A GRIP ON SPORTS
Which of these things was I able to accomplish during the Mariners game yesterday: A) Mow the lawn; B) Fix a window; C) Take a bath; D) Drive to work; F) Yell at the TV to appeal second base; E) Drive home from work after having not actually, you know, worked; G) Shop; H) Make dinner; I) Cleanup after dinner; L) Eat dessert; M) All of the above. Read on.
• Of course, the answer is M. After all, it took almost six hours for the M's to lose in 16 innings yesterday. In the process they set a record when they tied the game with five runs in the 14th inning. There was another excellent start by Hisashi Iwakuma, a two-out, game-tying grand slam by Kyle Seager (pictured) and any number of outstanding defensive plays. All for naught. Because, you know, these are the Mariners, circa 2013 (and 2012 and 2011 and, heck, you get the picture). I always wondered what it would be like to be a, and I shudder to write this, Cubs fan, but I'm beginning to think I know. This is the year that was supposed to be "next year." But I guess it will have to actually be next year. Darn it. Look, the M's have one of the top three or four pitchers in baseball in Felix Hernandez. They have a guy, in Iwakuma, that is pitching as well, if not better, than anyone else in the game right now. The have one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. And ... well, that's about it. So why would anyone invest nearly six hours on a beautiful day to watching them play? I have some reasons (or excuses), like it's calming to listen while mowing the lawn and I have to do it for my various I'm-semi-retired-so-I-work-three-jobs duties. And it is baseball, after all. But there was no time yesterday when I really felt the M's would rally and win. Sure, the five-run outburst to tie the game was fun – and set a major league comeback mark – but it came on the heels of a really disappointing top of the 14th, so it was tempered. And, with Hector Noesi having to hold down the fort, there was no real hope – in this mind at least – the M's could win. It was just another lost day in a season of them. It just took longer than most. At least I got a lot done.
• WSU: The other shoe dropped in the Cougar basketball office yesterday, when former Boise State coach Rod Jensen was named to replace Jeff Hironaka. Christian Caple has all the particulars in this blog post and short story. ... WSU's Jason Monda hopes to be taken, if not during today's first two rounds of the MLB draft, then when it continues tomorrow. ... Not to be outdone, the Huskies have made a couple changes on their basketball coaching staff. ... How much will WSU and the other Pac-12 schools make from media rights this year? Here's a guess.
• Gonzaga: Pitcher/first baseman Marco Gonzales should be drafted in the first round today. This mock draft has him going 29th to Tampa Bay.
• EWU: Jim Allen has this feature on Eastern's brightest student/athletes.
• Shock: Jim Meehan adds a bit more on Raul Vijil's number retirement in this blog post.
• Mariners: With Jesus Sucre out a few days after having been nailed with a bat (been there, felt that), the M's brought up Brandon Bantz to serve as Kelly Shoppach's backup (among other roster changes). Who, you might ask? But there are reasons he's been called up and they might not be exactly what you thought. ... The 16-inning, 7-5 loss to Chicago hurts. It hurts Noesi even more as he was sent to Tacoma to open a spot for a rested reliever. ... The Yankees, and Ichiro, are in town for four games.
• Sounders: The red card Obafemi Martins received in Los Angeles last week? It's been rescinded by the MLS. So when is the league going to rescind Ricardo Salazar's officiating duties? ... Once again the Sounders are dealing with injuries to key players.
• We were scheduled to have a radio show yesterday, following the M's game, of course. So when it got to be 5 and the game was still going on, the show was cancelled. Which led to a suggestion about barbecue and dinner. It was an excellent idea. (Hey, I haven't been married nearly 34 years by not understanding when a suggestion is actually more than that.) So I did. And it was great. Except the M's game will still going on in the background, which ruined the taste a bit. By the way, we're back on the radio again today, coming to you live from 3 to 6 p.m. at Pool World in the Spokane Valley. Others will be doing the barbecuing today. You can listen here. Until then ...