All Ichiro, All the Times

Dave · September 16, 2004 at 8:11 am · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s Ichiro day over at the Times. Larry Stone, officially U.S.S. Mariner endorsed columnist, has a piece on Ichiro’s unlikely rise and a piece on how he does it. Stone’s the best thing going in Seattle sports writing, so enjoy the doubleheader of good content.


9 Responses to “All Ichiro, All the Times”

  1. Paul Weaver on September 16th, 2004 11:08 am

    I had a dream this morning that I saw a box score where Ichiro went 2-4, and had to hit 10 for 18 the remainder of the season to get the record. I have weird number dreams like that. I’m nervous about this record. He needs more multiple hit games.

    Stone writes a good column. The baseball historian criticizes Ichiro for not getting enough runs….look at the team hitting behind him. His OBP + SB should end that criticism of him as a leadoff hitter. He is not identical to the Japan Ichiro – he gets fewer extra base hits, and steals more bases. True, though, his high average was a surprise.

    He may not be Barry Bonds, he may do those stupid bunts with RISP and 2 out, and maybe he doesn’t take as many pitches as those players analysts think are underrated – but he has been the most exciting part of Seattle baseball this year, and I’m glad he’s being Ichiro rather than Bellhorn. And I’m glad he’s doing it his way, because that is what works for him – as Paul Molitor discovered.

    I think a more patient Ichiro is what we’ll see when he starts getting on in his 30’s.

  2. Jack on September 16th, 2004 2:05 pm

    Larry Stone’s Bud Selig lovefest column is a classic. Saying that he is the best thing going in Seattle is somewhat a backhanded complement.

  3. Paul Weaver on September 16th, 2004 3:06 pm

    Selig lovefest – there’s a point you don’t often here, he makes a good argument for Selig, while recogninzing his downfalls. Another good article.

    Backhanded complement – I know, it is. Wasn’t meant to be, though. If you put weights on things going for Seattle Baseball (with my arbitrary ‘yay’ number system), it would be more like:
    1. Ichiro: 100
    2. Trade for Reed/Olivo: 21
    3. Madritsch: 15
    4. Lopez: 12
    5. Bucky: 11
    5. Meche: 9.5
    and on and on, until you get to
    96. Olerud released: -17
    97. Mevlin: -22
    98. Aurilla: -33.5
    99. Bavasi: -39.0

  4. Troy Sowden on September 16th, 2004 3:35 pm

    Releasing Olerud when he was like our 3rd or 4th best hitter (talk about backhanded compliments) didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it did open the door for us to promote Bucky, which was a good thing. Sure, they could have brought Bucky up alongside Ole, but they weren’t going to.

    I would say releasing him wasn’t smart, but I don’t see any real way that it hurt, unless you just liked having him around, or wanted us to win a couple more games and be sure we weren’t in contention for the 2nd pick. I’d put it at about a -2.

    Now, the Yankees picking him up, and his subsequent success for the Evil Empire has to rate alot lower on the list.

  5. Evan on September 16th, 2004 4:14 pm

    But Melvin kept playing Speez at first, when he was actually a worse option with both the bat and the glove. Sure, Bucky got some playing time, but wouldn’t you rather he split duties with Johnny-O rather than Speez?

    As for John’s success in NY, I kind of like that our players are all suddenly excellent as soon as they stop playing for Bob. There’s a message there somewhere. Guillen, Davis, Olerud, Aurilia – if we traded Ichiro to the Red Sox he’d hit .550 next season.

  6. Paul Weaver on September 16th, 2004 4:33 pm

    I was cheering for Olerud to get picked up by the Yankees. He’s too good to be out of the MLB yet, and he gets to play with a contender. Too bad the M’s couldn’t have traded him to the Yanks for a handful of poor prospects or cash.

    I wouldn’t know how to rate Edgar. -10 for looking like an out of steam player out the gate, +18 for heating up and giving the fans a swan song.

    Aurilla, Davis are reverting to old form last I checked.

  7. Troy Sowden on September 16th, 2004 4:36 pm

    Evan, you’re absolutely right. And not just Spiezio, Bloomquist too. With absolutely no research and just a cursory knowledge of baseball history, I’ll say that’s the worst first base tandem of all time. There’s truly no excuse for that.

    My point was, right or wrong (I vote wrong), the M’s FO made it clear they weren’t going to give Bucky a chance until after they DFA’d Johnny O. All I’m saying is that, unfortunately, with our myopic FO, without the (-)17 moment of releasing Oly, we never would have gotten the (+)11 Bucky experience. By Paul’s Yay-O-Meter, that’s a net -6, but to me we ended up better off this year and in the future knowing that the team can put its faith in Bucky. Thus, the net result of the two actions should be a positive.

    I am a pathetic loser and I put way too much thought into this.

  8. Evan on September 16th, 2004 5:00 pm

    Sure, given the FO’s parameters the correct answer was to DFA Johnny.

    But those parameters were insane.

  9. Paul Weaver on September 17th, 2004 11:39 am

    I’ve posted in the FA thread about Bucky.
    I don’t think the team can put faith in someone who can’t lay off or hit breaking pitches.
    My highly critical line for him, if given a full time job: .210/.300/.400 .