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The pain that comes with sports

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Ouch. Really, that's all I have to say. Ouch. Read on.

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• What hurts? How about Tom Wilhelmsen's self esteem after another blown save last night? Or maybe Mariner fans' eyes after having to watch a hard-earned 1-0 lead just disappear in a millisecond? Then there are the Boston Bruins, who blew out to a 2-0 lead over Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals only to lose 4-3 in triple overtime. That hurts. The Miami Heat are probably over the pain of Tuesday's shellacking, but who knows? And then are the folks who decided, once again, to send the U.S. Open golf tournament to the Northeast in June. Yes, I know the country's best courses are in the Northeast, or within spitting distance of New York City. After all, everything within spitting distance of New York City is the best the country has to offer (and that is an example of Northwest sarcasm, if you couldn't tell). But the last two times a U.S. Open was held in the I-95 corridor, rain has played a huge factor. It nearly ruined my experience in 2009 when I hocked the family jewels to visit New York and take in the championship at Bethpage, a public course on Long Island, won by Lucas Glover in the muck and mire on a Monday. Then two years ago the rain softened up Congressional enough for Rory McIlroy to post a Waste Management Open type of winning score. But that doesn't discourage the USGA (headquartered in New Jersey). Nope. The tournament this year is at Merion, near Philadelphia, and guess what? The course has been basically flooded all week (pictured). And this morning, with a national television audience all ready to watch our national championship, the rain, thunder and lightning hit again, causing a suspension of play. How cool – or the opposite of that. But don't worry. The tournament is in North Carolina next year, where rain – in the form of 97-percent humidity – never happens in June, and in Tacoma the year after that. Funny, for Puget Sound's well-deserved reputation as a rainforest, June is usually a pretty dry month. Who would have thought it might end up being the driest Open in a while?

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• WSU: Talk about having to search for Washington State news. I had to go to Canada today for anything even remotely connected to the Cougars and this piece qualifies because it quotes a former WSU defender. ... Seventeen of the 64 NCAA baseball berths went to SEC and ACC schools. Yes, 17. The conferences sent a combined four schools to the college World Series. The Pac-12, which has won more titles than any conference, received four berths. Two of its teams, including Oregon State, made the World Series. That's NCAA math folks.

• Indians: Not every Indian player had to sign a baseball contract. Some, including the subject of Chris Derrick's feature, Jamie Jarmon, had options. ... The Eugene Emeralds are ready to start play this weekend.

• Mariners: So who will be the M's closer tonight? More than likely it will be Tom Wilhelmsen (pictured on the bench), who didn't win a Cadillac El Dorado last night. Heck, he didn't even win the steak knives. (I would link a clip from Glengarry Glen Ross here, but the language isn't family friendly.) The M's just don't have other options, what with Stephen Pryor on the disabled list. So Wilhelmsen has to work out his problems after he gave up five ninth-inning runs to the woeful Astros in a 6-1 defeat last night. ... The good news is Jeremy Bonderman pitched well, throwing eight shutout innings to rookie catcher Mike Zunino, who was in the lineup for the first time. He got one hit and caught like we knew he could. ... Is Brad Miller the next guy headed to the bigs? ... "Hey, Dustin. Want to try the outfield? No pressure, but you're not our second baseman anymore, so you might want to see if you can play left field." ... The M's first-round pick is now officially part of the organization.

• Seahawks: Want to know who Seattle's biggest celebrity is right now? It's Russell Wilson. ... Richard Sherman thinks the Seahawk secondary is going to be even better this season. It might depend on how healthy the defensive line is Richard. ... What's the big deal about a backup quarterback?

• Sounders: The praise just keeps rolling in for Tuesday night's crowd at the U.S. National Team's game in CenturyLink. ... A couple Sounders may play somewhat of a Salt Lake City doubleheader. ... Steve Zakuani underwent surgery Tuesday and will be out a while. ... One man's power rankings.

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• We're back on the radio today, joining Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens from 3 to 6 p.m., which cuts into my U.S. Open watching time (if it's not raining). My guess is we'll have it on in the studio. If you want to listen to our play-by-play (just kidding, that would be really boring radio), you can here. Until then ...




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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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