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A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Saturday morning. There is a lot to digest and we're not talking about last night's dinner. The NFL draft went through two more rounds (when is Roger Goodell going to realize you can stretch the seven rounds through six days and rest on the seventh, just like his counterpart upstairs?) with a few more Pac-12 stars being chosen. And the Mariners rallied in the ninth (in large part to a crucial error) and defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on a Michael Saunders' 10th-inning grand slam. Read on.

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• The Seahawks' draft strategy: take guys who will confound the draft experts. At least that's how it seems here on the outside. The have, of course, a philosophy they are following, so we went criticize here, but there are a lot of people in Seattle who aren't as kind. Makes for an interesting few days, doesn't it? By the way, that's third-round pick Russell Wilson at the draft combine in the picture.

• As for the M's, what a great way to start a road trip. Four consecutive wins, including last-night's back-from-the-dead victory. After reading through all the stories on the game, the one guy who isn't getting enough credit is starting pitcher Blake Beavan. And the bullpen. Though Beavan didn't have his best stuff, he battled into the sixth and kept the Mariners in the game (they were down 3-1 when he left). The bullpen – other than Tom Wilhelmsen, who gave up two eighth-inning runs – held the Blue Jays in check and allowed the M's offense to get them back into the game.

•••

• Washington State: Received an email from Christian Caple sometime near 3 in the morning and by that I mean it arrived in my inbox about that time. Me, I was fast asleep. In his email, Christian wanted to let everyone know there was a problem with the computer system last night and he couldn't post his links. Feel free, he wrote to me, to post whatever I wanted. And with that, there will be zero WSU links today, because that's all I want to do. ... OK, just kidding. Christian covered the women's Pac-12 golf tournament at Palouse Ridge yesterday and filed this piece. And with that we've exhausted our locally produced links. ... From Idaho, we found this story on a tall receiver who is being recruited by WSU and two Ivy League schools. If the guy wants to play big-time football, he'll probably end up in Pullman. If he wants to be secretary of state someday, he'll probably be headed back east. ... The Huskies will finish their spring with a scrimmage today, one they hope will answer some questions. ... Ted Miller has his mailbag up, and I couldn't be happier. ... A few more high profile Pac-12 players were drafted yesterday, including tight end Coby Fleener reuniting with quarterback Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, LaMichael James heading to the 49ers and ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler being selected to backup Peyton Manning in Denver.

• Gonzaga: Two stories from the opposite ends of the spectrum. The Bulldogs received a verbal commitment yesterday from 6-foot-8 Lucas Meilke, a Bellarmine Prep junior. Jim Meehan has all the particulars in this blog post. There is more in the Seattle Times. ... And Jim also has his golf column, which leads with GU and Idaho's recent success in the women's game.

• Eastern Washington: Today is the Red and White Game and Jim Allen will be there. He has this advance in today's paper.

• Preps: Jim was at a key 4A soccer match yesterday and filed this piece for the S-R. ... East Valley and Clarkston tied atop the GNL in baseball as Mike Vlahovich's story tells us.

• Chiefs: The Portland Winterhawks will face Edmonton in the WHL title series. The best-of-seven series will start in Canada next week.

• Shock: The Shock are in Jacksonville for tonight's game with the defending AFL champions, the Sharks. We were able to find this advance in the local Florida paper.

• Mariners: With such a momentum-building victory – if there is really such a thing – there should be a lot of stories to link. There is, as all the underlined words in these last two sentences show. But we saved this link for last. You should find this Geoff Baker blog post interesting. I did. ... Franklin Gutierrez has another problem he has to work through.

• Seahawks: Not as many links on the Hawks' second and third selections of the draft, though taking Wisconsin (and before that, North Carolina State) quarterback Russell Wilson seemed to rachet up the coverage. Their first draft pick, Bruce Irvin? He's 24-years-old.

• Sounders: When the Sounders play their 100th MLS game tonight in Chicago, they should have most of their team ready to go.

• NBA: The Sacramento Kings are ready to excise the Sacramento part of their name. The arena deal fell apart for good yesterday – if anything in the business of professional sports can be called "for good."

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• Don’t know what this fine Saturday (aren't most Saturdays fine in some way?) will be like in your neck of the woods, but I hope it's just what you wanted. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi





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