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Sunday, July 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: We try to fill the dish every day, though some days are harder than others

Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz singles in a pair of runs against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning of the home opener 6-0 win on Monday, April 10, 2017, in Seattle. . (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz singles in a pair of runs against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning of the home opener 6-0 win on Monday, April 10, 2017, in Seattle. . (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Sometimes it feels as if my only job in this world is to feed the dogs. There they are in the morning, loitering by their bowls, tongues out, waiting for the fat guy to rummage through the magic box and fill their needs. Read on.


• OK, so after the Washington State football season and the Gonzaga basketball season, there was supposed to be a little time before the Mariners went into their mid-season tailspin. At least that’s been the rhythm the past few years.

But no.

The Bulldogs just kept playing. And playing. Until almost no one else was.

And the Mariners? Well, they decided to get their frustration in early, sharing it with a fanbase that is usually so patient. (That noise you hear is me laughing at my own sarcasm. Sorry.)

So we’re into the second week of April not just worried about our tax liability but also our sanity.

A break is in order.

Instead, Major League Baseball, in all its infinite silliness, has decided the M’s will open the season with 10 consecutive games. No days off, no chance of a rain out, nothing but game after game after game.

The best the Mariners can be after the stretch, which runs through Wednesday, is 4-6. And to get to that point, they’ll have to sweep the Astros at home.

They got the first one yesterday, riding the left-arm of emerging ace James Paxton to a 6-0 win that included a wave of boos for the impotent offense.

Hey, maybe the fanbase is tired too.

Whatever, the alarming crescendo – which was more than audible over the radio – seemed to have woken up the offense. Well, at least the middle of the order. And the big boppers – Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager – keyed the win.

It also led to a boatload of stories. But before I could get through the search this morning, the dogs were insistent I get out of my chair, walk down the stairs and take care of them.

After all, that’s what I’m here for, at least in their eyes. So I did. And then it was back to the morning grind and the endless search for more on the M’s.

You know, now that I look at it, it’s possible you may have thought my first paragraph this morning was a metaphor for my morning column. Never. There’s no way I would equate you folks to the two pups who sleep on my couch all day, only rising up to bark at a kid on a bike or the UPS lady.

Though, doing that would probably help my resume when I apply for that United Airlines' PR job.


WSU: Basketball coach Ernie Kent filled one of his open assistant spots, announcing yesterday he’s hired former Garfield High basketball coach Ed Haskins. Jacob Thorpe has the story on the long-rumored move. … A Cougar volleyball player will be representing the U.S. this summer. … Around the Pac-12, Washington is rewarding football coach Chris Petersen with a lucrative contract extension. … The Huskies’ spring practices rolled on yesterday. … Rebuilding Oregon’s porous defense won’t be easy. At least the offense has Royce Freeman to lean on. … UCLA also has a running back helping out its running game. To bad he doesn’t have eligibility left. … Arizona State is another school with a new defensive coordinator trying to change the culture. … Utah will scrimmage today, with all eyes on the quarterbacks. … In basketball, Oregon has lost Tyler Dorsey to the NBA draft. … UCLA may lose two more guys, though they are not hiring agents. … After the dust settles, this blog post might be a bit less relevant.

Gonzaga: The M’s opening day ceremonies included a tribute to Gonzaga. Dave Nichols has the story. … The Zags’ near-future is the subject of this ESPN blog post. One thing to remember with the Bulldogs. Every year one or two players who no one expected emerges to be a key element of their success. It will happen next year as well.

EWU: Portland State hired a basketball coach, one with Big Sky ties – as well as just about every other western conference.

Chiefs: Josh Horton finishes up his series with a look at the drafts coming up and what Spokane may be looking for. 

Mariners: Dave is back with his Mariners Log, so we have attached the links there. However, John Blanchette was at the home opener – that’s what it was no matter what Scott Servais says – so we will link his column here and there.

Seahawks: The preseason schedule is out and the Hawks will be playing, wait for it, the Raiders again. What a shock. … Are you surprised the Marshawn Lynch comeback story is a bit odd? 


• Yes, I went for the cheap joke today. You expect anything else? I’m nothing if not consistent. Until later …

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