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Savor the upcoming summer days

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Another week in the books. Or at least another work week. But this one corresponds with a day I hate. The longest day of the year. The end of spring and the beginning of summer. Why is it on my hit list? Because it's all downhill from here until, gasp, winter. Read on.

••••••••••

• According to the calendar, tomorrow is the first day of summer. But today and tomorrow have the same amount of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:51 (I was up to watch this morning) and setting at 8:51 (I will be up to watch tonight – I think). That's basically 16 hours of sunlight. Enough time to play four quick rounds of golf or four really slow baseball games. But starting Sunday, we start losing sunlight. It's only a few seconds each day, but it adds up. Next thing you know Christmas ads will begin to appear on TV. And the Cougars will be getting ready for a bowl game. As the old newsreels used to say – even before I was around – time marches on. What do we have to look forward to this summer? As far as I can tell, we'll have another summer of up and down baseball from the Mariners, though it should be up more often than it has been in the recent past. And the interminable win two, lose two march will be broken up by Seahawk news, which is mainly of the more enjoyable variety. As summer moves forward, college football news will start to intrude, including the beginning of camps. There is optimism in Pullman and in Cheney, with Eastern holding the distinction of playing the season's first game. But before that happens we may have experienced a summer baseball revival here in Spokane as the Indians, who were rained out last night in Vancouver, seem to be the real deal. And let us not forget all the street basketball coming our way next weekend with the 25th incarnation of Hoopfest. It can't be 25 years can it? I remember playing in the first one with my best friend, a softball buddy and a local high school assistant football coach, destined for greater things. It seems like only yesterday.

•••

• WSU: There was news coming out of Pullman yesterday – and other places. A Cougar linebacker was cited for playing with an airsoft pellet gun, which, on a college campus these days, isn't the best course of action. Jacob Thorpe had a blog post yesterday and a story in today's paper. ... Former WSU basketball coach Ken Bone (pictured) didn't stay out of the coaching ranks long. In a move everyone and their brother heard about over the past couple weeks, Montana hired Bone to be an assistant. ... One of Bone's former players, Klay Thompson, is in the news as he may be including in a blockbuster NBA trade. ... Kicker Andrew Furney signed a free-agent contract with the New York Jets, where he'll have to beat out incumbent kicker Nick Folk. ... The Pac-12's non-conference football schedules over the next few years are second to none.

• Chiefs: Former coach Bill Peters has landed a head coaching gig in the NHL.

• Shadow: The season is flying past so Jim Allen takes a few minutes to catch up with the local soccer team and with one of its stars, Mike Ramos, a former high school standout at U-Hi.

• Shock: Spokane returns home tonight to face the AFL's worst team. Jim Meehan has the advance on tonight's matchup with San Antonio.

• Seahawks: The Hawks finished up mini-camp by handing out an item every team in the NFL wants to have and only one receives: Super Bowl rings. The diamond-crusted finger breakers (pictured) feature the No. 12 prominently. ... Terrelle Pryor would love to earn one of those rings. ... Michael Robinson dropped by practice and talked with the media. He's not retired yet, but the fullback will probably not play again. ... James Carpenter has a simple reason why he is in better shape.

• Mariners: Is anemic the right adjective? Or is non-existent better? We're talking M's offense here, so you make the call. Whatever, it was nowhere to be found again yesterday against the Padres as the M's left San Diego with a 4-1 defeat. ... Next stop Kansas City, where the Royals have been red hot. Hisashi Iwakuma starts today's game. ... The signing of top draft pick Alex Jackson may not be announced for a few days.

• Sounders: The U.S. Open Cup opener gave Sigi Schmid a chance to play a lot of backups and still get a win. ... One of the regulars who wasn't in the lineup was Obafemi Martins, expected back from break today. There are rumors swirling around Martins.

•••

• Enjoy the sunshine today. Before you know it you'll have to break out the winter coats. Heck, around here that could happen next week. 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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