Seattle Seahawks: Even as Six Seed, Hawks Remain Poised for Another Super Bowl Run

Another season, another playoff appearance for the Seattle Seahawks. The two-time defending NFC champions enter the playoffs as the sixth, and lowest, seed in the National Football Conference. Seattle opens the playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings, the highest seeded NFC team not to receive a first-round bye. Additionally, even if the team wins it all, the Seahawks are guaranteed a total of zero home games.

And yet, the Seattle Seahawks have the look of a team poised to make a third consecutive Super Bowl.

Pete Carroll’s squad trounced the Arizona Cardinals on the road to wrap up the regular season. Playing without starters Russell Okung, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, J.R. Sweezy and Luke Willson, the Hawks beat the team’s division rivals 36-6. Seattle’s defense bottled up one of the league’s best offenses while Russell Wilson and company shredded an equally elite defense.

The win was not only impressive, but it showed a sign of things to come for the Hawks.

Seattle will now take the show on the road during the playoffs, but that shouldn’t be a cause for worry. The team’s opponent in the first round is the Minnesota Vikings. Obviously it’s the playoffs and anything can happen, but the Seahawks did steam role the Vikings in Minnesota just last month. The score in that contest was 38-7, with Wilson tossing three touchdowns and Adrian Peterson being held to just 18 yards.

If the Seahawks beat Minnesota, the team will travel to play the Carolina Panthers. Carolina did beat Seattle earlier this year in the Pacific Northwest, but the Hawks led 20-7 at one point and controlled most of the game.

While the Panthers are an extremely good team, Cam Newton doesn’t have a lot of weapons at his disposal in the same way Russell Wilson does. In other words, if Newton has an off day, Carolina is susceptible to defeat. Case in point, the Panthers only loss came against the Atlanta Falcons, who held Carolina’s star quarterback to 188 total yards and one total touchdown.

Of the three teams the Seahawks could face in a potential NFC Championship game, none should be overly intimidating. Washington owns the worst record of any playoff team, while Seattle has experience against both Green Bay and (obviously) Arizona.

The Hawks lost by 10 to the Packers on the road in Week 2. However, Seattle had a lead in the fourth quarter despite playing without Chancellor. Green Bay also needed a passing masterclass from Aaron Rodgers to earn the win.

One of the NFC’s two wild cards, Green Bay faltered down the stretch, going 4-6 over the team’s final 10 games. That included losses to the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Additionally, three of the Pack’s four wins came against struggling teams such as the Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.

In addition to a potentially favorable schedule, the Hawks will get Lynch back from injury. The Seattle offense was already dynamic without the team’s star running back. Now it seems the offense will only become more explosive with a healthy “Beast Mode.”


With Lynch’s return, the Hawks are now equipped to play any style required. The team can slug it out in a run dominated and low scoring affair, or throw it 50 times per game.

However you slice it, the Seattle Seahawks are equipped for another Super Bowl run. Watch out NFL.

Detroit Tigers: One of the Tweets of the Year

Nothing like taking Jon Lester deep for your first career hit!


Seattle Seahawks: Christine Michael Finally Gets His Shot

After almost three years and stints with two different teams, Christine Michael is getting his chance to shine with the Seattle Seahawks.

The running back, who was drafted in the second round by the Hawks in 2013, is back with Seattle. He was previously traded to the Dallas Cowboys before the season to clear room for the man he is helping replace in the Pacific Northwest: Thomas Rawls. Dallas cut Michael, prompting the back to sign with Washington’s practice squad.

But thanks to injuries to Rawls and Marshawn Lynch, not to mention DuJuan Harris’ ineffectiveness, Christine Michael will finally have his shot to be the lead back in Seattle.

He’ll obviously have to compete with fellow new addition Bryce Brown for snaps, but with Fred Jackson staying in a passing/third-down capacity, there will be plenty of snaps for Michael.

The former second-round draft has always had the talent, but has never quite had a full opportunity to establish himself. Michael never had that chance with the Hawks thanks to the presence of Lynch. If “Beast Mode” is healthy, no one is going to be taking carries away from him.

But with Lynch injured, it could Michael’s time to shine.

In 19 career games, the newest Seahawk has ran for 305 yards on 67 carries.

Early in his career, Michael showed flashes of brilliance. The running back once ran for 71 yards on only four carries against the Giants. For his career with Seattle, Michael has averaged 4.6 yards per carry. There’s clearly talent there, but the Seahawks just need to see it on a more consistent basis. The former Texas A&M star has registered five career games with less than five total rushing yards.

Despite that, the Seahawks’ upcoming schedule provides Michael the opportunity to do some serious damage. Sunday’s opponent, the Cleveland Browns, allow the fourth most rushing yards. The Browns have also allowed 11 rushing scores, tied for the sixth-most in NFL history.

Following the Browns, Seattle will play the St. Louis Rams. St. Louis has given up the eleventh most yards on the ground. The team’s last contest of the season is against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has only allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards in the league. While the game could be an intense battle for the division, it could also be a game in which the Cardinals are resting there starters ahead of the playoffs.

What’s more, Russell Wilson and the passing game’s recent hot streak will open up running lanes for Michael as teams focus on Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and the receivers. The now-former Cowboy is joining a dynamic offense. An offense that will also provide him plenty of opportunity. Only the Carolina Panthers have attempted more rushes in the NFL.

In other words, Christine Michael will get his chances.

Detroit Tigers: Should the Team Add Another Left Fielder?

It’s safe to say that new Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has been busy since taking over for Dave Dombrowski. In Avila’s first offseason in charge, the new head man in the Tigers front office has made a slew of signings and trades that were both astute and cost efficient.

Detroit has already added the likes Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey, Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Lowe, Justin Wilson, Cameron Maybin and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. These additions have satisfied the team’s needs in the starting rotation and the bullpen, as well as adding extra depth in areas such as centerfield and behind the plate.

What’s not included in that list is a legitimate left fielder. With a considerable amount of time left before spring training, should the Tigers add another left fielder? Here are some of the team’s options.

Stick With What You’ve Got

With the acquisition of Maybin, the team now employs three starting-caliber outfielders: Maybin, Anthony Gose and J.D. Martinez. However, Maybin and Gose are natural center fielders while Martinez is entrenched in right field.

There is some logic in playing both Maybin and Gose together. Both can eat up ground in the outfield, and paired with Martinez’ cannon of an arm in right would provide an intriguing defensive trio. There is also the fact that Maybin and Gose (46 combined stolen bases in 2015) provide Detroit and manager Brad Ausmus a fair amount of speed. Additionally, should either player struggle with the bat, their offensive shortcomings would be hidden by the production of Miguel Cabrera and Martinez among others.

However, the fact remains that neither player has much experience in left. Gose grades out well at the position in terms of defensive metrics, but he has only logged 41 games there. Maybin has even more inexperience. The outfielder has only played in 10 games in left field, all of which came in 2007 when he was a rookie with the Tigers.

Tyler Collins and Steven Moya also present internal options for Detroit.

The Big Names

Detroit has previously been linked (via CBS Sports’ John Heyman) to big name free agents like Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon. Both, especially Gordon, would be excellent fits with the Tigers. However, CBS Detroit reports that Avila said the Tigers were “at this point” out on both Cespedes and Gordon.

Based on that, it appears that Detroit won’t sign either, but the key wording is “at this point.” It’s certainly not inconceivable to see the team sign either at a somewhat later date should the two remain on the open market.

Carlos Gonzalez is another player that could help the Tigers. Gonzalez’ blend of defensive skill and the ability to hit for average and power is extremely appealing, however the team may be cautious with the player’s hefty salary.

The Platoon Types

While the free agent market offers only a few legitimate, difference-making corner outfielders, there are a plethora of outfielders who could excel in a platoon. David Murphy and Travis Snider are just a few options that could find a home in Detroit.

Names Out of Left Field

First of all, pun intended. Second of all, the Tigers have already made trades for players (Maybin and Miller) who didn’t dominate the trade rumors. In other words, the players didn’t seem likely to be dealt as say someone like Shelby Miller. Avila could conceivably make a trade for a left fielder that quite literally comes out of left field.

Old Friends

There are a number of former Detroit outfielders available. Whether the team pursues them or not remains to be seen, but in addition to Cespedes, Matt Joyce, Delmon Young, Rajai Davis, Ryan Raburn, and Austin Jackson are all currently free agents.

The Lottery Tickets

The Tigers’ decision makers were rewarded when they took a gamble on a talented young player, J.D. Martinez, whose previous employers had moved on. Could the team take a similar gamble this offseason?

Alex Grossman is a name on the market who is in a similar situation to Martinez.

Grossman, who like Martinez was cut by the Astros, is only 26-years-old and comes with over 600 at-bats spread across parts of three big-league seasons. The outfielder is more of an all-around player, with 11 home runs, 15 stolen bases, 63 RBI and a .240 batting average in 190 games. He was a top prospect as a minor-league player and still has the time to fulfill his potential.

Detroit Tigers: Some Jordan Zimmermann-Related Tweets









Check out Kingdome of Seattle Sports for Great Cyber Monday Deals from Amazon!

Feel like doing some holiday shopping? Or just want to support Know Hitter or Kingdome of Seattle Sports? Head on over to Kingdome and check out the latest in Seattle sports from Amazon.

Here’s the link. 

Detroit Tigers Reportedly Interested in Doug Fister

Per a Tweet form ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Detroit Tigers are interested in free agent pitcher Doug Fister.


It would be a reunion for the two sides as Fister pitched for the Tigers for two and a half years from midway 2011 through 2013. During his time in Motown, the right-handed pitcher won 32 games while posting a sparkling 3.29 ERA. His FIP was an even-more impressive 3.20. While he isn’t a pitcher who will pile on the strikeouts, Fister works fast and keeps the ball in the yard. In 2011 he led the league with only 0.5 home runs allowed per nine innings. Fister spent the second half of that season in Detroit where he went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA and a 57 strikeouts compared to only five walks.

Additionally, the former Mariner transformed into a standout playoff performer with the Tigers. Fister posted a 2.98 ERA in 48.1 postseason innings with Detroit. His team was 6-2 in those contests.

While he thrived on the field, most fans will remember how cheaply Fister was acquired.

Dave Dombrowski acquired the starter (along with David Pauley) for Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush, Chance Ruffin and Casper Wells. Furbush is an effective reliever for the Mariners, but that’s about all Seattle received. Both Wells and Ruffin last appeared in the majors in 2013 while Martinez never reached the big leagues with Seattle. He was dealt back to Detroit in 2013.

Fister also left Detroit in a one-sided trade. Dombrowski dealt him to the Washington Nationals for Ian Krol, Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray. Only Krol remains with the Tigers, and he posted a 5.79 ERA and a 5.17 FIP last season.

Doug Fister is now a free agent after his contract with the Washington Nationals expired. The team didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the pitcher, making him free to sign without surrendering a draft pick.

In addition to not costing a draft pick, Fister will also be comparatively cheap. His value will have gone down after going 4-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts for the Nationals this season. Opponents hit .302 off him during those starts. He was relegated to the bullpen after that stretch.

(You May Also Like: Why the Tigers Should Sign Doug Fister in the Offseason)

While not as expensive as David Price or Zack Greinke, Doug Fister could provide the Tigers with the rotation upgrade the team has been seeking.

For more Tigers, click here. For more baseball, click here.

All stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

Ben is on Twitter. He promises that he doesn’t always refer to himself in the third person.

Seattle Mariners’ Early Trades Already Making the Team Better

New Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto was essentially tasked with making the Seattle Mariners relevant again. With a core consisting of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz already in place, Dipoto had a solid base to build upon. However, in the past few weeks, the GM has significantly improved the Mariners’ roster with a trio of moves.

Seattle made the first significant trade of the offseason by dealing Danny Farquhar, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison to the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher Nate Karns, outfielder Book Powell and reliever C.J. Riefenhauser.

It may seem like a lopsided deal to move three players who were major contributors for one proven big-league player and two prospects, but the Mariners made out like bandits in this one.

The team essentially dealt from unneeded surplus to improve the roster.

In terms of Seattle relievers, Carson Smith was the only reliever left on the roster who posted a WAR above 1.4 last season. After him there was/is a good deal of uncertainty and sub-par pitching. Farquhar’s WAR was a career-low -0.7. His ERA (5.12) and FIP (4.60) weren’t much better. Tampa Bay has a history of rehabbing struggling relievers, so perhaps this will happen to the now-former Mariner, but he likely wasn’t assured a job next season thanks to his numbers in 2015.

Tampa Bay now has the same dilemma at shortstop that Seattle faced a few years ago, start Miller or Nick Franklin? Granted, the Rays also have former first-overall draft pick Tim Beckham in the mix, but still—same dilemma.

Miller was expendable thanks to the presence of Ketel Marte. Marte posted a .283 batting average, a 2.3 WAR, 17 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 57 games. At only 22-years-old, the former top prospect seems to have a stranglehold on the shortstop position. Miller played a number of positions as a Mariner, but didn’t profile as a quality defender at any of them. In other words, he wasn’t going to cut it as a utility player. His .258 batting average and 101 strikeouts didn’t exactly help his cause either.

Lastly there’s Morrison. The first baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter managed only a .225 batting average and 54 RBI in 146 games. These numbers are significantly below LoMo’s career numbers. The stats not only made Morrison expandable, but also created a significant need at first base. Regardless of this deal, changes were bound to happen at first base. Including Morrison in this deal ensured that the team received value for him.

The gem of the trade for Seattle is Karns. The 27-year-old starting pitcher turned in a solid season in Tampa last year, posting a 7-5 record, a 3.67 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 147 innings. He also chipped in with a 2.2 WAR.

Karns has already proven his worth as a dependable starter. The fact that the M’s acquired him looks even better when you consider that the former Washington Nationals’ farmhand isn’t arbitration eligible until 2018. The earliest he can become a free agent is 2021.

In addition to the years of controllability, Karns provides the Mariners with a potential replacement for Hisashi Iwakuma.’s Jason Beck reports that Tigers’ general manger disclosed that Iwakuma is a player Detroit has interest in. In addition to Detroit, a number of teams figure to be interested in ‘Kuma’ thanks to his track record. Karns provide an excellent replacement should Iwakuma leave town in the offseason.

If Iwakuma joins Karns in the rotation, it allows the Mariners to deal a rotation arm like James Paxton for a proven upgrade elsewhere on the roster. While moving Paxton seems unlikely given his age, controllability and upside, he was rumored to be discussed with the New York Yankees. That same report from The New York Post said the M’s have interest in Brett Gardner.

Can be Iwakuma insurance in case Iwakuma leaves. Also allows the team to shop someone like James Paxton or another pitcher if they feel so inclined (for upgrades elsewhere on the roster). Add link to Paxton/Brett Gardner link.

Powell and Riefenhauser are both inexperienced, but both come with upside. Powell was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics, before being dealt along with Daniel Robertson and former Mariner John Jaso for Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar last offseason. The 22-year-old hit .295 with 28 extra-base hits (including nine triples), 40 RBI, 18 steals and 61 walks in 117 games between Double-A and Triple-A. His slugging numbers won’t earn him any accolades, but he did post a .385 OBP last season.

Riefenhauser does have a career 6.30 ERA and a 5.68 FIP in only 24 appearances in the majors. However, his minor-league stats reveal more promise. In six seasons in the Rays’ farm system, the pitcher owns a 2.77 ERA and 442 strikeouts over 480.1 innings pitched. Riefenhauser is also extremely versatile having started 42 games and finishing 56 contests in his career. In 2015, his ERA in 34.2 innings at the Triple-A level was 2.86.

With so many question marks in the bullpen, Dipoto made another trade. The new GM dealt for established reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Benoit has been excellent since 2010. Equally adept as a setup man or a closer, Benoit owns a 2.35 ERA and 422 strikeouts in 370 innings dating back to the 2010 season. His FIP also comes out at a favorable 3.15.

The Mariners surrendered two prospects, Enyel De Los Santos and Nelson Ward, to the San Diego Padres in the trade. De Los Santos is the only one of the two to make it onto’s list of the top 30 Padres prospects.

Neither prospect has passed the Single-A level in the minors, and given Benoit’s track record, this trade could pay massive dividends for the Mariners.

Did I mention Joaquin Benoit has a 16.7 WAR since 2010?

With the Benoit, Smith and Charlie Furbush on the roster, Tom Wilhelmsen was likely out of a gig as a setup reliever. Dipoto capitalized on this brief surplus by flipping Wilhelmsen and centerfielder James Jones to the Texas Rangers for reliever Anthony Bass and centerfielder Leonys Martin. It may seem redundant to trade an outfielder and a reliever for an outfielder and a reliever, but what Dipoto has essentially done is turn the two prospects he sent to San Diego into upgrades in the bullpen and in center field.

Seattle comes away from the deal with a significant upgrade in the outfield. Like Jones, Martin brings a similar speed element to the game. However, unlike Jones, he’s shown the ability to be an above-average contributor at the dish.

In 2013 and 2014, Martin hit .268 while averaging eight home runs, six triples, 17 doubles, 34 stolen bases and 44 RBI. Over those two seasons, his WAR was a combined 8.1. Jones’ career WAR is -1.1.

The Wilhelmsen/Bass exchange may seem more titled in Texas’ favor, but when you consider the M’s already added Benoit, it makes the deal much easier to accept.

While Wilhelmsen’s track record is much better and more consistent than Bass’, the now-former Texas reliever isn’t just a throw in. Bass posted a respectable 3.73 FIP in Texas’ launch-pad-masquerading-as-a ballpark.

Put it this way, would you rather have Benoit, Martin and Bass or Wilhelmsen, Jones and two prospects? Easy choice right?

Since taking over, Jerry Dipoto is doing an excellent job at reshaping the Seattle Mariners. He’s already turned excess depth into upgrades. Should he continue to make more shrewd moves, he’ll be the architect of a potential playoff team.

For more baseball, click here.

All stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

#FantasyFootball Week Nine Recap & Week 10 Lineup Decisions

TBD TBD pulled out a win against a team with a number of players injured or on bye weeks. The team posted a mere 74 fantasy points, with Andrew Luck, Todd Gurley and Randall Cobb doing the heavy lifting. Adam Vinatieri chipped in with 12 points.

The Dallas Cowboys’ Defense/Special Teams put up a -5 while Malcom Floyd had a goose egg. On the bench, Martavis Bryant was the only player who could have helped.



Roster/Lineup Decisions

It was a brutal week for injuries. Dion Lewis has been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury while Luck will remain out for somewhere in the neighborhood of a month thanks to multiple injuries. Floyd may miss time as well.

Blake Bortles is obviously going to start at quarterback in Luck’s absence. Ben Roethlisberger is available. Should we claim him and stash him for later? The playoffs perhaps?

There is also a decision to be made at FLEX. Who should start?



2015-11-10-11-03-33 (1)

Additionally, who should we add?

If a player is added someone has to go…

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here. 

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

TBD TBD was done in by Drew Brees’ monster game. Add that to poor fantasy days from Randall Cobb, Donte Moncrief, Ladarius Green and John Brown and you have a recipe for disaster. The team would be a whole lot worse-for-wear without the Houston Texans Defense/Special Teams and Todd Gurley.

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

On the bench, thanks to byes and other results, Dion Lewis is the only player who would have been any help to the squad.

#FantasyFootball: Week Eight Recap, Week Nine Preview

Here’s the lineup for week. Lots of bye weeks, in addition to Joseph Randle no longer having an NFL job. We’ll need a replacement for the now-former Cowboys running back.


Also, who starts at running back?

Tight end?


There are some interesting names available, should TBD add any of them?


And finally, who needs to go?

Here’s to a much better week.

Ultimately, you decide how the team is run, so put on your GM hat and send me your ideas on Twitter (@BenRosener / @knowhitter272) or in the comments.

For more about TBD, as well as the current season in Fantasy Football, click here.