THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: On Kap, Wazzu, Zags and cheating

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NOTES AND quotes while wondering why the NFL decided to sponsor a dog-and-pony show involving Colin Kaepernick…

Other than settling a collusion lawsuit and giving Kaepernick a wallet full of money earlier this year, the league has insisted the future of the former 49ers quarterback is up to its individual teams.

So why did the league suddenly set up an audition for all teams last Saturday?

Kaepernick moved the event to a local high school in a dispute over whether his people could keep a video record of the workout, but still…

Why now?

The best guess, with QBs dropping like flies, is that one or two teams had shown an interest in signing Kap — but didn’t want to be out there by themselves.

Thus, a league-sponsored workout would show that it would be OK to sign this former pariah.

Eventually, Kaepernick worked out for at least eight teams (none of which appeared to be the Seahawks), threw the ball well and according to one NFL exec, “Forget any weight issue. He looked ripped.”

Any takers?

ITEM: Congrats to Wazzu, which finally played a complete football game while dismantling Stanford 49-22.

That’s the way we expected the Cougs to perform this year — rather than stumbling to their current 5-5 record.

Yep, that’s correct, they need to beat Oregon State at home next week or win the Apple Cup in Seattle (against another underachieving team) to reach a bowl game.

I get it when you complain that there are so many bowls that…

Who cares?

Well, the coaches do.

With NCAA limitations on practice time in the summer and between games, extra workouts during bowl prep are great for underclassmen.

By the way, if you stuck around on the Pac-12 Network after the Wazzu game, you’re REALLY wondering how the Cougs lost 33-20 to Cal.

Bears starting QB Chase Garbers was making a battle of it against USC when he got hurt again.

Devon Modster, who played the entire game against WSU, came back out and…

The guy is not a Pac-12 quarterback.

Yet the Cougs lost to Modster and Cal just a week earlier.

Seems impossible.

ITEM: When you go into a street fight in Texas, you expect to get bruised up a bit.

Just ask the Zags.

Oh, that 79-49 victory over Texas A&M was nice, but there were plenty of battle casualties.

Freshman Anton Watson suffered a shoulder subluxation, but then felt his shoulder pop back into place.’

“I didn’t do anything to it,” he said. “I hadn’t even gotten to the bench when I felt it go back to normal.”

Meanwhile, point guard Ryan Woolridge twice went flying after heading toward the basket at full speed.

The first time, it appeared he might have injured his wrist.

Of all the Zags who MUST stay healthy if this is to become an elite team, Woolridge tops the list.

Wrap the kid in cotton wool or something.

ITEM: Major League Baseball is out for blood in this investigation of cheating by the Houston Astros.

Commissioner Rob Manfred warned everyone about using technology to cheat two years ago — when the Red Sox were caught using Apple watches to get signs almost instantly from the clubhouse (where staffers were watching TV cameras) to the dugout.

Now Manfred apparently wants to make an example of the Astros, who have been accused of various forms of cheating in the past few years.

Because of that history and an attitude of arrogance, the Astros have almost no friends in MLB and will get zero sympathy.

Apparently, this latest accusation involves a camera in centerfield, and players in the dugout tunnel banging on a garbage cans to alert hitters to off-speed pitches.

“We want to compete in the proper spirit of baseball,” Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said once the accusations came to light. “We will investigate this thoroughly.”

Needless to say, Manfred’s office was not satisfied with the fox investigating security at the hen house — so MLB will take its own long look at the Astros’ various rule-breaking methods.

The situation looks even worse since former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers — now with Oakland — admitted that the Astros were stealing signs, and claimed everyone in the organization knew it.

Obviously, that would include Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

By the way, the Mariners can relate to problems at Minute Maid. Seattle went 0-10 in Houston this summer.

It had to be cheating, not talent.



Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball each Tuesday.

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