A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's funny. I expected today to be a really light day in the world of sports. It's kind of an in-between day, actually, in-between the weekend's college hoop action. But after doing my usual spin around the Web, I ended up with three-dozen stories to link. I guess that's what qualifies as light these days. Read on.
• Now some of the subjects are a bit unusual for us I must admit. For example, there are three stories having to do with women's basketball from outside the area. The reason is simple. The teams mentioned, Stanford and LSU, will be playing in the Spokane Arena this weekend in the NCAA regional. And we also have a couple of links having to do with the U.S. national team's scoreless tie with Mexico last night. The reason for those is simple as well. The game was in Mexico City, where a win just never happens for the U.S. (never has anyway) and a tie is as good as it gets when these two teams but heads south of our border. Now I know such links aren't everyone's cup of coffee, but they either interest me (the soccer) or have a local connection (the basketball). That's good enough for a Wednesday.
• You never know when a playoff series might turn around. And you might not even recognize it until the series is over. But if the Chiefs can't finish off Tri-City this week in the WHL playoffs, it will be easy to pinpoint when everything changed. About 7 minutes into the second period last night. At that point Spokane held a 2-0 lead in the series and 4-1 lead in the game. Hold on and the three-game lead in a seven-game series would be just about insurmountable. But the Americans roared back, tied the game and won it in overtime. Now it's a competitive series.
• Washington State: Spring football is beginning to seem routine, with Christian Caple back in town. From yesterday's practice he posted a summary which including a video of Mike Leach doing interviews and notes from those involved. In this morning's paper, Christian had a story on the offensive line competition. And, like always, he had a morning post with Pac-12 news. ... Being that Stanford is one of the teams headed to Spokane, we will put the women's NCAA links here. The Cardinal easily handled Michigan while LSU upset Penn State to get to Spokane. ... Former Husky Jon Brockman – Dick Bennett's all-time favorite non-WSU Pac-12 player – is become a cult figure in France. Is he the next Jerry Lewis? ... UCLA's coaching search could be interesting. ... I've never seen a better example of perspective. In his blog post yesterday, San Jose's Jon Wilner covers the coaching changes in Pac-12 basketball. He also covers three coaches who will be back – WSU's Ken Bone, Oregon State's Craig Robinson and Stanford's Johnny Dawkins – who he obviously thinks should be replaced. In talking about Bone's contract, he describes it "as one of the worst in Pac-12 history." Really? Don't you think Ken Bone sees it as "one of the best in Pac-12 history?" Perspective. And heck, if you or I could negotiate a seven-year, fully guaranteed contract with our employer, wouldn't we pat yourself on the back and consider it a day well spent?
• Gonzaga: It's spring and that means the annual Ray Giacoletti-is-headed-somewhere newsflash. Jim Meehan has the story (and blog post) concerning Giacoletti (at right in the accompanying photo) and the opening at Drake. ... BYU is headed into the lion's den tonight in the NIT.
• Whitworth: Jim Allen takes a little time to look back at the Pirates' successful basketball season.
• Chiefs: Chris Derrick was in the Tri-Cities last night for the game and filed this story and blog post. Meanwhile, the Tri-City Herald had this story and the picture at left. ... Seattle did take advantage of the chance to go up 3-0 in its series with Kelowna. ... Portland and Everett will get back at it soon.
• Preps: It was a beautiful day around here yesterday, a perfect day for Mike Vlahovich to head out and cover a baseball game. He did just that.
• Mariners: As spring training winds down, the M's have figured out their starting rotation. It won't include Jeremy Bonderman, who has thrown well in spurts (and he did yesterday before getting shelled) but needs time in the minors to build up arm strength. And it won't include Erasmo Ramirez. ... How will having the Astros in the division affect the M's? ... The Mariners' spring power may just carryover through the season.
• Sounders: Before we get to the Sounders' news, we'll pass along the LA Times story from old friend Kevin Baxter on the tie in Mexico City and its effect on World Cup qualifying. ... The Sounders will be without their goalkeep when the CCL semifinals begin. ... Seattle has a couple of new faces and they are fitting in nicely, thank you. ... Joshua Mayers has his MLS power rankings.
• Seahawks: Yes, Michael Bennett has a shoulder injury. And, no, Seattle is not concerned.
• That's it for today. I have to go back 30 years today, back to college when I used to wait until the last minute to cram for tests. I have my roto draft tonight and really haven't done any prep. No big deal. It isn't cutthroat or anything. And that, my friends, is sarcasm. ... But before tonight's draft, there is today's dentist appointment. The day is just packed full of fun. Maybe we won't be back here tomorrow. You won't know for sure until then ...