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Back to the normally weird grind

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's a weird sort of day here on SportsLink. A good weird. And a heck of a lot easier. Read on.

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• It's weird because, for the first time in months, I didn't have to run down a bunch of Pac-12 links. Nope, with the media day yesterday, Christian Caple was back on the Washington State beat and he covered everything on his morning post. Which meant a much easier day for yours truly. Oh, sure, I read most of the linked stories Christian provided, but I don't have to go through the process of putting them on this post for you. Nope, you can get it all through the collaborative process that makes journalism such a fun profession. So enjoy. By the way, I was all ready to post the WSU video from yesterday, but Christian took care of that as well. So this post isn't as visual as it might have been.

• The furor over Ichiro's trade has subsided – though it hasn't disappeared completely – and has been replaced, for one night anyway, by some concern over Felix Hernandez's lack of command. Yep, Seattle baseball fans always have something to worry about. Though Felix earned yet another win over the Yankees, the fact he drilled three hitters in pretty short order – one of those pitches, a change-up, happened to break a bone in Alex Rodriguez's hand – was all the rage in the Seattle media. Did he do it on purpose? The fact he hit A-Rod with a change-up, makes it pretty obvious the answer is no, though hitting Ichiro in the foot is the sort of thing Don Drysdale might have done. So there is nothing sinister, nothing wrong with Felix's arm, nothing to worry about. Just move along.

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• Washington State: Yes, Christian covered the Pac-12 media day with a blanket, throwing it over any news that might exist in this here blog post. He also wrote two stories for the daily paper, one on the conference as a whole and one on the Cougars and had another blog post during the event yesterday. His coverage was so thorough, in fact, I've got nothing to add except to say you might want to take a look at the two-deep Christian posted on the blog. It shows the one big worry Cougar fans should have entering camp: A lack of depth on the defense's front seven. In those seven positions, a total of 13 players are listed in the two-deep. Of those 13, only two (Travis Long and Anthony Laurenzi, who just might be in trouble after a 3rd-degree theft arrest) have seen any real significant time during games (though Toni Pole, Chester Su'a and Jared Byers have played some, if you want to count Byers' time at fullback and H-back on offense). Incoming freshmen and transfers are going to have to play significant roles up front if the WSU defense is going to be passable.

• Indians: The Northwest League's second half is a chance to start fresh, to forget the trials and tribulations of the first part of the season and to make a push to the playoffs. The Indians started their second half last night with a 3-2 victory over Tri-City.

• Swimming: Like little off-the-wall features? Well Greg Lee has one for you today concerning a Spokane man who is making waves as a long-distance swimmer.

• Mariners: The big news in New York after the M's defeated the Yankees 4-2 was A-Rod's broken hand (the always-stoic Rodriguez is shown at left). It was also a big part of the Seattle coverage, but not nearly as important, of course. The Ichiro trade is still trending, with Larry Stone summarizing some thoughts about the deal. The blog post is worth reading. So is Geoff Baker's on how to understand the Mariners' management. ... To fill out their roster with the loss of Ichiro and Justin Smoak – sent to Tacoma to work on his stroke – the M's activated Mike Carp, who had been injured, and called up Trayvon Robinson.

• Seahawks: Seattle officially announced its agreement with defensive end Chris Clemons.

• Sounders: The MLS all-star game with Chelsea will be tonight and two Sounders will be available for duty.

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• Thank goodness things are settling down. I'm not sure I could take many days like Monday and Tuesday. Heck, I'm supposed to be retired. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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