A GRIP ON SPORTS
Everyone past a certain age – working age – knows what April 15th means. We don't have to go into it here, other than to say good luck to all you poor souls out there who have procrastinated about as long as you can. Just remember, because today is a Sunday, you have an extra day. Read on.
• Now that we've ruined your mood – or helped you realize how smart you are to avoid putting it off – we'll remind you once again: If you haven't watched or listened to a Mariners' game by April 15th (or by the 16th, if the 15th falls on a Sunday), you aren't a true fan. What, you thought I was talking about something else? Well, this isn't one of those columns you know. We concentrate on sports here pal. No tax talk here. Which reminds me, I have to get mine done sometime today or tomorrow.
• Speaking of the M's (and I really wasn't, but I'm sure you figured that out by now), the trade for Hector Noesi and Jesus Montero paid dividends for one day, didn't it? Can't you see George's dad railing about it on a Seinfeld reunion show in 2017? Something about Montero having a rocket of an arm, I'm sure. Seriously, Noesi looked overpowering at times against the exact same lineup that faced Felix Hernandez the night before. The same lineup that defeated Felix the night before. Of course, if the M's had scored four runs for Felix, he would have gotten a no-decision, but Montero waited one night before blasting a home run and a two-out, two-run double.
• Washington State: We'll start this morning in Pullman, where the Cougars scrimmaged once again. Though the defense didn't dominate as it did the week before, as Christian Caple tells us in his post-scrimmage blog post, story and morning post today, the group did fly around and wreak some havoc. That's a good sign. ... The Cougars will hold their spring game in Spokane on Saturday. It's the subject of our poll at left. ... Former S-R staffer Dave Boling has a long feature on Mike Leach in today's News Tribune. ... Christian covered Leach's off-the-wall comments about Andrei Lintz (at left), grizzlies and dumpsters, as did Brian Floyd at CougCenter. ... Stanford's third scrimmage still didn't identify a starting quarterback. However, a former Gonzaga Prep standout, Charlie Hopkins, was with the second string defensive line. ... By the way, if you like to see how sausage is made, read this story on the media at the Final Four.
• Gonzaga: There was a lot of college baseball in the area yesterday, with the Zags defeating Santa Clara, the Cougars losing to Utah and Whitworth, which could have used a sweep, splitting with Pacific.
• Idaho: The Vandals held their second scrimmage of the spring and Josh Wright was in the Kibbie Dome for it. He filed this blog post afterward, along with a story for the S-R on offensive lineman Mike Marboe and his running mates. ... Some Idaho hall of fame honorees lead our achievements column today.
• Chiefs: It was back to the Tri-Cities for game five last night in the Chiefs' playoff series with the Americans. It wasn't what Spokane wanted, as the Americans pulled out a 5-3 victory, giving them a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven series. Jessica Brown has the story. ... We also can pass along a story and photo gallery from the Tri-City Herald. ... Kamloops got physical and now has won two consecutive games to pull within 3-2 of Portland in that series, with game six in British Columbia. The Oregonian's John Canzano attended the Blazers' 7-2 win Saturday and wrote this column.
• Shock: Defense was the name of the victory for the Shock last night as they shut down Milwaukee, 57-26. It was the fewest points Spokane has given up in an AFL game since joining the league. Jim Meehan has this story. ... Though 2-3, Spokane is still in the west race, as San Jose and Arizona both lost.
• Mariners: Started watching the M's at dinner last night, got driven home and then sat down and finished the game – while switching back-and-forth to a broadcast of the director's cut of "Alien," which wasn't as odd a juxtaposition as one might think. Anyhow, Noesi was dealing – mainly with high fastballs, which might be a danger sign against a good hitting team, of which the A's are not – and Justin Smoak (with a walk) and Montero (with a bleeder to right) came through in the late innings with big at-bats (after Ichiro popped up weakly to short with the bases loaded and one out). That was the game in a nutshell, but not nearly as interesting as John Blanchette puts it in this column. ... Here are a couple stories from the Bay Area. ... George Sherrill had to have his elbow examined. ... Found this interesting piece on ESPN.com and felt I should pass it along. The M's had more homegrown players scattered around major league opening-day rosters than any other team. ... Larry Stone examines a new trend in the bigs and has his power rankings.
• Sounders: I was keeping up with the Colorado game on Twitter yesterday while doing something else and was amused to see tweets from guys covering the M's after Zach Scott's header went in. The thrust of the tweets was the Sounders must have scored because the cheer could be heard in the – enclosed – Safeco press box. Seattle won 1-0 on Scott's goal in front of 38,360. I watched the replay later and was not surprised to hear the fans boo every time Brian Mullan touched the ball, the subject of Jerry Brewer's column. ... Nothing but Associated Press stories in the Denver Post, sorry, but we did find this interesting LA Time piece about U.S. players overseas.
• That's what we have on this Sunday morning. Hope all is well. Until later ...