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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


M’s game sparks old memories


Probably the best thing about baseball is it doesn't have a clock. Though I'm sure those folks in the press box at Safeco Field last night would be willing to say it is the worst thing about baseball. Read on.


• One of my fondest memories of time with my father goes back to a 17-inning baseball game at Dodger Stadium. My dad was a Dodger fan, I was a Dodger fan. He never arrived late to a game, he never left early. I never arrived late to a game. But I know he was sorely tempted to leave the game I'm thinking about, fondly, in about the 12th inning. It was 1968. The Braves were in town and, despite it being an early May school night and my dad having to work the next day, we traveled down the Pasadena Freeway to Academy Road and into Chavez Ravine in time for batting practice. Had to see Hank Aaron after all. Then we found our seats. I don't remember a lot of particulars of the game (I was 11 at the time), but I do remember we had good seats thanks to my dad's friend, the butcher (it's a long story). And I ate a lot, including a Dodger dog or two and my favorite, a frozen chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Anyhow, the Dodgers scored an early run, the Braves tied it off Claude Osteen (above) in the top of the ninth and the game continued. Inning after inning wore on and I got more and more tired. I know I wanted to go home. Dad was having none of it. We were staying until the final out. Finally, in the bottom of the 17th, the Dodgers pushed across a run and I exploded – or as close to exploded as a kid can get at nearly midnight. As we filed out with the handful or so of fans left from the 13,667 in attendance (I looked it up), I remember being thankful. Thankful my dad took me to the game. Thankful we stayed until the end. Thankful the Dodgers won. And thankful the lot was empty so we didn't have to make our usual sprint to our car to beat the crowd out of the mess that is Dodger Stadium parking.

• Just one more thing. This morning I wrote a long, scathing response to Washington State coach Mike Leach's comments the past couple days calling journalists who write about injuries "lazy." Yes, I was offended. But I'm not going to print it here. It's deleted. Sometimes people say things without thinking. Sometimes they are said out of ignorance. Sometimes just to get a rise out of others. But I'm not going to get into a pissing match. He's wrong. Simple as that.


• Washington State: Christian Caple has his usual Wednesday ahead of him, with a live chat shceduled for 1 this afternoon right here at SportsLink. But before he gets there, let's recap his work from yesterday. He has his Pac-12 notebook, with the main subject the discussion about injury reports (Bud Withers covers the same ground in this Times column), a blog post on practice yesterday and one on Mike Leach's comments during the Pac-12 call. He also has his morning post today.

• EWU: Weber State has yet to win a game under interim coach Jody Sears, but that doesn't mean the Eagles will be looking past their Big Sky Conference opener this Saturday. Far from it, according to Jim Allen's story in today's S-R. Jim also has a story on the Eagles basketball trip to Canada and a blog post with Big Sky links this morning.

• Idaho: Wrote this on the white board in my office: "Don't invite Jeff Choate and Robb Akey to the same party." Choate, the former Post Falls High head coach and now a WSU assistant, basically said recently what a lot of us believe, it's not fair for Idaho to ask its football players to gets their butts kicked to support a program that belongs at the FCS level. Josh Wright asked Akey about those comments and received an angry answer. Josh also has some practice notes. ... Utah State is suffering some injury woes up front.

• Preps: The Mead volleyball program (left) has a history of success. The Panthers hope to continue that tradition this season, as Jess Brown's volleyball preview story explains. Jess also has a short preview of the volleyball in the area. ... We also have a roundup and the news a local player is headed to West Point to continue her basketball career.

• Seahawks: Russell Wilson may not be really tall, but don't sell him short. That's the thrust of Danny O'Neill's story and blog post in the Times today. ... The Hawks made some personnel changes.

• Mariners: Though Erasmo Ramirez was solid for eight innings, the M's offense was putrid with runners in scoring position all night and Baltimore tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth and won it 4-2 in 18 inningsTwo games for the price of one. ... Hector Noesi will join the bullpen for the rest of the year. Hope he doesn't bring it down to his level. ... The length of the game took its toll on Baltimore, which is in a pennant race.

• Sounders: A trip to Honduras has a possible silver lining for Seattle. If the Sounders win, they can move on to the quarterfinals in CONCACAF Champions League play. By now, the road doesn't hold much in the way of surprises for the Sounders.


• Another beautiful day on tap, with the sun shining and the air the same consistency of the soup I grew up in (damn fires). We'll be back tomorrow. Until then ...

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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