A GRIP ON SPORTS
There are mornings when I sit at the computer and know exactly what I'm going to write about. And there are mornings when I don't. Read on and then guess what type of day this was.
• At some point I'm going to write a morning column on Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, but today isn't that day. When I really want to go in-depth into a subject, I usually write it the afternoon or evening before it appears. I didn't do that yesterday, so we will put off the Halliday piece to another day. And the Mariners are really hot right now, again, but I wrote about them yesterday so that makes it way to soon to cover that ground again. Tomorrow is the most important day ever in U.S. soccer history, again, so we'll get into that sport in about 24 hours. Which leaves us, what? The Spokane Indians? Something from the prep area? An Eastern subject? Of those, the Indians would seem the most likely candidate. They are running away from the rest of the Northwest League, have started better this season than any in more than 100 years and seem to have the players to sustain it. For now. But the ever-changing nature of minor league baseball means an injury to a major league player could alter Spokane's lineup, as players move up the ladder to fill holes. So getting excited right now seems a bit premature. Celebrate the start, sure. But anticipate a pennant? That's a bit too early to contemplate. So where do we go with our morning subject? Beats me. All I know is, it's time to get to the day's links. And I've given you enough clues to divine and answer to today's opening question.
• WSU: There is actually quite a lot of Cougar – and Pac-12 news – today, starting with a long piece by Jacob Thorpe on the overwhelming number of "secondary" violations a school like WSU reports to the NCAA. Rarely do they add up to something important. A majority of the time they are just minor violations of one of the organization's millions of inane rules. ... The Cougars officially announced the addition of a recruit for this fall. ... Jacob took some time yesterday to look ahead to the Oregon game. ... ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog picked out WSU's most important player and it is defensive lineman Xavier Cooper (pictured). Makes a lot of sense under the criteria the blog spells out. ... The blog also previews the quarterback position, giving the Cougars a "good shape" designation. Not great but good. OK. ... Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has been officially cleared to play football again. ... Things are getting a bit ugly in Eugene.
• Indians: After winning their fourth consecutive game vs. Boise, 7-2 last night, the Indians are 10-1. That's not a bad record. Chris Derrick has all the particulars on Tuesday's win in this game story and blog post.
• Shock: Jimmy Williams is just happy to be back playing football again. The Shock lineman needed another chance after his football career was derailed. Jim Meehan tells you how in this story.
• Seahawks: Want to see the Hawks' preseason camp? It's not like the old Cheney days when you just showed up. Now you have to register in advance. ... Speaking of Cheney, the Hawks released former EWU defensive lineman Andru Pulu yesterday.
• Mariners: Each night recently, it seems as if a different Mariner has stepped up to key the offense. Last night, in an 8-2 win over the Red Sox, it was Kyle Seager (pictured). ... The win pushed Seattle six games over .500 for the first time since 2009. That was so long ago I was still working full-time. ... The win also came despite a shaky outing, again, by Erasmo Ramirez. But don't worry. The way Taijuan Walker threw in Tacoma, a change is probably in the works already. ... There is also some hope for the minor league system in the form of D.J. Peterson.
• Sounders: The U.S. Open Cup will never be mistaken for the tournament going on in Brazil right now, but last night's 4-1 shootout win by the Sounders over San Jose was almost as exciting. Seattle, which moves on to host Portland in the next round, won on penalty kicks when goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann came up big at Starfire after regulation and extra time ended tied 1-1. ... The turf at the Sounders' facility wasn't universally loved. ... If you want to travel over to see the Sounders face the Timbers, tickets go on sale Thursday. ... Sigi Schmid had his thoughts on the shootout victory. ... Clint Dempsey has been the U.S. star in this World Cup.
• One other note from yesterday. LeBron James opted for free agency (another subject I could have written about), exciting the basketball world with the chance he may leave Miami. Is he going to? Who knows, but just the thought he could land somewhere else – like Golden State – was fodder for a bunch of stories. We pass along a couple. Until later ...