A GRIP ON SPORTS
Ever sit around with friends and play conversational games? You know what I mean, asking each other questions like “What was the best TV comedy of all-time?” or “Who was better, Willie Mays or Hank Aaron?” and then arguing about your answers? Ya, me too. One of our favorites has to do with local high school basketball coaches. Like, “Who is the best?” And my answer always ticked off my buddies. Read on.
• Whenever that question came up – “Who is the best high school basketball coach in the area?” – I wouldn't hesitate. My answer was always Jim Redmon (pictured) at Lewis and Clark. Why would that answer tick off my buddies? Well mainly because he coached the LC girls and at least one of the guys I hang around with avoids girls' basketball like the plague – ya, I don't get it either. But mainly because they thought I was cheating. Avoiding answering the question because I know just about every boys basketball coach in Eastern Washington and I didn't want to take a side. OK, there was some of that. But I meant it and still do. Redmon was my choice. Look, a big part of coaching high school sports is getting the most out of each and every practice. And I've always felt Redmon, who has won four state titles at LC, did just that. So much so, in fact, I begin every practice I run the same way he does, emphasizing a few skills each day with drills handpicked for the team. And the fact Redmon won those four 4A titles tells you he's a darn good game coach. Still, my buddies always would want to know how I felt Redmon would fare coaching boys. Pretty darn well, I said, because he's a great teacher of the game and that translates whether you are coaching girls, boys, robots, whatever. Now we'll get to find out if I was right. Yesterday, Lewis and Clark hired Redmon to be its boys' coach, replacing Jeff Norton, who was fired a couple weeks ago. I know Redmon has thought about making the change before – he's coached boys in the AAU ranks in the past – and this must have been the right time. Good for him. And good for the Tigers. Next year will be interesting. And, if I know Redmon, successful.
• I'm getting worried. There are only a few days left for you to send us your Father's Day memories. And I don't have enough yet. What's the deal? Mother's Day was jammed. Father's Day isn't good enough for you? We want your memories of your dad and sports. Of times good – and bad – you spent with your father playing catch, watching golf, running Bloomsday. Whatever. The time he yelled at an umpire or told you he was proud of you or embarrassed the heck out of your brother. We'll put them together and run them in their entirety here on SportsLink. Some might even be featured in the Review. Don't worry about polish, just share what's in your heart. Send them to me at email@example.com. I'll take care of the rest. Make sure to include your name, as the newspaper needs it for confirmation purposes.
• WSU: Jacob Thorpe is working too hard for early June. That's my humble opinion. He put up a blog post yesterday that covers just about everything you may want to know about Rutgers (pictured), the Cougars' first opponent. At least it gives me something to link. … Ever since I was a Little Leaguer, I've rooted for the Pac-8, er, Pac-10, er, Pac-12 baseball teams to make it to Omaha. I always wanted to play for USC in those days, mainly because they won every national title and, like everyone else, I was a front-runner. But it wasn't to be. Still, I always root for Pac-12 teams, unless they happen to be playing one other West Coast school. So I was happy last night. … I am happy about this as well. Nothing's better than a guy – or guys – owning up to their predictions. I wouldn't do it, mind you, but I'm pleased the ESPN.com Pac-12 blog guys did. They also looked at the North's defenses this fall.
• Seahawks: The Hawks returned to the practice field for OTAs and they did it without linebacker Bruce Irvin, who had hip surgery yesterday. Now if Irvin were my age, I would be worried. But he isn't and I'm not. … Russell Wilson's offseason is full of distractions, both professional and personal. But he says it's not affecting him. And Larry Stone believes him. … Wilson also has an opinion on the Hawks' receivers.
• Mariners: A quick stop in New York last night to makeup a rainout. So did the M's 10-2 win – the game was tied at 2 after six innings – mean the M's swept a three-game series from April or a two-game series then and a one-game series last night? We'll go with winning two series. That sounds better. … Felix was Felix last night but Kyle Seager was Babe Ruth, with four extra base hits. Actually, Seager (pictured) should have hit for the cycle. His second triple was really a single that the Yankees blundered into a triple. … Robinson Cano was well enough to play in New York.
• Sounders: No good play goes unexamined in the MLS.
• NHL: Chris Hansen isn't about to give up, though he may have to adjust his sites a bit after Steve Ballmer bailed on Seattle.
• Going to get cleaned up and then head down to Pullman today, driving U.S. 195 like it is 2008 again. Except this time I've got a comfortable car to ride in. Retirement has been good to me. And the Cougars. Until later …