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A Grip on Sports: When it comes to changes, we’re not sure we trust the M’s just yet, not even with the seventh-inning stretch

Fans in the outfield stands react after Seattle Mariners' Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run home run during the eighth inning of against the Houston Astros in a baseball game Friday, April 15, 2022, in Seattle. The Mariners won 11-1.   (Associated Press)
Fans in the outfield stands react after Seattle Mariners' Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run home run during the eighth inning of against the Houston Astros in a baseball game Friday, April 15, 2022, in Seattle. The Mariners won 11-1.  (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • We love attending Mariner games. As they say in Washington’s unofficial state rock song, “we gotta go.” At least, we always did, just like we thought that phrase was part of the lyrics. We were never quite sure. But we are sure Seattle’s management is making a mistake.

•••••••

• Before we dig deeper into the most perplexing question facing the M’s right now, even more so than why Jerry Dipoto didn’t bring in one more bat, we want to set the record straight.

We are not a huge “Louie Louie” fan. We know that will disqualify us as a Northwest music critic, but so be it. Which means when it comes to what the Mariners are doing, it’s not the song, it’s the change.

Yes, we feel a bit like Abe Simpson. Darn cloud. But baseball is making a mockery of its traditions in so many ways, why did the Mariners have to go and change one that, you know, made the game fun? And didn’t impact the outcome at all?

Next thing you know, teams won’t be able to shift, umpires will be robots and there will be a clock on the pitchers. All because the M’s marketing department decided to replace “Louie Louie” with a Macklemore song during this season’s seventh-inning stretch.

Nothing against Macklemore – his musical partner, Ryan Lewis, attended elementary school with my son – but “Louie Louie” is the state’s unofficial theme song after all. And the M’s have been playing it during the stretch for more than 30 years. It’s about as deep a tradition the franchise has, right up there with making silly trades and Rick Rizz.

Larry Stone, who is of our generation, delves into the change’s roots in a Seattle Times column this morning, giving the team’s marketing department a chance to explain itself.

Everything seems like it’s on the up and up. Except we’re a bit cynical. A wise man understands all questions can be answered with a one-word response: Money. And we’re of the mind money somehow is at the heart of this. It’s more than a feeling, to paraphrase a song from a bad band from Boston.

Macklemore is investing in Seattle’s professional teams. He’s become a part owner of the Sounders. The Kraken. Good for him. But he has not invested in the Mariners. Not yet.

We can imagine someone in of the big offices wondering why the heck not. And wondering what it would take to get him on board – and Macklemore’s money in the team’s coffers. A show of faith, maybe? Prime real estate at each game? Let’s do that.

And then sidle up with the big ask. How about a little something for the effort my friend?

The franchise has to pay for building big old luxury boxes for the rich folk some way, are we right?

It would not surprise us at all if some time this summer the team announces Macklemore has become part of the ownership group. Maybe Marshawn Lynch too. After all, Ken Griffey Jr. owns a piece now. It seems to be hip to have a square inch of the franchise.

When it comes to finding new revenue streams (as opposed to finding that one power arm that might put them over the top), we all know “You Can’t Hold Us” is the M’s theme song.

• Having taken Tuesday off, we decided to link any story we felt ran in the S-R the past couple days. It seemed the right thing to do. The fact we can’t remember back to Monday morning, and whether we linked certain stories, had nothing to do with it, we assure you.

•••

WSU: Jake Dickert’s resume shows a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball. So it should come as no surprise he’s pretty locked in over there. His No. 1 area of focus right now? The secondary. Colton Clark has the story. … Football players from Washington State, Eastern Washington and Idaho all earned academic honors. That’s part of Tuesday’s local briefs column. … There was also a local briefs column from this morning that includes news on Gerry Lindgren and Henry Rono. Talk about stars of the past. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and college football, an Oregon player has gone through hell. But now he’s healthy and ready for the next challenge. … The Ducks are using their tight ends more. … The trial continues. … Oregon State is moving forward with its spring practice. … There is a new person in charge of Colorado’s offense. … Who is Utah’s No. 1 receiver? … In basketball news, new players will have to step up for Colorado. … Another UCLA player is testing the NBA waters. … Arizona has been hit hard by players headed to the NBA but Tommy Lloyd is already rebuilding.

Gonzaga: If Gonzaga has a bunch of players in the NBA, it stands to reason those players also faced a whole bunch of adversity. Jim Meehan delves into the challenges faced by rookies Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs as well as those faced by Rui Hachimura. … Speaking of the pro ranks, Julian Strawther declared for the NBA draft Monday. He’s going to get some feedback and return to GU. Jim has the story. … After winning 13-6 Monday night, the baseball team jumped ahead 4-0 Tuesday. But second-ranked Oregon State bounced back for a 9-4 win in Corvallis. … The last member of GU’s 1950 national boxing champions, Eli Thomas, died last month. … Around the WCC, Caleb Lohner is in the transfer portal and will leave BYU.

EWU: The defense will be new this season, what with the coaching changes. Justin Reed has this story on the Eagles’ instillation of the plan. … Around the Big Sky, Montana State has added a former Idaho State player. … Northern Colorado may lose a player. … Weber State has lost an assistant coach. … In football news, Idaho State’s running backs are ready for heavy lifting.

Whitworth: Former men’s player Kenny Love will take over as the head coach of the Pirate women. Jim Allen has the story.

Preps: Dave Nichols has this roundup of Tuesday’s action.

Hoopfest: Yep, it’s back. And it’s time for the poster. Who is the star gracing it? Well, there are stars. The Hull sisters, Lexie and Lacie. The former Central Valley High stars have earned another of Spokane’s highest honors.

Indians: Dave was out at Avista as Spokane returned home Tuesday night. He has this story on the Indians’ come-from-behind 7-5 win over Hillsboro that began a six-game homestand. … James Snook has some photos.

Mariners: We watched the M’s 6-2 win last night while traveling, which was kind of nice. We saw the home runs, the good pitching and the tight defense. You know, all the elements of championship play. … Ryan Divish was bundled up last night but wide open with his answers in this mailbag. … Adam Frazier has hit in some tough luck. … Tom Murphy has been hitting the ball hard too. … Luis Torrens is also on the COVID-19 list.

Seahawks: If the Hawks want to focus on an edge defender, here are five options. …There is always room for more wide receivers. Though other positions might be full. … Not quarterback, though.

Kraken: Someone can always find a cautionary tale.

Storm: There is a new assistant coach on staff.

•••       

• Driving through Oregon during a volatile spring means many things. There were clear skies and magnificent views. There were also snow flurries and negligible visibility. There was construction and a 15-minute wait. And there was the pandemic-caused closure of our favorite little restaurant in Klamath Falls. Yep, we can no longer sing “We’re going to Sizzler” as we drive down U.S. 97. Sad. Until later …

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