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Seattle Seahawks’ most underrated player: QB Geno Smith

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Seattle Seahawks’ most underrated player: QB Geno Smith


Whether you think Geno Smith is underrated or not depends largely on whether you think he’s hit his ceiling, and there’s nowhere to go but down. Last season, Smith’s second straight in which he made the Pro Bowl, he threw just 20 touchdown passes with nine interceptions, one year after he threw 30 touchdown passes to 11 picks, and led the league in completion percentage.

So, maybe Smith is on the downslide… but I don’t tend to think so, and the reason is new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, who led Michael Penix Jr. and the Washington Huskies to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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Grubb’s passing game is a lot about vertical shots out of dropback play-action, and that should fit Smith to a T. Smith’s deep passes weren’t quite as resonant in 2023 as they were in 2022, when he led the league with 15 touchdowns on passes of 20 or more air yards, but let’s not put a capper on Smith’s career just yet. He may still have more in the tank to take the Seahawks through the first parts of their transitions in the post-Pete Carroll era.





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Seattle, WA

Seattle Police staffing dire, hitting lowest number since 1958

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Seattle Police staffing dire, hitting lowest number since 1958


The Seattle Police Department (SPD) lost 38 officers, including recruits, as of June 3, 2024. Conversely, they only hired or rehired 15 officers this year, leaving Seattle Police with its lowest staffing levels since 1958.

The total SPD separations come as seven more officers left the force in May. At the current rate, and considering nearly a third of the force is eligible for retirement, the city projects that it will lose 94 officers by the end of the year. The city only expects to hire or rehire 34 this year.

The total number of deployable officers can vary day to day because of injuries, planned extended time off, or maternity/paternity leave. But as of June 3, there were only 848 total deployable officers (not including recruits and students).

Compare the current stats to January 1, 1958, and the crisis is clear. According to a staffing document obtained by “The Jason Rantz Show” on KTTH, there were 918 deployable Seattle Police staff. There’s been a dramatic rise in population and crime since.

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How is the city of Seattle addressing the police staffing crisis?

The mayor’s office said it’s stepping up recruitment efforts for SPD. But their strategy so far has not worked.

In a virtue signaling pivot, SPD is actively recruiting so-called DREAMERS — recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Status (DACA). Bipartisan legislation allowing DACA recipients to be hired for civil service jobs went into effect on June 6.

But DACA is still being challenged in court and a DACA recipient’s ability to carry a firearm is based on January 2024 guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the Biden administration. DACA could be declared unconstitutional and the guidance can change with a new administration.

Moreover, how many DACA recipients could possibly be interested in being a police officer? The general public has little interest as it is. This strategy won’t likely bring in many — if any — applicants.

Jason Rantz Exclusive: Former Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz announces he’s gay

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Crime is still out of control

There is an urgent need for police as the City of Seattle is trying to recover from last year’s historic high of 74 homicides.

At 21 homicides this year (plus two additional ones that happened in the city but are being investigated by Washington State Patrol), Seattle is trending lower than where it was in 2023 (ending June with 30 homicides). But there’s caution as the city deals with a surge in juvenile crime and summer months usually see a bump in violent crime.

But it’s not just violent crime plaguing the city. Businesses and car owners are hounded by frequent break-ins, theft and vandalism as the city struggles to reach pre-2020 criminal justice reform numbers. The crisis has deteriorated to the point where small businesses are spending big dollars to hire private security since they know there are not enough police to protect their neighborhoods.

Much of the property crime isn’t even reported — a point conceded by former Seattle Police Department Chief Adrian Diaz –which skews data that is cherry-picked to downplay the crisis for political purposes. As activists and some politicians claim, Seattle is thriving, an alarming number of businesses continue to shut down, and downtown commercial real estate is being sold on the cheap.

Listen to “The Jason Rantz Show” on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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Seattle, WA

Brady’s Spin: What Are the Mariners Doing with Tyler Locklear?

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Brady’s Spin: What Are the Mariners Doing with Tyler Locklear?


The Seattle Mariners are trying to toe a very difficult line between having the best possible roster – and hurting a young player’s development.

At the core of this debate is Tyler Locklear, the team’s No. 8 overall prospect, according to MLB.com. He was promoted to the big leagues just about two weeks ago when Ty France suffered a fracture in his heel. In France’s absence, he played almost every day at first base, popping two home runs and showing a discerning eye to go along with his power.

However, France is back as of Tuesday night and the Mariners’ roster situation is now murky. The M’s roster is undoubtedly better with Locklear on it, as the offensively-challenged M’s can use anyone who can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but are they doing him harm in the name of helping the current team?

Let’s examine:

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The Mariners played France at first, Mitch Garver at DH, Cal Raleigh at catcher and put Mitch Haniger on the bench. With that grouping alone, the M’s already had an “odd-man-out” with Haniger, so now with Locklear they have two. Are they prepared to bench multiple people they like per day to get Locklear in the lineup? It doesn’t seem likely, does it? Sure, they could put Locklear at first and bench France, but they are still putting someone else on the pine, and it just seems like too many bodies to navigate.

Would someone like Samad Taylor, who doesn’t offer the upside of Locklear, actually fit the roster better?

Locklear got 476 collegiate at-bats at Virginia Commonwealth and has 630 career minor league at-bats, so it’s not like he’s never swung the bat before, but he’s only taken 67 at-bats above Double-A. At some point, he does need to play regularly so he can continue getting better. France is only under contract through 2025 and it seems increasingly less likely that the M’s will pay him, so you’d have to assume they’d want Locklear to be the regular first baseman for that season. How can he do that if he just sits the bench for extended stretches?

The M’s have been linked to both Pete Alonso and Vlad Guerrero Jr. on the trade market. If they acquire ANOTHER first baseman, the problem is only made worse. Furthermore, even if they were to trade France in a deal for one of those guys, we’re right back where we started.

1) M’s power past Guardians in Game 1 of series on Tuesday

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2) M’s put out thoughtful statement on passing of Willie Mays

3) Griffey puts out statement on passing of Mays



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Seattle, WA

Seattle considers $500 fine for owners of vehicles used in street racing

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Seattle considers $500 fine for owners of vehicles used in street racing


By David Kroman
The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — A new bill before the Seattle City Council would allow police to write a $500 ticket to the owner of any car being used in illegal street racing — even if someone else is behind the wheel.

The new citation is part of a larger bill, submitted by Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison this week, that brings Seattle in line with new state-level rules regulating street racing. The Washington Legislature last year expanded the definition of illegal street racing to include the takeover of intersections, dangerous displays (such as “donuts”), and racing in off-street areas like parking lots.

By adding the $500 citation, however, Seattle goes further than the state — and possibly gives the city another tool to go after the now-infamous “Belltown Hellcat” driver, who’s made international headlines for flaunting his Dodge Charger on Seattle’s streets and Instagram.

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The motive for the proposed new citation, said Deputy City Attorney Scott Lindsay, is to help police crackdown on large street racing events, which are relatively common, especially in the summer months.

“This legislation responds to the recent rise in large street racing takeover events that pose a safety hazard to the public — pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers,” Davison said. “The new civil infraction will give police a tool to hold vehicle owners accountable when their cars are used at these events.”

City Hall has tried to wrap its arms around illegal street racing in recent years. The events, which can quickly swell to nearly 100 cars, pop up around the city — including recently in Wallingford, West Seattle, Lower Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Rainier Valley. They’re loud, disruptive and, as occurred last summer in Auburn, occasionally deadly.

The city last year signed off on installing new traffic cameras in areas around the city to help crack down on illegal street racing. But individual officers are limited in what they can do to break up the events as they happen.

Under current law, officers must identify and try to arrest the person driving the car in an illegal street race. That’s difficult when a single patrol vehicle is dispatched to events with a large number of cars and people.

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If passed, the new law would allow officers to write down license plate numbers and other identifying features and cite the cars’ owners — similar to how parking tickets or tolls are issued now.

While the so-called Hellcat driver, Miles Hudson, was not the motivator for the new law, it could be used against him. Hudson has gained internet infamy by speeding his noisy — and leopard-print — sport car down Seattle’s streets.

Hudson, 20, was charged in March with two counts of reckless driving stemming from a video posted in February that showed a driver racing at speeds up to 107 mph in an area where the limit is 25 mph. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In May, he was sued by the city of Seattle and ordered to comply with the requirements of various traffic and city citations he’s received over several months. The Seattle city attorney later filed a court order demanding he pay $83,619.97 in civil penalties and other fees after he failed to respond to the lawsuit in time.

He was ordered to not drive the Hellcat, but in several videos posted on Instagram, where he has 759,000 followers, he’s seen in the passenger seat while others drive his car.

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If passed, the new law would mean officers could write tickets to Hudson even as a passenger. Both he and his mother are listed as owners, according to the lawsuit.

Councilmember Bob Kettle is sponsoring the bill.

(Seattle Times reporter Paige Cornwell contributed to this story.)
___

©2024 The Seattle Times.
Visit seattletimes.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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