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THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: R.I.P. Sammie, and watch out for J-Rod and the Frogs

| May 19, 2021 1:10 AM

Yes, it’s time to do our weekly notebook, taking a stroll through the world of sports.

At least the parts of it that interest most of us.

But before that, we come to an item that I had no interest in publishing at all.

Several of my friends, however, thought my plan was unfair.

They said…

“Your readers would really want to know.”

Or…

“People truly care, and they’d want to hear this from you — not from somebody else.”

OK, then, without being too maudlin or getting myself all choked up, here’s the news…

I finally lost Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat.

She died of complete kidney failure on the night of May 6, and I’ve been pretty much in a daze since that moment.

There are therapists who suggest that the best thing for mourning a pet is forget about them for a time, and let the hurt just drift away naturally.

There are others who say that, having had fantastic cats all my life, I should adopt another one “soon as” — to use a phrase I picked up while living in Britain.

Believe me, I get it.

If I don’t take in another shelter cat soon, I’m gonna go crazy — because I see Sammie TWGC everywhere.

Currently, I’m looking around at the Kootenai Humane Society, and Partners4Pets over in Spokane.

I’ve seen quite a few cats, including Simon — the biggest Siamese I’ve ever come across (and who is still totally lovable).

No decision yet, but two things are almost certain to be done by the end of this week.

FIRST, to baseball.

And Sammie loved the national pastime — which she regularly watched from a comfy perch on my left shoulder.

Nobody, not even TWGC, knew that Julio Rodriguez would only be playing High-A ball for Everett quite briefly, so if you want the fun of hearing the sound of his bat, there’s good news…

The AquaSox (who are known more commonly as the Frogs) are visiting Spokane this week — every night through Sunday — so even though it might be a tad chilly for baseball on some of the evenings, Everett is worth watching.

J-Rod appears to be a man among boys with the Mariners’ affiliate.

Through Monday, this man-child (Seattle’s top-rated prospect still in the minors), had whacked five doubles and five homes in 12 games, all while hitting. 373.

I know it’s early and we’re still working with a tiny sample size — but did I mention Julio has an OPS of 1.225?

Besides J-Rod, the Frogs (10-2 through Monday) have a pitching staff that ultimately could fill a lot of spots on some future Seattle staff — Geroge Kirby, Emerson Hancock, Brandon Williamson, Juan Then and Isaiah Campbell come to mind immediately.

These are all bona fide prospects who actually might overwhelm the High-A West, until some of them are moved on to AA Arkansas.

The Frogs have seven pitchers with an ERA of 1.93 or lower, and the staff has stuck out a whopping 160 batters (an average of 13.3 per game) while giving up just 29 walks.

SURE, I’M looking for some cheery news these days, while I’m choosing the gifted animal who will be, who MUST be, “The Second-Greatest Cat in the World.”

Auditions are going well.

At the moment, I’m fascinated by a gorgeous 3-year-old tabby named Wilson (who perhaps might be renamed Julio) and a lovely little calico called Sharla — and no offense, Sharla, but that name fits a rock star with multiple tattoos, not a multi-colored sweetie who will spending quality time on my lap.

Yes, there’s other good news, too.

Gonzaga seems to have cornered the market on mega-thrilling, future professional guards — and that doesn’t count 7-foot-1 Chet Holmgren, whom I suspect dreams of playing the point in the NBA.

I don’t have any idea how all these future Zags will fit together, but the Kennel has never seen this much talent at one time.

I know, I know.

I’M GOING to have the same problem with my cats as Mark Few must puzzle out with his backcourt.

What if I can’t decide between Wilson and Sharla (the cat to be named later in this deal)?

Having an exceptionally cool tabby — Wilson is all of that — who is stuck being titled as “Considered Equal to the Second-Greatest Cat in the World,” well, that just isn’t good enough.

How would the pecking order work out in the condo if I relegate one of these amazing cats to “The THIRD-Greatest in the World”?

I think that’s the same problem the Brooklyn Nets might have in the later rounds of the playoffs, when James Harden and Kevin Durant begin arguing about who’s going to take the last shot — and then Kyrie Irving ignores them both and chucks up a brick, anyhow.

Many years ago, when I introduced two cats into a house for the first time, the local vet told me not to worry about it.

“The cats always work it out by themselves,” she said.

So why should I worry?

Wilson and Sharla (keeping-that-name-for-about-five-minutes) will figure it out if it comes to that.

We’re all good, and meanwhile…

Sammie’s laughing from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge — knowing that NOBODY will ever be getting that No. 1 spot.

No way.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns appear in The Press on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “Moments, Memories and Madness,” his reminiscences from several decades as a sports journalist, runs each Sunday.

Steve also writes Zags Tracker, a commentary on Gonzaga basketball which is published monthly in the offseason.

The next Zags Tracker will run on Tuesday.