A GRIP ON SPORTS
Let's keep this simple. It's a Saturday, the sun is shining and I'm sure you want to get out and enjoy the day. Can’t argue with that. Read on.
• The highlights from yesterday? Well, the Hawks finally drafted somebody – after making another trade – and drafted some much needed speed at receiver. That's good. They also picked up another offensive lineman, which might even be better. ... Once again the crucial importance of the quarterback position in the Arena Football League was demonstrated at the Spokane Arena, though this time it was the Shock being taught the lesson. There is no other single position in a team sport more important to success than an AFL quarterback. Pittsburgh had an experienced one, the Shock didn't. ... The M's have a lot of left-handed hitters in their lineup. Jason Vargas is a solid left-handed pitcher – we know, if you remember, we never wanted them to trade him for Kendrys Morales. Put the two together and the results weren't pretty. Last night at least. ... You wouldn't think a changing of the guard on a radio broadcast team would mean much to folks, but you would be wrong. When IMG decided to replace Shawn McWashington, who has been on the Washington State broadcasts for just two seasons, with Jason Gesser, there was quite a bit of online discussion yesterday. The bottom line: There will be a new voice doing the color commentary this fall.
• WSU: Jacob Thorpe has the Gesser news covered with a story in today's paper along with a blog post. There was also a post on ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog. ... ESPN also has its usual Saturday mailbag. ... Mike Leach had some things to say about Texas Tech. ... If you only have time to read one or two things today, make sure they are these columns on the Oregon situation, from John Canzano in the Oregonian and Austin Meek in the Register-Guard.
• Chiefs: There's panic in Portland. Not only are the Blazers down 0-2 in their NBA playoff series with the Spurs, but the beloved Winterhawks lost a third consecutive time to Edmonton – this one 3-2 – and are a game away from being eliminated in the WHL championship series.
• Golf: It's Saturday, so Jim Meehan has his weekly column. This week there is a putting tip. Who can't use that?
• Preps: Shadle Park kept the football coaching position in-house by hiring defensive line coach Jim Mace for the top spot. Greg Lee has the story. ... Greg also was at Idaho's state qualifying track meet and has this piece. ... Correspondent Steve Christilaw has a couple of stories, one on the GSL deciding softball game and his tennis notebook. ... We also have a soccer roundup to pass along. ... Former Gonzaga Prep star running back Bishop Sankey was drafted in the second round by the Tennessee Titans. He was the first running back chosen in this year's NFL draft.
• Seahawks: The speed the Hawks drafted? That would be Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson (pictured), who has given Pac-12 defensive backs fits the past few years. The offensive tackle is Justin Britt of Missouri, a big man (6-foot-5, 325 pounds) who's been prone to injuries. ... Speaking of big men prone to injuries, Russell Okung underwent foot surgery not too long ago and will not be back until training camp. Not good. ... Pete Carroll and John Schneider met the media last night and had a lot to say. ... I found this piece about college recruiting and the NFL draft interesting.
• Mariners: The final score last night was 6-1, though the way Brandon Maurer was knocked around – he gave up 14 hits, all singles – and the way Vargas threw – he was nearly untouchable – it seemed worse. ... Brad Miller is still struggling at the plate and in the field. If the spring shortstop competition between he and Nick Franklin was really as close as the M's kept saying, why isn't Franklin back up and in the lineup? ... James Paxton got back on the bump yesterday, threw a short pen and felt great afterward.
• Sounders: The Sounders should be healthier than the Revolution when they meet in New England on Sunday.
• Get outside and enjoy the spring weekend. And one more reminder (if you need it). Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Until later ...