A GRIP ON SPORTS
College football in August. A good thing or bad thing? Discus among yourselves. I'm still trying to figure out if Larry Bernandez was actually in Felix's uniform last night. Read on.
• Really, having the college football season open on in August doesn't really bother me (not anymore, not when I don't have to worry about being in Provo or wherever covering the game – remember, it's all about me) as much as the Thursday night at 7:15 start time does. Welcome to the new world of the Pac-12, where television money comes with a price tag. And the payments will be made, in large part, by high school football programs. Yes, I know high schools won't be in action Aug. 30, when the Cougars will open their season at BYU. But as the Pac-12 season wears on and games pop up on ESPN on Thursday and Friday nights, there will be decisions to be made. Do I (and by "I" we mean the typical football fan – it's not always about me) sit in front of the television and watch the Huskies or Cougars or Ducks or Beavers play, all the while enjoying my easy chair and Diet Coke? Or do I trek out into the muck, pluck down my money and sit for a couple hours watching a high school game? Pretty easy choice. And prep sports, already hit hard by falling attendance and cuts in state support, will be nicked again. Collateral damage, sure, but it's too bad.
• It's not a line you've seen too often in Felix Hernandez's career. Three-and-two-thirds innings, 10 hits, eight runs, six earned, three walks and three strike outs. It's less like Felix and more like you or me. Or Josh Beckett after a golf outing. The last time Felix had as bad a start was two years ago against the Angels. So instead of being the Mariners' stopper – they have lost five of six on this road trip – he was Cleveland's rally starter. "Felix just had an off-day," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He's human. I think sometimes we forget about that."OK, we buy that. Just don't have another one, OK?
• Washington State: Christian Caple has all the news you need on WSU's game with BYU in this blog post and S-R story. He also has links and notes on his morning post. ... We want to know your thoughts on college football, so take our poll at left. ... Found this story from Santa Monica on a walk-on defensive back who will be in Pullman this fall. ... The Pac-12 hired a new basketball officials coordinator. ... Jon Wilner has some reaction to conference news.
• Whitworth: The Pirates first trip to the baseball postseason in years was a successful one, with freshman Dan Schiebe shutting out LaVerne 5-0.
• Preps: Greg Lee starts your Thursday with a must-read feature on Coeur d'Alene thrower Madison Seaman, who has had to deal with tragedy this past six months. ... The Idaho state track meets are this weekend. ... Mead is the favorite in Washington's 4A track regional. ... Jim Allen was at Cheney's victory over Othello in state soccer (pictured above).
• Shock: Living and working in Hawaii wasn't enough for Chris Pino. Nope, he had to come back to Spokane to play Arena League football. Jim Meehan has the story. ... Want to win tickets to see the Shock? Take our news quiz.
• Mariners: The coverage of the M's loss to Cleveland yesterday revolved around Felix's start, even in the Cleveland paper. Nothing wrong with that. But there were other stories, including the newest No. 2 hitter, Kevin Millwood still talking about his 2,000 strike out and an incident in Kansas City that earned Larry Stone's ire.
• Seahawks: The Hawks signed a young, fast defensive back after the rookie camp. Coach Pete Carroll is excited about his prospects. What a shock.
• NBA: So LeBron doesn't get the last shot in the Heat loss, and then a night later Steve Blake takes the final important shot instead of Kobe in a Lakers' defeat. What the heck is the NBA coming to? ... It might be coming back to Seattle if the arena deal works out the way Jerry Brewer hopes it will.
• Thanks for stopping by this morning. We'll be back here again tomorrow. Don't forget to tip your waiters. Until then ...