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Making short work of a long weekend

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When I finally turned off the television last night, the Mariners' game was still rolling along. When I awoke this morning, I half expected it to be going still. But it was over. As was, seemingly, the British Open. Read on.

••••••••••

• When I can, I try to see or listen to the end of the M's games. Being in Southern California right now, that's only possible through the Angels' broadcast, which is a bit different than our Northwest feed. But it really didn't matter last night about 11:30, because I wasn't going to get to final out. Not with the way – positive spin coming – the M's bullpen was dealing. Or – negative spin inbound – the offense was flailing. So I clicked off the television and closed my eyes. When they opened again, I had found the game had meandered into a 16-inning affair, with the Angels winning 3-2. So another winnable game goes a wanting. Sorry, but I don't see that changing all that much this season, no matter what happens the next couple weeks. Win one, loss one, keeping just a bit above .500. The M's have too many holes in the lineup, from Mike Zunino to Brad Miller to most of their outfielders, to make enough mid-season changes to shore it up. Now those guys should improve as over the next few years, but there is a lot to do this season and tweaking a spot here or there probably isn't getting it done. Maybe, if just making the postseason is the goal. But if winning it all is, and that, ultimately, should be the only goal, then more work is needed.

• Only one more day of work is needed for Rory McIlroy (pictured) to win his third major. McIlroy, who is only 25, seems to be able to put everything all together for a week at times, blowing away the rest of the field. He's doing it again in England, making the British Open look a bit like a John Deere Classic. It's almost Tiger Woods-like. Or maybe Tiger Woods-lite, as McIlroy hasn't been able to consistently dominate as Tiger did at Rory's age. But give McIlroy this. When he gets on a roll, he just rolls over everyone else. He did it at Congressional a few years ago to win the U.S. Open, and he's doing it again at Hoylake. There is one worry, though. McIlroy has coughed up a large lead in a major before, though he was a bit younger and less seasoned when he did it in the 2011 Masters (and he followed that up with the dominate U.S. Open win). I'm not expecting him to melt down tomorrow.

•••

• WSU: It's Saturday, which is good day to pass along the weekly mailbag from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog. In fact, it is the only day.

• Indians: Now the lead is down to one. The Indians lost four of five games in Boise and head home for tonight's matchup with Everett still sporting a magic number of three. Last night's loss, 10-7, came after Spokane had built a 7-1 lead. ... Chris Derrick preps you for the first-half ending homestand with a feature on Spokane pitcher Andrew Barnett (pictured).

• Shock: If you don't care whether the L.A. Kiss win or not, then their AFL games are pretty exciting.

• Shadow: Spokane has a chance to clinch an Evergreen Premier League title with two home matches this weekend.

• Golf: No golf column this week because Jim Meehan is covering the Rosauers Open, where three golfers are tied atop the leaderboard after one round.

• Seahawks: Yes, the NFL season is almost here. The Hawks open training camp in about a week. ... There are still questions to be answered, however. ... The NFL seems to want to crack down on contact by the defensive backs. Who might that be aimed at? ... Football, American-style, and football, European-style, came together for one day.

• Mariners: Early on in the Angels' 3-2 victory, word began to leak out the Halos had made a trade for well-traveled closer Houston Street. By the end of the game some were wondering if he was in uniform yet. ... The M's added bat, thus far, will be Stefan Romero. However, a Cuban defector might also be on their radar. ... James Paxton's rehab start had Lloyd McClendon encouraged.

• Sounders: The friendly today with Tottenham is occurring due to the multitude of connections between the two clubs, from Clint Dempsey's stay in the Premier League to the English club's U.S. players. ... Though it's a friendly, it could get a bit competitive. At least Tottenham thinks so. ... A young man had his wish granted by the Sounders. ... Seattle made a roster addition yesterday, signing a player originally drafted by Portland. ... The Timbers rallied for a 2-1 victory last night. ... Is the rivalry too intense?

•••

• The weekend beckons. I might just go to the beach. How 1970s of me. 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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