Ichiro, Figgins, and My Reliever Problem

I have calmed down a bit since the other day, and come to terms with David Aardsma’s departure. I have  been trying to catch up on my reading around the internet, but with only 30 minutes for lunch on a daily basis and a sleep schedule that for whatever reason has become more frequently interrupted than usual (I consider it a great victory when I can sleep in one solid block, something that hasn’t happened in a while), it’s really difficult to keep up on the information that has been coming in from camp, particularly when no news is big news. So instead, I keep the stories from the Times that come into my inbox, try to grab some time to at least skim the blogs, and save stuff up for a post like this.

Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro. Reality is starting to hit home for me. I generally have an Ichiro-will-be-forever attitude, as if Ichiro is the Jamie Moyer of the outfield. I know deep down that it’s not true, but I can’t get past that mindset. I am hoping that this season doesn’t rub my nose in that. I winced more times last year at Ichiro in the outfield than I ever thought possible, and even looking at the picture of him from last year’s calendar that I have above my desk at work, I just can’t imagine complete and utter failure coming from Ichiro Suzuki. But now, I am mentally preparing myself for it. And, even though I hate using this word as a descriptive, it’s gonna suck. I’m not giving up, just starting to build my little tornado cellar of sadness, in the event that there is a further decline from his 2011 performance. You would think I’d be used to disappointment in baseball by now, but individual disappointment still gets me right in the heart. If I find anything interesting about recent developments with Ichiro, it would be that he reportedly has a new stance and batting technique that he’s been working on. Should be interesting to see how it all works together.

By now, we all know that this is a thing that is happening. I am glad to hear that Figgins is pain-free during recent drills, and that he seems to have made a full recovery from hip issues that were bothering him last year (honestly, about mid-season, I pretty much just tuned out anything with the words “Chone Figgins” in it), because not only does that mean that his performance might theoretically improve, it also means that now he has zero excuses for repeating 2011 unless he injures himself again. The batting order thing is ridiculous, and I’m not sure how he’s going to be received in the first spot, but it is what it is, and if his problems are remedied by something as nutty as batting order, then fine. I’m skeptical, but looking forward to being proven wrong. If this experiment fails, we always have Kyle Seager, a guy I’d like to see get more playing time anyway, even though the current paradigm is that he won’t.

I was going to write more, but again, I’m at work, and even with the new PC they gave me the other day, link-clicking apparently still fails; and I’m just not going to go to IT and tell them that I need it so I can blog on lunch (even though if I ask the right person, I might be able to get it fixed). So I will just address my previous post, in which I had a rough day before finding out that David Aardsma had signed with the Yankees. My brain was clouded by the events of my day and the fact that the news was on (not getting political, but I have been actively trying to reduce my exposure to current events lately) when I found this out. In retrospect, it probably should not have bothered me as much as it did. Aardsma is not and never will be JJ Putz. We will likely never see JJ Putz in a Mariners uniform again, unless someone puts something funny in some drinks somewhere. We have Brandon League still, and Aardsma hasn’t thrown in a game for like a year, really, so I’ve come to be OK with letting him go. If his recent Twitter comments are any indication, he seems pleased with the move, or at the very least OK with it. We are now a Shawn Kelley and a Brandon League away from having the entire bullpen of 2009 gone.  I was just so convinced he was going to stay, even with the free agent thing. Most of the time I like being proven wrong: this is not one of them. That makes me tremendously sad, but relievers, like cut flowers, do not last forever.

But now, I’m turning my sights on Friday, March 2nd, when Spring Training games start in earnest, and will hopefully be aired on 710 ESPN so I can listen to baseball while I’m at work. The thought gives me the jitters. I will also be starting off the sporting year with a nice Sounders game on March 7th, an exhibition with a foreign team I cannot remember, but for some reason have the distinct feeling that there will be diving. Lots of diving.  I am hoping for clear or at least not-rainy skies, and that I remember to wear socks that day. I’ll be taking Tom on the march for the first time ever (it will be his first soccer game ever), so it will be an interesting evening, for sure. This site will be more active in the future, and hopefully the immediate future, with baseball soon upon us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Oh, and just a personal note, I am now on Instagram, an iPhone photography thing. My username is snowlion23, if anyone wants to follow me. There will probably be some baseball stuff there eventually, but it’s more to get my photo bug on, because I love taking pictures. The best camera is the one you always have on you. Have a good weekend, everyone!

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