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Too early to panic?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Is it time to panic yet? Or should we wait awhile? Read on.

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• Of course I'm referring to the Mariners, who lost two of three to the Astros, opening the home portion of the season about as poorly as anyone could have ever imagined. The home opener was fine, though the crowd was the smallest for a Safeco opener ever. That was followed by a blowout loss that was as ugly as my visage in this morning's mirror. Finally, last night, another loss and the possible loss for a while of outfielder Michael Saunders, one of the young guns who actually has been playing up to his potential. Not to rub salt into the wounds, but the injury came on the same day Casper Wells was claimed by Toronto, meaning the M's can't draw on his major league experience. (By the way, with Wells leaving, it means the only player the M's still retain from the ill-fated Doug Fister trade is Charlie Furbush. Remember, this is a team that wishes it had another solid starter right now.) All in all, not a great first week for the M's.

• But who cares? Not me, not the next few days. I will be glued to the iPad and TV watching as much of the Masters as I can. If there is one sporting event that signals the beginning of summer, it is the Masters, even if it comes in early spring. Golf has always been, like baseball, a summer sport, and the Masters is when the golf season really begins. I know the golf world is all a twitter with the return to prominence of Tiger Woods, but I don't buy it yet. Not until the guy plays like a winner on the weekend of a major. He doesn't have to play like he used to, heck, who can? But he needs to win one of these here "major" things before all the talk of Tiger being back is really founded in reality.

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• Washington State: I will be in Pullman today, though I won't have the time to take in practice. I'll leave that to Christian Caple, who had a full day of coverage yesterday despite there not being spring practice. He had five questions with Darryl Monroe, a live chat and topped it off with a morning post today. ... Bud Withers takes a look at next season's Pac-12 basketball season. OK, it's early. ... Colorado has lost senior quarterback Jordan Webb to a knee injury.

• EWU: Speaking of quarterbacks, Eastern's Vernon Adams chiseled a new body over the offseason, the better to accept hits this fall. Jim Allen has the story.

• Chiefs: It's over. The season I mean. And the series with Portland. Done in four games. A Portland sweep. Chris Derrick has the story and blog post of the Chiefs' sad end to the season. Colin Mulvany also has photos and Paul Buker has coverage in the Oregonian.

• Shock: The only blemish on a 3-0 start to the season? There have been a few injuries. Jim Meehan has the story.

• Preps: It's Thursday, so that means it is Prep Page day. Greg Lee's column touches on a subject that was all the talk of the B Tournament, Northwest Christian adding football in the fall. ... Greg also has a track notebook while Jim Allen has a feature on Cheney soccer. 

• Mariners: Don't worry. Felix Hernandez is throwing today. All is well. John Blanchette's column explains how much pressure is on the King's shoulders. ... Saunders' shoulder may mean a stint on the disabled list, which would be a blow to an M's offense that hasn't been all that productive yet. ... With the bullpen a bit depleted, the M's called up another pitcher. ... And yes, Wells is gone and the M's got nothing in return.

• Sounders: The beginning of the MLS season hasn't been all that kind to the Sounders.

• Seahawks: There are reports out there the Hawks will be signing another physical cornerback.

• Sonics: Gary Payton is pretty happy to be in the Hall of Fame. ... It seems as if almost every day something new happens on the Sacramento-to-Seattle Kings saga.

•••

• If you can access our poll, it covers how you will watch the Masters this weekend, if you watch it. The reason I did this one is because I have to travel to Pullman today and will be staying abreast of the tournament with my iPad and iPhone. Just wondering if some of you will be doing the same. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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