A GRIP ON SPORTS
“With the 12th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks make a trade.” Now, those exact words were never spoken by Roger Goodell last night, but something similar was. Nothing surprising, of course, about that. Teams trade draft picks all the time. “With the 15th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks draft Bruce Irvin, defensive end, West Virginia.” Those words, or something really close to those words, were spoken last night and they knocked most observers' socks off. Read on.
• So are you surprised by the Seahawks' pick? Well, that's a stupid question, because even Bruce Irvin was surprised by the Seahawks' pick. I guess the better question is, are you surprised the Seahawks, and coach Pete Carroll, went so far outside the box they can't even see it from where they are to make this pick? And to that, having observed Carroll for years, I would have to answer no. The guy doesn't dance to a different drummer. He dances to a guy on an acoustic guitar. The music he hears is so different than everyone else. But will it play in the postseason? Will such picks, such a different look at what's needed to succeed in the NFL, pay off down the road? Or will Carroll's dance remind everyone of Elaine Benes?
• Lost in the shuffle that was the NFL draft last night, the Mariners won again. And Thursday's victory, 5-4 over Detroit, was the type of win you want your favorite team to have. No, you don't want them to blow a 4-0 lead, but if they do, you want them to not lose heart, right? And the M's didn't. Nor did they lose the lead. The bullpen picked up Hector Noesi, held the Tigers even and Chone Figgins doubled home the eventual winning run. Piling up hits and winning easily is nice – especially for Seattle, which has a power-challenged offense – but winning in the late innings against a better team is more satisfying, I'm sure. Plus it gave the Mariners a road sweep, the best way to start a long, tough trip.
• Washington State: OK, try as he might, Christian Caple couldn't find much on WSU football or basketball to pass along in his morning post. Neither could I. But that doesn't mean the old S-R doesn't have a lot of WSU news. Nope, there is John Blanchette's column on Cougar thrower Joe Bartlett. And Christian's story on the Pac-12 women's golf championships, which are underway at Palouse Ridge. … In other, related news, former WSU assistant football coach Jody Sears was named interim head coach at Weber State, filling in a role left vacant when John L. Smith bailed to go to Arkansas. There is one statement of fact just about every story about Sears the last few weeks has gotten wrong that I feel needs to be cleared up. Though Sears was on Paul Wulff's WSU staff for four years (many stories say three for some hard-to-understand reason), he was co-defensive coordinator for the first three. Last season, Chris Ball was given that title alone. … Former Cougar Klay Thompson was part of NBA history last night when the Golden State Warriors started five rookies against San Antonio. … Want a college football playoff? It's getting closer.
• Eastern Washington: Did you know Jim Allen held a live chat about Eastern football and basketball yesterday? You can read the whole thing here. … Jim also has the last of his spring position previews, the defensive backs, in today's S-R. … We pass along this story without comment. It's just odd what the NCAA does sometimes.
• Whitworth: Christian's college baseball notebook begins with a look at the Pirates' chances to win the Northwest Conference title.
• Chiefs: The Portland Winterhawks didn't wait. They swept Tri-City out of the WHL playoffs Thursday night with a 4-1 victory. They'll take on either Edmonton or Moose Jaw (Edmonton leads 3-1 in the series) for the WHL title.
• Shock: Though a player left last week, he's back. For one game. Then he's leaving again. Such is life in the Arena Football League.
• Mariners: It seems Eric Wedge is starting to get a bit impatient with his veterans not coming through. He said as much yesterday. Then Figgins came through. Cause and effect? Whatever, the M's got the sweep and now move along to play the Blue Jays. … Former Mariner Doug Fister did a bit of throwing yesterday, just not in a game.
• Seahawks: Everyone has an opinion about Seattle's draft pick – the draft continues this evening – and most of them are about the long-shot odds. Not many people had Irvin going in the first round. But that seems to be Carroll and the Seahawks' way. … Former Bellevue High star offensive lineman David DeCastro was one of four Pac-12 players taken in the first round.
• That's what we have for you this fine Friday morning. We are headed out of town this weekend, but don't despair, we'll be back here tomorrow morning. Until then …