A GRIP ON SPORTS
When Tony Romo took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday before Texas' game with the Seattle Mariners, little did he know the Rangers would have to go for two late in the game. They converted it, but by then they were down by three touchdowns. Read on.
• The football analogy is somewhat apt in that Rangers' starter Derek Holland and the Ranger bullpen looked a bit like a shell-shocked quarterback throwing duck after duck. And the Mariner hitters, especially Justin Smoak (3-for-5, two home runs and six RBI), took advantage though instead of interceptions, they responded with line shots in the 21-8 victory. Kyle Seager had four hits, Jesus Montero, Smoak and Michael Saunders three apiece. Heck, even Chone Figgins raised his average, though he was just 1-for-5. Still, that's an improvement for a guy hitting .188.
• By the way, we were all excited when the M's scored 10 runs Tuesday night, right? Little did we know that was just the appetizer. After a day off today, the Mariners head to Chicago to face the White Sox over the weekend.
• Washington State: Not a lot of local items to link today, but we did find a couple. Bud Withers writes about Demarquise Johnson and his quest to get eligible for next season. … And the Husky basketball program received a commitment from a 2013 guard.
• Eastern Washington: The other shoe has dropped for the University of Montana. The school confirmed Wednesday the NCAA is investigating the football program. Not good news for a school still reeling from the firings of football coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day.
• Shock: The Shock are also headed to Chicago this weekend for a Sunday game. Ryan Cave should be with them after his teammates gave him a pass for leaving the team a couple weeks ago. Jim Meehan has the story.
• Mariners: So where to start today? Should we mention that Ichiro wasn't part of the offensive explosion, given the day off by manager Eric Wedge, who wouldn't guarantee Ichiro would return to the third spot in the order on Friday? Or should we mention how close the M's came to a bunch of offensive records? Should we look back at Mariners past or should we look forward to the upcoming draft? We'll do all those things I guess and mention listening to the game yesterday was about as much fun as I've had in a while. Got to hear “goodbye baseball” a few times, which was nice. … Lucas Luetge has yet to give up an earned run in the major leagues. … At the bottom of the Times' game story there is a little note. The M's optioned relief pitcher Steve Delabar to Tacoma after the game. Though they didn't make a move right away, expect hard-throwing, 6-foot-4 right-hander Stephen Pryor to join the team this weekend.
• Seahawks: If you don't know the story of Brian Banks, catch up by reading Rick Reilly's column for ESPN.com. If you do know the story, you'll understand why the Seahawks giving the 26-year-old a tryout is such a big deal. … The Hawks have found themselves a crushing offensive lineman.
• Sounders: A lot of MLS clubs were eliminated in the U.S. Open Cup this week, including the Portland Timbers, who were felled by a California amateur team 1-0 last night. But the Sounders, three-time Cup defending champions, weren't about to go that route, jumping all over the Atlanta Silverbacks and winning 5-1.
• NBA: The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs held home court in the conference finals, which isn't much of a surprise. What is surprising is who is jumping aboard the Chris Hansen arena bandwagon in Seattle. If this columnist thinks it's a good deal, it just might be.
• It is supposed to be warm today but you wouldn't know it by the view out my window. Overcast would be the right word for what I'm seeing. But it doesn't really matter. I'll be in the radio booth this afternoon for 3 to 5. And it's always sunny there. You can listen here if you like.Until later …