A GRIP ON SPORTS
For all of you who have been griping about the Mariners' offense, what do you want? Perfection? OK, you got it Saturday. Though not the right way. Read on.
• As I watched the final out of Philip Humber's perfect game against the M's, I was struck by one thing: With Brendan Ryan complaining so much about whether or not he had checked his swing, where the heck was the replay from down the first-base line, the one that would have shown, without much doubt, whether he swung or not? Though I never saw it, there must have been one available or the Times' Steve Kelley wouldn't have been so adamant that Ryan had swung. But kids, let this be a lesson to you. If Ryan had not argued and just sprinted to first, he probably would have beaten the throw and the perfecto would have been gone. And who knows what would have happened with the next hitter. I guess that's more than one thing, but still, the end of the game featured more excitement than the other 26 outs combined. And that's part of the fun of baseball. Humber is a journeyman pitcher. The Mariners have a jury-rigged offense. The two combined for the second-rarest of major league feats (Humber's perfect game is the 21st in history; only 15 guys, including the M's Mike Cameron, have hit four home runs in a game, the last in 2003). One odd fact: Of the 21 perfect games, nearly a quarter of them (four) have come in the past three years. Even in baseball's pitching-dominated eras, there has never been a streak like this.
• We'll let Christian Caple fill you in on the happenings at the Washington State spring-ending Spokane scrimmage yesterday, but we wanted to comment on one part of it (and ask your thoughts in our poll at left). WSU kept a tight turnstile count, I'm sure, but for one of the few times I've ever seen, it looked as if the announced attendance might have been a bit low. I wasn't among the almost 11,000 who were officially there, but from the video and pictures I've seen, it looks as if it could have been more. Then again, the spacious aspect of Albi Stadium has fooled me before.
• Washington State: As we said, Christian has you covered, first with this post-scrimmage blog post, then with his story in the S-R and his morning post (with video). All while working with one-hand tied behind his back (figuratively). His morning post includes links to the coverage, of the scrimmage and other Pac-12 and WSU happenings. ... John Blanchette was there (you can see him in one of the videos) and filed this column. ... Christian had a link to WSU rallying to defeat No. 6 Oregon in baseball, but we ran down two other stories about the Cougars' win. ... Though Bud Withers was lucky enough to be at Safeco yesterday to see Humber's perfection in person, he had written this interesting Sunday piece on the new normal in football coach hirings. There is a lot of detail on Bill Moos' courtship of Mike Leach. ... Though there is no resolution, this column does summarize some of the recent transfer debate.
• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan caught up with former Zag Ronny Turiaf for a feature on Turiaf's charity work.
• Eastern Washington: The Eagles were on the field scrimmaging as well Saturday and Jim Allen was there to chronicle the improved quarterback play. ... Renard Williams is hoping to hear his name called sometime during the NFL draft late this week.
• Mariners: Good for Philip Humber. As the video we linked above shows, he understands how big a deal his accomplishment was. We not only have the coverage from Seattle, we found a few stories from the Chicago Tribune as well. (By the way, I love the photo above, with the scoreboard in the background; you can see my former season ticket seats.) ... Lost in the excitement was the fact once again Blake Beavan threw a quality game. ... Larry Stone always ranks the MLB teams on Sunday and also gives some thumbs up/down. He thinks the Rangers are shaping up as the class of the sport.
• Sounders: We're not going to make this a habit, but Portland did pull a monumental upset Saturday, handing Kansas City its first loss of the season, 1-0.
• NBA: More opposition to the Sodo arena project.
• That's it for today. We'll be back to help you start your work week tomorrow. Until then ...