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Grip on Sports: The M’s are making changes, college basketball recruiting may change and the Seahawks need to change

Seattle Mariners’ Ryon Healy goes through the celebration line after the Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins 11-4 in a baseball game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / AP)
Seattle Mariners’ Ryon Healy goes through the celebration line after the Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins 11-4 in a baseball game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / AP)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • For a Wednesday in late April, yesterday was jam-packed with news. From the Mariners to college hoops, there was a little something for just about everyone. Read on.


• The Mariners won again yesterday, with Felix Hernandez pitching OK and Mike Zunino hitting another opposite field home run. But that isn’t the most important bit of news coming out of Chicago after the M’s secured a series win.

Nope. That was what was happening in the clubhouse. Daniel Vogelbach, the guy who everyone of my body type can identify with, was going around saying goodbye, according to Seattle Times beat writer Ryan Divish on Twitter.

Ryon Healy will replace Vogelbach on the roster.

You remember Healy don’t you? Jerry Dipoto’s offseason power acquisition from the A’s, the right-handed bat meant to balance out the lineup? He has been out since early in the season with an injury suffered in a weight-room mishap.

He’s healthy again. He’s needs a roster spot. So Vogelbach, who hasn’t lit the American League on fire, leaves.

There will be those asking why Ichiro Suzuki wasn’t released to make room, it’s because of a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the M’s don’t need a backup first baseman who can’t play anywhere else, is hitting .204, is slugging just .352 and can’t run. No one does, really.

• The S-R did a lot this morning covering the Condoleeza Rice commission’s recommendations on college basketball reform, including talking with most of the area’s coaches. (The coach with the highest profile, Mark Few, was absent.)

To a man they all were on board with the commission’s recommendations, which should come as no surprise. Really.

Yesterday morning The Sporting News published a story based on an e-mail from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, an e-mail the organizations sent to its members before the recommendations were released.

It told its members, “it is imperative that the Commission’s recommendations be met with unequivocal support from each of us.”

In other words, don’t criticize the report. Get on board. Even if you don’t like what’s recommended, be a team player and support it.

So if you peruse the Internet today, checking out the responses to the commission’s report, and all you see is support from your favorite coaches, you may know why.

• The NFL Draft begins tonight. Will the Seahawks have a pick on the first day? 

They have one now, the 18th selection of the first round, but by the end of the night they may not.

General manager John Schneider likes volume. He only has seven selections this year. Don’t be surprised if that 18th pick becomes two picks later in the draft. 

Then again, with the odd nature of this draft – it seems to have more intrigue than most – it wouldn’t shock me if Schneider moved up to take a player, someone the Hawks feel could get them back on track.


WSU: Guess what. Ernie Kent is on board with the Rice Commission recommendations. Of course. Washington State’s coach was consulted beforehand. As a longtime mover and shaker in the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Kent was consulted early in the process. (And there is that e-mail thing.)  Our Theo Lawson spoke with Kent yesterday to get his thoughts on the process and the result. … Over the next few days, expect to hear a few Cougars’ names announced at the NFL Draft podium, including Luke Falk, Hercules Mata’afa and Cole Madison. Theo goes in-depth on the WSU hopefuls. … Theo also has a story on the time of the opener at Wyoming. It’s going to be early. … The baseball team lost on the road against Seattle U. … Larry Weir continues his conversation with WSU radio voice Matt Chazanow on the latest Press Box pod. … Chad Sokol has a piece this morning on former player Zaire Webb’s lawsuit against Mike Leach and Washington State. The suit was filed last month. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the conference supports the proposed rule changes. … A Coug alum is coaching the Oregon State offensive line. … California tries to make its offseason as similar to the regular season as possible. … Arizona State is losing a quarterback. … In basketball, Utah enjoyed its recent season-long journey. … So the NCAA wants more oversight? At least the commission suggested an outside entity do the investigating. Maybe things like this would happen less

Gonzaga: Athletic director Mike Roth represented GU in its response to the Rice Commission. Jim Meehan spoke with Roth for this story. … Around the WCC, BYU has filled out its coaching staff

EWU: Eastern introduced its new athletic director and, as Jim Allen reported, it is Lynn Hickey, who has been the interim AD. Jim has more on the introduction in this story. … Jim also spoke with basketball coach Shantay Legans about the reform movement.

Idaho: Don Verlin also spoke about the recommendations, talking with Peter Harriman. 

Preps: It’s Thursday morning, so there are a lot of prep stories to ponder, beginning with Dave Nichols’ feature on two Ferris baseball players who have been through a lot. … Dave also has a notebook, which includes a rare ruling to replay the end of a soccer match. … We also can pass along roundups from soccer, softball, baseball and track

Mariners: The bullpen did a superb job throughout the series with the White Sox, including yesterday’s 4-3 win. … The starting rotation hasn’t been as productive. … With Healy coming back, just about everyone is healthy. 

Seahawks: So what are the Hawks going to do today and tomorrow and Saturday? If they keep their first-round pick, who will they select? They have quite a few holes to fill in this crucial draft. … Will the defensive line needs be addressed?

Sounders: Seattle hasn’t been scoring all that often, so the celebrations have been a little off.


• Another beautiful day is on tap and I am still searching for the sun screen. I better find it before people start calling me by the nickname they called the local butcher when I was a boy: Red. Yes, he was red-headed. Bright red. Until later … 

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