A GRIP ON SPORTS
Let's jump into the Wayback Machine and set the dial to 2007. Not all that long ago in days maybe, but seemingly a generation ago in baseball time. Read on.
• Why 2007? That was the last time the M's were nine games over .500, as they are today following their 5-2 win at Houston on Wednesday. Seven years ago. The M's finished 88-74 that season and drew 2.6 million to Safeco Field. It was the final season for hope before the long downward slide began. That slide seems have been banished, driven away by the addition of Robinson Cano and the development of a solid pitching staff. How long ago was 2007? Well, let's put it this way. There are only two Mariners on this roster that appeared in a game for the M's back then: Felix Hernandez and Willie Bloomquist. (As an aside, maybe Bloomquist is the common denominator of the M's success. He left the team in 2008 and since then the M's have been less than mediocre. He returns and they start playing well again. Coincidence? Sure. After all, the M's were awful in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 when Bloomquist was here.) How long ago was 2007? So long ago Felix, who was named American League pitcher of the month for June, was making just $420,000 (he's making almost $23 million this season) and didn't have any tattoos as far as I can tell. So enjoy this recent run. It's been a long time coming.
• Chiefs: Next season is getting closer, with Spokane adding size to its roster in the form of 6-foot-7, 212-pound Hungarian defenseman Tamas Laday.
• Seahawks: NFL.com revealed players ranked from 20 to 11 last night and the Hawks had three players in the group: Russell Wilson (20), Earl Thomas (17) and Marshawn Lynch (14). Fans seem to think Wilson is overrated while the other two are underrated, according to the site's polling system. … Wilson, and the league's other quarterbacks, were also in the news yesterday thanks to a couple of lists.
• Mariners: The M's followed a familiar script yesterday in securing their first ever three-game sweep in Houston. They got outstanding pitching from Chris Young, who won his eighth game, and timely hitting in the sixth inning. In the middle of the rally again was James Jones and Robinson Cano. … Dustin Ackley has gotten hot again, just when the M's might need to make a decision on his future, what with Corey Hart and Justin Smoak nearly ready to come off the disabled list.
• Sounders: With Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin not expected back from their World Cup experience, the Sounders will be a little short in their Saturday match at Vancouver. Mainly because midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda have been suspended a match due to yellow-card accumulation.
• One more day on the radio with Keith Osso and Rick Lukens on 700 ESPN. We start at 3 p.m. and go to 6 p.m. You can listen here if you like. Until then …