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It’s not grand salami time just yet

A GRIP ON SPORTS

My oh my, the M's are 3-0. Read on.


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• The reason for the first three words of today's column? The last time the M's began a season 3-0 you could still hear Dave Niehaus make his famous call. Niehaus is no longer with us, of course, and he's missed a lot of poor starts and heart-wrenching defeats the rest of have had to endure. But with last night's 8-2 win over the Angels, this year's Mariner squad is undefeated after the first three-game series of 2014. The M's have started 3-0 just three times in their history, the last time in 1995. You remember 1995, don't you? It was a simpler time, when everyone was listening to TLC and Boyz II Men and watching “Friends” on TV. Ken Griffey Jr. broke his wrist in May and the M's seemed doomed. But Griffey and the mojo returned down the stretch, the M's rallied to catch the Angels and make the playoffs and Edgar Martinez hit the most important double in the franchise's history. And there was that smile. Griffey's unforgettable smile. I do know this. If the M's continue to hit the ball like they have the first three games of this season, there will be a lot of Mariner fans smiling as the season progresses. There might even be one or two in this house.

•••

• WSU: The Cougars introduced new basketball coach Ernie Kent (pictured) with a little more fanfare than they introduced Ken Bone five years ago. In fact, not only did they hold events in Beasley – with a crowd that looked a bit like some of the games last season – and Bohler, Kent made the rounds with the state's media. It was quite a day and Tyler Tjomsland caught it all with these photographs while Jacob Thorpe painted word pictures here on the Web and in the paper. Jacob has a story in this morning's Review along with his morning post. Yesterday, he talked with key recruit Tramaine Isabell and posted some video from Kent's press conference. … Jacob didn't neglect football, however, with a live chat and then five questions with receiver Sebastian LaRue. … Speaking of football, the Oregonian's John Canzano talked with Mike Leach. … California is looking for a basketball coach as well. … Bud Withers has his thoughts on the Cougars' new basketball hire.

• Gonzaga: Former Gonzaga star Matt Santangelo was hired to lead Hoopfest. Thomas Clouse has more on the hire in this story. … The Bulldogs were blown out on the diamond by 19th-ranked Oregon. … BYU basketball coach Dave Rose had a difficult season in a lot of ways.

• Chiefs: The season is over. So now the Chiefs have to look to next season. Chris Derrick's story tells us there will be a lot of tough decisions. … Seattle is getting ready to face Kelowna in the WHL playoffs. … Portland has a date with Victoria.

• Preps: It's Thursday which means Greg Lee has his column. He has some ideas on how to tweak the state basketball playoffs. … The weather is warmer (see note below) which means baseball season is in full swing. Greg has previews of the Greater Spokane League (and a feature on Mt. Spokane's Drew Rasmussen), the Great Northern League and the Inland Empire League. … Jim Allen was at Mt. Spokane's 2-0 win over Mead in boys soccer and files this story. … Rainier Beach, which forced the WIAA's hand, will play in a national basketball tournament this weekend.

• Seahawks: Richard Sherman has some thoughts on DeSean Jackson. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked, Sherman has an opinion on something.

• Mariners: Before we get to the Mariners' successful Wednesday night, we must acknowledge the other side of the coin. That is, the Angel fans are panicking. We've had experience in that, right? Our advice: It's never too early to start. … Hopefully not lost in the offensive barrage is the pitching of James Paxton (pictured), who dominated everyone in the Angels' lineup not named Mike Trout. … Once again Justin Smoak and Brad Miller squared up the baseball and got the M's offense going. … Nick Franklin will work in the outfield some in Tacoma. … The Dodgers claimed Carlos Triunfel off waivers.

• Sounders: Once again Seattle will be playing on turf, not grass.

•••

• I am so sore this morning I can hardly move. Two hours of yard work will do that to you. Funny, I wore shorts yesterday to get some sun on my legs. My face, however, I covered with sunscreen and a big floppy hat. So this morning my legs are as white as lilies and my neck and face are a mottled red. What's wrong with this picture? Until later …


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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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