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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: Just a typical April weekend in sports but it was also the last one for almost a year

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, left, and general manager John Schneider talk during an NFL football rookie minicamp workout Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Renton, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, left, and general manager John Schneider talk during an NFL football rookie minicamp workout Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Renton, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Where were we? Oh ya, dealing with the draft. And spring football. And the M’s struggles. Take a day and nothing changes. Read on.


• The Seahawks went into the NFL draft with just seven picks. Being that there are seven rounds and every team is allocated one pick per round, that’s average. But they strive to never be average at anything.

So John Schneider dealt and traded and shimmied his way to 11 picks. Are any of them any good?

Being that it’s extremely rare to be sure about any draft pick, and even more so on players taken from the second round and below, as all Seattle’s picks were, then no one has any idea.

But quantity has its virtues – the shotgun effect if you will – so we’ll figure at least two or three of the 11 will make a mark with the Hawks and say this draft was a success.

At least it was a full one.

• Eastern took the red turf in Cheney on Saturday and finished spring football in these here parts.

It was the first under new coach Aaron Best. It was, as Jim Allen continually reminded us, also the first for a big part of the staff. So the introductions are done. And the fall season can begin with everyone comfortable with their new surroundings.

Wait, what’s the big deal, you might ask. Hasn’t Best been around the Eagles since back when there was grass on the field?

Sure, but he was an assistant then. And being a football assistant and a head coach are two radically different jobs.

Assistant football coaches are always there for their position players. They are the first-line of contact for those in their group, their guide through college, their friend in need, their surrogate dad for four or five years.

The head coach is different. He’s more like Steve Martin in those movies in which the comedian shepherds a dozen kids or so. The love is still there, but attention is a bit more scattered. The relationship, while often still tight, is totally different.

The dynamic changes for the players and the coach.

That’s what Eastern has dealt with over the past few months. With spring over, the Eagles can move to the next step.

• The M’s won three consecutive games last week. Then they were up 3-0 after a half-inning on Saturday. From that point until the end of Sunday’s game, they were outscored 16-4.

Paging Mr. Hyde. This Dr. Jekyl guy has to go.


WSU: We’re not going to try to cover every piece that was in the S-R while we were out of touch, just the ones we feel are crucial. Like Jacob Thorpe’s piece on Fred Mauigoa, his life, his journey to Pullman and his faith. If you haven’t read it already, read it now. … Around the Pac-12, Jon Wilner takes some times to articulate my thoughts perfectly on ESPN’s gutting of its college football coverage (though I’m sure Jon had no idea of my feelings in the matter, or cared one iota). The blog post also has a nice summary of the draft. … Oregon and UCLA finished up their spring practices. … ESPN still has one person on staff and Kyle Bonagura has a post-spring power ranking. WSU is fourth.

Gonzaga: The baseball team rallied to tie Saint Mary’s in the ninth and win in the 10th, 12-11.

EWU: Jim Allen was at the Red and White Game that capped off the spring. He has this story and we can also pass along a photo report.

Idaho: Austin Rehkow, the Vandals kicker and punter, signed a free agent contract with Buffalo, a team in the midst of a front-office shakeup.

Empire: Sunday night football in Spokane. What a novel concept. What is not novel is the Empire rallying for a victory over a crushed Salt Lake team, 31-29. Josh Horton has the story and we also have a photo gallery.

Mariners: What worries me about the M’s slow start is how the math starts to work against them. The longer they wallow around below .500, the shorter time they have to play 20 games or so above .500 to put themselves into playoff contention. That’s the subject of my column this week. … One of these days I’m going to focus a column on Mike Zunino, who is struggling again. … The M’s 12-4 loss yesterday included Cleveland putting up an eight-spot in the third inning. … Expect more changes to the pitching staff. … It was a great April for the Indians. … And the news on Felix’s shoulder, while not great, was better than expected.

Seahawks: The draft is over. Everyone has an opinion about it. And the Hawks have almost a dozen new draftees and bunch of free agents.


• Sorry for not being here yesterday. It will happen again. But not too often. I feel empty inside when I don’t write for you folks. Am I a typing addict? Do I need help? Yes and yes. Until later …

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