A GRIP ON SPORTS
Though this weekend seems to be brought to us by the word nostalgia, both in sports and our personal life, when we look back at it in a few years, we might remember it as the first day of a new era in Seattle. Read on.
• The past and present collided at Safeco Field last night when the Mariners honored Ken Griffey Jr., inducting their greatest player into the franchise Hall of Fame. (And becoming the subject of today's S-R column from John Blanchette.). That was then. But this year's team couldn't honor his memory, losing 10-0 to a mediocre Milwaukee team despite the M's having their second-best pitcher on the mound. That is today. Actually, though, I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to have the night finish, with all those great M's of the past watching the not-so-great (as of yet) M's of the future get steamrolled by the former Seattle Pilots. Until the Mariners, circa 2013, reach their potential, the past is all we have to hold on to, in the baseball sense, right now. But the future trotted onto the pitch in Toronto during the 34th minute of the Sounders' 2-1 win last night. That would be Clint Dempsey, the best player in American soccer these days and poised to become the face of Seattle soccer. Though Dempsey didn't score, he took his shots and invigorated the Sounders' attack, despite the loss of Obafemi Martins to an ankle injury. The next few weeks – the end of the regular season and the MLS playoffs – could be real fun.
• Speaking of real fun, the last 34 years have been that way. Yep, it was 34 years ago today a scared, sweating 22-year-old boy waited at the altar as a 21-year-old woman was escorted down the aisle by her father. Those two were about to begin an adventure that is still going. And I would be remiss if I didn't take a second here to say thanks to Kim for carrying me through the past 34 years. For those of you out there who know us personally, you know how true that sentence is. And for those of you who don't, take my word for it. I came this close to running out of that church is abject fear. I didn't. Best decision I ever made.
• WSU: The Cougars will end the Lewiston segment of preseason camp with a scrimmage this afternoon. To prepare, they took it easy at practice yesterday. Christian Caple has a summary of the going-ons in this blog post along with a story and another post this morning, which includes Pac-12 links. He also has one more post with video of linebacker coach Ken Wilson at practice.
• Gonzaga: Former Zag basketball player Richie Frahm has found another way to feed his competitive juices: bike racing. Jim Allen has the story.
• Shock: The first half was worth watching. The third quarter wasn't. That's my summary of the Shock's disappointing 65-57 loss to Arizona last night in the National Conference finals. The Rattlers move on to the ArenaBowl next weekend in Orlando.
• Golf: You know who I will be rooting for today during the PGA Championship's final round, don't you? Of course it will be Jim Furyk, as he is the closest to my age. But I'm not sure he can hang on. He's had troubles in this position before, most recently at last year's U.S. Open. Which makes me wonder if someone will have a Phil Mickelson-like round from this year's British Open and rally from the middle of the pack for a victory? If that happens, my money is on Lee Westwood. Don't ask me why. I just have a feeling it's his time.
• Preps: Former Cheney High star Steve Emtman will be inducted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame later this month.
• Mariners: After all the hoopla about Griffey was over, after all the bobbleheads had been handed out and posted on eBay, it was time to play a baseball game. Too bad. The M's looked inept at the plate, the pitching finally collapsed in the seventh and they lost 10-0 to the Brewers. Such is how the franchise celebrates these days. ... Kyle Seager is working overtime to solve his fielding slump. ... No Larry Stone baseball column today as he is taking on a new job with the Times.
• Sounders: It really didn't matter that Dempsey didn't score last night as the Sounders built and early two-goal lead and held on for a 2-1 win over Toronto. But he'll be needed down the road if they are to challenge in the playoffs. So the get-to-know-you nature of the match was important.
• That's it for today. My plans for today? Golf viewing, yard work, dinner, a movie, exhaustion. That's way too much on the plate for someone of my age and body type. Until later ...