A GRIP ON SPORTS
It is about time. About time for a breather. After all the news this week, from the Seahawks' quarterback battle to the Mariners' winning streak, it's time for a day without too much news. And today's the day. Read on.
• And we can call it the calm before storm, or the clear skies before the deluge or something like that. This weekend is going to be full, what with the Seahawks playing Friday night in Kansas City with Russell Wilson running the No. 1 offense, the Mariners taking an eight-game winning streak into Chicago, starting a road trip that could make or break their chance at .500 baseball, and the final weekend of tuneups before WSU, Eastern and Idaho kickoff the football season a week from tonight.
• Washington State: Talk about calm. It was so calm in Pullman yesterday, Christian Caple didn't get out to practice. A time change meant no practice report and story, though Christian did have a live chat on the blog, a short post and his usual link-packed morning report. … Marquess Wilson checks in at No. 7 in Ted Miller's Pac-12 top 25 players. … The Cougars trip to Australia elicited this tidbit about new post player James Hunter. … Guess what. Nike has some new uniforms for Oregon. Yep, I was surprised too.
• Gonzaga: The Australian pipeline is still gushing talent for St. Mary's, this time in the form of a 6-foot-9 recruit. … More details are emerging from the game-fixing scandal at USD, thanks to a couple of guilty pleas.
• EWU: Though Jim Allen was quiet yesterday, he did file this morning blog post today. … Montana is in the midst of rebuilding its entire defensive secondary. And the Griz's safety coach, quoted extensively in this story, is familiar to WSU fans. … Weber State, with an new look on defense, is somewhat of a mystery to its first opponent.
• Indians: When a major league player gets in trouble for using performance-enhancing drugs, it's all over the news (see below). But when a minor league player is suspended, his infamy is pretty limited. But his comeback, that's a big deal. John Blanchette chronicles one in his story from last night's 3-0 loss for the Indians. Royce Bolinger was 1-for-4, keeping his hitting streak alive.
• Chiefs: Yes, it is still August. But yes, hockey training camp is here. Jess Brown has the story.
• Mariners: When Eric Thames stepped to the plate in the eighth inning yesterday, he had struck out three times already in the 1-1 tie. But instead of making it four, he turned around an inside fastball, pulled it down the right-field line and powered the M's to a 3-1 victory, their eighth consecutive win. Of course, the bullpen and the defense had something to do with it as well. As did Cleveland's ineptitude. Michael Saunders contributed a solo home run early, his third dinger in three games. … Another Bay Area baseball player was suspended 50 games for PED use. Bartolo Colon, whose defense may just be he eats so much he didn't know what he was putting in his pie hole, will be lost for the rest of the season for the contending A's. So does his suspension mean baseball's drug policy is working or failing? … By the way, I just like the picture of Manny Acta being run after Kyle Seager's double yesterday, that's why it's up above. Really, the way the Indians have been playing, can you blame Acta for getting tossed, even if Seager was safe and the call was right?
• Seahawks: The news earlier in the week centered round Wilson, and that subject is still fresh in everyone's mind. But the news yesterday that oft-injured receiver Sidney Rice (pictured above in the first section of the post) would actually play Friday, well that trumped the quarterback battle. At least for a day.
• No radio today (or for a while). That's OK. Even I can use a breather now and again. I will leave you with this thought. In one week, three of our local teams will be kicking off the college football season. Where did the summer go? Until later …