A GRIP ON SPORTS
The news cycle never stops even if a race does. Read on.
• Yesterday, the main focus of my blog post was the scheduled runoff race for the women's 100 meters at the Olympic track and field trials in Eugene. I did mention the possibility the race wouldn't happen, as there were reports and inklings of that already coming out of Oregon. And yes, less than a couple hours after I was done, the race was cancelled. Jeneba Tarmoh (left) decided not to face Allyson Felix for the final spot on the team, instead stepping aside and letting Felix have the spot. Tarmoh, who felt as if she had already earned the spot after being announced originally as the third-place finisher, didn't feel as if she would be at her best if she ran. She will be an alternate and part of the pool for the relay team. So that ends it. Or does it? One thing I've learned over the years is, when it comes to someone feeling they were wronged in sports, there are always other avenues to explore – and others out there helping them explore them. I'm actually looking forward to seeing if Tarmoh tries another tack, maybe through an appeals process or the courts, to grab the third spot. I'm not saying it's going to happen. I'm just saying such roads have been travelled before. Heck, knowing the way things work in this 24-hour-a-day-news-cycle world, I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened before I got this post up. … Well, it didn't. But that doesn't mean it won't.
• As I mentioned yesterday, the Fourth of July is synonymous with baseball in my mind (along with hot dogs, apple pie and some car company that doesn't pay me for the plug so it won't get it). Because of that, tomorrow I'm going to share a baseball stories or two with you that happened on the Fourth. If you have any to pass along, go right ahead.
• Washington State: A lot of news out of the Pac-12 today, starting with the Seattle Times' feature on new WSU football radio color commentator Shawn McWashington. … Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney (left) is hanging up his shoulder pads and putting on a batting helmet instead. Gaffney decided to forego his final year of football eligibility and sign a minor league contract. … The Tucson area is celebrating its finest week ever in sports and UA had a hand in it, of course. … Ted Miller over at ESPN.com asked folks for their favorite and most-hated BCS memories. He passed them along. … Center Gilles Dierickx has made his transfer to UW official by signing a financial aid agreement.
• Eastern Washington: Zach Johnson, a scout team offensive lineman at Washington State the past couple years, has transferred to Eastern, where he'll be in the mix up front. Jim Allen caught up with Johnson this week and has this story.
• Idaho: Utah State's move from the WAC to the Mountain West in 2013 won't be easy.
• Indians: The Yakima Bears evened their series with the Indians at one with a 7-3 win in Yakima last night. … By the way, don't miss out on a chance to attend an Indians game for free. Take our news quiz this week and you'll be automatically entered in a drawing for two upper-box seats for an Indians game.
• Preps: Greg Lee has his weekly youth notebook, leading with the annual July Fourth American Legion baseball tournament in town.
• Mariners: The halfway point of a baseball season is the perfect place to stop, take a breath and look back at all that has been accomplished thus far. Or in the Mariners' case, all that hasn't. Even more important, seemingly, for the M's is what will happen over the last half of the season. That's because the halfway mark is also a good spot to look forward. … That half got off to a 1-0 start last night when the Mariners “exploded” for five runs in their last two at-bats in a 6-3 win over the Orioles at Safeco. Casper Wells' (above) bases-loaded, seventh-inning double was the big blow. … Top draft Mike Zunino signed his contract yesterday.
• Sounders: Like the Mariners, the Sounders are at the halfway point of their season. Unlike the M's, however, they expect to contend down the stretch. If the recent past repeats, they should. … What really happened in San Jose after that game? Eddie Johnson tells his side. … The Sounders have a corps of veterans, and a youngster who feels he belongs.
• It's really windy in my part of Spokane this morning and I was invited to play golf this afternoon. Foolishly I said yes. As I watch the tree limbs bend outside my windows, I'm starting to think that was a mistake. We'll see. Until later …