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


It’s time to change the plot because we know how this movie ends

Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, is greeted at home by Mike Trout after Pujols’ three-run home run in the ninth inning. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, is greeted at home by Mike Trout after Pujols’ three-run home run in the ninth inning. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There is a line in “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray laments he couldn’t re-live over and over a day he spent in the Virgin Islands. We understand. Read on.


• Not to get too defeatist here, but Saturday night was a lot like Friday night, Mariner-wise. Oh, there were tiny differences. The M’s last night rallied from being way down – anyone else worried as much about Hisashi Iwakuma and his lack of precision as I am? – to take a lead in the bottom of the eighth. But they turned the hard-earned one-run edge over to Steve Cishek again. And lost to the Angels again. If you want to dwell on the positives, the idea of being down 6-2 going into the bottom of the eighth only to score five times and a take a 7-6 lead into the ninth has to lead the list. Safeco was loud. Seahawk-game loud. The M’s took the field in the top of the ninth to a standing ovation. It had all the earmarks of one of those games that propels a team to a winning streak. Instead Cishek couldn’t hold a lead for the third time in five games. And the M’s lost. Again. It’s enough to send you to church this morning with your mom’s rosary, ready to keep praying until Jerry Dipoto makes a trade for a closer. Remind you of anything? Yep, the new boss may have the same problem as the old boss. Finding someone who is efficient in corralling the final three outs each night. Two years ago Fernando Rodney was near-perfect – and the M’s were in contention. Last year Rodney was a-lot-less-than-perfect – and the M’s struggled. Earlier this year Cishek was good – and the M’s were too. Recently, not so much. Let’s hope they get this figured out. Or they will be spending another October on a tropical beach eating lobster, drinking pina coladas and, once again, not playing in the postseason. That’s a movie we’ve all seen too often.


• WSU: Funny. During all the furor over Valentine Izundu and whether San Diego State recruited him while he was still a Cougar, some folks kept arguing the point the Aztecs wouldn’t do anything untoward for a guy who hardly played. Well, Izundu must have held some fascination for them. He announced yesterday he is transferring to the mesa. Jacob Thorpe has this blog post on his decision. It's obvious Izundu wouldn’t be headed to SDSU unless the Aztecs wanted him, right? ... The baseball team may be in last-place in the Pac-12, but the Cougars assured rival Washington won’t be alone in first place when the weekend ends.

• Gonzaga: The Zags are a women’s rowing power. At least in the WCC.

• EWU: Remember the Gateway Project? The multi-million dollar expansion of Roos Field that has been percolating around Eastern for half-a-decade? Well, it seems to be dead. Or at least on the back-burner. Jim Allen has a story today on a possibility of a new field the Eagles are exploring. Literally.

• Whitworth: The Pirates’ bats went silent in the NCAA playoffs and, as a result, their softball season is over.

• Empire: In a showdown of the IFL’s two best teams, the home team won, 63-50. As a result, the visiting Empire fell behind Sioux Falls in the race for the league’s best record.

• Preps: Two down-to-the wire games highlighted Saturday’s prep action, with Central Valley High involved in both. The Bears’ soccer team scored in overtime and defeated Ferris 1-0 to move on to State. Jim Allen has that story. And Gonzaga Prep’s baseball team scored in the 13th to win 5-4 and also move on to State. Tom Clouse has that game coverage. ... We can also pass along a roundup of other prep action.

• Mariners: Both of these pieces, one ranking the MLB teams and the other examining the M’s roster, were written a day too early. The M’s aren’t that good and there is a hole that needs to be filled. ... The American League has an overabundance of really good second basemen. ... Love or hate the shift, it is here to stay.

• Sounders: Sooner or later this season Seattle will win on the road. It didn’t happen Saturday night, though, as the Sounders lost 2-0 at Dallas. ... Portland will be shorthanded in its match today.


• Steve Cishek or Ned Ryerson? Discuss. Until later ...

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

Follow Vince online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.