston, No. 4 Minnesota and No. 5 Miami.

The Trail Blazers were ranked No. 14.


With baseball’s offseason under way, free agent signings take the spotlight. Here’s a name most sport fans have not heard, but will soon. rates 25-year-old Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka as the No. 5 free agent on the market.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA, 32 walks and 188 strikeouts for the Rakuten Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.

Only Robinson Cano of the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox, Brian McCann of the Braves and Shin-Soo Choo of the Reds are considered more valuable among free agents.


Former M’s catcher Dave Valle was one of the candidates who got an interview to be Seattle’s next manager. Valle, 53, spent 10 seasons with the M’s.

Now an announcer and analyst, Valle has been brought in by the organization to discuss its current situation and is considered a loyal member of the Mariners family.

One other M’s note: Departed center fielder Franklin Gutierrez played in 325 of the 648 games played after he signed a four-year, $20.5-million deal in 2010. says the math figures out to roughly $63,000 per nine innings played for a .241 hitter.