Uncle Ray’s Raspberry: The Old Sport has returned for more football


Well, it’s time once again for the Old Sport to start delivering your local prep football winners, or at least attempting same.

But, beforehand, we’ve got at least one baseball gripe to get off our chest. …

We’ve had it up to here with seeing swinging strikes being called on batters who didn’t break their wrists and follow through. In the first place, there’s not much consistency in the calls as how far the bat has gone on the checked swing.

A couple of calls on the Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki last week are perfect examples of what we mean.

First time up, Ichiro ducked away from a third-strike pitch that was high and inside but grazed his bat.

Unhappily, the catcher hung onto the ball and Ichiro had struck out.

The next time up, Ichiro held up on a 3-and-2 count pitch, but was called out for having “swung.” Either way, he lost.

OK, enough of the stalling. It’s time to start prognosticating. All of this week’s games are non-leaguers and don’t count in any standings.

We wish we could make this week’s picks non-counters as well, because there’s nothing much here but a string of tight ones. Unhappily, it doesn’t work that way and we may start out next week in a come-from-behind mode.

TONIGHT

ABERDEEN at MONTESANO: Bobcats are a real unknown quantity, starting out with a new coach. Bulldogs are in a lower division but ranked third statewide in 1A. They also have a habit of beating larger schools…BULLDOGS 22, BOBCATS 20.

CENTRALIA at HOQUIAM: Grizzlies ranked in 1A top 20 statewide. Centralia usually is a competitive 2A club…GRIZZLIES 20. TIGERS 13.

HOCKINSON at ELMA: Eagles to get the aerial game in gear…EAGLES 27, HAWKS 20.

SOUTH BEND at WILLAPA VALLEY: Vikings on the upswing; Indians reportedly rebuilding after hitting the heights two years ago. This makes four straight picks for a smaller-division team to win, or it would, if Valley chose to go 1B, as it could…VIKES 20, TRIBE 6.

TENINO at RAYMOND: Aw, what the hay. Let’s make it five straight. Tenino was a tough 1A club last year, Gulls an improving 2B outfit…GULLS 15, BEAVERS 14.

TOUTLE LAKE at NORTH BEACH: Hyaks figure to be on the improve. They’ll have to be if they’re going to overcome last year’s 20-point deficit, but we’ll take ‘em on a hunch…HYAKS 14, DUCKS 13.

NEAH BAY at TAHOLAH: Chitwhins rated strong. Neah Bay defending state eight-man champs. We don’t know what graduation did to them, but we’ll stick with the champs even if they have to make the long trip…RED DEVILS 36, CHITWHINS 30.

SATURDAY

OCOSTA at CONCRETE: Ocosta figures as improved but not necessarily at full strength. Concrete is always solid…LIONS 24, WILDCATS 13.

LAKE QUINAULT at EVERGREEN LUTHERAN: Elks reportedly suffering scarcity of numbers…LUTES 30, ELKS 22.