Rogers latest to stir Ichiro rumor stew

DMZ · January 31, 2006 at 2:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Blah blah blah is Ichiro demoralized blah blah Seattle sucks blah blah I have to fill a whole column and can’t write about the Super Bowl blah blah

With the Seattle Mariners in decline, and no real end in sight, the Bud Selig Classic (aka the WBC) is the best shot he’s had in three years to satisfy his competitive juices.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played in a game which excites me,” Suzuki told the Tokyo Shimbun this offseason. “It is a sad situation that I have had to create my own motivation from inside of myself for such a long time.”


22 Responses to “Rogers latest to stir Ichiro rumor stew”

  1. msb on January 31st, 2006 2:08 pm

    so is Phil taking all this from that same questionable translation of that same Shimbun article we all hashed to death months ago???

    After all the time talk radio devoted to his downfall last season

    um, huh? Where, in Chicago?

  2. DMZ on January 31st, 2006 2:16 pm

    I can’t imagine that it isn’t.

  3. CCW on January 31st, 2006 2:25 pm

    Well, Ichiro probably is a little demoralized, and the Ms, relative to their peers, at least, do sorta suck.

    If anyone had real hope that maybe the Bavasi-fronted FO was going to turn the franchise around, this off-season probably killed that hope. I can imagine the Ms getting lucky and winning 90 games a few once or twice over the next 5 years, but it just seems unlikely they’re going to have any sort of run of sustained success while Ichiro is in his prime. And if, after Bavasi, another mediocre and uncreative GM comes in, add another 5 years to that.

    As depressing as it is to be a fan of the Ms, I can imagine how certain players might be depressed by it too. Ichiro is one such player because his contract with the Ms takes him through his prime, and it’s been all downhill since he got here.

    Also, it’s been raining for 2 months straight.

  4. Deanna on January 31st, 2006 2:29 pm


  5. Evan on January 31st, 2006 2:33 pm

    It’s raining down there, too? Up here we just broke our record for the rainiest January ever (and given a typical January in Vancouver, that’s saying something).

  6. msb on January 31st, 2006 2:45 pm

    “As of 4 p.m. Monday, 11.33 inches of precipitation had fallen at Sea-Tac Airport since the first of the month, making this the second-wettest January and the fourth-wettest calendar month since records have been kept there.”


  7. Smegmalicious on January 31st, 2006 3:06 pm

    You know what Ichiro needs? He needs a firebrand to stir the pot! He needs another japanese position player to push him. He needs some starting pitching with GRIT. He needs players who KNOW HOW TO WIN.

    Or maybe he just needs dumbass reporters to leave him alone and let him be the golden god he is.

  8. Mat on January 31st, 2006 3:09 pm

    The really disappointing thing here is that, in a time where there’s not much baseball coverage going on, Rogers had an opportunity to write something interesting about the Mariners. Instead, he decided to tell his readers what they already know–that Ichiro is still good and that the Mariners were very bad last year. Why not write about how the M’s are hoping for their young players up the middle to help contribute to a winning effort this year? Or how Sexson will look to continue hitting for massive power in a place where it’s difficult to hit for power? Or any number of things that involve the Mariners but don’t involve Ichiro. He could write all kinds of stories that would help someone who doesn’t normally follow the Mariners learn something about the team. I guess Rogers thinks it has to be all Ichiro, all the time, even when the story has no legs, because no one’s going to read the story if it’s not about Ichiro.

  9. Evan on January 31st, 2006 3:30 pm

    I would love to read an in-depth interview with Richie Sexson. Quick, someone give Derek his phone number.

  10. jpwood on January 31st, 2006 3:30 pm

    This story is a pile and only appeared in Tokyo Shimbun as a copy/rewrite of two others written previously: bad source. As for Ichiro’s average dropping so much on 1st pitches, I remember seeing stats last November during the first run through the Ichiro interview on how he swung much less often on the 1st pitch in 2005 than he had in the past. He ‘took’ all year, tried to temper his aggressive approach, and it didn’t work.

  11. jpwood on January 31st, 2006 3:31 pm

    Yeah: he’ll fix that.

  12. msb on January 31st, 2006 3:40 pm

    #8– but that would involve actually doing some work….

  13. eponymous coward on January 31st, 2006 4:05 pm

    Rogers, huh? Well, you know what they say about GIGO…

    That being said, assuming Rogers story as being true (yes, I know, my aunt doesn’t have testicles, and it’s a dubious assumption)… this might not turn out so badly. We did pretty well the last two times we flipped superstars in their 30s. If we flop in a pool of Bavasi-generated flop sweat again next year, I could see a new GM being open to radically remaking the team, and going to senior management to say “Look, our farm system still isn’t up to snuff in cranking out talent yet. I have to trade our big salary, big talent players to have a shot at improving the team (by adding to the young player talent base and improving salary flexibility). I can maximize this with Ichiro, and he’s not happy here. Your call, but I think I can do what we did in 1998 and 2000 and bring in the talent we need for another run.”

  14. DMZ on January 31st, 2006 4:15 pm

    There’s uh… no chance that happens. The 2006 Mariners are built to return to contention this year, even if that harms 2007+.

  15. eponymous coward on January 31st, 2006 4:48 pm

    The 2006 Mariners are built to return to contention this year

    Right, and I agree that the EXPECTATION is that 2006 is a year of contention.

    Thing is, that was the expectation for 2004 and 2005, no? Granted, I think this is a .500 team, which means a decent (if slimmer than you’d like) chance at contending…but also a decent chance of disappointing. I don’t think an under-.500 year will cut it for saving Bavasi’s job, even if it represents an incremental improvement on 2004 and 2005. I don’t see how he can reasonable argue that going from 63 to 69 to 74 wins, for example, represents dramatic progress after spending 270 million dollars or so on payroll.

    That gets him fired…and a new GM might be open to thinking “Hey, let’s deal some of the oldder players with value so I can have salary flexibility on the FA market AND some shiny new prospects to play with- even if it means I make take a hit in year 1, I probably have a year for free to rebuild…and besides, this team didn’t collapse trading Randy or Griffey, did it?”. Especially if Ichiro intimates that he’d like to go somewhere where he can win NOW.

    I don’t think it’s a likely outcome (since I don’t find Rogers very credible based on his sourcing, and we may well be in the thick of things after the All-Star break)…but I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand if I was the new Mariner GM come November 2006 and was presented with a possibly unhappy superstar who wants contention, and a still-thin farm system/young talent base.

  16. Evan on January 31st, 2006 4:51 pm

    But the decisions made in construction this team were so bad… I think there’s less reason to expect contention this year than there was either of the two previous years.

  17. JoeM on January 31st, 2006 6:38 pm

    It does seem silly that this story keeps getting dredged up, however I’d like to approach it from a different perspective: should we, the fans, now be treating Ichiro with additional respect for his candor when we find that lacking so grossly from other parts of the ballclub?

    Also any USSM thoughts on the new batting coach’s take on things? Perhaps he might be the type to tell Ichiro to go back to being aggressive with his bat instead of Hargrove’s ‘wear them out’ kind of style that worked sooooo well last year.

  18. msb on January 31st, 2006 10:15 pm

    so we are assuming that this is Ichiro being ‘candid’? Wasn’t the thought that the original Shimbun interview/writer interpolations combined with the questionable translations added up to a whole lot of nothing?

  19. Evan on February 1st, 2006 9:17 am

    It’s important to remember that Ichiro ISN’T candid. Pretty much ever. He’s guarded. Any interview that sounds candid has to be wrong.

  20. Karen on February 1st, 2006 5:01 pm

    DMZ, why CAN’T Phil Rogers write about the Super Bowl? Because he doesn’t know anything at all about the underrated Seahawks, and would just copy all the other blatherers who are writing about which QB should be in GQ because he has more hair?

  21. msb on February 1st, 2006 5:32 pm

    not to get too far astray, but what is the deal KJR’s obsession with Roethlisberger’s looks? He’s not Adonis, but we’re not talking Julian Tavarez here either…

  22. Gomez on February 4th, 2006 2:47 pm

    Ichiro will lead off for a better team this season. NO, he is not gonna get traded: this Mariners team has improving young talent and while the signings were terrible business decisions and better options were out there, they are upgrades. This team should at least be a .500 squad, and that’s if there’s some decline from a key player or two, and no one has a breakout season.

    And of course he’s gonna be unhappy; what, do you expect cartwheels from a star player on a last place team?

    It doesn’t mean he’s gonna leave or demand a trade. He’s just unhappy. That’s all. It gets blown out of proportion because he’s ICHIRO~! Remember, the guy’s a mega star in Japan and does tons of interviews. So at some point he’s going to express an opinion on the team’s misfortunes. You can only No Comment for so long.

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