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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: You can count on two things on the first Saturday in May – the M’s floundering and the Kentucky Derby

Few fans remain in the stands as a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers stretches into the 13th inning, Friday, May 5, 2017, in Seattle. The Rangers won 3-1 in 13 innings. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Few fans remain in the stands as a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers stretches into the 13th inning, Friday, May 5, 2017, in Seattle. The Rangers won 3-1 in 13 innings. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Call it Black Friday if you will, but yesterday wasn’t all that bad for the Mariners. It was worse. Read on.


• We don’t want to get too deep into the M’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, as it will probably be the centerpiece of my Monday column, but let’s just say the 3-1, 5-hour loss to the Rangers was only a minor aspect of the awful part.

There were injuries to pitchers, both before and during the game.

There was a once-prized prospect being demoted for the second consecutive year.

There was an inability to execute a simple bunt late.

And there was extra innings galore, ending in defeat.

Talk about a bummer.

Ah well, in baseball there is always tomorrow. Until there isn’t.

• Tomorrow is today, actually, and today is the Kentucky Derby.  Its the Wimbledon of horse racing. Or the Rose Bowl. The great-granddaddy of them all.

My favorite Kentucky Derby memory is an odd one.

It dates back to 1975, my freshman year in college. I was a benchwarmer on a pretty poor college baseball team.

It was a hot May day in Southern California. We were getting beat – again – and our coach wasn’t happy about it.

Someone in the stands had brought a radio to the game. It was tuned to the Derby.

Now I’m not saying a bunch of 18-to-22 year olds had money on the race, but maybe. Heck, we had a guy on the team nicknamed “Boogie” who looked to be in his mid-30s. Rumor had it he spent time in a Mexican jail in a previous life.

Anyhow, some of us with a vested interest in the race migrated to the end of the dugout to listen to the call. While the game was going on.

When Foolish Pleasure won, someone – we won’t rat them out – celebrated a bit. While the game was going on. That didn’t sit too well with our head coach, Tom Spence.

I’m guessing after the loss our total mileage running added up to at least 1 1/4 miles. And it wasn’t nearly as fast a Foolish Pleasure covered it.


WSU: The Cougars’ baseball game with Oregon was rained out due to the thunderstorms that raced through the area last night. They’ll play two today. … Klay Thompson doesn’t talk a lot, but sometimes he has a nugget to share…. Around the Pac-12, Arizona’s Chance Comanche, a little-used reserve, is hiring an agent and staying in the NBA draft.

Empire: Spokane is in Sioux Falls trying to do something that it rarely done in the IFL: defeat the Storm. … Arizona picked up a victory over Cedar Rapids last night in Iowa.

Preps: Despite the showers in the area yesterday, prep baseball did get played, with Mt. Spokane losing its first game of the season. … There was also baseball played Thursday, though we missed the roundup. … The 4A soccer playoffs began yesterday as well.

Mariners: When the M’s get a game like Yovani Gallardo threw last night, they need to win. Dave Nichols explains why they didn’t in his Mariners Log this morning. The links to all the coverage is there as well.

Seahawks: The preseason schedule is set, with times now available. … What does the Hawks’ defensive depth chart look like right now?

Sounders: Seattle will host Toronto today in a rematch of the MLS title match. How did the Sounders win that one? … Real Salt Lake hosts FC Dallas tonight.


• Do you remember Slick Watts for anything other than his nickname – and his shaved head? You should. Until later …

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