A GRIP ON SPORTS
Why would anyone be surprised by anything the Seahawks do during the NFL draft? Trade down to get more picks, take a guy who plays a position already well stocked, or pick a guy with some baggage, it's always something. Read on.
• Sooner or later, the Hawks are going to make a draft mistake or two. It happens to everyone. Heck, James Carpenter in the first round a couple of years ago probably wasn't the best decision. But John Schneider and Pete Carroll pick enough under-the-radar guys who succeed to make those iffy picks seem irrelevant. They insured themselves the opportunity to make a bunch more today with a quick trade yesterday, moving down a couple spots in the second round to pick up three of Baltimore's picks in the draft's later rounds. Then they pulled the shocker by drafting Texas A&M running back Christine Michaels, a backup his senior year in college who is expected to be a backup with the Hawks for a while. Not only is Michaels a surprise due to his college performance, there are the black marks on his resume, including a game suspension as a senior and some missed appointments with teams in the run-up to the draft. None of it mattered to Seattle. None of that stuff mattered last year either, when the Hawks drafted Bruce Irvin in the first round. All that mattered was Irvin's athletic ability and his desire to play. That seems to be the key ingredients for Michaels as well. So sit back, wait until training camp and we'll all see if the Hawks made the right decision. If not, there should be five or six or seven other guys to focus on. It's all part of the plan.
• Washington State: Christian Caple is still finding enough stories to have links available in his morning post. One of them was this from FoxSports Midwest and it's not very complimentary of basketball coach Ken Bone. ... The good folks at ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog have their weekly mailbag feature.
• EWU: Jim Allen has a longish feature today on players who leave bigger schools and enroll at Eastern, helping the football team add depth and occasional star power.
• Preps: A busy day around the Inland Northwest, from Greg Lee covering the IEL track championships to Mike Vlahovich at another big win for the Gonzaga Prep baseball team to Chris Derrick reporting from North Central's softball victory over Mead. ... There is also Jim Meehan's golf notebook and Steve Christilaw's advance of the Inland Empire tennis tournament this weekend. ... A Central Valley High grad was drafted by the Miami Dolphins.
• Shock: The No. 1-ranked Shock return to the Arena tonight to face Tampa Bay, which brings in a different type of offensive attack. Jim Meehan has an advance of the game as Spokane tries to improve to 6-0.
• Golf: Jim also has his weekly golf column in today's S-R.
• Mariners: With Jason Bay atop the lineup for the first time in his career, the Mariners put a lot of runners on base Friday night. The only problem was they couldn't get them the last 90 feet. Mainly because they had trouble making contact with the ball in a 6-3 defeat to the Angels. ... The pitching wasn't good enough to win either. ... This is worrisome. ... Really, there is no magic formula for winning. Though a few more players as hot as Kyle Seager would help.
• Seahawks: I have this vision of a bunch of Seattle sports writers talking together before the Hawks' pick is announced, bantering around a handful of names of players they thought the team would take. I'm pretty sure none of them would have mentioned Michaels. Which leads to a lot of scrambling and a series of stories and columns about how surprising the pick is. ... Of course, the trade was expected.
• We're not in Spokane today but on the wet side of the mountains for the weekend. And guess what? It is dry and nice. We are grateful. Until later ...