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Wed., April 24, 2013, 7:31 a.m.

It’s sunny here at least

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Are there better words to hear this time of year than "65 and sunny?" How about this: "Mariners handle woeful Astros?" We can tell you, one of those statements is applicable. The other, not so much. Read on.

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• Instead of focusing on the M's inability to score runs against one of the worst pitching staffs in the big leagues, we'll remind those of you that live in the Inland Northwest it is going to be a beautiful day. After all, in the equation that is life, M's = stress. At least that's how the equation balances when they are not scoring. And instead of dwelling on the fact the Astros are 3-2 against Seattle this season, and 3-12 against the rest of baseball, we'll let you know the sun will be shining, the flowers blooming and spring football is brimming with optimism, even at those schools where it is over – we're talking about you Washington State and Idaho. So instead of looking at the M's glass as half empty, we'll smile, take a walk in the sunshine and hope we don't step on any shards of glass. See, we grabbed that half empty glass last night, squeezed it and then threw it against the wall when Hisashi Iwakuma hit Justin Maxwell with the bases loaded to force in what would be the game-deciding run (pictured).

• One last thing about the M's. There have been times the past few years, listening to games, when I am reminded of Frank Costanza and his life-affirming mantra, "serenity now." It didn't work for Frank and I'm not sure it's working for me.

•••

• Washington State: The Cougars finished up spring practice 2013, or Mike Leach 2.0 if you will, yesterday and Christian Caple was there to catch Leach's overflowing optimism. It's reflected in this blog post from yesterday and this story in today's paper. Christian also has some more in this morning's blog post. He will also have a live chat this afternoon. ... CBSSports.com takes a look at spring football around the Pac-12. ... The folks that brought us the always popular – hey, my nose is growing – BCS have repackaged their product as the – drum roll, please – "College Football Playoff." Wow, hope that didn't cost a bunch of money in focus groups and polling data. And let's hope the change makes the end of the season a bit better. ... If it doesn't, the NCAA might have some trouble keeping everything together.

• EWU: The Eagle offense is in adjustment mode, thanks to a turnover at wide receiver. Jim Allen talked with quarterback Vernon Adams and coach Beau Baldwin about the process.

• Preps: The baseball season is winding down, though Gonzaga Prep's offense seems to be all wound up. The Pups took a big step toward a GSL title with a 15-7 win over Mead yesterday. Mike Vlahovich has the story and Colin Mulvany adds a photograph. ... Shadle Park has been one of the biggest surprises in GSL soccer as Jim Allen's story shows.

• Mariners: There are a bunch of players in the big leagues who are making more money than the entire Houston Astros roster. (OK, "bunch" is an exaggeration, but there are around 20; hey, maybe bunch was the right word after all.) That didn't stop Houston and Bud Norris (pictured) from winning 3-2 yesterday as the Mariners' offense was MIA once again. Iwakuma was not as sharp as he has been – and the blister on his pitching hand is still acting up – but he threw well enough to win. Just not against a powerhouse like Houston. ... OK, I have a few surprises for you: water is wet, the sky is blue and Franklin Gutierrez is on the disabled list. Ya, who knew? The M's called up Carlos Peguero to take Gutierrez's place. But the options were a bit limited. ... Want a simple answer to the M's offensive woes? They strike out too much. Whatever happened to putting the ball in play?

• Seahawks: When the Hawks finally get to draft in the second round Friday, all the big names will be gone. But that's OK. There will be big people available. And the Hawks seem to find the right fit.

• Sounders: The Seattle JV team (known as the reserves) finally got a win yesterday, and just in time. Two younger players are headed off for a while.

•••

• One final thing. I'm sorry to announce I was not chosen to be on the College Football Playoff selection committee. Of course, the only place I made it known I would like to be considered was on this blog and I'm not sure many of the CFP bigwigs read it. Though I suspect Mark Emmert may comment here from time to time under an assumed name (I think he's the guy that never makes sense). And yes, I'm kidding. Everyone who comments here always makes sense. 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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