A GRIP ON SPORTS
There was a lot of response yesterday to my thoughts on remaining a Mariner fan. To be honest, I appreciate the advice, but have yet to make up my mind. It isn't a results-based analysis, so the fact the M's lost again yesterday isn't really a factor. It's more about the process, which starts at the top and filters down to the field. Read on.
• And, like a lot of you, I think the process is messed up. There just isn't a visible enough commitment to winning. It might permeate the front office, but it certainly hasn't trickled out to the fans yet. And until it does, the anger will not dissipate. Anyhow, that's enough on the M's today. I'm still contemplating and will let you know when I make up my mind.
• More than a year ago, Washington State assistant coach Jeff Hironoka traveled to Europe to watch recruits. Though he couldn't talk about it at the time, his No. 1 target was 7-foot center Przemek Karnowski from Poland. The Cougars had discovered him quite a bit earlier and were trying to get him to think about making the long trip from Poland to the Inland Northwest. Well, Karnowski is coming all right. He announced this morning via Twitter he would be attending Gonzaga. The Bulldogs recruited him hard as well and ended up, along with Cal, being one of Karnowski's two finalists, and the only two schools he visited in a recent United States tour despite being recruited by Duke. This is a big get for the Zags, as Karnowski is a legitimate center, something that is in short supply in the U.S. these days. I've been told by people who know that, though there is an unfinished aspect to Karnowski's game, he's should be an outstanding college player. Jim Meehan has more in this blog post.
• Washington State: Though Christian Caple sat today out on the blog, we still have some WSU and Pac-12 news for you. … We start with this video from Mike Leach that was on the ESPN.com Pac-12 blog … From there, we travel to Australia, where two familiar names (Aron Baynes and Brock Motum) show up on the list of 25 players invited to the Aussies' pre-Olympic basketball camp. Twelve players make the roster and with an injury to Andrew Bogut, Baynes has a good shot of making the team. … Drew Bledsoe will be inducted into the Washington Sports Hall of Fame. … Bud Withers looks at WSU's spring camp. … A former UW basketball player is in trouble. … If there is a four-team playoff in college football, the fifth-ranked team's fans are going to be angry. … Finally, a look at football in American Samoa.
• Gonzaga: Besides Karnowski, other Gonzaga news includes the baseball team dropping a 3-2 decision to Oregon last night, a game that would have helped the Bulldogs' at-large NCAA chances if they had won. … Gonzaga assistant basketball coach Ray Giacoletti is expected to interview at Illinois State tomorrow, according to Jeff Goodman of CBS.com
• Idaho: The crumbling WAC finally elicited a response from the University of Idaho yesterday, a response Josh Wright covered in this blog post and John Blanchette used a kickoff to this column. I agree with John. It's time for UI to examine closely returning to the Big Sky Conference. Not only would it be good for the school, it would be good for FCS football in this area. The Vandals are a natural rival for Eastern Washington and a legitimate threat to Montana's dominance in football. … Seattle U, one of the new WAC members, is still committed.
• Shock: Stanley Franks is happy to be back on the field, though as Jim Meehan's feature relays, it's in a coaching position.
• Preps: A lot going on yesterday as the skies cleared, including a big softball game covered by correspondent Steve Christilaw, a no-hitter in the 4A baseball playoffs and a record-setting soccer performance covered by Jim Allen.
• Mariners: There was a group of Mariners pitchers in the catwalks above Tropicana Field yesterday, though there is no truth to the rumor they were looking for a hit with runners in scoring position. Even if they had been, their quest would have been futile as the M's offense is automatic right now. As in no clutch. The futility with men on base led to a 3-1 loss, Seattle's fourth consecutive defeat. … Mike Carp is back and Chone Figgins might be on the way out.
• NBA: Steve Kelley understands Sacramento's pain. But he's not about to let that stand between him and the NBA returning to Seattle.
• That's our report for this morning. Until later …