A GRIP ON SPORTS
If we had our way, there is something occurring today that would never, ever happen again. But we never have our way. Read on.
• This morning I'm having my annual physical. You know the drill. Ya, there are jokes made about it by almost every stand-up comic in history. It's not the highlight of my year, that's for sure. But I know it's necessary, so we'll trudge off to the office, get it done and head back home to rest up before an afternoon radio gig. Hopefully, my dignity will be intact. And, no, that's not a segue into anything. The appointment is early, so we'll just get right to the links today.
• WSU: Christian Caple has a full plate, what with his first look at Auburn in story form and on a blog post and then his morning post with links. … The biggest news outside the program, but still with a connection, is Jeff Tuel being the interim starter for the Buffalo Bills, what with highly touted rookie E.J. Manuel still on the mend from a new procedure. With Tuel the only healthy quarterback in camp, the Bills signed two others, including former wunderkind Matt Leinart. … Some California fans wouldn't like it if The Big Game were moved to Santa Clara. Funny, some of the more liberal schools hate change the most. … The Pac-12's non-conference test begins with this week's games. … Odd, it's Tuesday and ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a mailbag. Wait, what, it's doing two during the season? Wow. … Finally, Jim Meehan has a college volleyball preview and because it leads with the Cougars and coach Jen Greeny's highly ranked recruiting class, we link it here.
• Indians: There are six games left in the Northwest League schedule. And the Indians, following their 3-1 loss to Vancouver last night, trail Everett by three games. However there is hope. Spokane hosts Everett for three games then travels across the state for three more. Just win five of six and the second-half title is theirs. Not that tough, right?
• Mariners: Maybe Eric Wedge should have stayed away. The Mariners have not won since his return, dropping their fourth consecutive home game last night. Texas broke open a close game late and won 8-3, getting seven of its runs against Joe Saunders. … The biggest news yesterday came off the field as the M's got rid of pitcher Aaron Harang and activated Franklin Gutierrez (pictured) from the disabled list. Does that change portend others? … One more change: The M's are losing a top-level front office guy. … Nick Franklin had to work his way to the big leagues.
• Seahawks: The Hawks began cutting down the roster, letting six guys (including former Cougar Andrei Lintz) go. They'll have to cut more today. … The biggest concern – if it isn't all the penalties – has to be the defensive line. The group is racked with injuries, some of the season-ending variety, and hasn't performed up to expectations in the preseason. … The depth chart is out.
• Sounders: I watched the Sounders defeat Portland on Sunday night and, like most fans, though the officiating left a lot to be desired. There seemed to be a lot of uncalled fouls against the Timbers, who grab and hold and push and shove and just play a physical game. Portland's coach, Caleb Porter (pictured), agreed with me in one regard: He thought the officiating was brutal. Of course, he thought his team got homered. Rose-colored glasses anyone? … His chippiest player got even more chippy afterward. … The Sounders know a few things. They won, picked up three points and moved up in the standings. And they can win the Cascadia Cup with one more win.
• Another full show on the radio. You can listen here if you like. As usual, it starts at 3 p.m. and runs for three hours. Until later …