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Make your pick tonight

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I don't know about you, but I'll be listening to the NFL draft on the radio tonight when I drive back from Moscow. It will fill in the gap between Palouse and Garfield. Read on.


••••••••••

• I understand the importance of the NFL draft. I really do. A team's core is built through the choices made over the next few days, with free agency the way to ice the cake, so to speak. But the production ESPN and the NFL Network make about the draft is a bit over the top. It seems as if the same crud is said over and over again, interrupted only occasionally for Chris Berman to say something colorful. It's fun enough to watch a few minutes of the event – I always try to make sure I see the Seahawks' pick if I can – but to sit and watch hour after hour of the show seems a waste of time. But I have thrown away enough of my life watching baseball or bowling or bocce ball to know I can't criticize others' viewing pursuits. If it's your thing, enjoy the next few days.

• Two days in Detroit. Thirty hits. Sounds like the plot of a John Cusack movie. Instead it's something more rare. It's the Mariners' offense coming to life – for a couple games anyway. Last night Felix Hernandez was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, though he didn't seem too comfortable sitting through the long innings to start the game. It's almost as if he wanted to get up and say, “guys, two, three runs would be plenty; let me get back out there and throw.” Or maybe he was wondering if there was anyway to parcel out the nine runs over his next, I don't know, three starts.

• I will be at the University of Idaho this afternoon taking part in a panel discussion at the Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium, the title of which is “Did You Just Tweet That? The Perilous Marriage of Sports Journalism and Social Media.”
I thought about just sitting on the dais tweeting all my answers, but I'm sure that would bore the 17 people who follow me (and I can't afford to lose any more followers).

•••

• Washington State: Football, circa spring, 2012, is finally over. But the coverage isn't. Darn that Christian Caple. Doesn't he know it's time to take it easy? Instead he has a summary of WSU's spring workouts by position and a feature on former linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis and his chances of being drafted this weekend. Let's hope he is. There aren't many javelin-throwing, existential-philosopher-reading, tattooed Jewish linebackers in the NFL. It could use at least one. … Christian also held a live chat yesterday (you can read the whole thing here) and had his usual morning blog post today, with WSU and Pac-12 links (including a link to Mike Leach's radio interview yesterday with Ian Furness). … If you are in a hurry and have time for just one college story today, make it this one from Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com. It's on the APR and transfers. And it shed slight on something I hadn't even thought about.

• Gonzaga: Speaking of transfers, there is no chance former ASU player Trent Lockett will end up in Spokane, according to Jim Meehan. … BYU will be getting back a scoring guard next year from his mission.

• Eastern Washington: Jim Allen has been flooding Twitter with advertisements recently. No one hijacked his account. He's just been “advertising” his live chat today at noon. Well, promoting might be a better word, but I think we all better take part or the “promotion” might just continue. … Jim also has a story in today's S-R on the Eagles' linebackers and a blog post promoting, ya, you guessed it, his live chat. Did I say it was at noon? … One more story from Jim. Former SMU quarterback Kyle Padron told him yesterday he's been granted another year of eligibility and will be in Cheney this weekend to settle in. Padron is expected to battle for the starting quarterback job in the fall.

• Preps: It's track notebook day in the S-R and Greg Lee has his weekly roundup. … Greg also broke the news Coeur d'Alene High and Skyline High will meet in the Kibbie Dome in September. And he passes along some more prep notes that include the news Shadle Park's Aleisha Hathaway (right) is headed to Western Washington.

• Chiefs: The Portland Winterhawks have been here before this offseason, leading a WHL playoff series 3-0. They got to that spot last night with a 3-1 home win over Tri-City. Remember, the last time Portland was up 3-0, the series went seven games. … The Hawks' Joe Morrow has a really hard shot.

• Shock: If quarterback Kyle Rowley has to write an essay on what he did during his bye week, all he has to do is summarize Jim Meehan's story in today's S-R.

• Mariners: After one big night, the Mariners' offensive numbers took a big jump. After two big nights, I'm sure they did again. Such is the fun of April, when batting averages change as often as the Spokane weather. … By the way, Felix was appreciative of the run support, though he didn't need it. … Prince Fielder said the M's bid for his services didn't last all that long. … In other news from Detroit, Alex Liddi is swinging a hot bat and former Mariner Doug Fister isn't pitching. … Changing locales, the Yankees are bemoaning the fact they made a trade for Michael Pineda and now he's out for a year with a shoulder injury. Let's hope Pineda is OK, but his injury just highlights once again the vagaries of pitching. You never know what's going to happen.

• Seahawks: Everyone has an opinion of what Seattle and GM John Schneider should do with the 12th pick of the draft tonight. Take a pass-rushing defender. No, pick up another quarterback. Or not. Forget that, trade down. Or trade up. Well, we'll know soon enough.

• Sounders: Sammy Ochoa scores a goal in a reserve game and now everyone wants to talk with him.

•••

• That's our report for this Thursday. We'll be back tomorrow. Until then …


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Greg Lee (@srpreps) Greg Lee covers high school sports in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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