A GRIP ON SPORTS
I don't get all this TGIF stuff. Sure, Friday's are cool, but it is Saturday, day or night, that is really all right. Read on.
• What can you do on a Saturday? Just about anything you want. Work in the yard? The rain has stopped, so that's a possibility. And the ground is wet enough the weeds will come up easily. Want to play golf? The courses are crowded, sure, but there shouldn't be work to get in the way. Listen to baseball on the radio? It's Saturday, so there has to be a game on somewhere. Watch some golf? Bubba Watson is leading the PGA tourney this week and that's always fun. Take a nap? What's stopping you? Oh, right. Play with the kids? Yep, they're home and have been all week. And they want to do something – anything – with you. Well can I suggest a bike ride (like me in my younger days pictured here; just kidding) or a movie or a walk with the dog or, back to the first item, pulling weeds in the backyard. A little manual labor is good for any little tyke. We never thought so as a kid but, viola, 50 years later, we're all for it. But probably the best thing about a Saturday – other than being home with the family, of course – is working up a sweat (no matter how you do that), looking around at the fruit of your labors (no matter what that is), and then having a nice cold beverage while enjoying the afterglow. That's what Saturday's are all about.
• Do yourself a favor and avoid the M's today. Just ignore them. It's not worth it. Really. They'll only frustrate the heck out of you. Instead, root for the Sounders tonight. They are one Seattle team that has a chance to win right now. You may not understand the sport but you do get how much fun it is to put a “W” down after the game is over, right? The Sounders give you that chance. And I guarantee – guarantee – they won't blow a seven-goal lead.
• WSU: Another great thing about Saturdays? I get to pass along the mailbag from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog. … The Pac-12 received four NCAA berths (out of 64). The conference had two semifinalists. It now has one of the two finalists. Not bad. Sure, Oregon State lost 4-1 to Mississippi State, but UCLA defeated top-ranked North Carolina by the same score. The Bruins and MSU will meet in a best-of-three title series.
• Indians: Power is a wonderful thing, unless it is your opponent that displays it (see Mariners section below). That's what happened to the Indians last night as well. Chris Derrick has the story and a blog post. And remember for your Saturday list of things-to-do, the Indians have a doubleheader tonight.
• Shock: If you can feel sympathy for an opponent, you should feel sympathy for the Salt Lake City Blaze. Not only did they have to travel to Spokane, where the Shock kicked their behinds, as expected, but they also were evicted from their home. Who says the economy is turning around? … The Blaze may have a shining knight coming to the rescue, but nothing could save them last night against the Shock, not once Spokane's offense got rolling. Jim Meehan has the story (and blog post) on the Shock's 80-41 victory. … San Jose could drop a-game-and-a-half behind Spokane in the standings tonight when they host top-ranked Arizona.
• Ironman: It's not only the athletes who have a tough assignment at the Ironman Triathlon. It's also the volunteers, as Jim Allen's feature shows.
• Golf: Another great thing about Saturdays? Jim Meehan has his weekly golf column.
• Mariners: My tweet about yesterday's blog post had a nautical bent but it probably would have been smarter to save it for today. The M's are slowly sinking in the West, having fallen 11 games under .500 after last night's 6-3 loss to Oakland. As we said above, power is a wonderful thing when your team has it (Nick Franklin last night) but awful in the hands of the bad guys (the A's hit four dingers, including two by Yoenis Cespedes. … In the “don't-look-at-how-bad-our-big-league-club-is-playing” category, the M's promoted Taijuan Walker from Double-A Jackson to Triple-A Tacoma yesterday. And there is help coming. We promise.
• Sounders: A crucial road game awaits the red-hot Sounders, with a trip to Salt Lake City for tonight's match. Expect the crowd to be into it. After all, they may be the third-best soccer city in the league (behind Seattle and Portland). Even people there admit it is no Seattle. … The Sounders are nearly back to full strength as the national team members are back and flush with excitement from the experience.
• OK, I've sung the praises of Saturday. Now it's your responsibility to do something with the 16 hours or so of daylight. Get going. Until later …