A GRIP ON SPORTS • Remember the old series of commercials that told you how good this one investment company had been over the years? They always ended with the warning that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Let’s hope that’s true in the Mariners’ case. Read on.
• You ready to panic yet? Or are you so beaten down there is no panic left? Past performances by the Northwest’s major league baseball franchise, whether it be the past decade or just the past week, don’t bode well for the future. Case in point, the M’s have played seven games this season. They are 2-5. The offense, outside of one game and one inning in Texas, has been singularly unimpressive. The starting pitching has been fine, outside of fifth-starter Nathan Karns’ few innings. The bullpen? Up and down. All of which point to the past. Despite the new sheriff and deputy in town, we seem to be seeing the same old plot. Is this an emotional reaction? Oh sure. It’s about a month too early to make any true judgments. Robinson Cano started the season with back-to-back explosive games at the plate. Home runs, line drives, shades of his New York days. Today he is hitting .207. If you made the judgment this was his year last week at this time, you would look pretty foolish right now. (Hey, don’t look at me. I don’t think I did that. ... Well, maybe.) The one Mariner regular hitting the crud out of the ball? Leonys Martin. Who had him in their “lead-Seattle-in-hitting” pool? And who thinks it will last? Both groups are probably pretty small, if non-existent. It’s that whole past performance thing. The thing that worries me about the offense right now is this quote from new manager Scott Servais, the Barney Fife to Jerry Dipoto’s Andy Taylor. “It will turn,” he was quoted as saying in Larry Stone’s column this morning. “I’m pretty confident it will turn.” Did he just say “pretty confident?” It’s the adjective – or is it an adverb, I never know about those things – “pretty” that gets me. Now, in fairness, Servais was talking about the M’s tough start at home. They are 0-4 already after being 36-45 at Safeco last season. But anytime the guy in charge isn’t 100 percent positive the poor performances are going to end, I worry. Hell, you might believe the ship is going to sink but you better have a confident look on your face as you are directing everyone to the lifeboats. If you don’t, panic ensues. And if the Mariners don’t get this season turned around quickly, a lot of folks are going to jump ship. Those that climbed back aboard anyway. After the M’s past performances, only a few of us had any hope future results would be worth investing in.
• WSU: Spring football is a good time to catch up with some of the more unheralded members of a football team. Guys who are just emerging into the spotlight. Jacob Thorpe does just that today with this feature on the apt-named offensive lineman Cedric Bigge-Duren. ... Stefanie Loh does the same thing in the Times with this piece on receiver Kaleb Fossum. ... The basketball team is in the market for another player after the news yesterday Que Johnson won’t be back. Jacob has a blog post on Johnson. ... David Yost did zero interviews in his time as an assistant football coach in Pullman. He can’t seem to stop talking in Eugene. ... An Oregon State player announced he was transferring. Now he’s changed his mind. And is changing positions. ... Even powerhouse Oregon liked satellite camps.
• EWU: Out in Cheney, spring practices roll on. Jim Allen takes a look at the running back position today, a group that is waiting on reinforcements in the fall.
• Preps: Soccer rivalries take center stage this week. Jim Allen has a preview of what’s on tap.
• Mariners: Mike Montgomery had been doing really well out of the bullpen, up until last night. The four runs he yielded in two innings of work turned out to be the difference in Texas’ 7-3 win. ... The bullpen is a bit thin right now, what with the setup guy out with shoulder stiffness.
• That was simple enough. Which doesn’t bode well for my other job today. I’ll be on the radio for three hours with Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens, this afternoon starting at 3 on 700 ESPN. You can listen here if you like. But don’t worry. I can talk for three hours in my sleep – and often do. Until later ...