A GRIP ON SPORTS
Being I wrote two posts yesterday, I was kind of thinking about taking this morning off. You know, sleep in, get up and go for a run, eat a fire-roasted tomato and brie egg-white omelet for breakfast and then settle down for a day of watching playoff baseball. So which one of those things do you think is going to come true? Read on.
• Yep, I'm going to watch some baseball today. As I awoke at 5:30, the sleeping-in part was out of the question, as is running (no matter what time I get out of bed). The omelet sounds good, but a bit out of my culinary-skills range, so we'll settle for toast or cold pizza or something of that ilk. But baseball, October baseball, that's for me. Kim and I took in a movie last night – I really didn't want to listen to ESPN's announcers slobber all over USC – for the first time in a while, and we decided to finally see Trouble With the Curve. It isn't Citizen Kane (or even Field of Dreams) but it did serve to reignite my baseball pilot light, something that's been out since about June or so. It's so hard to keep the heat up when the team you most closely follow is so inept, and not in a cute-Chicago-Cub-type of way. But baseball and I have a history, so it really only takes something small to get the fire started again, and the movie last night – with its celebration of baseball as a connection across generations – got me primed for today's wild-card games. I know, weird, huh? My rooting interests today (as opposed to unbiased picks) are Baltimore – I want Texas out – and Atlanta – Chipper Jones (above) deserves a long postseason run as his swan song.
• Washington State: The road beckons the Cougars once again – ya, I know they had a home game last Saturday, but they did have to travel to play it – and Christian Caple will be with them in Corvallis. To get you ready, he posted an after-practice blog post yesterday along with some Oregon State answers. He followed up those pieces with a story in today's paper on film exchanges. He also has his morning post. ... We had a second blog post yesterday, passing along Reggie Moore's thoughts on his dismissal from Washington State. Moore will be playing somewhere, quiet possibly this season at a lower level but maybe next year. ... If you want to know which Pac-12 coach is under the most pressure right now, read this Jon Wilner blog post and this Jeff Faraudo story. You'll understand why Jeff Tedford needs to turn around the California program quickly, or the financial pressure may just overwhelm him. And I used to think college football was a sport.
• Gonzaga: It's time for Kelly Olynyk to re-emerge from the shadows at GU following his redshirt season.
• EWU: Vernon Adams (No. 16, above) has risen from the little-known category to the key element of Eastern's offense in the past couple months. Jim Allen sat down with Adams, which allowed him to go in-depth about the Eagles' newest star in this human-interest feature. ... Jim also had a live chat yesterday and there is still time to win tickets to the North Dakota game. ... Cal Poly has enjoyed its first season as Big Sky Conference member, taking an undefeated record into tonight's game at winless Weber State.
• Idaho: Nothing on the winless Vandals, but Louisiana Tech is on the cusp of the top 25 and, with hapless UNLV visiting this weekend, may just break into the rankings next week. ... Utah State tonight will try to secure the title as Utah's best college football team.
• Preps: The weekend football schedule kicked off last night and Greg Lee was at Lewis and Clark's rout of Rogers. We'll be at Gonzaga Prep tonight, covering the undefeated Bullpups' battle with North Central. ... There were other prep sports yesterday as well. Here's our roundup of the action.
• Chiefs: Mitch Holmberg is on a tear to start the season. Jess Brown has a feature on the Alberta native.
• Seahawks: The theme of this week seems to be the passing game, whether the subject is quarterback Russell Wilson or a receiver like, say, Doug Baldwin. ... The injury list got a bit longer yesterday.
• Mariners: Yes the season is over. But now comes the hot stove league. It burned Chris Chambliss (left) yesterday. The M's fired their hitting coach. ... Larry Stone is picking the Nationals to win the World Series. What, without Stephen Strasburg?
• Sounders: It's nearly time for Sounders' fans to vote on their general manager (I just want to know: Does he have an R or a D next to his name? That's how I make my choices). The unusual election dominates the coverage today, from stories about it to conversations with people tied to the organization.
• As we said earlier, we're off to cover high school football tonight, then we'll be watching college football on Saturday, with the WSU game our top focus. After that, it's time for our post-game call-in show with Dennis Patchin, on at a decent hour this week. Until tomorrow ...