A GRIP ON SPORTS
When I started this morning, the temperature outside was in the mid-30s. Now it is in the mid-40s. Oh the power of sunshine. Now if the sun could only make up for no Mariner game and little other news to link. Read on.
• I'm really at a loss of what to rail – or wail – about today. The Mariners didn't play well (or poorly) last night (of course, they didn't play, traveling to New York for a weekend series with the Yankees), so there isn't anything there to whine about. School is out at the local colleges, so there isn't much there to pass along. And it wasn't a huge day around here in prep sports, so that's out. Heck, even among the big-time pro sports only the NBA is really in the news, and though the Bulls were knocked out of the playoffs last night (and the Lakers were taken to the brink), following Derrick Rose's injury (and the years that have added up on LA) the loss wasn't all that unexpected. So we're not going to trying to make chicken salad out of ingredients no one would ever eat. We'll just move right to the links.
• Washington State: Christian Caple doesn't have a blog post this morning, but he did blog yesterday afternoon about a report of another basketball commitment to the Cougars. Rivals first reported (the link is behind the pay wall) and others, including Cougfan, have confirmed 6-foot-10, 250-pound center James Hunter (with ball at right) is transferring from Gillette College in Wyoming to WSU. The JC recruit, originally from Australia, will have three years of eligibility remaining. … Christian also has his college baseball notebook in today's S-R and the Cougars kick it off. … Don't think I linked this a couple of weeks ago when Ted Miller ran it, but thought I shouldn't let it pass. It's his under-the-radar pick from Pullman. … Former ASU star James Harden was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. His beard also received votes. … Jon Wilner has more on the Pac-12 Network. … Bud Withers wonders how important veteran quarterbacks are anymore in the new-look Pac-12. … Should college football be banned? Though there is a buzz behind that argument right now, this columnist says no. … Should the Rose Bowl be saved? … And, finally, the Orlando Sentinel picks WSU as one of five teams to surprise in 2012. So if the Cougars do well, is that the surprise. Or is it if they don't have a winning season? I'm confused.
• Eastern Washington: There may be more teams in the FCS playoffs come 2013.
• Idaho: Utah State will leave the WAC behind, but the Aggies budget will follow them into the Mountain West. And it needs to be improved.
• Chiefs: Edmonton took care of the home ice, defeated Portland 4-3 and leads the WHL Finals 3-2.
• Shock: If you are going to the Shock game with New Orleans tonight, make sure you get a program. You'll need it to follow all the new faces. Jim Meehan has all the particulars.
• Mariners: So there was no game. So what? (Does that bring back some memories?) There are plenty of features and columns. Steve Kelley wants answers to the questions surrounding Justin Smoak. John McGrath gloats about the offseason trade with the Yankees. Larry Stone has a minor league report in the Times and a feature on Lucas Luetge (right) while Geoff Baker covers everything from bunting to the improvement of the offense. And Larry LaRue writes about Mike Carp.
• Seahawks: The Hawks open rookie mini-camp today and, surprise, Pete Carroll is excited.
• It's Friday. The Spokane Shock are playing in the Arena. That all adds up to us making an appearance on the radio with Rick Lukens and Dennis Patchin on ESPN 700 here in Spokane. You can listen if you like. It all starts at 3 p.m. By the way, how many people noticed my bald head in the picture of Mike Leach I ran yesterday? Until later …