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Originally published June 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 10, 2007 at 2:03 AM

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Steve Kelley

Ah, back at last! So ... what did I miss?

Catch me up. I've been out of touch, out of the loop, out of action, out of sight. I've been gone the past two months. So what's the buzz...

Seattle Times staff columnist

Catch me up. I've been out of touch, out of the loop, out of action, out of sight.

I've been gone the past two months. So what's the buzz? What did I miss?

Fill me in. Fill me up. Who's hot? Who's not? I have a lot of questions.

For instance:

How many games into the season did Mike Hargrove last as the Mariners manager? Last time I checked, he was sizzling on the hot seat. They must have canned him after their first road trip.

Fired? Are you kidding me? He has the Mariners in second place in the American League West. They are six — count 'em six — games over .500. Considering where they've been the past three years, those are Manager of the Year credentials.

Wow. So what you're saying is Richie Sexson is scorching the ball, right? Cutting down the strikeouts? Hitting in the clutch?

And Jeff Weaver is earning his $8 million, picking up right where he left off with the Cardinals, in the World Series last year, throwing strikes, getting big outs. Pitching deep into games?

And obviously, if the Mariners are in contention, King Felix has regally arrived, hasn't he?

Um, short answers? No, no and no. Sexson has spent most of the season scuba diving below the Mendoza Line. Though he pitched well last night in San Diego, Weave had been a Mariners migraine with an 0-6 record and an earned-run average that looks like a decent point guard's scoring average. And Felix Hernandez got hurt early in the year and hasn't regained the magic since his return.

So how are the Mariners in contention? Did they move to the NBA East?

Ha! Their lineup is loaded with line drives. And late in games, the bullpen puts every nasty batting order in the league in lockdown.

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Are you telling me this is a team that could win the West?

No.

Look, before I forget, who won the big fights?

What do you take me for? You think I know the names of those dogs? I'm not even going to dignify that question with an answer. Everything that is happening at that alleged dogfighting mecca, Chez Vick, sickens me.

Michael Vick and dogfighting? I don't think I want to know any more. I was asking about the real fights. Did Oscar De La Hoya beat Floyd Mayweather? Did my favorite "Entourage" character, Chuck Liddell, beat Quinton Jackson?

No and no.

Before I checked out of work, it looked like the Sonics were going to check out of town. That's all been settled, hasn't it?

Well, if you ask me, their future is as foggy as Alberto Gonzales' memory. They came up just as empty in the Legislature as they did in the Northwest Division.

I guess the draft won't help them generate excitement, will it? What do they have, the fifth pick?

Wow, you have been out of it. The pingpong balls bounced right for the Sonics. They're picking second in the draft, behind Portland.

You're kidding. So what center are they taking? Al Horford? Joakim Noah? I've got an idea. How about the 7-footer from China, Yi Jianlian? They could have an entire United Nations of big men. Johan Petro from France. Mouhamed Sene from Senegal. Yi from China. And Robert Swift from, uh, Bakersfield.

Come on. You remember that Wally Walker is gone, don't you? And I forgot to tell you Rick Sund won't be making this draft call. The Sonics hired a new general manager last week, Sam Presti. He doesn't have the big-man fetish his predecessor had. He'll take Kevin Durant, who just might grow into the next Tim Duncan.

That's great news for Bob Hill, isn't it?

Oh, he's gone, too.

Does that mean they're going back to the future? Is Lenny Wilkens going to coach them?

He was promoted and demoted as Sonics president while you were gone.

So that means the Sonics can hire Billy Donovan to replace Hill. I'm sure Donovan's dying to coach in the NBA. What could possibly be left for him to prove in college after back-to-back NCAA titles?

And how about the possible marketing synergy between the Sonics and Storm. The two Donovans, Anne and Billy, coaching the two pro basketball franchises. Think about it.

You're just going to have to trust me on this one. Billy Donovan won't be coaching the Sonics next season. It's a long story.

I've taken up enough of your time, but I'm itching to find out where wide receiver Darrell Jackson will play next season. And what did the Seahawks do with the first-round draft pick they got when they traded him?

First-round pick? Man, are you dreaming? All they got was a fourth-round pick for Jackson. And that's not the worst of it.

Don't tell me. Surely he didn't get traded inside the division.

Check out the San Francisco 49ers' roster.

Darrell Jackson a 49er? I'm sorry I asked.

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com

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About Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley covers all sports, putting his spin on matters involving both the home team and the nation.
skelley@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2176

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