A GRIP ON SPORTS
Once more into the breach. It's Friday the 13th. What could go wrong? Read on.
• I have a friend I rarely see angry. But the other day, while playing golf, he had the temerity to say something about not having a bogey yet. And then get ticked off when the rest of us called him on jinxing our round. You would probably sidle up to your pitcher and say, hey, you've got a perfect game going, someone added. That really got him going. There is no such thing as a jinx, he said. Words have no control over something like that. OK. Than tell me why, after 15 near-perfect holes, we proceeded to bogey the 16th just moments after his ill-fated comments? Isn't that proof enough? I'm kidding, of course, but it is Friday the 13th and superstitions are on my mind. As a baseball player, superstitions were always a part of my life. I never walked past a hairpin without picking it up and putting it in my right pocket. It meant a hit. A penny on the ground? Pick it up. If the head was up. Tail-side up, leave it be. The head was lucky, the tail not so much. There was many a game I slid into second base with a double, and the penny in my pocket dug into my butt a bit. Such was the price of keeping an average above .300. I'm not sure baseball players are as superstitious these days – they are smarter than my generation was – but it's easy to understand if they were. After all, no game lends itself to luck than baseball. You hit a hard line drive one at-bat and it ends up in the shortstop's glove. You get jammed, fist a soft looper to right the next and you are standing on first with a hit. Karma? Or just the baseball gods laughing at you? No one knows, so you become a bit loopy about luck. It all evens out, someone always says, but no baseball player ever has believed that. It always seems to be 70-30 against. Hence the picking up of pennies, the avoidance of stepping on the baselines, the never petting a one-eyed dog before a day game. I just made that last one up, but it sounds good. I think I'll follow it from now on.
• WSU: Not a lot today, though ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog caught up on the fishing story with the Cougar football staff (pictured). It also has a look at the offensive production returning around the conference, with WSU and Connor Halliday atop the list. ... But it missed the biggest story of the day, the week, the month, maybe even the year. Yep, the new turf in Martin Stadium will include, wait for it, crimson end zones! It's something I've heard from fans for year, how they wanted crimson end zones. A winning team, sure, but crimson end zones, that was crucial. I jest.
• Shock: Quarterback Erik Meyer is back, activated less than six weeks since he broke his collarbone. Whether he'll be under center when the Shock play at San Jose tomorrow is unknown, but I would bet on it.
• Indians: The season begins tonight – well, it really begins tomorrow night with the first family feast night of the year – when the Indians host Eugene. Chris Derrick has an advance of the year and a feature on seeing double around the team. He also has a blog post.
• Seahawks: The Hawks added a veteran run-stuffer yesterday, signing defensive tackle Kevin Williams (pictured). What does that mean? ... Seattle ended its OTAs yesterday and an unknown had a big day. Maybe you know Tharold Simon, but I didn't. ... The offensive line hasn't undergone too much change. ... Marshawn Lynch's money move is a risky one. ... Brandon Mebane is going to miss Red Bryant. ... The incident in Miami turned out to be a lot about nothing for Colin Kaepernick. He won't face charges.
• Mariners: This is what .500 teams do. They get five games over the break-even mark, and then they lose three consecutive games at home. You expect something different? The third came last night 6-3 as Derek Jeter made his final appearance in Seattle. ... Jesus Montero is back. That will put the M's over the hump.
• Sounders: The World Cup began yesterday which reminds us what really great soccer looks like. The MLS is fine, but it's not at this level. Though the officiating is pretty similar. ... The Sounders were hit with fines and wrist slaps for confrontations in their game with Chicago.
• Guess what? On this unlucky day I am on the radio. I'm sure they invited me in just in case something bad happens. They can blame me. I'm a lightning rod of sorts. You can listen here from 3 to 6 p.m. if you like. Until later ...