Monday, July 23, 2012

My thoughts on the Ichiro trade

... since I've gotten like fifty emails and texts. 

It’s always tough to say goodbye to a Hall-of-Famer but I think today’s trade of Ichiro to the Yankees for two young prospects is a deal that benefits both clubs. That short rightfield porch in Yankee Stadium beckons and Ichiro is definitely an upgrade over what the Pinstripes had.

And for the Mariners, youth must be served. They have a number of good young players like Casper Wells, Michael Saunders, and Mike Carp who need playing time to blossom. This opens up a big spot.

That said, I’ll miss Ichiro’s goofy outfits on the road (what was he thinking with those pointy hats and checkerboard suits with polka dot ties?) and line drive base hits on the field.

Baseball people talk about 5 Tool Players – those rare individuals who can hit for average, hit for power, have speed, play good defense, and have a great arm. And then there are those very select few who are 6 Tool Players. In addition to the other five and they can play well in New York. Ichiro is used to media attention. He should have no problem in Gotham.

So best of luck to Ichiro… after Wednesday when the Yankees are no longer playing the Mariners.

16 comments:

Dude of The House said...

It's got to be a strange dynamic for him to get traded, then have to immediately play 3 times in front of the fans who supported him for a dozen years before he jumped ship.

Phillip B said...

Was amazed to see Ichiro play for Japan in the World Baseball Championship in San Diego a few years ago. Have never seen a pro player with that sort of intensity. Suspect the stress of NYC may bring his game up a notch and transfix a nation (Japan)...

Ray Barrington said...

Thanks to playing in Seattle (no World Series multiplied by East Coast Bias), Ichiro is probably one of the least-appreciated great players in baseball history. It's almost - ALMOST - enough to make me want the Yankees to reach the World Series.

(who am I kidding, I wouldn't want them in the series if I was playing for them)

Brother Boomerang said...

all the koreans with NY hats will be trading them in...

Cap'n Bob said...

Considering the way he's played the past two years, it's not that great a loss. But why did they trade for two pitchers who went straight to AAA Tacoma? They should have gotten someone who knows what a bat is and how to use it.

Cap'n Bob said...

Considering the way he's played the past two years, it's not that great a loss. But why did they trade for two pitchers who went straight to AAA Tacoma? They should have gotten someone who knows what a bat is and how to use it.

Beach Blogger said...

OK, now that have been able to think about this for a bit, here are my thoughts about the Ichiro trade:

From a baseball stand point this trade is great for the M's. They get rid of an aging superstar (does anybody remember Griffey's last year and how heart wrenching it was to watch?), it allows the younger players to get playing time and frees cash for the next few years.

From a Mariners fan's view, it is completely bitter-sweet. Yes, I have been busting his balls for a year and a half and yes, his departure is good for the team. But Fuck! I have lived with this dude for 11 years and I'm sad to see him gone. I'm sick to my stomach that he is a Yankee. In fact, I just saw him for the first time in a Yankee uniform and the only thing I could say was "Holy shit that looks so wrong!"

Other people have said that they can root for Ichiro until he gets a ring. As much as I want to see Ichy succeed, I can't do it if he is a Yankee. Maybe it's a small market/New York thing but I hate that the Yankees keep picking up stars. Irrational? Yeah. But I'm a sports fan...fan being short for fanatic. By definition, fanatics aren't rational. This is the way I felt when Gary Payton went to the Lakers.

If the Yankees win, I will be happy for Ichiro but I will not actively cheer for it.

fred said...

sorry...i don't care who goes to the yanks...screw the yanks!
is this a salary dump or are the m's up for sale??
the two players the m's got back are org fodder! NOT prospects!

Tim W. said...

Dude of the House said: "It's got to be a strange dynamic for him to get traded, then have to immediately play 3 times in front of the fans who supported him for a dozen years before he jumped ship."

Now, I will admit to knowing nothing about baseball, and had never even heard of Ichiro, but if was traded, doesn't that mean that he didn't have a choice in the matter. "jumping ship" is a strange choice of words for someone who was traded. Almost as if you blame him for the trade.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm surprised. They have a LF who's been out most of the season, but have three guys that have been filling the hole. Don't see the real upside for the Yankees; maybe a bit of speed (he did steal a base last night.)

Matthew E said...

I agree with your take on the trade in general, but I'm not sure I see Suzuki as an upgrade over... who do you think? Swisher or Ibanez? About the same, if anything, although certainly their talents aren't identical.

Also, I wouldn't expect much from the "two young prospects". Farquhar, at least, I recall from his days in the Toronto system; the Mariners might get some use out of him but he's nothing special.

VP81955 said...

In New York, Ichiro won't be asked to be the focal point of the offense. (I'm a bit surprised the Yankees don't bat him ninth; over the years, AL teams use that spot as a second leadoff hitter of sorts, something that probably began in Tony La Russa's final years with the White Sox, when a young shortstop named Ozzie Guillen took that role.) And the short porch in the Bronx should give him a bit more of a power option, though he remains sufficiently disciplined not to let it affect his tactics at the plate.

The M's can now get on with assembling a roster without his shadow; they have some good young talent (Ackley will evolve into a solid major-leaguer), but unless they alter their ballpark as the Mets did with CitiField, Seattle will have to be an AL version of the Padres -- focus on developing pitching and get just enough offense to be competitive.

We'll see where this ultimately leads, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing Ichiro at Nationals Park in the first game of the World Series this October.

Mike said...

Ichiro does not hit for power.

What I am wondering is when did he start looking like Jet Li?

Charles H. Bryan said...

At this point in his career, I think he can determine which team he'd like to be traded to so Ichiro may have had a preference for NY. Maybe he wants a ring and thinks NY will be the best route (or was the best route amongst the teams that would trade for him). Maybe he just likes NYC. It's a helluva town.

While my Yankee hatred has abated over the years (esp. since Steinbrenner kicked off), I still can't root for them unless they play the Rangers. (I don't like to see George W getting too happy.)

Jim said...

Speaking as a Yankees fan out here on the East Coast, I'm delighted. I also agree that this is good for both teams.

I have to mention how impressed I was by the Seattle fans, giving him that ovation at his first at-bat for the opposition. High-class fanbase out there.

chuckcd said...

Ichiro has had a great career up to this point, but wants to play for a winner. That is understandable. And, at this point of his career, Ichiro is a very replaceable player.

The Yankees want him to replace Brett Gardner who is essentially the same player, but is now out for the year with an injury.

Trayvon Robinson can do everything Ichiro can do at 1/20th of the price.