A GRIP ON SPORTS
Today is the day. The day the Mariners let their fans know how they feel about this season. Or maybe it's just the day they decide to continue to build for the future. Read on.
• For the first time in many years, the M's have a legitimate chance to play in the postseason. It's only because the postseason has been expanded, but still, it's a legitimate chance. But they won't get there with this team. I do believe we can all agree on that. The pitching has been as good as anyone could have expected, even the most optimistic among us. It probably can't get any better in the next two months. The offense has been as impotent as anyone could have expected, even the most pessimistic among us. It has to get better in the next two months if the M's want to be involved in the one-game wild-card matchup with the Angels. With Felix Hernandez throwing that game, wouldn't you put your money on the M's, even though – because? – it will be in Anaheim? Getting there probably will be the tougher task. There are a handful of teams, ranging from the Yankees to the Royals, who will be battling for that final spot. To separate themselves, the M's need another bat or two for the lineup. But therein lies the worry. Will Jack Zduriencik mortgage the future for a chance to win this season? Will he make another Doug Fister-like trade that comes back to bite the M's in the butt for the next 10 years? I guess I see the glass as half-empty (and cracked) because I'm pretty sure he will. Sometime around 1 p.m. PDT today, the deadline for non-waiver deals, Zduriencik will find a microphone and announce the M's have traded ... I don't know, but whoever it is, even if it is the third guy in a three-man deal, he's bound to be a star someday. And the M's will receive a player who A) hits about .230 between now and September 17, when he is injured; or B) has a great last two months, leads the M's within a game of the second wild-card spot – they will fall just short – then leaves as a free agent, only to enjoy three great years in Boston. It all just seems so inevitable.
• WSU: With camp beginning in Lewiston on Saturday, Mike Leach will meet with the media this afternoon. That should be interesting. Before then, however, Jacob Thorpe took time to examine the Cougars' first depth chart of the season. He also held a live chat yesterday. ... The Oregonian takes a look at Washington State. ... There is plenty of Pac-12 news as well, especially from the Bay Area where the folks from Levi Stadium held a press conference yesterday to highlight their commitment to college football games. There was news on the California and Stanford fronts from the media availability. ... Oregon couldn't get one of its coveted basketball recruits into school.
• Gonzaga: BYU guard Chris Collinsworth is recovering from the terrible knee injury he suffered late last season.
• Whitworth: The Pirates will have a different look this basketball season as they welcome six new players to the fold.
• Indians: As Tim Hulett said, it was just one of those nights for the Indians. They didn't hit, they didn't pitch and they were walloped by Hillsboro, 9-1, at Avista Stadium. Tom Clouse has the game story.
• Seahawks: Each day at practice in all levels of football, the defensive and offensive coordinators not only match up their respective units, they also match wits. In the Hawks' case, both seem to be pretty good at what they do, so the battles are really fun. They also don't mind talking about what happened, as they did after practice yesterday. ... Pete Carroll also spoke as well. ... There was another player carted off yesterday as well, this time defensive lineman Jesse Williams (pictured). The extent of his knee injury is not known. ... We have our daily Marshawn Lynch piece for you. ... Other players we can highlight include Percy Harvin, K.J. Wright, Paul Richardson and Terrelle Pryor.
• Mariners: So Felix set a major league record for pitching excellence yesterday, throwing seven or more innings once again and giving up two or fewer runs. Too bad there was just a "L" next to his name. Two runs is two too many with this M's offense, especially when the Indians' Corey Kluber was dealing. The 2-0 defeat, the 13th time Seattle has been shut out this season, dropped the M's to three games over .500 again.
• I have another tough day planned. Well, it's only tough because it will be near 100 degrees again. I'm playing golf at my favorite course. You get three guesses where I'm playing. I'll tell you tomorrow if I broke 100, which is always my goal at this course. ... By the way, I used the Erik Bedard photo up above just to tick everyone off. You're welcome. Until later ...