A GRIP ON SPORTS
A blind man could see the glow grower brighter around here. After so many years in the void of lost dreams, the M's faithful are ready to embrace this team, to begin enjoying baseball again. Am I wrong to be reticent about joining in? Read on.
• I realized yesterday I might be in the minority on this. We were talking about Hisashi Iwakuma's performance, the M's five-game winning streak and the odd ways Seattle was finding to win. And I could see the undercurrent of joy on my radio colleagues' faces. They want to believe. They want to hope. They want these M's to be good. OK, I get that. But I can't open up that much just yet. It's too early in the season. There are too many question marks. Most importantly, there is way too much scar tissue built up over the years. It has to be peeled away carefully, game-by-game, day-by-day. Yes I know the M's have as many wins as all but two American League teams. And I know if the playoffs were to begin now, the Mariners would play in the wild card game. Big deal. It's June freaking fifth for goodness sakes. There is almost all of June to go, July, August and September. The starting pitching is top heavy. The bullpen, other than the closer, is still relatively young. The offense is anemic. Yes, there have been more wins than anyone could have expected considering this team isn't hitting my weight, but such things have a way of evening out over 162 games. OK, I apologize for being Debbie Downer. You want to enjoy the moment. Go right ahead. The M's are three games over .500. They are on a winning streak. They go into Tampa for a weekend series against a team that is reeling. Celebrate. Dare to dream. Smile. Just don't get too high up that mountain. Wear your safety harness. Lock down. The inevitable struggles will come. And when they do, don't go too far the other way. This team is still building for the future. It isn't now.
• I know you have been waiting to send us your Father's Day memories. Fine and dandy. Go ahead. Do it now. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll take care of the rest. Make sure to include your name, as the newspaper needs it for confirmation purposes.
• WSU: Late last night – hey, it was after 8; that's late for me – Jacob Thorpe had some news on the blog about a fall football signee. It was not good news for Cougar fans. Jalen Canty, a 6-foot-8 defensive end that was intriguing due to his build and lack of football experience, will not be enrolling in Pullman. Jacob has all the details in this blog post. (And, to be clear, there is no truth to the rumor he was enamored with the old locker room and weight facilities and was sad to see them being replaced.) … The Cougars have hired a new basketball strength coach. … ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a look at the North Division's offenses and which ones are set to rebound. WSU is among them. … The Cougars aren't given much credit in this ranking.
• EWU: The Big Sky is contemplating making changes – again – in the basketball postseason tournament.
• Seahawks: The biggest news yesterday had nothing – and everything – to do with the Hawks. The 49ers announced they had signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick (pictured) to a long contract extension, keeping him in San Francisco (or Santa Clara, where their new stadium is being built and where Super Bowl 50 will be held) until 2020. Kaepernick's deal is for six years, that's a fact. He can realize up to $61 million guaranteed, which would be the most ever for one NFL contract. After that, there is some discussion. The deal is worth $110 million, or $121 million or even $126 million. I've seen each of those numbers. No matter what, It's still a lot of money and should have some effect on Russell Wilson's contract with the Hawks next season. … Seattle held a town hall meeting last night. There are highlights.
• Mariners: We covered our thoughts on the M's above, so we won't add anymore. They did win yesterday in Atlanta, 2-0 behind Iwakuma. They are 31-28 heading into tomorrow night's game in Tampa. … The major league draft begins tonight with the M's holding the sixth pick in the first round. I wonder if the next Mike Trout is available? History tells us the M's will take the next Dustin Ackley instead. I hope they can get Nick Gordon, a high school shortstop with great blood lines. … Willie Bloomquist, first baseman? Ya, that's right.
• Sounders: Guess how many times Chicago, Saturday's opponent in the Windy City, has defeated the Sounders? That's right. Zero. The Fire are the only MLS team not to have defeated Seattle. … The best-selling MLS jersey? Clint Dempsey's. … One man's power rankings.
• NBA: With the finals opening tonight – I believe Miami will win the series but I'm rooting for the only team in the NBA with guys my age, the Spurs – the news out of Los Angeles that Donald Sterling wised up was overshadowed a bit. Wonder if the cantankerous one will change his mind again?
• Karate: Yes, karate. Tom Clouse has a feature on a local man who seems to be Spokane's Mr. Miyagi.
• One more stint on the radio this afternoon with the Patchin, Lukens and Osso show. You can listen here between 3 and 5 p.m. if you like. It's an hour shorter because of the NBA finals starting tonight. Until then …