A GRIP ON SPORTS
What the heck? I got up this morning all ready to see how others around the country had began jumping on the Jason-Vargas-for-Cy-Young bandwagon and all I can find is stories about the Mariners' offense? Doesn't everyone realize yesterday's seven runs was a flash in the pan but Vargas – 3-1 already by the way – is the real deal? I don't get it. Read on.
• Yes, I know Vargas, the pride of Long Beach State, gave up four earned runs in six innings yesterday. And, yes, I know his ERA “ballooned” to 3.45. And, yes, I know he gave up two bombs. But he got the win pal, and you win pennants thanks to wins (the last time I looked, the standings were predicated on winning percentage, not WHIP or BLORG or some-such thing. We all know winning is what it's all about and you don't earn major pitching awards thanks to exotic statistics. When Vargas leads the bigs in victories this season, others will join me in trumpeting his success. And then we'll see some Cy Young momentum.
• With all the ink thrown Alex Liddi's way, it made me think of my dad. As you probably know, Liddi is a native of Italy. My dad was a proud Italian-American. So proud he named his only son Joe Vincent, after two of the three Italian-American DiMaggio brothers. They grew up in California, as my father did, played in the big leagues and were his heroes. When it came time for my confirmation, my dad tried to get me to take Dominic as my confirmation name (Dom DiMaggio also played), even alluding to some possible presents if I came through. But there was one element of my dad's personality I inherited: his stubbornness. I wasn't about to be swayed from my original choice that there is no way I am sharing because it's so ludicrous. And I missed out on the chance to tell everyone I was named after three brothers who played in the show.
• Washington State: Spring practice ended yesterday. Now the real work begins. As coach Mike Leach is wont to say, spring is about giving players tools for them to use during the summer. With that in mind, Christian Caple wrote about the guy who will lead those summer workouts, quarterback Jeff Tuel, in today's S-R. He also had a summary of yesterday's practice, the 15th and last of the spring, and his usual morning blog post. … But that wasn't the only news coming out of Pullman yesterday. Christian talked with 6-foot-11, 245-pound center Jordan Railey, who confirmed he will be transferring from Iowa State to WSU, where he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining (after sitting out the mandatory redshirt season). Christian had a blog post and a short story on Railey. … We found this from Ames on Railey. … Christian will hold a live chat here on SportsLink at noon. … Jon Wilner updates the news – or lack thereof – from the Pac-12 Network. … The conference poobahs will talk about fixing the BCS again this week. … One last column on John L. Smith.
• Gonzaga: Former Zag star Heather Bowman has settled in Down Under, playing with another former Zag, Kelly Bowen, in Australia. Bowman, who is still coaching at Whitworth, has put up impressive numbers.
• Eastern Washington: With the spring game looming, Jim Allen talked with one of the Eagles' assistant coaches for this story.
• Preps: Spring seasons are already winding down (didn't the sun just come out?). Jim Allen takes care of the soccer news with this notebook and coverage of Cheney's 2-1 overtime victory over East Valley. … Mike Vlahovich covered Mt. Spokane's come-from-behind baseball win over Ferris on Tuesday.
• Mariners: So what's the deal with the 15 hits? Yep, that's how many the M's had yesterday, with fill-ins Michael Saunders and Liddi leading the way. The offense needed to be there because the Tigers never seemed to stop rallying against Vargas and the Mariner bullpen. … One of those relievers, Tom Wilhelmsen, caught up with minor league teammate Prince Fielder before the game and then shared a funny story. … The M's are still waiting for the pitching trades to pay dividends. … The view of the game from Detroit. … John Blanchette highlights Jack Spring's trip back to Boston for the Fenway anniversary (pictured at right).
• Seahawks: The draft starts tomorrow, but don't expect the Hawks to go after a safety. It's one spot they seemed to have covered. Now other spots, including speed rusher, that's another story. Maybe they'll pick up another player from USC.
• There is not much more to say today. Hard to believe it is already hump day. Hope it is good for you. Until later …