A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's cold and dreary outside which makes it seem like a good day to join Mr. Peabody and Sherman on a trip in the Wayback Machine. The cost? One bag of Doritos. Read on.
• Let's step back into Mr. Peabody's machine and take a trip. Back to the 1920s, when women wore outrageous costumes and roared around the dance floor all night. You run into a Boston Red Sox fan. He's not too worried in the Sox. Ya, they had put together a couple bad years, but they were the Sox. Just recently they had won three World Series. Sure they had lost the young Mr. Ruth (pictured) to the Yankees because of money problems but they were the Sox. They would bounce back. Another great year, another Series title, they were just around the corner, right? Or jump ahead a few decades and go a bit west. You seek out a Chicago Cubs fan in the year 1955. Ya, it has been a long time since his team has won a World Series but it has been there often. Three times in the '30s, again in 1945. So what if some guy with a goat has cursed them. It was only a matter of time until the Cubs would break through and win again, right? These down years won't last. Now return to the present day. It is 2014. The Mariners are beginning spring training. Ya, they are going through a rough patch. The past few years? They've been horrendous. But the down years, they can't last forever, can they? After all, they've poked their head over .500 as recently as 2007. They won 90-plus games in 2003 and 2002 and 116 in 2001. That's not that long ago. Prosperity is just around the corner. You know it. Then the lessons of history hit you like a Packard. That's probably exactly what the Red Sox fan was saying in the 1920s and the Cub fan was echoing in the 1950s. How did that work out for them? The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for less time then those fans. It took 86 years before the Sox would win another World Series title. The Cubs are on more than 100 and counting since their last one. And the Mariners are beginning to act a bit cursed. Here they spend $240 million to entice one of the best hitters in the game to the Northwest and what happens? The No. 2 starting pitcher hurts a finger in his throwing hand and the young stud, earmarked for the third spot in the rotation, has a sore shoulder. Both are minor blips, right? So was the first injury Franklin Gutierrez suffered a few years ago. Now look at him. Is there some voodoo at work here? Did Alex Rodriguez pay some witch doctor a boatload of money to curse the M's after Seattle fans' threw fake $100 bills at him? Is this franchise destined to ride the River Styx in a leaky Crestliner for another five or six decades? Only Mr. Peabody and Sherman know for sure. And they ain't talking.
• WSU: Despite the absence of a basketball game yesterday, Jacob Thorpe sure filled up the blog. The most surprising news was probably the transfer of reserve running back Jeremiah Laufasa (pictured) to UTEP, though the reasons behind the move were the most interesting aspects. Jacob has a blog post and a story. ... Jacob also passes along a couple of videos, one on Deone Bucannon's NFL quest and another on Midnight Maneuvers. He also has a blog post on the new football operations building along with a morning post today and a link to a radio interview Mike Leach did concerning the proposed new NCAA rules. ... A couple links to ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog, where Connor Halliday's New Mexico Bowl performance is singled out. We also pass along this recruiting ranking for your enjoyment. ... Jerry Brewer has some thoughts on the NCAA rule proposals.
• Gonzaga: For the first time since the building opened, I entered the McCarthey Center for a men's game as a fan last night, tickets courtesy of a friend. It's different watching a game as a fan instead of covering it, though all the years sitting impassively have ruined my ability to cheer. While I appreciate a good pass or block out or hedged ball screen, really nothing can get me out of my seat anymore. Not even a hot dog. Anyhow, the Zags won going away against a game Pepperdine group, 83-68. Jim Meehan has the game story and a blog post. He'll also be back this morning with a day-after post. ... The most surprising result of last night was BYU losing at Pacific, 89-82. ... St. Mary's got past USD, 69-57, in Moraga. ... Portland had little trouble with Loyola-Marymount, winning 71-64 at home. ... The Gonzaga women took a giant step toward clinching the WCC regular season title with a 66-48 defeat of USD in San Diego.
• EWU: If Eastern wants to achieve its goal of making the Big Sky Conference tournament, winning at home is a must. The Eagles accomplished that last night, defeating Sacramento State, 85-72. Jim Allen was there and has this game story. ... Northern Arizona, Eastern's opponent Saturday, hit a late shot to get past Portland State, 65-63. ... Montana State went on the road and defeated North Dakota, 78-70. ... Montana wasn't as lucky, losing at Northern Colorado 89-86 in overtime. ... Weber State pounded woeful Southern Utah, 75-55.
• Shock: Want some Shock football on TV? Your wishes have been answered.
• Preps: The final day of the Greater Spokane League basketball season featured a showdown for first place on the boys side. A furious fourth-quarter rally by Sam Dowd (pictured) Gonzaga Prep ensured the Bullpups' 61-56 victory and the league title. The Pups get it alone because Central Valley lost to Mead. That means G-Prep and Ferris will meet again Saturday with the District 7 title on the line. ... Prep also won the girls title with CV earning the second spot with a home win over Mead last night. ... We also have a roundup of other action in the area last evening.
• Mariners: We shared some of the news from Peoria yesterday above but there is more. ... Fernando Rodney signed his contract and is now officially a Mariner.
• Sounders: With training in full swing, there is a lot to pass along. ... The Sounders are working on artificial turf a bit more than usual. ... Sigi Schmid has a few things to say. ... Osvaldo Alonso is now a designated player. He has to deal with all that entails. ... Some injuries are cropping up but, luckily, not to one of the Sounders best young players – or one of their newer ones.
• NHL: The league is actually looking at Seattle favorably as an expansion site. Are you listening NBA?
• It's Friday. And not your typical Friday. You know what I mean. And, no, flowers from Albertson's don't cut it. Until later ...