A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you are a young Mariners fan – and, yes, I know there aren't that many folks who fit such a profile – you need to pay close attention whenever Felix Hernandez takes the mound. Read on.
• Us older folks speak fondly of the 1990s. Ken Griffey Jr.'s sweet stroke. Randy Johnson's biting slider. Edgar Martinez's explosive line drives. But such things are just fading memories. We watched the M's rise to prominence every day but I'm not sure we appreciated it or them. At least not as much as we should have. That's a lesson I would like to pass along today to those of you out there in your teens, your 20s and your 30s. Guys like Felix need to be savored, to be appreciated, to be filed away in a special place in your internal memory banks. All his little mannerisms, the smiles, the looks to heaven, the finger points, they have to be remembered clearly, to be called upon 20 or 30 years down the road when he's no longer dealing and you are no longer young. Don't let Felix's excellence be taken for granted. He's a gem and most of his starts are gems. But even gems lose their luster if not cared for. It's up to the fans to keep Felix's legacy alive, to polish the memories of each dominating start so they will still shine years down the road. His perfect game, sure, we'll all have memories of that. But games like last night are important. The M's needed a dominating performance and Felix delivered. Don't ho-hum the outing. It was fairly typical for the King, sure, but it was also special in comparison to the usual outing of a typical major league pitcher. Not just because of the results. But because the Angels seemed so overmatched. A great pitcher can do that. And Felix is a great pitcher. A pitcher worthy of our respect. And one who should dominate our memories for years to come.
• By the way, I have one NBA question. Shouldn't the Pacers' Lance Stephenson be hit with some sort of harassment complaint? After all, if you were at work and someone sidled up to you and blew in your ear, wouldn't that be harassment? LeBron James needs to go to the Feds or something.
• Our first Father's Day memory is in. Now we need more. Share with us your memories of your dad and sports. Of times good – and bad – you spent with your father playing catch, watching golf, running Bloomsday. Whatever. The time he yelled at an umpire or told you he was proud of you or embarrassed the heck out of your brother. We'll put them together and run them in their entirety here on SportsLink. Some will be featured in the Review. Don't worry about polish, just share what's in your heart. Send them to me at email@example.com. I'll take care of the rest. Make sure to include your name, as the newspaper needs it for confirmation purposes.
• WSU: A couple of Cougar baseball players were named to the All-Pac-12 team yesterday. … Jacob Thorpe had a blog post on the official time for the Nevada game in September. … The most interesting item I can pass along is this post from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog on Connor Halliday's passing statistics from last season. … The blog also broke down next season's schedules for the North Division schools. … Quite possibly the best basketball player to ever wear a UW uniform died Wednesday. Hall of Famer Bob Houbregs, who led the Huskies to the Final Four in 1953, passed away at the age of 82.
• EWU: The Eagles' athletic department came up with an innovative way to honor outgoing president Rodolfo Arévolo. Jim Allen has the story.
• Preps: This is the last week of prep sports around here, with the Washington State golf tournaments already underway on the West Side. … Greg Lee advances the State track meets with a feature on North Central's Sabrina Keys (pictured). … Ferris will try to win a State 4A soccer title by utilizing its midfield strength. Jim Allen has the story.
• Shock: Any team in a midseason slump will probably make changes. As Jim Meehan passes along in his weekly notebook, the Shock are not immune to that reality.
• Seahawks: You know a team is pretty well set when the biggest news to come out of the early days of summer workouts is a question about the punt returner. … The Hawks have used starters before to return punts. … It may be early in the OTAs, but Seattle is in mid-season form – in trash talking. … If Percy Harvin stays healthy, look out.
• Mariners: Felix was good last night in the M's 3-1 win, but after giving up a couple of two-out hits in the top of the ninth (and the Angels' only run), manager Lloyd McClendon went to Fernando Rodney, who had a three-pitch save. Yes, that's right. Just three pitches for a game-ending out. Talk about upsets. … Though Michael Saunders has been hot, McClendon gave him the night off in an attempt to keep the outfielder fresh. … James Paxton is now expected back in June. Are we still talking this year?
• Sounders: Two of the MLS' best will meet Saturday at CenturyLink, with the Sounders and Real Salt Lake matching up. … The Sounders found out the first game in their U.S. Open Cup schedule. … Joshua Mayers has his MLS power rankings.
• The weather is expected to get better, starting today. Of course it will. I will be working tomorrow afternoon on the radio, just in time for it to turn nice again. Until later …