A Grip on Sports: The explanation of why Mariners make us hot as Hades is so often simple

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GRIP IN SPORTS • We have finished our journey. It’s been a long time. But now we can reveal why the Mariners have struggled so much over the past two decades. It’s a devil’s plot, of course.

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• Third Round, First Scene: A Sunday afternoon, early August. The heat radiates around Steve Hardy’s front porch. He dozes in the chair, as Dave Niehaus ’voice describes the final eight-point run in the third inning. The voice of Julie, her husband, playing her violin through the open window. Life is good. Then Steve remembered. She awakes with a start. The man was standing on the porch, his coat pressed, an Indian hat over his head.

“Sir. Hardy, “the man said calmly,” the time is near. “

“No, no,” Steve said, his voice a little hoarse. “I’ve been going all August, September, the World Series in October. A lot of the time.”

“This is what everyone is talking about,” the man laughed. “But it’s all done for you September 30. Didn’t you read the print as well as I asked?”

“You take the contract,” Steve said. “How can I?”

A crack of thunder distracts Steve to another and, when he looks at him again, he is holding a contract. That Steve re -entered spring training. She handed it to Steve, who began to read. Eventually, he got a good print. After 12 seconds, he released the contract. His hands trembled.

“M’s didn’t win the Series,” he asked, incredulously. “No, Mr. Hardy,” replied the calm man. “You want him to win more games than anyone. That’s what you’re going to get. He’s going to win 117 games – in the regular season.

“What did you say?” The sound of the front door. It was Julie, holding a violin in one hand, a bow in the other and her eyes darting back and forth between her husband and the little man.

The man looked at her. See violin. Makes a small noise and retreats, almost falling from the terrace. “Is this a fiddle?” she asked. “I hate the violin.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Julie said, noticing the man’s discomfort. “And I know who you are. I was wondering why Steve was sleeping so much. Now I know. You didn’t get him Beelzebul.

Steve looked up. The man, who was slightly sweaty, looked confused. Then he slowly smiled. “There’s nothing that can be done about it,” he finally said.

“Oh, yes there is,” Julie replied. “My name is Webster and I know everything about you and your contract. There’s mistakes everywhere. Always. But instead of spending time looking, let’s make a deal.”

“What kind of deal,” replied the man, still looking at the violin.

“Steve guards his soul. You’re gone. That’s his business.”

The man grumbled. “That’s not enough. I need something. ” “Okay, how about this. M did not make a record. “I need more,” he replied.

Julie hesitated. “After this season, he didn’t make the playoffs in another 10 years,” he said. The man removes the Indian man’s hat, revealing, for the first time, two small horns. She scratches. “Twenty -five years,” he replied.

Steve sighed. “No, it’s not true. … ”His voice was heard.

“Done,” Julie said.

Within seconds of their handshake, the man had contracted and had disappeared in a puff of smoke. Steve stood on the porch, crying. Julie comforted her. Dave Niehaus shouted about Kenny Lofton’s score and lost to M, 15-14. No one saw it.

Mblonyoi turned black.

• And friends, why do we have to go through all this crud with the Mariners every year and will be for at least a few more.

We spent some time looking for Mr. Hardy – not his real name – over the past few years, but he has left Spokane. Hopefully, wherever he likes. And he and Julie are still together.

The little man who appeared on the porch in March 2001? We met him. Talk to him in early March of this year. He lied to Steve and all of us, you know. M should win 117 games that year. Set your own record. But the little guy didn’t like being beaten by Julie, so he allowed the Indians to accumulate from the August 12-0 5 deficit.

You can see it up.

For the postseason, we’re trying to make some deals to achieve this year. Offered ghost-writing autobiography. Buy a new Astros hat (he looks a bit greget). But he’s done making a deal here. He saw no need. As I said that day, everything will work out. And, yes, her laughter was still quite amusing.

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WSU: Yesterday’s news of Pullman over San Francisco looks strange. Tyrell Roberts, who moved from UC San Diego to the Cougars last basketball season, has returned to California. He will play at USF this season. Colton Clark has a story. And why do we think this is a bit strange? If Roberts had stayed, the Cougars would look better in the NCAA berth than the Dons. Then again, there is no snow in San Francisco. … Krystal Leger-Walker returns to play professionally. Colton said he had signed a contract with the New Zealand team. … Elsewhere in Pac-12 sports and college, Jon Wilner may know how much the Pac-12 Network is worth. … Oregon picked up a win on the court, no at court. … The Ducks baseball team lost the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, 8-6 to Arizona. … Oregon State won, beating Washington 13-8. … California upset UCLA 4-1 at the end of the game (starting after 10 p.m.). … Top-seeded Stanford tops Arizona State 6-3. … Oregon and Arizona State face off in elimination games today, as do Washington and UCLA. Oregon State faced California while Stanford and Arizona met in the winning bracket. … Stanford won its 200th Pac-12 NCAA women’s title yesterday, beating Oregon 3-2 in the golf final. … Five Pac-12 schools, including Oregon State and Arizona, will compete in the Softball Super Regionals this weekend. … In basketball, Arizona has picked up another international recruit. … UCLA player cited for spitting on fans after an Arizona game has been penalized.

Gonzaga: Before we get into the current competitive sport, we want to call your attention to this story about Braden Huff, Zags just signed High School Recruit this season. … Now for baseball. The Bulldogs start the WCC tournament today in Stockton, California, facing Loyola Marymount. Justin Reed has a preview. The Lions hold BYU to move on. The Zags wis bye. … During the WCC, San Diego rallied over USF 10-5 to advance to the double playoffs of the tournament.

EWU and Idaho: Around the Big Sky, Northern Arizona won the all-sports trophy conference for women. … The family brought a new basketball player to Missoula.

Preparation: The State event took place in Washington, with golf led. Jim Meehan had this round of all tournaments that ended yesterday. … Country track this weekend. Keenan Gray has a preview. … Justin is back with a girls ’tennis look and returns to the prominence of Gonzaga Prep.

Indians: Spokane is in play. India won again Wednesday night, topping Everett 6-5. He has won seven of eight games. Dave Nichols has coverage.

Mariners: If you think the future of hope couldn’t be worse, you’re wrong. M is currently in last place in the American Western League after losing at home 4-2 to A. Oakland tanking and still better than Seattle. Let that sink in. … M is not maddening anymore. They were depressing.

Seahawks: For Seattle’s success, some of the most recent draft picks, receiver Dee Eskridge (2021) and defensive end LJ Collier (2019), have to do well.

storm: The team is approaching a new training facility.

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• We have cried our cold spring weather now. It’s supposed to leave us. For a few hours at most. A 70-plus-degree high in the offing. Then it should be wet and cold. Agung. Until later…