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

A Grip on Sports: No matter what sports-related event you may have watched Saturday, offense wasn’t part of the experience

A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s excruciating to be a sports fan sometimes. Life interrupts and you miss the event everyone is talking about. Or you do get to watch and, after the few invested hours are over, you wish you hadn’t. But we soldier on, hoping the next time will be better.


• Anyone who spent their hard-earned time off Saturday watching the Mariners or the Sounders play (or, goodness, both), we offer our sincerest apologies. It had to be an awful day. Offensive to your sensibilities, and only to your sensibilities. After all, neither team showed much in the way of ability to score.

The M’s lost 4-1 at home to the Cubs. The Sounders went on the road and didn’t lose, but only because their game’s rules allow for scoreless outcomes. And, to finish off a trifecta of ineptitude, the Kraken, like the Sounders in Dallas, showed a near-flawless ability to avoid scoring, losing 3-1. It was their seventh-consecutive loss to a team bound for the NHL playoffs.


And if you didn’t watch? Say, you decided to spend your sunny afternoon watching major golf instead? Listening to Verne Lundquist and the CBS crew on the Masters. Not a great choice either, from what we understand. Pressure makes diamonds, sure, but it also can turn professional golfers into putty. Or Putty, Elaine’s old boyfriend, who was famously a face-painter. We’re guessing folks like Tiger Woods (an Augusta-worst 82) or Bryson DeChambeau (a 75 after being tied for the lead entering Saturday) were looking for some way to cover their features before they sneak around the grounds one more time.

Heck, even the world’s best player, circa 2024, Scottie Scheffler, had a stretch of two holes – the 10th and 11th – he played three-over-par to drop out of the lead. Face-plant, anyone?

Except he didn’t. He parred the 12th, the little par-3 that has destroyed dreams for almost a century, and then rolled in an eagle putt on 13. Order restored. And lead regained. He starts today 7-under, with a one-stroke lead over Collin Morikawa, who actually excelled Saturday with a 3-under 69. The duo will comprise today’s final pairing.

A day which we hope will give you a better sports-watching experience. Or, you know, you could head outside and enjoy the spring weather.

But then, what happens if, just maybe, the M’s score two runs? You would have missed it.

• We missed all of it yesterday. We had other duties. The DVR was set though. So, when we arrive back in Spokane this evening – knock on wood – we can put ourselves through the pain of watching. Or we could say we did and leave it at that.

The latter sounds better.


WSU: A leap of faith. That’s the easiest way to describe what quarterback Zevi Eckhaus took in January. Instead of taking a flight to Jacksonville, where the city’s university was ready to hand the Bryant transfer the keys to its offense. Now Eckhaus is battling for the starting spot in Pullman. Greg Woods has this story on Eckhaus’ journey. … Myles Rice’s journey out of the Pac-12 and WSU ended yesterday, as the point guard announced he’s headed to Indiana. Greg has that story as well. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and the nation, a tight end coach returned to Washington this offseason. … Speaking of tight ends, an injury to one left new UCLA coach DeShaun Foster shaken. … Oregon’s offense got the better of it in the Ducks’ first scrimmage. … Utah held its last spring scrimmage yesterday and Cam Rising, as expected, was the star. … Oregon State is moving on after a huge portal loss. … Colorado has some dynamic players on offense. … USC has a freshman defensive back that isn’t playing like a freshman. … Arizona has to revamp its defensive line rotation after a late transfer-portal loss. … In basketball news, KJ Simpson is one of Colorado’s all-time best players. … Frankie Collins was one of Arizona State’s all-time best ball thieves. He’ll be doing it for TCU next season. … Oumar Ballo is visiting Indiana today. Will he end up joining Rice? … Utah’s Alissa Pili expects to hear her name called in the WNBA draft’s first round. … JuJu Watkins is not eligible for the draft.

Gonzaga: The term “late-bloomer” is perfect in Michael Ajayi’s case. Now Mark Few and his staff hope Ajayi blooms into the right piece in next season’s GU lineup. Jim Meehan explains how Ajayi grew into what has become a Zag only a handful of years after being a JV high school player. … The women’s roster will be full of newcomers, though who those folks will be has yet to be determined. Greg Lee looks as the attrition due to graduation and then examines what the options are in this story.

EWU: Home again. That’s Dan Monson’s story. He’s back in Cheney, where he spent some time as a youngster while his dad Don was the high school’s basketball coach. Dan Thompson has more in this story. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, the FCS title game will be on a Monday night to cap off the upcoming season. … Weber State’s spring is over.

Idaho: The Vandals had one of the FCS’ best young quarterbacks last season. This spring, they are trying to decide who will be next season’s starter. Peter Harriman has this look at the on-going position battle.

Preps: The great weather means there was a lot of outdoor action yesterday. Dave Nichols has this roundup of it.

Indians: An 8-3 win in Pasco over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Saturday seems like just another win in a long minor league season. But it was much more than that. As Dave Nichols shares, the victory was the Indians’ eighth-consecutive one to begin the season, breaking a Spokane pro record that dates back to The Great Depression. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League, despite the record-setting start, Spokane is just a game up in the standings over Eugene, who defeated Everett 6-5 Saturday. … Vancouver evened its record at 4-4 with a 6-5 win at Hillsboro.

Wrestling: The Podium has filled this weekend with competitors in the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s National Championships. Roberta Simonson and Alexandra Duggan caught the essence of the tournament in this story.

Mariners: As we mentioned above, the offense sputtered again in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Cubs. Emerson Hancock pitched well, though. … Ryan Divish answers questions in this mailbag.

Seahawks: Maybe it’s time for the Hawks to look for a quarterback in the draft. … There are still offensive-line holes to fill, though.

Kraken: Vince Dunn’s last name is appropriate concerning his status for the rest of the season.

Sounders: The offense can be hard to watch this season. It was Saturday in Dallas. The result? A scoreless draw.

Reign: A key player is out after an injury suffered playing for the national team.

Storm: Seattle doesn’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming WNBA draft. But the Storm will try to build for the future when their name is finally called.


• It’s easy to see what folks like about the Salt Lake City area. Especially in mid-April. Snow-capped mountains, beautiful weather, great fast-food options. Wait. Did we just type “mid-April?” Crud. Taxes are due. Better get started. Until later …