A GRIP ON SPORTS
It is the middle of May, right? Not September or October? Good. After reading about the atmosphere in the Mariners' clubhouse yesterday, I was afraid I had fallen asleep and awoken three or four months in the future. Read on.
• You know, that fall-asleep-and-wake-in-the-future idea might be a good one for a short story, though it sounds familiar. Anyway, back to the Mariners' clubhouse. After the M's defeated New York 3-2 and took two-of-three games in the series, the clubhouse had a “playoff” atmosphere according to the Times' Geoff Baker. Really? Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Yes, it was a good win. Yes, it came at Yankee Stadium in front of a large crowd and all that entails (including dealing with the umpire problem again as Eric Wedge was tossed early on). And, yes, the bullpen threw well, including emergency starter Hector Noesi, who filled in for a stiff Aaron Harang. But the M's are still a game under .500. They haven't even reached the break-even point yet some 41 games into the season. And, yes, they are in second place in the American League West, but are still seven games behind the Rangers. No, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. I know M's fans need their little victories. Heck, last night's hold-on-and-pray victory had me on the edge of my car seat as I drove around, listening to the final outs. (I had some errands to run.) And getting to second place is a big deal for a team mired in the cellar the past few years. I'm willing to admit the Mariners are playing better. Much better. But let's be realistic here. It is May. There is a long way until the postseason. Good things can happen, sure. But so can bad things. So let's call yesterday's win what it was. A good victory over a strong team in a tough place to play. Nothing more, nothing less.
• WSU: If you are a Washington State fan, you probably don't want a whole bunch of news in mid-May. More often than not, it's not good news. Such is the case right now, as Christian Caple reported yesterday in this blog post and short story running back Teondray Caldwell (pictured) was arrested earlier in the month on an assault and burglary charge. The latter part of that sentence may be fatal to Caldwell's career as theft is one of the three death-penalty transgressions under coach Mike Leach. … Christian also had a blog post on president Elson Floyd cancelling classes on Halloween this year because the Cougars have a home football game. … Christian's morning blog post has links to those pieces along with another link to his weekly college baseball notebook, which leads with WSU hosting four games this weekend in Pasco. … The Ducks and Beavers will meet this weekend as well, but with a little more on the line, as in the Pac-12 title. … Hope you haven't bought any tickets to watch Michigan State and WSU play football. They would be phonies. The MSU athletic director downplays any chance of a series (near the bottom of this blog post). … Finally, Klay Thompson's second NBA season came to a close last night.
• Idaho: Athletic director Rob Spear is trying to improve the Vandals' athletic facilities one step at a time. Josh Wright has a story on the most recent plan.
• Shock: When you've lost three consecutive games, it might be time to shuffle the lineup. As Jim Meehan writes in this story, the Shock have done just that.
• Preps: Coeur d'Alene's hope for a state baseball title stayed alive yesterday, but it took a wild seventh inning for that to happen. … Chris Derrick weighs in this morning with two softball stories, a feature on Mead's Hannah Beloved and another on Lake City's Vanessa Shippy (pictured). … A longtime track mark fell yesterday in the District 9 2B meet.
• Mariners: Yes, yesterday's win was big. But the M's really had to deplete their bullpen a bit to get it done, using five relief pitchers in varying roles to defeat the Yankees, 3-2. … The most unexpected contribution came from Noesi, whose start didn't last as long as Wedge hoped (he was looking for six innings and got less than five) but was effective. … Mike Morse has been on a tear. He not only had a home run that supplied the winning margin but is 9-of-15 in his last four games. … Baker has a really good blog post on an underappreciated part of being a major league manager.
• Sonics: Yes, this chapter of Sonics history is over. The Maloofs reportedly agreed to sell the team to the Sacramento group yesterday. Of course, we know a signed deal isn't enough in David Stern's NBA, but his imperator is, and this deal will have it.
• Seahawks: The rookies are beginning to sign their contracts.
• The work week is officially over today. The weekend begins. There is another Triple Crown race, the M's are in Cleveland and there are a ton of prep playoffs. So it will be busy. I think I'll see a movie. Until later …