A GRIP ON SPORTS
After a few days of non-stop action, the sporting world took a deep breath yesterday. Read on.
• I wish I could join the sporting world. But, alas, taking a deep breath this week just brings on a fit of coughing. So I will keep this short. After all, other than the Mariners losing and the Chiefs finding out they will play Portland in the next round of the WHL playoffs, last night was kind of quiet. The M's game was a throwback to last season, even down to the veteran pitcher struggling to throw strikes. The Chiefs are headed to the Rose City because Kelowna was able to become only the second WHL team to rally from a 3-0 deficit and win a series.
• Washington State: Christian Caple decided to use this morning to catch up on same changes within the WSU football roster. He lists everyone who seems to have left the team prior to or during spring practice. That comes on the heels of a couple of questions about the roster on his live chat yesterday. ... Christian also links this Seattle Times story on the 1941 WSU basketball team that made it to the NCAA championship game. I read it and decided I wanted to link it as well. ... Another vote for a change in Pac-12 officiating.
• Gonzaga: The run to the NIT semifinals could be a boon for BYU, though it doesn't always work out that way. Three years ago WSU lost to Wichita State in the NIT semis, the next year the Cougars were in the CBI – where they made the finals – and this year they weren't in the postseason.
• Chiefs: Yep, the Chiefs will face the WHL's best team, starting Friday night in Portland. Chris Derrick has an advance of the second-round series. ... Portland would have played Seattle if not for Kelowna's comeback.
• Shock: The Shock are still in Chicago as they prepare for Friday's game in Iowa. Jim Meehan caught up with coach Andy Olson and has this story.
• Preps: Greg Lee kicks off his weekly track notebook today with a look at North Central's Katie Knight and her recent world travels.
• Mariners: Joe Saunders (pictured) couldn't throw strikes consistently last night, though the lefthander may have had a reason, if not an excuse. Still, the game ended up as a 6-2 defeat. ... Jason Bay is willing to listen to advice, Jesus Montero is willing to catch every day, and Justin Smoak is willing to take more pitches. ... The M's announced their minor league rosters yesterday and there are some interesting local connections. Former Ferris High pitcher Andrew Kittredge is at Double A Jackson, while former WSU infielder Taylor Ard was assigned to Single A Clinton, where one of his coaches is also a former Coug, Mike Kinkade.
• Seahawks: With no one left on the roster to backup quarterback Russell Wilson, the Hawks reached out and made a deal with former third-stringer Josh Portis. The Hawks signed him to a two-year deal. Portis had signed with Toronto of the CFL in March, but because he hasn't played in Canada, he didn't run afoul of the NFL's rule against signing CFL players in the same year. The Hawks also re-signed one of their players.
• Sounders: In the matchup between two Mexican teams and the two MLS squads in the Champions League semifinals, the Mexican teams are each up 1-0 after Monterrey scored a 2-1 win in Los Angeles last night.
• Sonics: There was a lot going on in New York yesterday when Seattle and Sacramento made their pitches to the NBA. So much so, I'm a little overwhelmed – as is the NBA, seemingly, with commissioner David Stern saying it will be a while before a decision is made. If post-meeting press conferences have any bearing in the matter, the Kings will be staying in Sacramento.
• That's it for now. I think the rest of the week will be better. At least I hope so. Until later ...