A GRIP ON SPORTS
You know, winning is hard work. Really. Read on.
• Nothing exemplifies that more than the Seattle Seahawks' recent history. The Times has a story this morning (I hope you can read it) concerning the Hawks recent success and how it has been built in the middle rounds of the draft. It was triggered by the contract extension safety Kam Chancellor – a fifth-round pick – signed yesterday, but the lessons it imparts are timeless, in a way, because they are true. General manager John Schneider (the guy on the right in the picture) has plucked more than a few key players in the NFL draft's mid rounds (this year's draft begins Thursday night) during his tenure in Seattle. And that takes hard work. It's easy to figure out the top 10-to-15 players in each year's draft. Those guys usually stand out. Sure, there is a stinker or two among them and learning how to avoid them is also a skill, but it isn't as tough as figuring out who to take in the fourth round. See, there are maybe 50 guys in each draft that have a decent shot to play in the NFL. The other 150 or so don't. Sifting the wheat from the chaff isn't easy, though Schneider makes it look that way. Russell Wilson, third round. Richard Sherman, fifth. K.J. Wright, fourth. Robert Turbin, fourth. Sure, Schneider and his staff have made mistakes, but there have been more than enough gems to balance them out. So don't worry about watching the first round on Thursday, mainly because the Hawks don't have a pick in that round, having used it to get Percy Harvin. Pick the draft up later, when all the insane Jets fans – are there any other kind? – have left the building. And take heed of the names of the guys the Hawks pick Friday and Saturday. They may just be the fellows you'll be talking about in the fall.
• Washington State: The Cougars will put a bow on spring practice today with one final workout. Christian Caple will be there and will pass along his usual coverage. For today, however, he has this morning post, which includes an explanation on how the morning posts will slow down over the next few months. Not to worry, however. We'll still be here every day and will link any WSU stories and Pac-12 stories we find interesting. ... We have a couple of those today, with ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog summarizing the Cougars' spring game and a couple of pieces on Utah basketball headed into the offseason. ... The BCS folks are going to meet this week in Pasadena to finish the metamorphosis into the big school playoff folks.
• Gonzaga: The Bulldog baseball team is ranked 22nd in the nation in all the major polls.
• EWU: Jim Allen finishes up his spring position previews with this blog post on the special teams.
• Idaho: The Vandals are in the market for a couple of defensive coaches now that spring ball is over. Josh Wright has a blog post and a story on the changeover that occurred right after the final spring scrimmage.
• Preps: The WIAA is taking a more active role in summer sports, adding some rules on summer football in the most recent representative assembly. TNT's Todd Milles has the particulars.
• Mariners: When Jesus Montero hits a home run and two doubles, you know the M's are going to have a chance to win. When he does it while Felix Hernandez is pitching, book the victory. Both happened last night against the lowly Astros and the 7-1 win gave Felix 100 in his career – along with a strange shower. ... Of course, this is the Mariners we are talking about, so something bad happened. Franklin Gutierrez was in the lineup but dove for a short liner and came up injured, so he will be out for a while. ... Larry Stone sees the next stretch as a make-or-break time for Jack Zduriencik's rebuilding plan. I understand his logic though I'm not sure this ownership group is going to waiver from the plan. After all, it's a group that has no problem misleading folks – and then whining when they are called on it.
• Looking at the Weather Channel's website, I have the feeling May is near. According to the site, the weather will get warmer each day this week. Thank goodness. Maybe I should get outside and do some hard work. Until later ...