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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: Another summer quickly running out with the Mariners running on empty

Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, left, and a member of the M's staff help starting pitcher Felix Hernandez off the field in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Hernandez, who suffered an injury to the right arm on a line drive back to the mound off the bat of the Rangers' Michael Young, left the game following the play. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, left, and a member of the M's staff help starting pitcher Felix Hernandez off the field in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Hernandez, who suffered an injury to the right arm on a line drive back to the mound off the bat of the Rangers' Michael Young, left the game following the play. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Are you the type of person who puts together a list of everything you want to do each summer? Me neither, but some are. And the summer part of summer, the part without school, is winding down quickly. Better get the list done.

•••••••

• Not sure this qualifies, but I usually have a couple things on my to-do list each summer. Take a long hike. Did that. Wear shorts every day. Still in the middle of that. Get across the state to see a Mariners’ game in person. Uh, not going to happen. Not this summer.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy sitting in the stands at a major league baseball game, eating peanuts, drinking a diet beverage and hoping for a foul ball. That’s all well and good and will never change.

It’s just that it’s hard for me to give money – and going to a major league game is not inexpensive anywhere – to an organization that is so indecisive. At least it looks that way from this view.

It’s not as if the Mariners organization is cheap, though that was the case for a long time in its history. The money is now available. There just doesn’t seem any cohesion in how they spend it.

Over the past two decades, the M’s have tried rebuilding through the draft, through free agency, through trades and now, through the draft again. None have worked, at least well enough to get them in the playoffs let alone challenge for a title.

Trust the process? There have been too many processes to figure out which one to trust.

When general manager Jerry Dipoto preached patience before the season began, when he decided the franchise needed to take a “step back,” the M’s lost me. At least as a paying customer.

Sure, there is something wrong with major league baseball when a franchise, any franchise, believes it has to lose big to win – and there are eight or so doing that this season. And, yes, the M’s aren’t the worst team. But they just don’t compete, don’t seem to care if they win. Not the players, per se, but the organization.

And that I can’t abide. At least financially.

The sad part is it’s made the summer a little less enjoyable. And that is hard to forgive.

Thank goodness football season is just down the block.

•••

WSU: Preseason camp is about half over, so Theo Lawson took a break and watched a Giants game in San Francisco. No, that’s not what I wanted to share. He took some time to analyze what the Cougars need to accomplish before the opener against New Mexico State. … Theo also took some time yesterday to talk with Larry Weir for the latest Press Box pod. … Former WSU star quarterback Drew Bledsoe is doing well, thank you. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, everyone in the conference would get a bump if Oregon can overcome Auburn in the opener. … It’s almost time for the AP Top 25 to come out. … Washington has been really good up front defensively for a long time. That will continue. … Oregon State is trying to figure out its depth chart. … Cranky. Oregon has a punter from Down Under. … Colorado was a little sluggish at practice yesterday. … Every team needs leaders. UCLA is developing its group. … USC is getting better at safety. … Arizona State has named its starting quarterback. It’s true freshman Jayden Daniels.

Gonzaga: Jeremy Jones has found a place to play professionally. Jim Meehan has the story. What does it say about the state of GU’s program that even the reserves are good enough to play overseas when they are done? It says the program has reached another level – again.

EWU: Around the Big Sky, Montana State named its starting quarterback yesterday. … Idaho State is still trying to figure out who will start at that position. … UC Davis’ defense is probably going to be better than people think. … Montana’s game times and broadcast schedule is set.

Whitworth: The facilities race in college athletics seemed to have passed the Pirates by for years and years but that’s over now. Whitworth is building a new home for its athletics department, one that’s been needed for about 25 years. Dan Thompson has the story.

Indians: Spokane scored five times in the top of the first and needed all of them as the Indians held on for a 6-5 victory in Boise. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League, Eugene lost and Everett won.

Youth sports: Spokane’s entry in the 13U Babe Ruth World Series came up short in pool play and won’t be moving on.

Seahawks: At least Day 13 of camp wasn’t unlucky in that no one was injured. … Is there a reason for that? … Gary Jennings seems to be getting his feet under him. Finally. … Lano Hill still believes. … J.T. Barrett is ready.

Mariners: Braden Bishop can’t wait to get back on the field. … Next year’s schedule is out. Hopefully, it will be a step forward.

•••       

• Is it frontrunning if the regional baseball team hasn’t really run in front for about 20 years? Isn’t nearly two decades enough time to show support? Just wondering. Maybe I’ll go ask a couple of Cub fans I know. Until later …

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