A GRIP ON SPORTS
This is it. Summer has officially begun. It happened early this morning, so early even I was asleep. But we are now in the hot-day-at-the-beach mode, so enjoy. To celebrate, we'll be talking baseball today and weaving in Don Henley lyrics. Yes, our hair is combed back and the sunglasses are on. Read on.
• You gotta love these guys. Wasn't that a Mariner marketing slogan a few years back? Well it's sort of ironic now, isn't it? Take last night for example. Following game after game of an anemic offense, the M's explode for five quick runs against the red-hot Royals. And then starter Hisashi Iwakuma – the M's second-best pitcher – and the bullpen give away all of the five-run lead. It's enough to make me scream. So what happens? Brad Miller – yes, Brad Miller – leads off the top of the ninth with a home run, the M's score another insurance tally and they win 7-5. I wonder if it was a dream? Nope. It's just another way the M's make me crazy. I love to listen to baseball games on the radio on hot summer nights, whether I'm driving in my car with the top pulled down or sitting out on the back deck, sun slowly setting over the trees. There's something relaxing, mesmerizing and infuriating – at least with this team – all at the same time. You listen to the chatter, waiting for the moments you can cheer – the Mike Zunino and Logan Morrison home runs last night – and dreading the moments when you mutter under your breadth – when the Royals rallied. But then, like seeing a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, something happens that takes your breathe away, in this case Miller's home run. And, as you hit the steering wheel two or three times, possibly even yelling a bit, you realize a couple things: You will never forget these nights and you're love for the game will still be strong, even after the boys of summer have gone.
• WSU: Jacob Thorpe takes care of your Cougar football jones with a Friday afternoon blog post looking back at the Southern Utah win from last season. … The Oregon Ducks' bowl trip cost them a bit of money. … How many starters do each Pac-12 football team have returning? ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog tells you. … Finally, the Klay Thompson trade rumors have taken a bit of a right turn toward Southern California.
• Indians: The long season-ending winning streak came to an end last night, done in by a weather-caused doubleheader and the Vancouver Canadians. After splitting games north of the border, Spokane is 6-1. The six-game winning streak was one short of a franchise record to begin the season.
• Shock: What a difference an experienced, talented quarterback makes. And playing the worst team in the league. At home. The Shock got Erik Meyer back and crushed San Antonio 70-30 before 8,489 at the Arena last night. Jim Meehan was there and he has all the information in this game story and blog post.
• Golf: It's Saturday, which means Jim also has his golf notebook. It covers the next 360-some days. That is, the time between now and the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
• Seahawks: A couple of years ago, who would have thought the Hawk beat writers would be writing about Benson Mayowa's potential to help the Seattle defensive line? Maybe a few people in Moscow, but that's probably it. … The Hawks still have some work to do before next season.
• Mariners: It's funny. When Alex Rodriguez came into Safeco 10 years after he left, the Mariners fans booed him. When Robinson Cano heads into Kansas City two years after snubbing a Royal in the home run derby, Royals fans boo him. In my favorite baseball book of all time – “Bang the Drum Slowly” – the fans are called “clucks,” as in the noise chickens make. I get it. … Hey, maybe there is some hitting help in the minors.
• Sounders: When a guy gets his first goal for a team, that's a big deal. Even if it comes in a fill-in-the-gap-in-the-schedule tournament. … Obafemi Martins admits he has heard from other clubs and has been listening but says he would rather stay in Seattle. … Being a World Cup fan isn't just the province of the non-playing public.
• OK, I realize today's column was a bit of a reach but hey, it's summer time and the living is easy. (What song did that come from?) So I wanted to celebrate. Until later …