A GRIP ON SPORTS
As June Sundays go, yesterday wasn't what one would call chock full of sporting events. Oh sure, the Mariners lost again and there was a non-descript golf tournament. If you're into soccer, there is the big tourney going on over in Europe, where the only tennis major of the year played on clay was trying to finish. Heck, the most exciting moment of the day was a strike out to end a college baseball game and the only reason it was exciting was the ball was about six inches off the plate. And the hitter, North Carolina's All-American shortstop Chris Diaz, came this close to taking the umpire to the woodshed. I might not have been so calm. Read on.
• I was going to spend some time today relating some of my exploits with umpires (and my friends all have their favorite stories of my “disagreements”) then I remembered I just don't have the time. Sorry. The sun is shining and I've got an appointment with some of my former Spokesman-Review teammates on the golf course. Yes, it is the second Monday of June, the official unofficial start of summer in the Inland Northwest. The day of the Wet Dog Fur Open golf tournament. OK, so it ain't the Masters, though we do have a not-so-green jacket for the winner. And there is no TV coverage, of which everyone involved is eternally grateful. The only thing this tournament has in common with Augusta's tradition like none other is there are clubs, balls and scorecards. Other than that, it's the Bizarro Masters. So we're going to cut this part of the morning post short. However, before we go, we'll explain the name. Back in the mid-1980s, when then sports editor Jeff Jordan and a few others, including myself, were putting together the first sports department golf tournament, Jeff received a letter “complimenting” us on our sports coverage of the Inland Northwest. Included in the letter was the comment “your sports section sucks wet dog fur.” And a legendary tournament was born.
• Washington State: Not much from the Palouse, but there is some Cougar news. The Regina Leader-Post has a feature on former WSU cornerback (fixed, thanks SpectreCoug) Karl Paymah (at left playing against Idaho), still knocking around the Canadian Football League. … Baseball coach Donnie Marbut knew a couple of months ago when pitcher Mitch Gueller started blossoming at W.F. West High in Chehalis, it didn't bode well for the Cougars. The right-handed pitcher (and football and basketball star) had signed a letter-of-intent with WSU but after a stellar spring was drafted 54th in the nation and signed with the Phillies last weekend. … As for the players who are in college, Arizona feels it has a shot of winning the College World Series, Oregon rallied in the seventh inning last night and kept its Omaha dream alive with a 3-2 win over Kent State and Stanford's season ended after it gave up 35 runs in two games of its Super Regional at Florida State. … The University of Utah football program is in temporary digs.
• Mariners: Kind of a ho-hum 8-2 loss to the Dodgers after Andre Either's second-inning grand slam (left) took all of the air out of the Safeco crowd and may have sealed Blake Beavan's fate. Beavan may have needed a good outing to retain his spot in the starting rotation and he didn't get it. … Steve Kelley has picked out the guy who should replace Beavan. … Before the game, manager Eric Wedge said he was encouraged by Brandon League and thought the right-hander might be returning to the closer role soon. Then League got rocked by the Dodgers. Now?
• Seahawks: Seattle returns to the field this week for mini-camp and the quarterback battle is back in the spotlight.
• Sounders: This week's injury report includes a new name.
• Tennis: Because the men's final was delayed yesterday due to rain, we bring you the news Rafael Nadal got past world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win the French Open when the final resumed this morning.
• As we said, we're off to the golf course (and if you are wondering, the back is feeling much better). Baring any unforeseen circumstances (like going all Chris Diaz on the guy running the tournament and ending up behind bars) we'll be back here tomorrow. Until then …