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It's not that long now

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Let's get going today. It's time. Time to get started. Get into it. ... Sorry, I've got nothing. It's the middle of July and I'm about tapped out. Read on.

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• There are only so many times you can write about the Mariners. Write about whether they have turned the corner (they haven't), whether it's too soon to say they've turned the corner (yes, it was) or whether Justin Smoak has turned a corner (the jury is still out). After awhile, it all blends together. Now, if the M's were good, a team that won more often than it lost, then it would be easy to write in mid-July. Each day would hold another Mariner story that would grab your interest and shake it like a puppy with a chew toy. But they're not, so that doesn't happen. It seems like forever until football season, doesn't it? Yet it's only a few days away. Really. The Hawks will start training camp two weeks from today. Yep, July 25 will be the unofficial official kickoff of the most-anticipated Seahawk season in years. Can Russell Wilson repeat his performance of last year? Will the defense be solid enough? Does Pete Carroll remain relentlessly positive? Is the Super Bowl a true goal? Those are the type of questions that will begin to be answered in just a couple weeks. Pretty cool, huh? Then, right on the heels of the Hawks getting going, the local colleges will begin their preseason camps. The Cougars start in early August in preparation for the ESPN-televised opener at Auburn at the end of the month. Eastern will prepare for another run at the FCS title and Idaho will enter the brave new world of football independence under first-year head coach Paul Petrino. It's all within the next four weeks. Thank goodness. I don't think I could write another piece on Dustin Ackley's chances of becoming an everyday major league centerfielder. Though I probably will tomorrow.

•••

• WSU: As football draws ever closer, the amount of links seems to be growing as well. ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a handful of them with WSU connections, including a video outlining the Cougars' hopes and concerns this season. There is also a poll on the best non-conference game for the North schools (the Auburn game is included) along with a look at which players have the most to prove (WSU's guy is Logan Mayes). ... The Cougars' kicker and punter are among five Pac-12 players on preseason award watch lists for those specialists. ... Larry Scott is as fixated on China as Harry Luce. Expect a conference basketball game there sometime in the near future.

• Gonzaga: Former Zag center Robert Sacre has signed on for a second year with the Los Angeles Lakers. ... Debated about putting this link in this section or below in the Indians' section, but because we have other the Sacre news here, I decided a link to Tyler Olson's one-hitter last night for Everett belonged here as well.

• Indians: Spokane is playing good baseball right now, as Salem-Keizer found out last night in the Indians' 4-3 victory.

• Mariners: The Mariners were playing great baseball just a few days ago. But the last couple nights against the Red Sox have been anything but. David Ortiz became the all-time hits leader among DHs last night (against the team that originally signed him) as Boston routed Aaron Harang and the M's 11-4. ... The M's gave a couple of their young players the night off. ... Want some good news? Seems third base coach Jeff Datz is bouncing back from his battle with cancer.

• Sounders: The Gold Cup comes to Seattle today with a doubleheader featuring a Mexico team that needs a win badly. ... Where are the Sounders headed this season? There are some folks trying to figure that out.

• Seahawks: The countdown to camp is on, with some questions about Bruce Irvin's position and Cliff Avril's ability to rush the passer.

•••

• That's it for today. The heat of summer is perfect football training camp weather. It's been that way since the days of leather helmets. 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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