A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's going to be the nicest day of the year in the Inland Northwest today, so if you can, get out and enjoy it. If you can't, say because you have to something mundane like working to support yourself and loved ones, well, sit in front of your computer and read today's post. It's almost as good as being outside in sunny, 70-degree weather. Almost. Read on.
• It was a busy day yesterday in the world of Washington State athletics as the Cougars' athletic director Bill Moos made an announcement concerning WSU's football and basketball radio coverage. I won't go into the particulars here – Christian Caple had all the information on SportsLink yesterday with a couple of blog posts – but it's safe to say the Washington State football radio broadcasts won't be the same in the fall. Is that a good thing? I'm not asking that in the poll question at left, mainly because I'm pretty sure the response would be overwhelmingly positive. It's become pretty clear the past couple years any decision Bill Moos makes will be greeted with applause by the Cougar faithful and there is a lot of justification for that. From the new building that's towering over the south end of Martin Stadium to the new Pac-12 media money (which Moos played a big part in getting distributed evenly among conference members) to the changes among coaches in the athletic department, Moos' moves have all seemed pretty positive so far (though, as an old graphic design guy, I'm still not enamored with the font the Cougars are using).
• Did you turn off the Mariners' game before the ninth inning last night? I know someone who did, though he shall remain nameless (hey, I had to get the laundry done for goodness sakes and I was tired). Anyhow, thanks to some help from the Tigers' Octavio Dotel (left), Seattle rallied with three runs in the ninth and won 3-2. My favorite part of the comeback? Going back later and reading the twitter feed of the inning. There is the expectation of another loss, then the excitement as the M's begin to rally. There is criticism of the strategy (Really, how many people have spent their adult life training to be a major league manager? Oh, that's right, just the guys who are doing it. But there sure are a lot of folks who think they could do it better. I totally understand having an opinion, but when the tone says, "this guy doesn't know what he's doing; I know more than he does," that's when folks lose me) and praise when the strategy works. Then there is the explosion of joy when the winning runs scores. It was like reading a book in short form.
• To get off the beaten track a bit, we found a couple of stories that feature former Washington State basketball coach Len Stevens, now working in Reno. It is Stevens' contention high schools should get out of the sports business. He has some well-though-out reasons, as does this blogger from Forbes Magazine. It is a good discussion to have. I've felt for years now, ever since I covered high school sports, that Stevens' approach would end up being adopted here. Not because it is right or wrong, but because financial pressures on schools are increasing so quickly sooner or later sports would end up being cut to save labs or special education or buses. Can't say that would be the wrong choice either, though I dearly value the lessons high school athletics teach young women and men.
• Washington State: Christian summarizes all that occurred yesterday in his morning blog post and has this story in today's S-R. ... Former WSU basketball player James Watson's career is done, cut short by health problems. ... A weekend late, but Ted Miller has his mailbag on ESPN.com. ... Ryan Leaf has reached a plea agreement.
• Gonzaga: Przemek Karnowski made it official, signing with the Zags yesterday.
• Idaho: There have been talks between the Vandals and the Big Sky Conference. There will be more.
• Preps: We were out at a high school softball game yesterday and wrote this story for the S-R. Greg Lee also wrote this notebook (fixed from earlier). It's sort of a doubleheader I guess. ... A sad yet uplifting feature from Mason Kelley in the Times.
• Mariners: There was one bit of news that may have been lost in the M's comeback, 3-2 victory last night. Starting pitcher Blake Beavan had to leave the game with a bruise on his right elbow, courtesy of a Miguel Cabrera line drive. Beavan has been solid though not spectacular this season, but with Hector Noesi up-and-down and Kevin Millwood still winless, Beavan's contributions, which include going relatively deep into games and resting the bullpen, can't be overstated. We'll keep an eye on his condition. ... Some thoughts on Kyle Seager, Miguel Olivo and pitchers hitting. By the way, look at the joy in the faces in the picture above. That's another great thing about sports. ... As can be expected, the response to the ninth-inning rally was a bit different in Detroit.
• Seahawks: That didn't take long. The Hawks signed top draft pick Bruce Irvin yesterday, along with a few other players. After last year's strike-addled offseason, this summer should be fun for NFL fans. ... Except those of the Saints.
• That's all we have to offer on this fine morning. I can't believe how warm it is outside already. Makes me smile. Until later ...