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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: The summer is melting away quickly and taking the Mariners’ season with it

Oakland Athletics' Mark Canha, right, is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams (4) after hitting a home run off Seattle Mariners' Tommy Milone in the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot / AP)
Oakland Athletics' Mark Canha, right, is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams (4) after hitting a home run off Seattle Mariners' Tommy Milone in the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot / AP)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Where has the month of July gone? You blink for a moment and it’s more than halfway done. And with it goes our chances to see a major league baseball game.

•••••••

• We are putting our tongue firmly in our cheek here, but the longer July wears on, the less and less the Seattle Mariners play like a major league team.

Heck, they still haven’t returned from the All-Star break. At least, not is such a way they can claim to have won a game.

In their last 15 times taking the field, the M’s have won exactly two times. That drops their record to 39-60, sadly not the worst in baseball. Heck, not even the worst in the American League. The Tigers and the Orioles have only won 29 times each and here we are, past July’s mid-point.

I wonder if their fans knew their teams were taking a “step back.”

To paraphrase Neil Armstrong from 50 years ago, it’s more of a giant leap.

Heck, the M’s, as lousy as they are playing, still have more wins the four American League teams.

This tanking crud has gotten out of hand.

At least in the American League. Only one National League team is as bad, the Marlins. And Derek Jeter made it clear a long time ago Miami was going to rebuild from the ground up. Outfields all over baseball, from Milwaukee to New York, prove that.

Still, here we have the Mariners in rebuilding mode, losing game after game, and they still can’t be bad enough to earn the top draft pick in 2020.

What’s the old saying, something about can’t win for losing? That’s them this season.

Come to think of it, July – and the rest of this season – can’t end quickly enough.

•••

Gonzaga: Once again, the Bulldogs have earned academic honors from the national coaches’ association. Jim Meehan has all the particulars in this story.

WSU: Max Borghi is poised to have a breakout sophomore year at running back. Theo Lawson passes along the news Borghi he is on a watch list as well. … Borghi is also on this Athlon list of breakout players. … The Cougars have won four consecutive games against Oregon. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington dismissed a player from its football team. … Colorado is looking for more of a pass rush from its outside linebackers.

EWU: Troy Taylor went from a high school coach, to Eastern’s offensive coordinator, to Utah’s and then to Sacramento State’s head coach in a short span. Ryan Collingwood caught up with Taylor at the Big Sky media day. … Around the Big Sky, Weber State has been successful in conference competition for a long time.

Indians: Spokane just keeps rolling along, winning another one-run game against Vancouver. Dave Nichols was at Avista Stadium last night and has this game story. … Dave also has a story on the Mariners’ top pick in the recent draft. … The Indians have teamed with a group of local folks in an effort to rehabilitate youth baseball fields. Dan Thompson has more in this story. … Larry Weir spoke with the Indians’ manger Kenny Hook for the latest Press Box pod. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League, Everett stayed on the Indians’ heels with a victory at Tri-City. … Eugene won again, this time at Hillsboro.

Mariners: Yes, I know. It's hard to believe. But M’s have really lost 13 of their last 15 games and all five of the contests since the All-Star break. … Edgar Martinez will be ready for his Hall of Fame induction. You can count on it. … Gene Warnick has his Out of Right Field recap.

Seahawks: If staying injury-free was important to the Hawks, then the season is not off to a good start. The rookies, who are reporting early, are already a bit banged up.

Sounders: Seattle, playing a young lineup, lost its friendly 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund.

•••       

• I’m not sure whether I will be here tomorrow. My vacation schedule ­– yes, I’m actually on vacation in a weird, 2019 type of way – is in flux. If there isn’t a post here by 8 a.m. tomorrow, there won’t be one. It means I’m taking the day off. Until later …

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