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Grip on Sports: It would be nice to get outside this weekend, but if the weather makes that impossible, there is still a lot to watch

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) hugs goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), of Russia, after Game 4 of the NHL hockey Eastern Conference finals against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, May 17, 2018 in Washington. Also seen is Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), of Russia. The Lightning won 4-2. (Nick Wass / Associated Press)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) hugs goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), of Russia, after Game 4 of the NHL hockey Eastern Conference finals against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, May 17, 2018 in Washington. Also seen is Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), of Russia. The Lightning won 4-2. (Nick Wass / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • As summer creeps closer, is it too much to ask that our weekends be filled with sunshine and lilacs? After all, this is the time of year we are supposed to be able to get outside and do whatever we want. Read on.

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• Maybe that’s not what you want. Maybe you are fine with rain showers and wet grass. Maybe, just maybe, you want to be able to hunker down in front of the television tomorrow and Sunday and not have anyone else in your abode telling you to get outside and cut the grass down to size.

Rain gives you an excuse.

There is the horse race, the Preakness, on Saturday. The second leg of the Triple Crown. Justify is the favorite, a bunch of fresh horses are on deck and the Maryland racing fans are ready to scream their black-eyed susans off.

Though that may not be what you are looking to watch.

There is always a golf tournament on somewhere and a soccer match, if you are willing to cruise around with the remote. 

And, of course, the NBA playoffs, after their short mini-break, are ready to resume. Will the Warriors’ Steph Curry return to form? Will LeBron James’ back collapse under the strain of carrying the Cavs? Will Charles Barkley say something that makes you go “huh?” At least one of those things is sure to happen.

Or maybe it’s hockey on you mind. The road to the Stanley Cup has always been a rocky one for the Washington Capitols, who won the first two games of the Eastern Conference championship in Tampa. And now have promptly lost their two home games. What in the name of Barry Trotz is going on here? Maybe the Cup will visit Spokane again, if Tyler Johnson and the Lightning can actually win a home game.

Then again, it may visit Las Vegas, home of the expansion Golden Knights. If it does, it may never leave.

One thing about rain in the Northwest, it can also disappear as quickly as it appears. Though it doesn’t matter as far as the Mariners are concerned. The most forward-thinking aspect of the organization was on display back in the day when they demanded enough money to put a roof on Safeco Field. That way, no matter the forecast, the game will go on.

Come to think of it, it might have been the only forward thinking the franchise has ever displayed.

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WSU: Paul Sorensen was good at football. The former Washington State safety flew around and made the all Pac-10 team (or is he old enough to be a Pac-8 guy? No, Pac-10) in the ancient past. And Sorensen is still good at talking. Larry Weir spoke with him about Cougar football in the latest Press Box pod. … Mike Leach’s travels this offseason have caught the eye of non-sports folks. It’s because he’s cruising around with a bunch of politicians. … While Leach is away, a new quarterback arrives in Pullman. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, is gambling a panacea for what ails the conference financially? … In basketball, Arizona has a new assistant coach and Utah officially has a home-and-home with Kentucky. … In football, a USC receiver is on trial and another USC-related trial is going through a tough time.

Gonzaga: The Zag baseball team needs to win one game this weekend to ensure a spot in the WCC postseason tournament. Justin Reed has more in this story. … Yoeli Childs is telling everyone why he decided to come back for another year at BYU.

Preps: Yes, the spring playoffs are continuing. But our first two prep-based stories today extend even further than that. Jim Allen has a story on Oti Gildon and a trio of her Oregon basketball teammates getting ready to represent the U.S. in a world championship event. … Dave Nichols caught up with Gonzaga Prep’s Daniel Roy, who set a national age group mark in the 200-meter breaststroke. … As for the playoffs, Jim Meehan has coverage of the 4A golf regionals and we can pass along a roundup of Idaho state baseball.

Mariners: Welcome to the M’s house of horrors, Ryan Cook. The middle-aged reliever (in baseball years) returned to the bigs last night and became another footnote, buried under the bullpen’s recent eighth-inning problems in a 3-2 loss to Detroit. If Juan Nicasio is not on point, and he isn’t right now, the M’s lack a consistent bridge to closer Edwin Diaz. … The Robinson Cano suspension is not a surprise to some. 

Seahawks: You have questions? We can pass along some answers. … The draft picks are almost all signed.

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• It doesn’t seem as if junior hockey should still be going on, but it is. The Memorial Cup starts tonight in Regina, with two WHL teams involved, the host Regina Pats and the Swift Current Broncos. Until later … 


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