A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's Saturday morning. I get that. So we won't waste a lot of your time with chit-chat. I understand you want to get out into the day and explore the possibilities of your weekend. Read on.
• I spent a lot of time yesterday watching golf on television. I know it's not what you would call athletic or taxing, but it sure was fun. The Tiger Woods drama held center stage, of course, but I was more interested in the play of 17-year-old Beau Hossler, who lead the Open for a bit in the early afternoon. Hossler (left), who looks a bit like a right-handed version of a young Phil Mickelson, attends Santa Margarita High in Orange County, the same school that produced former Washington State basketball star Klay Thompson. The thing I dreaded the most about the TV coverage, after hearing what every announcer was doing at 17 (as an aside, I'm glad CBS was not covering the event, or we may have been regaled with a story from Gary McCord about the backseat of his Dodge Dart), was the inevitable meltdown. Olympic Club is the type of course that bites. And you knew sooner or later it was going to bite Hossler. I didn't really want to see the kid bleed all over national TV. But it turned out OK. When Hossler did struggle on the fourth hole, with a circuitous trip that included a stay in the rough and a slide down the hill next to the green, he didn't let the double bogey destroy his resolve. He's 3-over heading into the weekend and, after he makes a couple more bogeys to start his round today, the TV cameras will go away and he'll enjoy the rest of his weekend.
• Washington State: Quite a few items to pass along, even though there is no breaking news. ... We'll start with Thompson, whose rookie season in the NBA was graded by the San Jose Mercury News beat writer a while back, though I missed linking the post then. ... Also from San Jose, Jon Wilner has more on the media possibilities. ... Last night was Yakima's turn for a night with Cougar athletics. ... ESPN.com's Ted Miller has his usual Friday mailbag, which makes me smile, and a look at the two Washington schools. Speaking of UW, coach Steve Sarkisian just sent out a W-O-O-F over Twitter, so there should be news of a player commitment soon. ... UCLA made quick work of the college World Series Cinderalla story Stony Brook, 9-1, in the series opener. Arizona, however, had to go 12 to defeat Florida State, 4-3. Now the two Pac-12 schools will meet Sunday.
• Gonzaga: Two days ago, a player left. Yesterday, the news emerged of a player transferring in. Drew Barham (right), a former walk-on at Memphis, will join the Zags in the fall and might be able to play right away if he passes NCAA muster. Jim Meehan has the story and blog post. There is also this short from the Memphis paper. ... The WCC is changing how it runs the postseason basketball tournaments when Pacific joins the conference and gives it 10 teams. No more double byes. Jim also has that information.
• Eastern Washington: Want a feel-good story to start your weekend? Jim Allen has just the piece for you.
• Indians: The Northwest League season began last night throughout the region, though the Indians didn't put up much in the way of fireworks until the game was over (heard them out the window) in an 8-1 defeat. Jess Brown has the coverage.
• Shock: It's been an eventful week, one that Jim Meehan chronicles in this advance of tonight's Utah game and in this blog post. The most interesting note for me is the news concerning the labor negotiations. Owner Brady Nelson told Jim if an agreement isn't reached by Sunday night, there will be a lockout.
• Mariners: No matter the reason – and we are contractually obligated to mention Safeco Field's impact, as manager Eric Wedge doesn't want us to and that is the green light for us cynical journalists – the M's offense has dried up like the Los Angeles River in July. The lack of support is wearing on future Cy Young Award winner Jason Vargas, who kept the Giants offense mostly in check during the 4-2 defeat. ... Felix Hernandez, who did win a Cy Young despite poor offensive support, has tweaked his windup a bit trying to get back to that form. ... Jesus Montero is a circus act on the bases. My suggestion: a bungee cord on his belt. Hook it to the base so he can't wander too far off on fly balls. ... Tim Lincecum is back in Seattle and will face the team that passed over him.
• Sounders: After a long stretch playing non-league matches, the Sounders return to MLS play tonight with a must-win game in Montreal. Must-win because the expansion Impact are so bad. ... The teams engaged in a surprising trade (to one player) in the off-season. ... Tonight will be Fredy Montero's 100th regular-season game as a Sounder. ... Here is the injury report.
• Golf: OK, we mentioned our favorite part of watching golf yesterday above. Today I'm hoping Jim Furyk, whose swing is as convoluted as mine, will play well and pull away from Tiger and the rest of the field. But my money is on Woods winning another title. ... Jim Meehan (new name for the Saturday Spokesman: Jim's Paper) has his weekly column, this one on a former G-Prep golfer Annie Brophy.
• That's what we have for you this morning. Hope all is well. Until later ...