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Stories tagged: John Blanchette


UPDATED: Fri., June 29, 2018, 8:45 a.m.

John Blanchette: Omar Samhan hopes to play the spoiler role for Gonzaga fans at The Basketball Tournament

A funny thing happened to Omar Samhan in Japan last winter. He had to shake Rob Sacre’s hand – and try to keep a straight face.


John Blanchette: Royce Bolinger gets a second baseball life as pitching prospect

Royce Bolinger, after seven years into his professional baseball career as a hitter, has come full circle to where he began, as a member of the 2018 Indians … pitching …


John Blanchette: Looking at the great ‘what if’ had the Spokane Indians remained a Triple-A team

What if Spokane hadn’t lost its Triple-A team? Maybe the timeline would have looked something like this:


UPDATED: Fri., June 1, 2018, 7:14 p.m.

Ralph Walter: Magic of ‘What if’ keeps SuperSonics in Seattle, gives Gonzaga a football team

“What if?” When it comes to sports, it’s hard to find two words as compelling. And it’s the inspiration behind an occasional new series that we’ll kick off this Sunday …


John Blanchette: Washington State’s plan for balanced athletics budget uses mental gymnastics

In the world of NCAA sports, Washington State is to fiscal gymnastics what Alabama is to football. If only they handed out national championships for that sort of thing.


UPDATED: Thu., May 24, 2018, 10:59 p.m.

John Blanchette: Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer returns to Sandpoint completely validated

Why Jerry Kramer had to wait more than half his life – 45 years – for a distinction that should have been pro forma will remain a mystery, though joining …


UPDATED: Tue., May 22, 2018, 11:14 p.m.

John Blanchette: Japanese media devour every scrap from Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura

On Tuesday, crews from Japan’s six national television channels – 20 people in all – descended on McCarthey Athletic Center to explore Ruiworld.


UPDATED: Tue., May 22, 2018, 11:08 p.m.

Visiting Japanese media have plenty of questions for Gonzaga coaches Mark Few, Tommy Lloyd

Rui Hachimura wasn’t the only one getting grilled by Japanese television crews Tuesday. Bulldogs head coach Mark Few and assistant Tommy Lloyd had to parry some questions about their star …


John Blanchette: Robinson Cano forces Mariners into another dose of reality

What a great day for the Seattle Mariners. They got themselves a Gold Glove second baseman and saved $12 million.


UPDATED: Fri., May 11, 2018, 7:55 a.m.

John Blanchette: Gonzaga’s Steve Hertz may retire, but he’ll be out standing in his field

He shook the trees – hard – for the money that built the joint.


John Blanchette: Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout take wind out of Mariners’ bluster

If they could have rustled up 23-year-old Felix Hernandez to go head-to-head with 23-year-old Shohei Ohtani, then they might have had something.


John Blanchette: Marco Gonzales’ education continues with each pitch for Mariners

There may be 70 or more credentialed media here specifically to itemize his every move, whether at the plate or on the mound or jogging through the outfield during batting …


UPDATED: Sat., May 5, 2018, 11:10 a.m.

John Blanchette: Contrived or not, Ichiro Suzuki’s special role with Mariners befits special player

Day 2 of Ichiro Suzuki, Special Assistant to the Chairman, began without the formal press conference and moved straight into the meat of his duties at Safeco Field: Starting with …


UPDATED: Sat., April 28, 2018, 8:31 p.m.

John Blanchette: Displaying character off the field deserves a few award nominations

The Spokane Sports Commission has put out the call for nominations for the annual Spokane Youth Sports Awards it hands out each June in partnership with SWX. They’re to honor …


UPDATED: Tue., April 3, 2018, 8:55 a.m.

John Blanchette: In the end, a change of scenery just wasn’t enough for Gonzaga

In the shortest romance since Taylor Swift and, well, anybody, Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth made official Monday the ceasefire of flirtations between the Bulldogs and the MWC. That means …


UPDATED: Fri., March 23, 2018, 10:30 p.m.

John Blanchette: This season’s Gonzaga team deserves to take a bow, even if it fell short of Final Four encore

Having had so much success for so long, it gets increasingly difficult for each successive Gonzaga team to distinguish itself. Being part of a proud lineage is reward enough, certainly, …


UPDATED: Thu., March 22, 2018, 11:31 p.m.

John Blanchette: Gonzaga can focus on what was rather than what might have been

There haven’t been too many what-might-have-been endings in Gonzaga University’s recent and glittery basketball history.


UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018, 9:54 a.m.

John Blanchette: The chill is gone, baby; the NCAA Tournament is about to get real

Madness? Let’s get more specific. It’s really March Schizophrenia. Let ol’ Doc Basketball here explain.


With GU victory, ex-Zag Rem Bakamus gets last laugh on ESPN’s Dan Dakich

Local hacks and national yakkers, all are acquired tastes. Dan Dakich’s shtick on ESPN college basketball broadcasts and his Indianapolis-based radio show goes down with much of his audience like …


UPDATED: Sat., March 17, 2018, 11:42 p.m.

John Blanchette: Remarkable Gonzaga program marches ‘fourth’ to another Sweet 16

Maybe not until Rui Hachimura’s breakaway dunk with 4 – that number again – seconds left did all seem secure for the Zags in their 90-84 punch-out of Ohio State …


UPDATED: Fri., March 16, 2018, 7:23 p.m.

John Blanchette: After 20, even 30 years, all Gonzaga players matter

They may not be the team everyone talks about now nearly 30 years later. But they’re part of a bigger team.


UPDATED: Thu., March 15, 2018, 6:44 p.m.

John Blanchette: Gonzaga’s confident ‘Snacks’ took bite out of Spartans

March Madness began in earnest Thursday amid a swarm of killer 3s.


UPDATED: Wed., March 14, 2018, 9:14 p.m.

John Blanchette: Enjoy the Big Dance, but don’t ignore the band’s sour notes

For some of us, this is the best sports day of the year. But, man, does college basketball seem to be intent on putting us in a bad mood.


John Blanchette: Count on out-of-this-world play during Gonzaga’s bright future

“Welcome to Selection Sunday 2038 on PBS. I’m your host, Greg Gumbel and, yes, I am 91 years old, but I’m going to keep doing this until we get it …


20 for 20: Gonzaga basketball has produced plenty of memorable moments in NCAA Tournament run

The best plays, performances, games, quips and wild cards over two decades of dancing for the Gonzaga Bulldogs


It all started with a tip-in: An oral history of Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament

Gonzaga’s residence in the NCAA Basketball Tournament extends to 20 consecutive years now with the Bulldogs’ placement in the 2018 bracket, meaning there’s actually a player on the Bulldogs roster …


UPDATED: Wed., March 7, 2018, 9:33 a.m.

John Blanchette: Sixth straight tournament win just as sweet for Gonzaga

The last sliver of confetti had settled on the floor at Orleans Arena and the net had been scissored into souvenirs, so the Gonzaga Bulldogs drifted away toward their locker …


UPDATED: Mon., March 5, 2018, 11:10 p.m.

John Blanchette: Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie threw himself a birthday bash, San Francisco had a front-row seat

But on Killian Tillie’s 20th birthday here at the Orleans Arena, he did become very much eligible for the Most Outstanding Player award at the West Coast Conference basketball tournament, …


UPDATED: Mon., March 5, 2018, 3:27 p.m.

John Blanchette: Zags to the MWC? That’s hysterical, or good sense

Wandered down to the sports book at the Orleans Casino and, you guessed it, those best of buddies and Zags fans, Hysteria and Horse Sense, were sitting side by side …


John Blanchette: Gonzaga coaches sweat through quarterfinal with eyes on family matters

It probably should have been no surprise that Gonzaga had to work so hard to shed Loyola Marymount 83-69 in the prime-time game at Orleans Arena – not getting any …