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Thursday, May 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: Sooner or later, we will have something to warm our hearts

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, right, slides safely into home ahead of the throw to Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino to score during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, right, slides safely into home ahead of the throw to Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino to score during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Should we focus on another one that got away? Or the hot mess that is the Mariners’ roster? Maybe we should just ignore the M’s all together. Now what fun would there be in that? Read on.

••••••••••

• Summers are for baseball. In our experience, that’s the way it has always been. Whether your team is good, bad or indifferent. (And our team, the Seattle Mariners, have been much more of the last two over the years.)

There is something comforting about being able to get in your car on a warm summer’s night, turn on the radio and hear the rhythmic sounds of a baseball game wafting through. Or to sit down in the La-Z-Boy each evening, put your feet up and watch the plate umpire make a complete mess of the strike zone.

But what any baseball fan really wants is to watch his team win. At least half the time. OK, that’s not enough. Two times for every loss is better.

That hasn’t happened around these here parts since Sweet Lou was in charge. Yes, that long ago.

So why do we expect it, at least every other year? Because we are suckers, that’s why.

And I don’t use that term in a derogatory way.

There is nothing wrong with being optimistic. Or hopeful. That’s a good thing. Next year is the year, right? Every year.

But even the hardest-cored fan, the one with six Ken Griffey Jr. jerseys in the closest, has to have their heart desensitized at some point. The arteries have to close, the pumping cease.

Sooner or later there has to be some success to keep it working.

• Want a story to warm your heart? How about Isaiah Thomas’ from the NBA playoffs.

His sister, Chyna, is killed in an auto accident April 15. He continues to play. And, on what would have been her 23rd birthday, the 5-foot-9 UW product goes out and scores 53 points in a playoff game, willing his Boston Celtics over Washington in overtime.

Pretty amazing stuff.

•••

WSU: There was contract news from Pullman yesterday, with Jacob Thorpe reporting on Ernie Kent’s contract being rolled over another year and more money earmarked for Mike Leach’s assistant football coaches. … The Times’ Stefanie Loh spent some time looking at the Cougars’ draft status in 2018, and noting that former Cougar quarterback Tyler Bruggman has decided to graduate and leave Montana State. … In other former WSU player news, Devard Darling talks about closure in the 16 years since his brother Devaughn’s death. … There is also some other Pac-12 football news to pass along, as there seemingly always is.

Gonzaga: Rem Bakamus was known for a couple of things: the walk-on's infectious enthusiasm on the Bulldog bench and his flowing locks. The latter was in the spotlight yesterday as Bakamus had his hair cut off in a charitable gesture. Whitney Ogden was there and has this story. So was Tyler Tjomsland, who has these photographs. … On the court, Jim Meehan passes along the news a 7-footer transferring graduating from California has Gonzaga on his list of nine schools he’s considering.

CCS: It was not a good day for the softball team.

Chiefs: Spokane will be looking for a pair of foreign imports as the two they had last season have decided to remain home. Josh Horton has the story.

Preps: The soccer playoffs are getting underway and Jim Allen previews all the levels. … The baseball playoffs are underway. … A couple of stories from outside the area, with former Lake City High softball star Casey Stangel looking forward to a career in baseball. … And this piece from Salt Lake City about AAU football is interesting.

Mariners: Dave Nichols’ Mariner Log returns today, so the links return to that feature.

Seahawks: John Schenider went on Seattle radio yesterday to talk about the recently completed draft and other subjects came up. As they always will.

•••       

• So, if you had to guess right now, May 3, would you guess the M’s make the playoffs or not? And would you be willing to bet on your guess? Me neither. Until later …

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