The bet: Who goes farther in the playoffs, Harwood’s Rockies or Cooper’s Cubbies?

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Rodney Harwood

It’s going to happen sooner than we thought, but the bet is on.

With Major League Baseball moving into what should be a spectacular postseason, I got ahold of our guy in the bigs. Moses Lake High School graduate and former Columbia Basin River Dogs standout Jason Cooper is a special assignment scout with the Chicago Cubs. He’s the only kid I know from Moses Lake that has a for real Major League Baseball World Series ring.

So here’s the bet, a beer and a dog. Who goes farther in the National League Division races, Cooper’s Cubbies or my Rockies?

Both are in. Both played an extra game (No. 163) on Monday to determine the Central and Western Division champions. October rocks! And I say it’s going to be another Rocktober to remember. Of course, Coop has a World Series ring that says, “I beg to differ.”

I know you might be thinking, why doesn’t he bet for real stakes? Like say, pink slips? But really, can you picture me driving around town in a BMW Z-4 or whatever Cooper’s driving these days? But on the other hand, it’d take about five minutes to get to Ephrata.

Nope, this bet is a Ten Pin Brewing Co. Citra Strike Brown Ale, served up by Cooper’s old running mate BJ Garbe. BJ doesn’t know he’s involved, so let’s just keep this among ourselves for the time being. We’ll sit over at the taphouse and I’ll get to hear about how three kids from the Land of Spuds put Moses Lake on the map going No. 5 (BJ Garbe), No. 59 (Ryan Doumit) and No. 63 (Jason Cooper) in the 1999 draft over a beer.

Some of those secret stories, like how they had a key to Larson Playfield, so they could go down after hours and take batting practice in the cages. Of course we might have to bring along the ol’ coach Pete Doumit to serve as the poppycock filter.

“I talk to our regional scouts all the time and they say three guys from the same class would be amazing in Dallas or Los Angeles. But three from a town of (then) 12,000, might not ever happen again,” Cooper said.

And of course that hot dog on the betting line isn’t just some Oscar Mayer out of the fridge. Negatory, it’s a genuine Runnin’ Vikes special from the Big Bend Snack Shack. We’ll go from the taphouse out to the college, see the Vikings play ball and watch Ryan Doumit coach a little third base.

Doumit’s back after a 10-year career in the big leagues with Minnesota, PIttsburgh and Atlanta. Garbe is the CEO of one of the most successful craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest.

“There’s just something about Moses Lake that draws you back. It’s home, it’ll always be home,” Garbe said at last month’s Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce After Hours get-together over at the brewery. Doumit will be the first to tell ya, “What he said.”

So here’s the deal, next time Cooper’s in town, we’ll settle our bet — a beer and a dog.

It’s not like he left and never came back. He blew into town last summer to take part in the reunion of the 1998 River Dog team that won the Senior Babe Ruth World Series what seems like a lifetime ago.

It’s been a good life, still is, and every time we get to this time of year, I think of the kids that put Moses Lake on the map.

But I am on the other side of this one Coop, go Rox.

Rodney Harwood is a sports writer with the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at

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