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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: The M’s could use a little heavenly help

Seattle Mariners’ Jean Segura, bottom, is examined by trainer Rob Nodine after suffering an injury sliding into second base in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies on June 1, 2017 in Seattle. Segura was out on the play and left the game. The M’s lost 6-3. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners’ Jean Segura, bottom, is examined by trainer Rob Nodine after suffering an injury sliding into second base in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies on June 1, 2017 in Seattle. Segura was out on the play and left the game. The M’s lost 6-3. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There is a scene in “Major League” in which there is a sacrifice to Jobu, one of the player’s baseball gods. They offer the little deity a bucket of fried chicken. In return, all they want is a little help. Will someone please call Ezell’s for Scott Servais and see if they deliver? Read on.


• Someone on the Mariners must have really ticked off baseball’s injury god.

Maybe Jerry Dipoto refused to pledge 10 percent of his trades’ cash considerations to Johnson & Johnson. Or maybe the M’s are just unlucky.

Whatever the reason, it has to be fixed. Quickly. As in now.

Heck, if I were trainer Rob Nodine, I would be looking over my shoulder these days. You never know when he’ll be blamed for the ridiculous rash of injuries.

Look, everyone in baseball has injuries. The 162-game regular-season schedule takes its toll.

But the M’s have had their season share in the first 60 days.

After an April and May in which they lost four-fifths of their starting rotation and key position players for long periods, one would have thought – hoped? – June would be better.

To paraphrase Al Swearengen: the Mariners plan, the gods laugh.

Yesterday, the first day of the new month, the M’s saw two of their better players, their two best right-handed hitters, leave the 6-3 loss to Colorado with possible injuries.

Jean Segura, who leads the American League in hitting, slid hard into second base and had to be helped off the field, not putting any weight on his right leg. It’s an ankle injury, the severity of which is unknown at this time.

Nelson Cruz, who leads the American League in runs batted in, was hit in the left hand with an 89-miles-per-hour fastball. He left the game as well and was being examined for damage to the pinkie area.

Knowing the M’s luck, or lack of same this season, both will be out a while.

And a tough season will just get tougher.

• The lone M’s projected starter that’s been in the rotation all season? Yovani Gallardo.

Why didn’t he get bit by the injury bug? OK, that’s mean. But, after being beat-up – figuratively – yesterday, the veteran right-hander is 2-6 with a 6.24 earned run average. His walks plus hits divided by inning pitched is a career-worst 1.665.

He lasted all of three innings Thursday, gave up five earned runs, walked a couple and was taken yard twice.

When Felix Hernandez gets healthy, Gallardo may just be the guy dropped from the rotation. Or maybe Servais will wait until Hisashi Iwakuma returns as well. But sooner or later, unless Gallardo discovers something special, he’s going to be either in the bullpen or looking for work.

• We are still looking for fishing stories about you and your dad. I would love to share them with the readers of this column. Just as I shared mine earlier.

You put your memories down on your computer and send them to my email address – I’ll take care of the rest. Please include your name and a phone number so we can verify them. That’s it.


WSU: It’s been a while since Cougar great Duke Washington passed, but his friends are going to get together on the West Side to celebrate his life. The Times Stefanie Loh has the story. … Around the Pac-12 yesterday, the softball world series began with Washington handling Oregon 3-1 and UCLA losing a controversial 2-1 game to LSU. The Ducks and Bruins will have to battle through the losers’ bracket. … The NCAA baseball tournament began, with Stanford defeating Sacramento State. … Oregon State is the national favorite, but that only puts a big target on the Beavers’ back. … UCLA will rely on pitching. The question is for Arizona, do the Wildcats have enough? … California has problems. The solutions aren’t easy to find. … Arizona State has purged its football staff recently. … Washington’s basketball program will have at least one tough non-conference road game next season.

Gonzaga: The Zags will once again play a big role in kicking off Hoopfest. But this year, instead of an alumni game, there will be a battle with Washington alums. Jim Meehan has the story. … It looks as if Few Good Men is back in The Basketball Tournament. … Rings anyone? … BYU’s NCAA adventure didn’t start well. The Cougars fell 13-2 to Cal State Fullerton.

Shadow: Spokane’s local soccer franchise is embarking on a new adventure this season, with a new league and a new coach. Jim Allen has all the particulars.

Preps: The Jack Blair Memorial girls basketball game went the Region’s way last night at Post Falls High. Greg Lee has the coverage.

Mariners: Dave Nichols’ Mariner Log was on the website early yesterday. We add the links to the game coverage.

Seahawks: Cortez Kennedy will be honored this season. … If you don’t think OTAs are important, Earl Thomas would like to have a word. … There are a lot of players to keep an eye on this offseason. … Warren Moon is on the Super Bowl hangover train.

Sounders: This Clint Dempsey guy is pretty good. So could be the Sounders.


• Friday. The sun is shining. National doughnut day. The Warriors won last night. It’s supposed to be warmer. Seems all is right with the world, if Klay Thompson can start making shots. Until later … 

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