A GRIP ON SPORTS
Minor league baseball features a lot of bells, whistles and other gimmicks to entice fans to the ballpark. But the best way isn't a gimmick at all. Fireworks? Who needs them when you have a lineup that supplies its own? Read on.
• The Spokane Indians had the usual postgame Fourth of July fireworks last night. I could hear them from my house. But they also had in-game fireworks, courtesy of Jose Trevino and the rest of the lineup. The Indians, 16-6, have the best record in the Northwest League and have had little trouble filling Avista Stadium for their home games. That's usually the case even when they aren't doing well, but it always helps to know the home team is going to win the game. No guarantees, sure, but right now Spokane is as prohibitive a favorite as one can find in baseball. The Indians have won 9 of their 10 home games this season. Meanwhile, Trevino is a guy you might want to see soon, as he may not be in Spokane long. A guy with that type of power and production has to advance. That's one of the dangers facing a really good short-season A team, their best players may end up moving up the ladder before the season ends. However, the season is divided into two halves for playoff purposes, so the Indians are getting close to clinching a spot in the postseason. No matter what happens, though, the games should be entertaining. It's always one of the draws of minor league baseball.
• Indians: Covering the Fourth of July game is always a bit of challenge due to the fireworks show afterward. Getting quotes from players and coaches either has to wait until the fireworks end (if the game is finished quickly) or you have to transcribe them filled with booms and bangs if it wasn't. Whatever the case, Chris Derrick got it done last night, with a game story and a blog post following the Indians' 10-3 victory over second-place Vancouver.
• Golf: If you want to play Indian Canyon this summer, you still may want to wait awhile. Six greens were damaged over the winter and have yet to completely recover. Jim Meehan has that and what it means to the Rosauers Open in his weekly golf notebook.
• Mariners: Hot team, meet a hot pitcher. A hot left-handed pitcher. Advantage Chris Sale (pictured). The White Sox lefty completely shut down the M's, going the distance in a 7-1 win for host Chicago. … The M's made big roster decisions yesterday, activating Corey Hart from the disabled list (designating Cole Gillespie for assignment) and sending golden boy Justin Smoak to Tacoma after his disabled list stint was done. It's the right move but I wasn't sure the M's would make it. … The A's, atop the American League West with baseball's best record, made a big move yesterday, trading prospects for two front-line starting pitchers. It looks as if the A's are trying to win a World Series title this season.
• Sounders: Some of the MLS teams had their World Cup players back by the Fourth of July, but that's not the case for league-leading Seattle. The Sounders will face Vancouver tonight in a Cascadia Cup match without Clint Dempsey or Andre Yedlin. For coach Sigi Schmid and the Sounders, it is the start of a rivalry week. … San Jose's Chris Wondolowski is still trying to deal with his point-blank miss in the Belgium match.
• And that my friends is today's concise, quick, really, really short report. What can I say? It's the dog days of summer. Until later …