A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 9:40 A.M.
Sunday mornings were always a chore – and a joy – growing up in the newspaper world. The papers were huge, and when your family made its living making sure those papers were in folks' driveways first thing in the morning, that was a chore. But the papers were huge, which made them a joy to read. Times have changed. Read on.
• UPDATE: Now I don't make it a habit to read obituaries, but today while eating breakfast I spied the picture in this one and decided to read it. As it was intended, it made me laugh, which makes it worthwhile to pass along just for that. But there's an even bigger payoff in Larry McKay's obit, if you are a Mariners' fan. You have to read all the way down to the penultimate paragraph, but it's worth it. This is the type of sendoff I want.
• It's not that the Sunday morning paper has shrunk all that much (it has some, of course, thanks to the economy and the evolving industry), no, that's not what has changed. It's just with the advent of the 'Net, everyday can be like Sunday in that you can spend hours and hours reading stories, listening to podcasts, watching video, making each day of the week just like Sundays used to be in the old days. Let's play a game called “Back in the Day.” Want to know what your favorite Tiger was hitting? Wait for Sunday and check out the averages in the paper. Want to see how your stock has performed the past month? Wait for Sunday and check out the charts in the paper. Want to know more about the wide receiver at your favorite college? Yep, wait for Sunday and read the feature. Well, those days are gone. In this era of instant gratification and enlightenment, such items are available every day of the week as long as you have a device and a high-speed connection. And I don't think it will be all that long before a high-speed connection is everywhere, like something from a science fiction story you would read in the newspaper's Sunday magazine. Back in the day.
• Back in the day the Mariners used to lose a lot too, back in the pre-1995 days anyway. But other than Randy Johnson and maybe some starts from Freddie Garcia or Mark Langston, the M's haven't seen a pitcher who could dominate a game like Felix Hernandez did last night. Felix can be darn near unhittable at times – all he yielded Saturday was a ground-ball single to right from Denard Span – and last night was one of those times. But more importantly for the long-term – you know Felix is good, right? – the offense did the little things (moving runners over, getting clutch hits) and the big things (a triple by Ichiro, a bomb from Kyle Seager). It added up to a relatively easy 7-0 win over the struggling Minnesota Twins.
• Once last note. Today is Bloomsday in Spokane, when thousands upon thousands of runners, joggers and walkers descend on downtown in one of those yearly moments when this town explodes in civic pride. Well-earned civic pride. There are two things Spokane does really well: The big community event (Bloomsday, Hoopfest, etc.) and the medium-sized national event (skating championships, NCAA sub-regionals, etc.). You can probably trace the linage back to the 1974 World Fair, when Spokane was one of the smallest cities to ever pull one off successfully. Whatever the reason, things like Bloomsday and Hoopfest set off this out-of-the-way burg from others of its size around the nation.
• Washington State: As Christian Caple says in his morning blog post, not a lot to offer in the way of WSU news. It was graduation day in Pullman yesterday, but the seniors on the baseball team probably had to miss it as they had a game against Cal. Christian covered the Cougars' defeat.
• Gonzaga: Not much from GU either, though the baseball team handled St. Mary's on the road and it doesn't look as if basketball assistant Ray Giacoletti will be getting the Illinois State head coaching position.
• Eastern Washington: Jim Allen takes a look back at spring football practice.
• Chiefs: The WHL finals return to Portland tonight with the Winterhawks and Edmonton tied 1-1.
• Preps: There was a no-hitter in a key 2A playoff game yesterday.
• Mariners: We're not going to get cute here. We have stories and more stories concerning Felix's performance and the M's win. The King's Court went wild (above). … Looking for options beyond Kevin Millwood (0-3, 5.34 ERA) and Hector Noesi (1-3, 7.83) in the rotation, the M's have sent Erasmo Ramirez to Tacoma to throw more innings. He may be needed in a starting role. … Chone Figgins respects, but doesn't like, Eric Wedge's decision to bench him. … Larry Stone has his Sunday column and power rankings. … John McGrath has a Sunday column on Jesus Montero. … The Twins are losing Justin Morneau for a while.
• Seahawks: No matter what happens, having two quarterbacks battling for time is always fun.
• Sounders: Having a midday, nationally televised game with Philadelphia played in front of a sun-drenched crowd was a win for Seattle even before it started. But having midfielder Mauro Rosales' goal stand up for a 1-0 victory made it even better (Rosales' celebration is shown at right). Not that there wasn't some controversy.
• Horse racing: Can't get out of here without passing along a couple things from the Kentucky Derby, including the story of I'll Have Another's win and Andy Beyer's pre-race analysis (Beyer is one of America's top handicappers).
• Volleyball: Yes, volleyball. How often can the guy who writes this blog post every day point to a sport and say, “hey, my school just won a national title.” We can do that today. The Anteaters of UC Irvine, the finest academic institution in America, the Harvard of Orange County if you will, showed they're pretty darn good in athletics as well, winning their third NCAA men's volleyball title. And they swept USC to do it, at USC's Galen Center. Now the coach will leave for UCLA. More money, but less prestige – at least as far as I'm concerned.
• Now that we're done with our Sunday morning report, we can start enjoying the sunshine that's been filtering through the windows. By the way, did you see the full moon last night? It was huge. Seems like it would have been a good night to premiere a werewolf movie. Until later …