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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Grip on Sports: The questions are many but the answers are hard to come by

A GRIP ON SPORTS • We have questions. Some of them even related to sports. Problem is, we don’t have much in the way of answers.


• One that popped into our head this morning: Why, if each K-cup is supposed to be the same size and weight, does our morning cup taste different some days? Shouldn’t they always be the same?

Maybe it’s our tastes that change.

• We’re sure our taste concerning the Mariners has changed. For some reason – and we’re not sure just why – we’re enthralled with this team. We’ll even sit and watch and entire game, as we did last night, even when they aren’t playing well. Like last night.

Is it Julio Rodriguez’s presence? His joie de vivre? Maybe. Is it because Scott Servais does enough right that when he makes a blatant mistake, like putting Jake Lamb and Jesse Winker in the outfield the same game, it stands out so obviously even we can see it?

Or is it because Kyle Seager has retired?

Longtime readers here know we were never much in the way of a Seager fan. We always respected his professionalism and his engagement with the community. But we never understood his inability to adjust at the plate, his stubbornness about pulling the ball that was a detriment to success, team and individually.

His replacement, Eugenio Suarez, does pretty much everything Seager did – he doesn’t have the same prowess at third but it’s close – and he’ll drive the ball to the opposite field often enough to keep the defense honest. Plus, he seems to really be enjoying himself.

But that can’t be all of it. Let’s chalk it up to getting to the age when baseball seems exciting again and leave it at that.

• Why does anyone think talking with someone about their feelings is a weakness?

The question came up again this morning while reading Theo Lawson’s story about Kym and Mark Hilinski’s most recent visit to the area, spreading the gospel of self-help in the wake of their son Tyler’s suicide more than four years ago.

It’s not a weakness to seek help. It’s a strength. Never hesitate. Use the tools available to understand yourself and others. Please.

• Why isn’t there an NBA franchise in Seattle? Oh, sure, we understand greed cost the city its franchise. There was a bunch of money to be made selling the team, even more to out-of-town owners. And for someone who convinced Americans over-cooked coffee was worth $5 a cup, money was always the most important factor.

But why hasn’t the NBA realized the city would support a return. And support it with its wallets? There is still a team in Sacramento, for goodness sakes, which makes no sense at all. The lack of a franchise in this state is a question without an answer.

• Who will write the next chapter in Washington State’s football history? Or in Eastern’s? Idaho’s?

Someone will. There are frontrunners, sure, but rarely entering a college football season are we as unsure who will excel as we are in this one.

In Pullman, all eyes are on transfer quarterback Cameron Ward and, to a lesser degree (due to of the positions they play), edge rusher Ron Stone Jr. But everywhere else, including at the other area schools, the stars are obscured, like a late August night when smoke is in the air. And even with the Cougars, someone else may step into the spotlight. Who will it be?

We don’t know the answer. But we do know we can’t wait to find out.


WSU: Maybe it is all clearer with the Cougars after their second, and final, preseason scrimmage. Colton Clark was there and has this coverage. He was joined by Tyler Tjomsland, who has this photo gallery. … We linked Theo’s story about the Hilinskis above but we link it again here. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and college football, Jon Wilner has answers in the Mercury News this morning. Not to the same questions we had, but to others. … Both Oregon and Oregon State spent Saturday scrimmaging. Not each other, mind you. That’s not allowed. Surprise, both the Ducks and Beavers did some good things and some not-so-good things. Intrasquad scrimmages are that way. … California will be in the market for a new radio voice before the 2023 season. That hasn’t happened in almost 50 years. … Colorado also scrimmaged yesterday but the field was littered with yellow flags, which made no one happy. … Utah has always produced great tight ends. … A new USC player hopes to hit the right notes. … In basketball news, Oregon continues to get better this summer.

Gonzaga: Chet Holmgren was part of the contingent of NBA stars who showed up to play in Seattle last night. His night ended early when he hurt his ankle. Everyone else’s ended not too long after due to condensation on the floor.

EWU: One of the best parts of preseason practice is watching players who were injured make their way back. And the joy they have while playing. Dan Thompson touches on one such Eagle this morning. … Around the Big Sky, lots of things bind players, including, at Montana, uniform numbers. … At Northern Colorado, it is a special meal. … Silly things happen during the preseason but so does a lot of important work.

Idaho: The young players were given their chance in the spotlight Saturday, though many of them, it seems, didn’t shine as much as coach Jason Eck would have likes. Peter Harriman has the story.

Indians: Every defeat means another day Spokane couldn’t make up ground in the playoff chase. But at least the Indians didn’t lose any with their 7-4 loss to Tri-City. Dave Nichols has the game story. … Dave also has a story on the team honoring Dave Johnson, the legendary Ephrata baseball coach who teamed with the late Marty O’Brien to help elevate high school baseball in the Northwest.

Mariners: No matter how many times Dave Sims calls the M’s “the best defensive team in baseball” it is not true. Not with Winker and Lamb in the same outfield. The plays the defense did not make yesterday cost the team in its 4-3, 10-inning loss in Oakland. … The farm system isn’t ranked as high as it used to be. Mainly because the best prospects are now helping the big club win. That’s the point, right?

Seahawks: Hey, more questions. With some answers. … The Hawks trimmed the roster some.

Storm: Tina Charles would really like to win a WNBA title with Seattle this season.

Sounders: Here is another question. Who was the first person to say “hey, let’s get the starters together for a pre-match photo?”


• It’s funny. You run into people every day who are sure they have all the answers. Then you realize they don’t. No one does. Heck, we’re just happy if we can think of all the questions – and answer a couple. Life is like that, isn’t it? Just when you think you have something figured out, another question pops up. It’s like crabgrass. By the way, anyone know how to get rid of that?