Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you every weekend. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?


Don't worry, everyone - Seattle is doing fine.

Like all of you, I'm sure, I was pretty worried about Seattle. It's midwinter -- well, it's spring here in western Washington, but you know what I mean -- and Seattle has no NHL team and lost its NBA team, and I was concerned that everywhere I went, fans would be wearing black armbands and mourning the lack of professional sporting events. I thought business owners would be standing on street corners with armfuls of cash, money they wanted to spend on suites and club seats that now, sadly, would be orphaned. And the newspaper, I thought, wouldn't be even able to scrape together a section between B and D - if they were lucky, a page of faraway box scores, two pages of classifieds, and "Garfield." A rainy Omaha, basically - I thought it'd be a gray, drizzly Omaha.

Much to my surprise, though, Seattle -- similar as it is to the Twin Cities -- seems to be doing fine. The newspaper is running excellent coverage of University of Washington sports, and of the state high school basketball tournament, and of the Mariners at spring training. Fans are genuinely excited about the Seattle Sounders, whose sold-out season opener is tonight. Heck, just a couple of years after losing an NBA team, the news is filled with stories about the Sacramento Kings, who seem quite likely to move here for next season.

It's almost like we shouldn't be that concerned, next time one of our Minnesota teams threatens to uproot itself and move to a new town. After all, it's not like we're hurting for other options; like Seattle, we have a number of other teams, both professional and college, to occupy our time. And just like Seattle -- and us, come to think of it, in the case of both the NBA and NHL -- when one team leaves, there's always another that might come back around.

*On with the links:

*Three days of watching baseball with Bill Murray? I'm sold.

*Steve Adams at Twinkie Town looks at the Twins who are candidates for the Opening Day roster because they're out of options.

*Chuck Culpepper at Sports on Earth reviews the career of the fifth-longest-tenured manager in pro sports - your favorite and mine, Ron Gardenhire.

*And finally: You remember Michael Beasley, don't you? Ever wondered what your face looked like when he was on the floor? Suns coach Lindsey Hunter knows exactly what you went through.

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