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A rare spring day blooms around here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Let's be clear here. Today is going to be a great day. And it has nothing to do with sports. OK, it has a little to do with sports. Read on.

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• One of the stranger aspects of high school sports in this area is the spring weather. All spring sports are played outside. No, that's not right. All high school spring sports are supposed to be played outside. Track and field. Softball. Tennis. Golf. Baseball. Soccer. Lacrosse. But the weather around here rarely cooperates. It is often hit or miss whether the field or course or courts will be dry enough for competition to take place. Heck, high school baseball and softball coaches around these parts are better skilled at getting a wet field ready to play than are the professionals in Oakland. Sure, track and soccer runs on no matter the weather but really, is it enjoyable to be a high school athlete in those sports when you have to deal with the kind of weather we get in March and April? Heck, it's a gender equity issue. The girls soccer season, held in the fall, always seems to be blessed with warm sunny days. The boys? Snow, hail, rain, mud and wind. Maybe somebody should sue the entity in charge of the weather, citing a Title IX violation. The real irony of the whole deal is, just as the seasons are winding down, the calendar turns over to May. And 70-degree days hit. Like today. And tomorrow. And Friday. Perfect outdoor sports weather. Of course, after bundling up for two months, Inland Northwest high school athletes aren't used to the heat. By the second set or fourth inning or the second half, many have lost so much hydration they're moving in slow motion, sort of like a Grizzly just out of hibernation. But there's really nothing that can be done about it. It is what it is. The only alternative to battling cruddy weather is to follow the Montana model. In that enlightened state (illuminated as it is by the Big Sky), baseball isn't a high school sport. It's the province of the local Legion post. That allows the players to miss most of the cruddy weather, which can be a lot more taxing than the weenie springs we get over here. But that's not going to happen. So enjoy this week's warmth. After all, it probably won't last.

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• WSU: After not even being able to find a single link yesterday, we are inundated with stories today, mainly from our man Jacob Thorpe in Pullman. He has a story on the end of spring football practice and the newest member of the coaching staff – Mike Leach will meet with the media tomorrow to give his view of the practices – along with a blog post following last evening's final workout. Jacob also has links this morning. ... And, lest I forget, Jacob has a college baseball notebook in the paper today as well. ... ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has its midweek mailbag.

• Gonzaga: USC transfer Byron Wesley is going to visit Gonzaga in about a week, one of three schools the highly skilled senior will travel to before making his decision. ... WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich's tenure is winding down. ESPN looked back at it. I guarantee the next commissioner will have a last name that is shorter and easier to spell. ... ESPN's Andy Katz touches on these subjects in this video.

• NIC: The Cardinals have lost their men's basketball coach after 10 mostly successful seasons. Jim Meehan has the story of Jared Phay leaving to take over at the College of Southern Idaho.

• Preps: Tuesday afternoons, no matter the weather, are always full of spring events. Yesterday was no exception. Chris Derrick was at the softball game between U-Hi and Mead and has this story. He also has his softball notebook. ... Tom Clouse covered Ferris' win over Mead in baseball (pictured).

• Bloomsday: Guess what? Bloomsday is this Sunday. Guess where the winner will be from? More than likely Africa. Tom has a look at the favorites.

• Seahawks: It was a big day in Seattle. Earl Thomas called a press conference to announce he had been let out of a speeding ticket. Wait, what? No, actually the Hawks called the press conference to officially announce Thomas' new contract. It just so happens the safety was pulled over for speeding on his way there and was given a stern warning. Think he signed something before he drove away? ... The Hawks are still exploring the free-agent market.

• Mariners: Robinson Cano was booed in the Bronx. Imagine that. I wonder if the Yankee fans have any idea how many players their team has stolen away with huge contracts. Seems fitting they would have lost one. But handle it gracefully? No freakin' way. Last laugh, however, went to the M's, who held on through a Fernando Rodney ninth for a 6-3 win. ... The New York weather has a lot in common with ours this time of year. ... Hisashi Iwakuma says he's ready to pitch. That's a good thing.

• Sounders: The Sounders will divorce themselves from the Seahawks this week, standing on their own feet going forward. It shouldn't change things on the field. ... The model that's worked so well in Seattle may be imitated elsewhere. ... It doesn't look as if Nigeria is going to ask for Obafemi Martins' help during the World Cup. ... In one man's ratings of the MLS, the Sounders have ascended to No. 1. ... Loans are a part of soccer, sort of like minor league call ups in baseball. 

• NBA: OK, I'm sure you heard what Adam Silver did to Donald Sterling yesterday. We won't rehash the particulars here other than to say the book was thrown at Sterling. Will he duck and cover or will he sue?

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• Seems like a good day to get outside. The temperature hasn't hit 70 around here yet this year. There must be some sort of dance we have to do to thank the weather folks. I promise not to video mine. 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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