Prepare to have your heart melted by the Mariners’ new clubhouse pup

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Expanding the playoffs from 10 to 12 teams, a result of MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement, assures that virtually no one is out of contention until September, though, even with two months to go, it’s a pretty safe bet the Nationals, Cubs, Reds, Angels and A’s won’t be a part of this year’s postseason festivities.

If loyalty doesn’t matter and you haven’t already hopped aboard the Padres’ bandwagon (do they even have seats left?), the Seattle Mariners might be just the team for you. Not only are they lovable underdogs (Seattle owns the majors’ longest active playoff drought at 21 years and counting), but the Mariners now own a literal dog as well.

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Tied with the Orioles for the American League’s best record since July 1st (20-8), the Mariners were buyers at this week’s trade deadline, bolstering their starting rotation by acquiring All-Star right-hander Luis Castillo from Cincinnati. But their biggest addition by far was Tucker, a four-year-old lab/retriever mix the Mariners recently brought home to T-Mobile Park, adopting him as one of their own. Let the cuteness waft over you like a calm ocean breeze, basking in the pure, unconditional joy of an adorable furry friend finding his forever home.

While we don’t have a full scouting report on Tucker just yet (hopefully our Audacy insider Jon Heyman is on the case), from what we’ve seen, he appears to love belly rubs, head scratches, playing fetch and, of course, shedding all over the furniture in Scott Servais’ office.

Sources are still awaiting the results of Tucker’s physical, parsing through medical records to determine whether he’s hypoallergenic. Regardless, Tucker couldn’t have picked a better landing spot than Seattle, which is home to over 100 Starbucks locations (great for ordering a morning “Puppacino”).

Buoyed by a 14-game winning streak that spanned most of July, the M’s hold a 1.5-game edge over Baltimore for the AL’s third and final Wild Card spot, with Fivethirtyeight.com giving them a 75-percent playoff probability. The Mariners, ironically enough, are actually on pace for fewer wins this year (86) than the 90 they won a year ago while missing the playoffs.

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