I debated waiting a bit, but I figure if I don’t write about it now, I will probably not write about it later, either. But this is big news. Really big. I think it may take a while to sink in, but until that happens, there are a lot of random thoughts and reactions floating around my head, and not all of them make sense in conjunction with each other. This is not going to be cohesive and may not be coherent. You’ve been warned…
You may be upset about this, you may even have ventured beyond “upsest” into angry, as a Mariners fan, at the fact that Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees, a team that we’re all supposed to hate (and for the most part, do). But keep this in mind while you’re busy pulling your hair and gnashing your teeth; Ichiro had to give the thumbs up on this one. He didn’t want to be here anymore. That in and of itself is telling on how far the Mariners have slid down the rabbit hole. When even your star player has no further desire to be on your team and in your city, there’s something wrong. We have not done well as a team lately, and we have not done right by a guy who should have won a World Series a long time ago. Whether or not Ichiro specifically asked to be traded or he merely said ‘yes’ is news that may be coming shortly, but what’s done is done, and either you will weather this change or you won’t. For my part, I will continue on with my Seattle Mariner fandom, but it’s going to be weird and awkward for a while, and may be on a level slightly veering towards ‘This is a baseball game with players I know‘, rather than ‘This is a Seattle Mariners baseball game‘. It’s gonna scar me, at least for a little while.
All the anti-Ichiro people have finally got their wish. Not for nothing, but congratulations. If it means I’ll be able to read less negativity about the future of this team, then great. Open a bottle of champagne, light a cigar, do whatever it takes. I’m not being glib, I really do think that there are a lot of reasons that this is a good move for the Mariners. I don’t know if I like it, I don’t know if I hate it. But we needed a change. We needed a shake up. This is a both of those things.
I always said that if this ever happened, I would be sad. But I have watched Ichiro decline a little over the past few years, and that makes me more sad. Watching the guy who is always supposed to make a catch, make a play, hit an infield single, steal all the bases – seeing that he can’t and doesn’t do all those things anymore, 100% of the time is depressing. Hearing negative things said about a player you like is depressing; especially when you know that it’s true. It’s depressing even when you think it’s not. I had my on days and my off days; but I always liked and will always like Ichiro Suzuki.
Jack Zduriencik maintains his status as Baseball Ninja. Seriously; did ANY of you see this coming? Ever? Even a little bit? I could ask every single Mariners fan, and I am willing to bet good money that none of them would say they had even one inkling that this was going to happen. THAT is how baseball deals should be done. None of this on-again off-again nonsense like what happened earlier today with Ryan Dempster and the Braves. You can say what you want about this trade, but none of you knew it was going to happen. And that is how you make a baseball trade. Other teams? Schooled. When even your local reporters can’t see it coming, you’re doing it right. I don’t know if I will be able to watch tonight’s game because Tom is coming home and we’re going to relax with some take out (his flight was delayed yesterday), but I would imagine that the ROOT Sports NW team is scrambling to figure out how they’re going to present this one.
I can’t even say how I will feel when all of this sinks in. It’s going to be strange, for sure, not hearing that name over the PA system at Safeco. It’s going to be strange to see Ichiro in pinstripes (my assumption is that they will activate him as soon as possible). I am sort of comforted by the fact that he is going to a team that has a chance at the World Series, and God help me, if they make it, I may possibly give some thought to rooting for the Yankees – they certainly have enough ex-Mariners in New York now as it is, and they have all been favorites at some point in time. I wish Ichiro all the luck and success in the world. I hope the Yankees get what they need from him, and I hope that he finds some sort of rejuvenation over there. And I hate myself for saying that, or even thinking it, because hey, Yankees…the funny thing is, I remember a very heartfelt post about Mark Lowe a few years back when he was traded to the Rangers. And I can’t seem to get that sort of emotion behind anything right now. I think I may actually be in shock. Maybe I will write more later, when things sink in. Maybe I won’t. I have been getting texts and emails and FaceBook alerts about this for about a good 30 minutes now.
Good luck, Ichiro Suzuki. We are going to miss you, and it is really hard for me right now to picture the Mariners starting lineup without you. This is just weird. That is all I keep thinking, is how weird it is that this is happening…I’m gonna miss you so much, little guy.
And that is all I have to say about this right now.