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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: Before you get your hands dirty in the yard this Sunday, check out this handful of items

Oakland Athletics' Ryon Healy watches an RBI double against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
Oakland Athletics' Ryon Healy watches an RBI double against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s Sunday in the middle of July, so we’ll be quick about it today and get you outside where you can enjoy the heat. Or not. Read on.


• Some quick hitters for your Sunday perusal …

• The best the Mariners can be at the All-Star break is 43-47. The worst, 42-48. To get to 88 wins – the imaginary line needed to make the postseason – they will need 45 or 46 wins afterward.

That’s in 72 games.

Do the math. To finish with a good shot at the playoffs, the M’s will have to be, at a minimum, 45-27 after the break. Anyone out there believe they can finish the season on that type of roll?

Let’s see. They will be, at best, four games under .500 after 90 games. They will need to play 18 games over in the final 72 to really have some confidence of playing in October.

Tough to see that happening.

• Who knew? Stop Killian Tillie and stop France. Germany did, holding the Gonzaga sophomore big to eight points in FIBA U19 World Cup game in Cairo.

The French lost 86-60.

By the way, the team France lost to narrowly in the quarterfinals, Canada, defeated the United States 99-87 to advance to the finals. It's a big deal north of the border – and it should be.

• It was too hot yesterday afternoon to really be active outdoors – at least it was for me – so Kim and I decided to hit an early movie. But before that, we stopped for a really early dinner.

And on one of the dozens of TVs in the place we got our wings was the NBA summer league game between the Trail Blazers’ group and the Jazz group.

But more importantly for around here, Zach Collins’ team vs. Nigel Williams-Goss’ team.

Collins’ team won, 72-63.

Neither was exceptional, though Collins had his moments and Williams-Goss was his typically solid self.

• Competition has always been a part of our home life. Even though our boys are grown, that continues.

On Sunday evening when everyone is in town and not working, we host a family dinner. Usually I burn something on the barbecue. And then everyone, except me, settles in for an old-fashioned – but new – board game.

My excuse for not playing: I have to write a Mariners column for the local newspaper. The real reason: It’s not fun, at least not for me.

I’m competitive, so I want to win. Love to win, actually. Or hate to lose. Not sure which is more important. But for that to happen, people I care about have to lose. And that makes me feel bad. So I just flit in and out, writing my all-important thoughts about our disappointing major league franchise, and adding a pithy comment or two.

Hey, it works for us.


Gonzaga: Though Tillie’s team lost, Rui Hachimura’s Japanese team won again. And he filled up the stat sheet one more time. … The Collins/Williams-Goss competition is chronicled in this story.

Whitworth: The Pirates will induct four into their athletic Hall of Fame.

Indians: It’s been a tough season thus far for Spokane. But the Indians debuted a new mascot last night – that’s a big deal, as Rob Curley explained yesterday – and then rallied for a 10-9 victory over Hillsboro in the bottom of the ninth at Avista. Johnathan Curley has the game story, along with a look at the big new mascot, and Whitney Ogden has more on the comeback win. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League, Eugene defeated Tri-City and Salem-Keizer topped Everett again.

Empire: Arizona has been in the Indoor Football League for about five minutes. OK, one season. And the Rattlers know have a championship to go with their Arena Football League titles. They defeated perennial champion Sioux Falls 50-41 in South Dakota last night to take the crown.

Shadow: Spokane won 13-2 in their final game of the NPSL season.

Golf: Corey Prugh shot a 66 Saturday to take a two-shot lead into today’s final round of the Lilac City Invitational at The Fairways. Jim Meehan has the story.

Preps: Greg Lee catches up with Mead quarterback Payton Loucks as the Panther record-setter gets ready to begin his college adventure.

Mariners: If you want to know why the M’s haven’t been winning lately, it’s simple. They’ve stopped hitting. Andrew Moore threw OK again, but the 4-3 loss to last-place Oakland and its 36-year-old first-time starting pitcher was more about the inability to score runs than Edwin Diaz’s hanging slider in the ninth. … We are at the break, and Ryan Divish uses the time to look at the leagues' award winners. We will do the same with the Mariners in tomorrow’s paper. … Felix Hernandez is changing. The way he pitches is changing. Now the King’s Court must change as well.

Seahawks: Bobby Wagner is part of a group of NFL players investing in the future.

Sounders: Clint Dempsey scores and the Sounders draw 1-1 in a friendly with a German team.


• Enjoy your Sunday. I’m not sure I will be able to avoid getting outside today. The yard won’t wait. By the way, we only had four items in the column today. We promised five in the headline. What gives? We were using our Simpson's hands. Until later … 

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