A GRIP ON SPORTS
In less than 24 hours, we will be fulfilling a long-time dream. One, we're sure, isn't shared by many of our readers. Read on.
• Yep, in just a few hours, this guy should have eaten his fill of Double-Doubles. Hey, everyone's dreams are different, right? There was a time when I thought of winning the World Series when I feel asleep. Or sitting on the Supreme Court bench. Or sailing around the world. But things like athletic ability, not wanting to become an attorney or never learning to swim kept getting in the way. So we changed our dreams. Now a trip to Los Angeles and some well-done French fries at In-N-Out have taken over our nightly internal cinema. Such is the vagaries of life. Back when I used to dream of sporting events, the All-Star Game played a huge part. What little kid who loved baseball didn't want to rub shoulders with Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, Sandy Koufax and all the other All-Stars of my youth? Are you kidding me? It was like a dream come to life on one baseball field. A dream that never ages. Tune in tonight. Check out the lineups. Then compare them to the lineups of when you were, say, 8-years-old. There is no comparison, is there? That's one of the cool things about baseball's Midsummer Classic. The players of our youth always outshine the players of today, no matter how old we get. My dad was around for the first All-Star game and even though he hated the Yankees (there is a reason there is a play entitled "Damn Yankees"), he believed players of the 30s, guys like Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane, Lou Gehrig and Carl Hubbell, were the best who ever played. My kid is more inclined to think Ken Griffey Jr., is the best left-handed power hitter of all-time. I'm a bit prejudiced in favor of players like Mays (even though he was a Giant), Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn and Maury Wills (pictured). What? Maury Wills? Objectively, you can rank players based on statistics and opponents and whatever else you want, but nothing beats a youthful memory. I know Wills wasn't one of baseball's all-time best players, but just the memory of him leading off first, arms hanging down toward the ground, fingers moving, with the game tied and everyone in the ballpark knowing he was going to steal second, gets my adrenaline pumping. It's those memories that will be built tonight. Somewhere out there is a kid who will watch Chris Davis swing, imprint the motion on his memory banks and imitate it for the rest of the summer in backyard wiffle ball games. And in 40 years, he'll tell his daughter, "These guys are good but you should have seen Chris Davis ..."
• WSU: The Cougar basketball team will open the Old Spice Classic against Butler in late November. ESPN made the bracket announcement this morning. ... If anyone is going to break out and become an All-Star for the Cougars, Ted Miller thinks it might be Ioane Gauta. Miller also rates the quarterbacks for ESPN's Pac-12 blog. ... Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have to spend a day in jail and pay some fines for a DUI charge, but Art Thiel believes UW needs to sit him for a couple games.
• Indians: The Tri-City Dust Devils have been playing great baseball since the Indians took them apart in Pasco a while back. The Dust Devils have won 9 of their last 11 games, including Monday night's 4-1 decision over Spokane. Chris Derrick has the story and a bit more in this blog post.
• Preps: Greg Lee has his weekly youth notebook.
• Mariners: There is one guy a bunch of youngsters are imitating today. That would be home run derby winner Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A's. But he won't be in the game tonight. ... Felix Hernandez will be while Hisashi Iwakuma will just be a cheerleader. ... Not everyone in baseball is an instant success, which just might give the M's hope. As long as they don't trade them away. ... Speaking of hope, Thiel believes Mike Zunino has to be a success for the Mariners to have some.
• We'll be flying to Los Angeles this afternoon and will spend the next couple weeks on the road at basketball tournaments. So the posts might be a little bit earlier or later depending on the time demands. Until later ...