Ichiro Inspires an Indie Pop Song: The Baseball Project, a band led by R.E.M. co-founder and part-time Seattleite Peter Buck, has recorded an homage to Ichiro. You can hear the song “Ichiro Goes to the Moon” here. Longtime Seattle musician Scott McCaughey wrote the tune, which imagines Ichiro as a superhero. I transcribed the lyrics for you here. A sample: “At age 40 he’ll turn to pitching / With a fastball that hits 95 / A knuckler that defies gravity / A curve with a 12-to-6 dive.” Hey! That’s some real baseball terminology! Go Scott! Death Cab for Cutie frontman and marrier of famous hot indie chicks Ben Gibbard — who performed at Mariners’ opening day last year –sings backing vocals on the song.
Mariner Hitters Get New Training Tool: New Mariner hitting coach Chris Chambliss has his pupils playing the game “pepper.” As you may know, Pepper is a game where you hit a baseball two feet, so M’s hitters should excel at it.
New MLS Playoff System Makes Slightly More Sense: After last year’s MLS Eastern Conference Finals had Hawaii hosting Guam, the league changed its playoff system. Ten teams in, but four of those go to play-in wild card games. The Western Conference semifinals could still include, say, New York, but this is a little more sane.
What they’re saying…
“Im a big Blake Griffin fan, but that dunk at the contest mightve been the weakest dunk in the dunk contest that Ive seen in a long time.” — Shawn Kemp
“We can win here. We have professionals who know how to compete. So let’s do it.” — Chone Figgins
“In the beginning, maybe youve got four or five guys together. Then theres seven of us and then 19-20-21 until even the guys who dont want to be part of it feel like they have to be, just to see what happens.” — M’s special advisor Ted Simmons on how the M’s will turn around.
In other news…
Current Husky strength coach Marques Tuiasosopo will take the same job with his old coach Rick Neuheisel at UCLA. Traitorous!
Ichiro no longer has the lowest body fat on the Mariners. Franklin Gutierrez edged him out, though both have 6.8% body fat.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s daughter Taryn Griffey has led her high school hoops team to the state final four as a freshman.
Pitching phenom Michael Pineda will start for the Mariners in today’s intrasquad game. Blake Beavan will start for the other team.
Lorenzo Romar said Husky football recruit Austin Sefarian-Jenkins might play hoops for UW. If you want to see Sefarian-Jenkins in action on the hardwood, his Gig Harbor Tides play Ballard at 6 p.m. Friday in the Puyallup High of the 4A state tournament.
ASU lost their likely starting quarterback for next season. Steven Threet is retiring from football because of repeated concussions.
Sigi Schmid said that Sounders striker Blaise Nkufo will retire after this season.
The Blazers’ Brandon Roy played in his first game since December 15, coming off the bench and scoring 5 in 16 minutes in the Blazers’ OT loss to the Lakers.
Gonzaga’s very slim NCAA at-large berth hopes will be completely gone if they can’t win at St. Mary’s tonight–as would their streak of 10 consecutive WCC regular season championships. The Zags are a game back of St. Mary’s with three to play.
In today’s action…
Pac-10 Hoops: Stanford @ Oregon St., 6 p.m. (FSN)
Pac-10 Hoops: Cal @ Oregon, 6 p.m. (CSN)
WCC Hoops: Gonzaga @ St. Mary’s, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Pac-10 Hoops: Arizona St. @ UCLA, 8 p.m. (FSN)