A GRIP ON SPORTS
Yesterday it was quantity. Today, we're focused on quality. Ya, that's it. We're focused on quality. Read on.
• There was a time when I was a manager of a department in the newspaper. I know, strange, huh? Anyhow, in those some 17-odd years (and odd is the right word), I read a lot of management books, attended a seminar or two, and learned the right way to tie a tie (I wore a tie everyday to work one year; called it the year, appropriately enough of the tie, modeled, loosely, after the "Summer of George"). Anyhow, one of the things I took out of those books and seminars is to always, always, emphasis the positive. It's the old "you-get-more-flies-with-honey-than-vinegar" theory. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy as I'm more of a half-empty than half-full type of guy. And I hate flies. But I took it to heart and went about my business. And, little did I know that, years later, while I sit in front of my computer, trying to make a mountain out of a molehill of links on a Friday, those lessons would help me. Yep, we're accentuating the positive today, that's for sure. We don't have nearly as many links as yesterday – wait, that's too negative. Let's put it another way. We have fewer links today to steal your time, but we do have some really good stories to call your attention to. So let's get right to them.
• Washington State: Yesterday was a light day for Christian Caple, with just a lone post with his Pac-12 picks for the weekend – thanks to a hurricane, there are two games this weekend. He also has his morning post today.
• Gonzaga: The Zags took on Lewis-Clark State last night, though it wasn't close. GU rested two starters, Gary Bell and Elias Harris (hope David Stern doesn't get involved) and still won by more than 40. A big part of that was due to Kyle Dranginis' career-high 30 points. Jim Meehan has the story and he'll be back later today with more. We also have these photos from Jesse Tinsley.
• EWU: In about 36 hours, Eastern will take the red turf at Roos Field and begin its journey toward what is hoped to be its second NCAA title in three years. Jim Allen has been on the journey thus far and he answered your questions yesterday on a live chat. Today, he has two football stories in the paper. First is this feature on linebacker Grant Williams, an invaluable piece of the Eagles' defense. The second is a story looking at the new Gateway Project, which is moving forward. ... Jim also has an advance of tonight's home basketball game against Cal State Fullerton, Eastern's first at home this season. ... Montana has a quick turnaround between two tough road games.
• Chiefs: It's road trip time for the Chiefs. Chris Derrick has an advance of the big eastern swing along with this blog post about a former Chief. ... When the Portland Winterhawks released their version of why the WHL was coming down hard on them, that must have ticked off the league office. After saying the league would have no further comment on the violations, it released some. Then Portland responded.
• Preps: Besides our usual roundup of Thursday night basketball action, John Blanchette checks in with a column concerning this weekend's "The Fitz," a high school basketball tournament played in honor of former Gonzaga basketball coach Dan Fitzgerald (pictured).
• Seahawks: What has happened to the dominating Seattle defense from earlier in the season?
• Mariners: Yes, the Mariners are a young team with a lot of prospects that need to pan out. But that's exciting. At least that's the spin from the M's management. ... When it comes to free agents, the pool the Mariners are swimming in isn't very deep and it costs a lot to dive in.
• Sounders: Patrick Ianni scored one goal this season. It was pretty good. Good enough, in fact, to be the MLS goal of the year. ... GM Adrian Hanauer walks a tightrope trying to balance fan expectations and the franchise's financial books.
• Wasn't that the best post of the year? But it's not going to end up that way. There is an entire month, minus a few days off around Christmas, in which to put up a better one. I am positive I will. Until later ...