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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Late night games just aren’t as late on the best coast

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There are lots of reasons to be grateful you live in the Pacific Northwest, so many in fact, they are hard to enumerate. But that doesn’t stop us from adding another: big national sporting events. Read on.

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• Did you see the end of the World Series game last night? If you did, more than likely you leave on the West Coast. The game ended at 10:18 Pacific Daylight Time, give or take a minute or two. All I know is that’s when I turned off the TV and headed upstairs. And once again thanked my lucky stars I live here. How many Mets’ fans in the Greater New York area today are walking around like the cast of “The Walking Dead?” More than usual, I mean. And not just because their team lost 5-4 in 14 innings. If you live on the East Coast, you had to remain awake until 1:18 in the morning – is my math right? – to see Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly sail deep enough to score Alcides Escobar with the winning run in the longest World Series game ever. We’re concerned with time here today and the more than five hours it took to decide a winner spanned dinner, desert and a nap here west of the Rockies. For those of you who were in, say, Louisville, it probably destroyed any chance of watching Jimmy Kimmel or whatever you peruse when you can’t fall asleep. But we are lucky here. Even with a marathon game going pitch after pitch after old-man pitch – the two guys on the bump to finish it were 36-year-old former Mariner Chris Young and 42-year-old Bartolo Colon – we were able to get to bed before the late-night news, something that is almost a requirement of being over 55. So next time you complain about a late-night start – for me that will be Saturday – just think how much worse it could be. You could live in New Jersey.

• I mentioned Louisville above for a reason. That’s where I was the last time there was a first game of a World Series with this much drama. Back in 1988, I was attending a newspaper convention in Louisville when the World Series began. Being just a handful of years removed from Los Angeles, I blew off most of the final banquet to watch the last few innings of the Dodgers and the A’s. I remember it like it was yesterday, though, mainly because I may still carry scars from the outcome. I was standing on my bed at the Galt House watching the little TV as Gibson strode to the plate. As he fouled off pitch after pitch. And after he connected off Dennis Eckersley and gave the Dodgers the improbable 5-4 win. But I don’t think I heard the famous “I don’t believe what I just saw,” line from Jack Buck. As Gibson’s home run sailed into the Dodger Stadium night, I screamed and jumped up on the bed. Right into the fan that was spinning from the ceiling. Stupid, right? It knocked me for a loop. But I didn’t care. The Dodgers had won. My head had lost.

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• WSU: Before we get into this week’s Cougar football news, we will travel to the past, courtesy of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame. Former WSU football coach Mike Price led the 2015 class (pictured) that also included our friend John Blanchette. Tom Clouse has the story of the induction festivities. ... Jacob Thorpe has his Pac-12 notebook this morning as well as a blog post on the Cougars’ in-season weight-room work and how it helps keep them sharp. He also has a post-practice video of Mike Leach, his Pac-12 power rankings and a morning post with links. ... Leach spoke with ESPN.com’s Pac-12 blog while this week’s opponent, Stanford, is compared to last year’s Ohio State in this mailbag. ... Speaking of a blast from the past, former EWU and WSU offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy has assumed the same role for Iowa State. ... One thing Stanford and WSU have in common: early season struggles. ... The Cardinal pass defense is about to receive a stern test. ... The Pac-12 doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt, according to Mark Helfrich. Maybe it has to do with the time zone. ... Which Pac-12 fan base is the most frustrated right now? ... Finally, I am passing along this link for my friend Kent. No one else can read it.

• Gonzaga: USA Today has a piece today on the Zags and their quest for a national title.

• EWU: The Eagles have a knack of finding a way to win close football games. Jim Allen tries to explain just how in this notebook. ... Big Sky women’s basketball added a Hall of Famer to its resume, with the news yesterday Spokane’s John Stockton has signed on as an assistant coach at Montana State. Jim has the story of the surprising change in Stockton’s post-pro basketball career. ... Jim also has a blog post today with Big Sky links.

• Idaho: The Vandals’ volleyball fortunes were fortunate Meredith Coba was able to bounce back quickly. Jim Meehan has more in his weekly volleyball notebook. ... The Vandal women finished up a golf tournament yesterday.

• Whitworth: The Pirates’ Karl Muelheims earned another award this week.

• Chiefs: Though we don’t have anything from Spokane today, we can pass along a notebook and a feature out of Everett to satisfy your WHL longing.

• Preps: University won another GSL slowpitch title with a 13-3 rout of Mead. Chuck Stewart has the story. ... We also can pass along a roundup of Tuesday’s other prep action.

• Seahawks: With the beat-up Cowboys up next, memories of the 2007 playoff game (pictured) still linger. ... K.J. Wright is quietly having his best season. ... Michael Bennett doesn’t do anything quietly. ... The Hawks made a couple of roster moves yesterday. ... Paul Richardson has another burden to bear: save the 2014 draft class.

• Mariners: So what’s going on in the fall league for the M’s?

• Sounders: The L.A. Galaxy may be road-weary, but the franchise seems to have Seattle’s number. And the Sounders may be without midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, a key component. ... The Timbers are riding a wave of confidence as the playoffs open.

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• Yes, you may have to race home from work to catch the start of a World Series game – something East Coast folks don’t have to do – but it’s leaving your job early is a small sacrifice to make for such exciting baseball. Until later ...



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

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