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Friday, April 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: The line between winning and losing is sometimes defined by a glove

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Christian Bergman throws during the first inning in M’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on June 8, 2017, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Christian Bergman throws during the first inning in M’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on June 8, 2017, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Really, is there anything better than a Friday in June? The weekend beckons. The sun will make an appearance. And there are sports to follow. Read on.


• Is it just me or does Father’s Day seem a bit later this year? Who do I talk with about that? I need a new thing-a-ma-jig for my barbecue and have been warned not to buy it because, you know, it’s going to be a gift.

I don’t know how to stop myself unless it’s to fill my mind with other thoughts and hope the burning desire goes away. The same thing we all used to do in our teen years.

So I watched the end of the M’s game last night to clear my mind. And wondered what the exit velocity was of Mike Zunino’s line-drive double play to end the eighth inning.

You know the home run he hit Wednesday to win the game? It couldn’t have been hit harder than the shot he stroked up the middle last night with runners on first and second and the M’s trailing by one.

Except the glove of pitcher Taylor Rogers got in the way. And the shot morphed from game-winner to rally-ender in less than a second.

It was the M’s best chance to keep their five-game winning streak alive. Instead, they lost 2-1 and dropped back below .500. It’s June 9 and they have yet to play a game above the break-even mark.

See, thoughts like that will take your mind far, far away from the grill, won’t they?

• An old friend came to town last night.

Former Spokesman-Review sports writer Dave Boling read from his new book, “The Lost History of Stars,” at Auntie’s Bookstore. He held court in front of many of his former S-R colleagues, making us all jealous of his writing abilities.

But that’s been the case for a while.

By the way, if you are looking for some summer reading, you can do worse than Boling’s newest book or his first one, “Guernica.” Or you can spend the entire summer reading novels from S-R alums like Jess Walter or current staffers like Shawn Vestal or even offspring of the staff like Sarah Hulse.

Heck, there is enough writing talent around here, much of it with connections to the Spokesman, to keep you busy until next Father’s Day. Then you can buy your own barbecue accessories and ask for a book instead.


WSU: The Seattle Times is taking a look at the athletic budgets at Washington State and Washington. There is a bit of a contrast.  … After that, the biggest news around the Pac-12 is either the basketball scheduling – Washington and Arizona are dripping out their non-conference slates – or Oregon State’s baseball Super Regional matchup with Vanderbilt. … If you want football news, there is some on Arizona State. … California is trying to earn every penny it can for its athletic department. … Yes, it is time. … I’m passing along this story only because Wally Kincaid was a legend when I was playing college baseball.

EWU: Jake Wiley is doing everything he can to make at least one NBA want to use a draft pick on him. Jim Allen has the story. … Jim has another story on the shakeup in Cheney with the football coaching staff. … A former Eagle women's basketball player is headed overseas.

Hoopfest: It looks as if 3-on-3 basketball is going to be an Olympic sport soon. Does that affect Hoopfest? John Blanchette answers that question in this column.

Empire: Spokane doesn't know who its quarterback will be this Friday when it faces Iowa on the road. Jim Meehan has more in this story.

Indians: The season is just around the corner and Whitney Ogden explains how the Indians are ready to meet the public this weekend.

Mariners: Dave Nichols has the Mariners Log this morning. And we have added the links.

Seahawks: So who will be the next Hawk Pro Bowl player? … The OTAs are almost over.

Sounders: The U.S. Men’s National Team got the win it needed last night in Colorado, defeating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 behind two goals from Christian Pulisic. Next up is Mexico this weekend in another key match.


• Actually, nothing is better than listening to a podcast from a national sports figure emanating from our nation’s capitol, and hear them talk about a story from here that’s appeared on their radar. It makes you puff up your chest with local pride. Then you hear them pronounce Spokane. Incorrectly. And your chest deflates. Until later … If you were wondering, they were talking about the ad for a Father’s Day barbecue dad.

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