A trade rumor: The Sonics and Mariners could swap coaches and talent

Hey, M's Manager Mike Hargrove was an all-state high-school basketball player.
Hey, M's Manager Mike Hargrove was an all-state high-school basketball player.

The jettisoning of Seattle SuperSonics coach Bob Hill and general manager Rick Sund this week set up a tantalizing possibility thought by some of the region's remaining rabid pro-sports fans to be unprecedented: a cross-sports management switch. "Everybody knows it's just a matter of time before Mariners G.M. Bill Bavasi and field boss Mike Hargrove walk the plank," said a local observer with ties to both the 31-51 Sonics and the loss-burdened baseball team. "My guys feel M's ownership is just sort of waiting to see how the White House handles the Gonzo/Wolfie thing before picking the best P.R. opportunity to bounce Billy and Grover." When that happens, he suggested, don't count out the possibility that all four local managers could re-emerge across town from one another. "Call it a lose-lose," he admitted, "but how would that be any different from what the fan base has right now?" He broke it down manager by manager: "With Sund, you've got a guy who could bring to the M's some of the players who haven't panned out yet with the basketball team – Robert Swift, for example. The M's already had some success back in the day from a kid name Swift," though he conceded that Bill Swift had his best years later with the Giants. The source envisioned the 7-foot Robert Swift being "kind of a Ryan Anderson type: somebody the fans could anticipate being the perennial 'next Randy Johnson,' even though team officials would kind of suspect that Robert would never actually play in the bigs. Gives locals something to talk about, though." For his part, the source said, Bavasi could bring Jeff Weaver with him to the Sonics. "Weaver can take it to the hole," the observer said about the 6-foot, 5-inch, 0-3 pitcher. "Imagine Jeff getting his points per game up around his 13.91 earned-run average. One problem: Weaver only gets about $8 million a year with the M's, which is chump change in the NBA." As for Hill and Hargrove: "Who could say Bobby wouldn't light a fire under the M's? Grover? He was an all-state basketball player as a kid in Texas. Maybe the greater advantage is that he lives off-season within east driving distance of Oklahoma City." Despite a win against Oakland on Wednesday, April 25, the 7-9 M's are anticipating three this weekend at home against Kansas City, a series that could decide who has the worst record in the American League.


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