A GRIP ON SPORTS
As I said on the radio yesterday, my father used to invoke the blind-squirrel-acorn theory often when I was young (usually right after I did something he approved of). That philosophy came to mind last night with Kevin Millwood's complete-game shutout victory in Colorado. Was it like a vision-impaired rodent stumbling into a nut, or was it the beginning of something good? Read on.
• Considering Millwood's age and recent track record, it's probably the former. But for one night at least he was what the Mariners needed out of the fifth spot of the rotation. A solid game that gave the bullpen a rest. Heck, you want that every once in a while out of your top spot in the rotation. But you'll take it from anywhere. … Millwood's gem came in the opener of this year's interleague play, a once unique event that has become routine. And it will become even more routine next season when the Houston Astros (the only franchise in professional sports named after a cartoon dog) switch from the National League to the American. With 15 teams in each league, interleague play will be an everyday occurrence. We wondered how you felt about that, hence the poll question.
• Gonzaga: The Bulldogs routed Portland 12-4 in Spokane.
• Whitworth: The Pirates had to win twice Friday to give themselves a shot at the regional title, so they did just that. In the process they eliminated one of the Texas schools and handed Trinity its first defeat of the tournament. Whitworth will face the winner of the morning Trinity/Coe (Iowa) game this afternoon for the regional title.
• Preps: A busy, busy prep weekend kicked off yesterday with Greg Lee covering the big school track meets in the Tri-Cities and Jim Allen covering the smaller schools in Spokane (pictured at right). There is also more, including baseball playoffs in Washington (with Mike Vlahovich filing this story) and Idaho, along with Lake City and Coeur d'Alene meeting for Idaho's large school softball title. Finally, there is coverage of the Idaho state track meets.
• Shock: Terrance Sanders picked off three passes to help Spokane build a 30-point lead early in the second half. And though the Philadelphia Soul made it interesting with some onside kick recoveries, the Shock still rolled 65-47 over the AFL's second-ranked team. John Blanchette has the story.
• Mariners: Want to know one way to ensure the bullpen doesn't blow a 4-0 lead? Throw a complete game. That's what Millwood did, shutting down his former Rocky teammates for his first shutout since 2003. With the win, coming with a slumping Jesus Montero resting once again, the Mariners gave themselves to finish a tough road trip on a high note. … The M's will soon be selling T-shirts honoring Greg Halman, murdered in the offseason. … Kerry Woods called it quits yesterday and went out with a strikeout.
• NBA: A lot of playoff news yesterday, but we'll stay focused on the Northwest, with the folks at the Port of Seattle doing their best to put the brakes on the Sodo arena proposal.
• It's Saturday and so we'll be busy today, though our balky back is making it tough to enjoy the nice weather. Oh well, it will get better sooner or later. Until then …