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A GRIP ON SPORTS

This time of year, when the flowers are blooming and the sun shining, an off day for the Mariners really cuts into our links for you. But we'll make do. Read on.

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• It's funny, this blog-writing gig. I don't know how many of you read it religiously, but I feel as if I have become intimately acquainted with you. Or, to be more precise, you have become intimately acquainted with me. I run into people often who tell me they read me every morning (my standard response: "I'm sorry") and remember things I've written weeks ago. It's exhilarating (for my ego) and a bit humbling as well. After all, I never foresaw having a forum like this, where I would get to interact with like-minded sports fans every day. And it helps motivate me to pull my big old behind out of bed every day (let me tell you, that's a lot harder these days than it ever used to be) and pound the computer keys. But what amazes me is, when I meet folks out and about, how often they ask about Kim's health (she's doing great by the way) or wonder about something personal I have written. It's that connection that astonishes me. Yet I'm not immune to it either. Recently, the Times' Geoff Baker wrote on his Mariners' blog about his mother facing heart surgery. The post led me to ask for memories from you folks for Mother's Day (see below) but also worried me. As you folks know, Kim is a cardiac care nurse, so I've spent most of my adult life conversing with her about such things and understand the seriousness of the situation. Which is why yesterday's post from Baker's colleague, Larry Stone, while dreaded, wasn't unexpected. Baker's mom passed away in surgery. It's funny (in a sad way). I've never met Geoff Baker, don't know what type of person he really is, and still I was deeply saddened yesterday when I read Stone's blog post. Like a lot of you, I've been through a loss of a parent (both actually), and know how much it hurts. Sure, life goes on and before you know it Baker will be forced to sit through another Aaron Harang start and three more fruitless Brendan Ryan at-bats. He'll have to read inane tweets and deal with "you-are-an-idiot" comments on his blog. Life will return to normal. But the hole will always be there.

• As we've said a couple times now, we are trying to do something nice for moms on Mother's Day. We want to honor moms (and the way they have influenced our sporting life), but need your help. Take a few moments to sit down and write an email concerning a memory you have of mom and her contributions to one of your sporting events or your sporting life. You can pass along your story to me at vincegrippi55@gmail.com. We'll put them here on Mother's Day and they will also appear in the newspaper the same day, which would make a nice, inexpensive gift for you. "Hey mom, want to know what I got you for today? Read page five of the sports section. Ya, remember when you did that?" We have a few already, all of them worth running, so join the fun and email me your thoughts today.

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• WSU: Christian Caple got to make the trip to Yakima yesterday (done that so many times in my life I think I've lost count) and then attend an APSE meeting. What a neat day. And he even got a story (and morning blog post) out of it, as Bill Moos spoke to gathering of sports editors and writers. ... ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a video interview with Mike Leach. ... Jon Wilner has some excerpts from yesterday's Pac-12 football coaches conference call.

• Preps: The spring playoffs are upon us and Jim Allen has an advance of the soccer battles this week. ... Mike Vlahovich was at Whitworth yesterday for the 4A baseball districts and rounds up the rest of the action. ... We also have a roundup of other sports.

• Shock: One of the Shock's packed stable of receivers will miss this week's game while trying out for the NFL. Jim Meehan covers the news in this blog post.

• Mariners: Hey, other people are getting on the bandwagon. The M's-need-more-starting-pitching bandwagon. Maybe Jeremy Bonderman is the answer. Maybe.

• Sounders: The Sounders are not afraid to spend money. And coach Sigi Schmid is not afraid to answer questions.

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• That's it for today. Send me your Mother's Day memories now. Or she's going to be ticked. (She won't yell or anything; she'll just give you that "I'm disappointed" look.) Until later ...




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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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