Yup, Ichiro wants out after this year

DMZ · January 12, 2007 at 12:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Unfortunately, the hot rumor mongering appears to have a good basis in reality, and the report on Japan Baseball Daily holds up. Dang.

Link to sanspo.com interview.

You may use the machine translator of your choice if you’re not Deanna or another cool person who can read Japanese.

Short version: M’s suck, he wants to play for a contender.

We’ll link to the denial/clarifications/refutations as they come.

Update: For instance, see the denial, two posts up.


109 Responses to “Yup, Ichiro wants out after this year”

  1. waldo rojas on January 12th, 2007 12:05 pm

    Nice stomach punch for a friday afternoon. Go Hawks.

  2. shaunmc on January 12th, 2007 12:06 pm

    This could explain why Hendu was pushed out of the broadcast booth. Give him a year to get back into shape and bam! — the M’s have a center field replacement for 2008. Bavasi, your brilliance never ceases to amaze me.

    If we’re really lucky, Dave Valle could be the option to replace Kenji at the catcher position. After all, it’s no great secret Jeff Clement will be traded for a 5th starter with slight groundball tendencies. Valle strikes me as someone who needs more than one year to get back into playing condition.

  3. dw on January 12th, 2007 12:11 pm

    Just don’t try to run it through Babelfish.

    “By your you participate as the main force, win and (take) the champion ring the greatest in the world. That is highest, don’t you think?. It is difficult simply, at present time to put out in goal. As for that only the player of the team which is limited being not to be possible…. The fact that it is possible at present time is done securely. It probably means that I where this is to the current team can say “,

    Which I think means, “A WS ring is a nice thing to have, no? I don’t see this team doing that, so I’m going to jump ship.”

    Or something.

  4. bermanator on January 12th, 2007 12:13 pm

    Perhaps Ichiro hasn’t heard about the Jose Vidro trade yet?

    Seriously, this isn’t a shock. There’s not much of an incentive for him to stay in Seattle, and while people here see the loss of Meche and the failure to get Schmidt or Zito as prudent long-term roster planning, I’m sure he sees it as a lack of a commitment to winning.

  5. Deanna on January 12th, 2007 12:17 pm

    In other news, Jason Johnson is going to pitch for the Seibu Lions next year. I hope he gets a decent medical translator…

  6. Tek Jansen on January 12th, 2007 12:18 pm

    Any chance that he returns to Japan after this year, or will his new 2008 team definitely be in MLB?

  7. msb on January 12th, 2007 12:19 pm

    Babelfish is just no help at all.

    As for the マ troop joining an organization 1st year of イチロー (01 years) very, listing 116 victories, area victory. But after 02 play off participation is let escape, hovering is continued. To previous season 3 year continual least significant of the club worst e.g., also 29 games are set away from the premier position in 04. The strain of play off does not taste with 5 year continuation. Furthermore large size reinforcement of recent years continuation of failure. Even the symptom of surfacing the fact that it cannot get wise is present condition.

  8. Tom on January 12th, 2007 12:25 pm

    Why doesn’t this surprise me?

    I seriously hope we sell the team and fast.

    Thanks Howard, Chuck, Bill, and Mike!!!
    You’ve managed to sabotage this entire franchise.
    Go Hawks!
    Go Cougs!

  9. Josh on January 12th, 2007 12:25 pm

    Or, maybe he’s smart enough to see that they’ve taken lateral steps (or steps backward) this year, while harming the future of the franchise as well.

  10. Tek Jansen on January 12th, 2007 12:27 pm

    Am I correct in assuming that that Ichiro does not possess a no-trade clause? Since he is a free-agent after this season, it would not make much of a difference if he went to a city that was not his first choice for a few months. But if he does have one, could he use it as leverage and weaken the M’s position if they try to trade him?

  11. jaysbaseballfan on January 12th, 2007 12:29 pm

    Whenever something like this happens, I say: blow up the team and rebuild. I have a feeling this is Bavasi’s last year. THen a few contracts will expire in a couple years, some good prospects will come in, and it will be a better day for baseball in Seattle.

  12. Mat on January 12th, 2007 12:34 pm

    Given how much the organization seems to be in love with Ichiro!, it sort of explains why they’ve been so keen on giving up youth for experience recently–trying to keep Ichiro! happy. There are much better ways to trade youth for experience (and stuff like their reported offer to Zito), and I don’t agree with most of their recent moves, but it would kind of explain their motivations.

  13. katal on January 12th, 2007 12:34 pm

    Haha, good.

    As a lifetime Mariner fan, I couldn’t be happier.

    It serves Hargrove, Bavasi, Armstrong, and Lincoln right.

    Now we just have to wait for July. By then Hargrove will have ensured that, even with an improved roster from last year, we’re out of contention, and Bill Bavasi can deal Ichiro for a handful of failed prospects.

  14. bermanator on January 12th, 2007 12:35 pm

    9 – Maybe, but I’d be very surprised. I would guess Ichiro doesn’t follow the minor leagues or the SABR stats … but he knows that a bunch of players who could help the M’s in the short-term have been signed this offseason, and Seattle hasn’t been involved in that except in losing Meche to the Royals. That would sure discourage me if I were Ichiro … if I’m any player, I’m less concerned about the future than I am the present, since for all I know I could be traded, benched, or released tomorrow (obviously the last two are very unlikely in Ichiro’s case, but still).

    10 – Sure, in the sense that Seattle would get more for Ichiro in trade if the acquiring team was able to sign him to an extension, or at least have reason to be optimistic about it.

  15. carcinogen on January 12th, 2007 12:35 pm

    11, I might agree with you…but obviously BB has not shown any patience for long-run rebuilding plans, and besides…Hargrove is not going to play the kids (see e.g. Snelling), or play them with dumb assignments (see Lopez).

    Go Hawks.

  16. RaoulDuke37 on January 12th, 2007 12:36 pm

    I really enjoy having Ichiro around. And recognize that he is very valuable to us in CF. The next contract he receives may very well be of questionable nature financially. However, the attention ($$$) he draws to the organization, I assume, will differ most if not all of the above appropriate cost.

    I wish him the best no matter where he lands.

  17. bergamot on January 12th, 2007 12:37 pm

    So, Ichiro! wants to join the growing family of players who sign with the Yankees to get a championship and never get a championship.

  18. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 12:38 pm

    Man. If we had Billy Beane as a GM, we could probably get someones whole farm system for him.

  19. atait on January 12th, 2007 12:42 pm

    This is actually great news.

    NOW can we trade him??

    Memo to Bill Bavasi: Get Ned Coletti and Omar Minaya on the phone, pronto!

  20. strong silence on January 12th, 2007 12:45 pm

    Who do we want from the Mets?

  21. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 12:45 pm

    That’d be a hillarious side story. Ichiro! signs AROD$$$$ to go to New York, and Johnny Damon get’s upset about playing time in CF and demands a trade.

  22. Tom on January 12th, 2007 12:48 pm

    What makes you think he’ll go to New York? The Yankees have a huge outfielder logjam, especially with Damon in CF. There’s no room for him over there.

    I think he will be a Boston Red Sox in 2008 and team up with Matsuzaka to win a World Series.

  23. loki on January 12th, 2007 12:50 pm

    Maybe we can trade him for a new manager and GM.

  24. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 12:51 pm

    Wait a minute, do we REALLY want Bavasi making that trade. If he could find a sucker, that’d be OK, but based on this offseason, he’d most likely be the suckee.

  25. joser on January 12th, 2007 12:51 pm

    It would make for even more intrigue in the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry, thanks to Matsuzaka, yes, but does he actually say “Yankees” anywhere? Don’t the Yankees already have a full outfield? Does he want to share the outfield with Matsui?

    I would guess he’d be interested in SoCal, where the weather is better, Japan is closer, and pretty much all the teams are potential contenders. Carry the Dodgers to greatness, reunite with Cameron in SD, or join Vlad in the outfield in the OC (just to complete the M’s misery: imagine pitching to those two back-to-back multiple times a year).

  26. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 12:51 pm

    I was joking.

  27. Mat on January 12th, 2007 12:52 pm

    The Yankees have a huge outfielder logjam, especially with Damon in CF.

    The Yankees have four outfielders right now. Damon, Abreu, Matsui, and Melky Cabrera. They’re all valuable players in their own right, but that hardly constitutes a “huge outfielder logjam.”

  28. AQ on January 12th, 2007 12:53 pm

    So if you’re the M’s and you are aware of his desire to leave, what do you? Do you try and talk him into signing an extension anyhow? Do you trade him now? Do you trade him at the deadline? Do you let him walk as a free agent and take the draft pick?

    It seems to me that the most prudent thing to do would be to either sign him to an extension now (and thereby remove the uncertainty) or trade him at the deadline. I would be more inclined to trade him at the deadline rather than now because I think it would increase the M’s chances of someone irrationally overpaying for him in an effort to make the playoffs (or solidify their playoff position).

  29. joser on January 12th, 2007 12:53 pm

    22 – I thought one of the reasons the M’s didn’t even try to get Matsuzaka was that Dash wasn’t interested in playing on “Ichiro’s team”; I would expect the feeling is mutual?

  30. Atticuswa on January 12th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Ichiro has certainly been an icon in Seattle, but I completely agree with the sentiment that we should trade him while we can. Yes, the Ms front-office have done their best to create a non-contending team. However, Ichiro also – either directly or indirectly – has been a part of the disfunctional Mariners team dynamic. I’m a little tired of his annual “I’m not happy” off-season chirping.

  31. atait on January 12th, 2007 12:59 pm

    I think the Dodgers, Angels, and Mets are the obvious choices. And I’d have no problem dealing him to the Angels.

    I think this article might provide the political “cover” necessary to allow management to justify an Ichiro trade. I understand most of the masses would be disappointed with such a deal, but management could always point to this article to placate said masses.

    Of course, I fully expect the M’s to hold onto Ichiro through the year, at which time he’ll sign for 5/90 with some other team, and we’ll have nothing but the same angry fan base to deal with.

    In comparison to the A-Rod situation, I think more of the blame will be on the shoulders of management, rather than on the player. Fans see that this team has serious problems, and will likely give Ichiro much more of a pass for leaving than they did A-Rod, who left a team that was two wins short of a World Series, yet incredibly claimed his desire to play for a championship was the impetus behind his departure.

    No Ichiro, angry fan base, and two or three very good young players >>>>>>> No Ichiro, and angry fan base.

  32. joser on January 12th, 2007 1:00 pm

    “Disfunctional Mariners team dynamic”? Puuuhlease. Winning teams are functional; losing teams are disfunctional. That’s the only dynamic that matters, and that’s the direction of its causality.

    His “I’m not happy” off-season chirping has been pretty much identical to our (the fans’) off-season chirping, and exactly on-target. If anything, I wish he’d spoken up more, in Japanese and directly to ownserhip, and thus gotten fired pretty much everyone on the org chart between Nintendo and him.

  33. joser on January 12th, 2007 1:04 pm

    Also, if they decide to rebuild the viaduct — just like it is, only bigger and with no views (as they’ll have to to meet code) — I am leaving Seattle after 2007.

  34. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 1:11 pm

    Oooooooooh, the viaduct. When will we learn?

    Seattle’s an accidentally great city. It’s not as if we’ve done a decent job planning anything, ever, that’s been well-thought out, well-implemented, and made the city a better place to live or work. Even the I-90 improvements, which were the first counter-argument I thought of, we managed to accidentally sink a bridge in the middle of the process. Ahhhhhh.

  35. Josh on January 12th, 2007 1:17 pm

    9 – Maybe, but I’d be very surprised. I would guess Ichiro doesn’t follow the minor leagues or the SABR stats … but he knows that a bunch of players who could help the M’s in the short-term have been signed this offseason, and Seattle hasn’t been involved in that except in losing Meche to the Royals.

    Possibly, but no matter what “presupposition” one looks at this offseason through, it hurt the now and the future. I suppose if you look through Rizzs rose-colored glasses you may be able to see a better now, but only to the slightest degree, and while simultaneously ignoring the future.

    Basically, I think Ichiro’s a smart enough guy to understand that the team has put itself in a horrible position for at least 2007-2009. Whether he adheres to certain metrics isn’t important to his finding of enough of the truth to know what is going down.

  36. deweyeyed on January 12th, 2007 1:24 pm

    yeah, well – why am I not surprised… would you play with Bavassi for a GM?

  37. joser on January 12th, 2007 1:30 pm

    [Edit for danger phrase]

    You can see Safeco from the Viaduct –- for now (I happened to be driving past when Edgar got his 1000th RBI, and you could hear the crowd even over the traffic noise and see the popping lightbulbs). You won’t be able to do that if they rebuild it. But imagine if it wasn’t there, and the cruise ships could tie up next to a park next to the field…

    Most of the great things about Seattle were here before Captain Vancouver sailed past, and the best anybody has been able to do has been to not screw them up (hey, let’s pave Greenlake and sell billboards on Mt Rainier!) Kind of like the Mariners when Bavasi arrived. (Greenlake, in all its algael glory, might be an example of something that made the city better — though the streams and fish and everything else that used to depend on the marsh might differ).

    I used to know a civil engineer who worked in the planning department for the State DOT. I once asked him what it was like to work for an agency that regularly sinks bridges and runs ferries aground. He sighed and said, “You know, at parties — as soon as they learn what I do — people always have a list of problems they think should be fixed. I used to listen and say something non-committal but positive. Now I just tell them ‘It’s only going to get worse.’”

  38. msb on January 12th, 2007 1:43 pm

    #34– ah, memories.

    anyone remember the 1968 “Forward Thrust” bonds that were earmarked for a regional rapid transit system? It missed the threshold for approval, and failed in 1970, and all the hundreds of millions in federal funds was sent to Atlanta instead …

  39. zzyzx on January 12th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Am I the only one who isn’t devistated by this news? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Ichiro! but he’s lost a step or two and his game is dependent on his speed. I think we got the best years out of him and whoever signs him next year will end up regretting it.

  40. bat guano on January 12th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but Mike Blowers instead of Dave Valle has got me more excited than this news. Ichiro is amazing, but I’d like him to have a shot at a championship too, and it may be that the money it would take to resign him would be better spent on pitching. He’s not getting younger and we’ve still got a ways to go to rebuikld this team. How about we package Rizzs with Ichiro for Chad Billingsly, James Loney or Andre Ethier and some Vin Scully voice overs?

  41. et_blankenship on January 12th, 2007 1:53 pm

    Days happy gone Ichiro! Contention currency numbers 2008! 2007 right fun field Ichiro arrival? Ipon!

  42. Thingray on January 12th, 2007 1:55 pm

    If he doesn’t want to be here, I don’t want him here. If he is truly unhappy, trade him for good young talent as soon as possible.

    Not that I trust Bavasi to make that trade…

  43. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 1:58 pm

    Stupid comets, always portending doom.

  44. Mr. Egaas on January 12th, 2007 2:02 pm

    Who do we want from the Mets?

    A nice package including Lastings Milledge.

  45. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 2:06 pm

    there’s a contradictory demand

  46. et_blankenship on January 12th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Not to divert the Ichiro stream, but [deleted, stream-diverting]

  47. jaysbaseballfan on January 12th, 2007 2:09 pm

    Am I the only one who isn’t devistated by this news? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Ichiro! but he’s lost a step or two and his game is dependent on his speed. I think we got the best years out of him and whoever signs him next year will end up regretting it.

    Ichiro isn’t the greatest hitter. He doesn’t walk a lot and his isolated power is 0.081, which isn’t too great (or 0.094 if you use the mainsteam one). Obviously his defence and baserunning abilities are off the charts, and he has great value as a fan favorite/ticket seller. And those Japanese guys, and quick/lean guys in general age better than heavier one-dimensional guys. I guess it somewhat balances out.

  48. jaysbaseballfan on January 12th, 2007 2:12 pm

    I should qualify that as the last year especially, if its a trend.

  49. Spanky on January 12th, 2007 2:25 pm

    We all knew this was coming. We’re mired in how many consecutive seasons of last place? How many times has Ichiro been stranded on first? Coaches that are morons? Players paid more than you that are less productive? IT WOULD DRIVE ME NUTS!!!

    I thought in the late 90′s the M’s had turned the corner and had gone from being a glorified 4A, start you career spot to a DESTINATION! That was all erased in very short order!!!

  50. Thingray on January 12th, 2007 2:25 pm

    #43: Hilarious! Made me think of Homer Simpson: “stupid sexy Flanders!”

  51. Grizz on January 12th, 2007 2:28 pm

    Oh, come on, Derek, there are lots of great achievements in Seattle city planning. What about Mercer Street? The bus tunnel? The abundance of easily navigable east-west corridors that make travel from Lake Washington to Puget Sound a matter of minutes?

    No? Well, you have to admit rebuilding downtown one story higher after the great fire was a pretty good idea — it promoted a quick recovery, and later inspired a classic episode of Scooby Doo. Since then, um, if you forget about the railroad tracks on either side, building the Kingdome immediately south of downtown and just off three major highways has worked out relatively well, all things considered (including one proposal to build it on stilts in Elliott Bay).

    But I suppose none of this will matter to Ichiro.

  52. 88fingerslukee on January 12th, 2007 2:35 pm

    I wonder if Ichi would consider coming to Vancouver to play for the Single-A Canadians?

  53. 88fingerslukee on January 12th, 2007 2:36 pm

    at least our city is planned better (i.e. horrible mass transit, no highways, etc.)

  54. terry on January 12th, 2007 2:37 pm

    Good for Ichiro…..

  55. et_blankenship on January 12th, 2007 2:38 pm

    Screw Lastings Milledge, who is grossly over-hyped. If Basvasi shops Ichiro to the Mets for a young outfielder, the young outfielder in question had better be Fernando Martinez. If the Mets refuse, stop listening and call the Tigers about Cameron Maybin. If the Yankees refuse, call the Yankees about Jose Tabata. There is no need to mess around. Ichiro will be a wanted man.

  56. Adam S on January 12th, 2007 2:39 pm

    Can’t say I’m surprised. Wasn’t the big story last off-season that ichiro wasn’t happy with Hargrove and Hargrove not only lasted the year but it on board for 2007 (not that we should fire Hargrove JUST because Ichiro doesn’t like him).

    The Mariners want desperately to win, but I don’t think the people in charge have any clue to do so. They made a big splash two years ago signing Beltre and Sexson to $$$$. But it seems to me since then that all they’ve done is sign 4th starters to big long term deals and acquire replacement level hitters to DH for $4-6M/year. If I were Ichiro I’d see three losing seasons and a team that still isn’t in position to win the division. I’d want out if I were him.

    And I agree with David that this could be a blessing in disguise. Ichiro is great. But you’re talking about signing him to a deal for his age 34, 35, 36, 37, and maybe 38, and 39 seasons and paying him based on what he did at age 30-32. If Ichiro wants 6/$120M, I’m not sure how the Mariners could sell “he’s not worth it” to the fans. PECOTA “predicts” he’ll be out of baseball before the end of his next contract. I’m a bit more optimistic than that, but I don’t think he’ll be an all-star past 2009 and not worth what he’ll be paid.

  57. atait on January 12th, 2007 2:45 pm

    55 – I agree, which makes the logic of an Ichiro deal too great to ignore.

    I’d prefer that the LA teams get into a fight over him, but that’s me…

  58. lone ranger on January 12th, 2007 2:52 pm

    All I want for Christmas re Ichiro is CArlos Beltran.

  59. mark s. on January 12th, 2007 2:59 pm

    FINALLY! This team will be making a spot for Bloomquist to be an everyday player.

  60. mark s. on January 12th, 2007 2:59 pm

    I do want to see Ichiro get a ring. He has given a lot to Seattle. The least the team could do is respect his wishes (if those are his wishes) and send him to a contender.

  61. frenchonion on January 12th, 2007 3:08 pm

    Who in their right mind would trade Beltran for Ichiro? Man, there’s going to be some really unrealistic expectations on this one…

  62. frenchonion on January 12th, 2007 3:14 pm

    …To continue the thought — Ichiro is now a rent-a-player. Hopefully someone will give up a (cheap) grade A prospect or two. This will be a good test of just how highly GMs now value pre-arbitration blue-chip players in the new market.

  63. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 3:20 pm

    I’m told you can get two of them for Jose Vidro, so imagine the haul you should be able to get for… oh. Right.

  64. PADJ on January 12th, 2007 3:26 pm

    So is this the new “aggressive” way the M’s have found to clear room for OF’s? :-)

    My biggest concern is that if he can’t or won’t come back to Seattle, then our FO will diddle away the opportunity to make anything constructive come out of this. If he’s leaving, then get the most you can for him.

    I think they owe it to Ichiro to let him chase his ring opportunities elsewhere if that’s what he feels he needs to do. And I think they owe it to Seattle baseball to use the opportunity to improve things.

    All that said, this is Bavasi we’re talking about….

  65. Josh on January 12th, 2007 3:29 pm

    Rox get Rodrigo Lopez from O’s for minor league relievers Jim Miller and Jason Burch.

  66. Thom Jimsen on January 12th, 2007 3:37 pm

    #60: The Mariners don’t “owe” Ichiro anything of the sort. They owed it to him, as they do to every player (and fan) to get better and put themsleves in a position to contend for a championship, but that ship has sailed, struck an iceberg and is currently sinking.

  67. Dave in Palo Alto on January 12th, 2007 3:44 pm

    34: Metro. Okay, the 1950′s, but still, it did clean up the lake.

  68. scott47a on January 12th, 2007 3:44 pm

    I’ll ask the question here that I asked in the other string: why not trade him now? Why wait for July?
    Won’t they get more for him for a full-season than for a half or less?
    Ticket sales will decline dramatically. But they are going to lose him anyway. The White Sox could use a leadoff hitter. Do they have any pitching prospects?

  69. jaboom jaboom on January 12th, 2007 3:46 pm

    Ichiro is way overrated.. he doesnt hit for extra bases, he doesnt have a great on base percentage for his position, he doesnt really steal bases. he hits singles. that its. thats all folks. he’s David Roberts with a passport.

  70. jaboom jaboom on January 12th, 2007 3:49 pm

    Sexson and Ichiro for Manny and a prospect that Hargrove will never play?

  71. et_blankenship on January 12th, 2007 3:50 pm

    #68 – The best pitching prospect the Sox have is probably Lance Broadway, and he profiles as a #5 . . . for most teams anyway. For Seattle, #5′s are the same as #3′s.

  72. msb on January 12th, 2007 3:50 pm

    and now this.

    “Yankees announced the retirement of RHP Jeff Nelson.”

  73. Eleven11 on January 12th, 2007 3:51 pm

    Heckava business plan going here. You retain your Field Manager because he is uniquly qualified to manage young players. Then you trade said young players for older injured ones which then causes your only star, who in his own unique way has said that above Field Manager can’t find his a__ with both hands (parroting Field Managers bench coach, by the way), to make it clear that he is moving on. All that is left is for Management to trade star for a bag of balls and a 1967 Buick so that “…makes us better right now.” (Betcha Yankees have reveresed direction on Bernie Williams and are signing him to trade to Ol’ Billy B)

  74. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 3:51 pm

    Ichiro is way overrated.. he doesnt hit for extra bases, he doesnt have a great on base percentage for his position, he doesnt really steal bases. he hits singles. that its. thats all folks. he’s David Roberts with a passport.

    also ichiro stole my apostrophe key and both shift keys. i am really mad about it. if anyone sees my stolen keys please let me know.

  75. Josh on January 12th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Do they have any pitching prospects?

    No, many not worthwhile ones anyway. Their best pitching prospect right now is John Danks, who came from Texas for Brandon McCarthy. I haven’t seen anyone else in their system remotely interesting.

  76. Josh on January 12th, 2007 3:53 pm

    What’s the average OBP for CFs?

  77. C. Cheetah on January 12th, 2007 3:53 pm

    A more and immediate question about Ichiro…will ANY of the local media take this opportunity to slam Bavasi and crew about why Ichiro is unhappy…or will they IGNORE this story until the M’s pressure Ichiro’s manager enough to make aexcuses for / retraction / rebuttal of the Japanese story..

  78. Josh on January 12th, 2007 3:55 pm

    75 – should be “not many”

  79. Thingray on January 12th, 2007 3:55 pm

    Thanks DMZ! I just about shot Dr. Pepper out of my nose! HAHAHAHA!

  80. et_blankenship on January 12th, 2007 3:56 pm

    I forgot about Danks. They could still do better, though.

  81. Josh on January 12th, 2007 3:57 pm

    I forgot about Danks. They could still do better, though.


  82. jaboom jaboom on January 12th, 2007 4:00 pm

    Lastings doesn’t seem like the talent. He is showing the sign of being the next Shane Mack.

  83. JMHawkins on January 12th, 2007 4:01 pm

    Seattle’s an accidentally great city. It’s not as if we’ve done a decent job planning anything, ever…

    Or, as I was told once on the Underground Tour, Seattle is a city that was built by drunken lumberjacks.

    I only wish we had some drunken lumberjacks to run the M’s. They would have to be better than the current mess.

    Oh, and Eleven11, great post. Yes, this team doesn’t seem able to connect the dots, everything is random motion with no discernable plan.

  84. jaboom jaboom on January 12th, 2007 4:01 pm

    Maybe they can trade Ichiro for Carlos Guillen

  85. Josh on January 12th, 2007 4:02 pm


    I forgot to add: which probably means they won’t.

  86. msb on January 12th, 2007 4:03 pm

    #77– they did last year. and Tony Attanasio isn’t really somebody who caves to pressure, esp. when he has the upper hand.

  87. Thingray on January 12th, 2007 4:03 pm

    I’m not sold on Lastings Milledge. I think the Mets may have pulled an M’s move and held on to him too long. Besides, we already have Adam Jones. How do those two compare?

  88. msb on January 12th, 2007 4:16 pm

    from Seattlest

  89. pensive on January 12th, 2007 4:23 pm

    I am not sure Ichiro should be traded now or later. It does seem obvious that if your biggest star is going to be traded it should be for the greatest need. Pitching. Leaving Manager and Front Office out of trade.

  90. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 4:25 pm

    So Ichiro should trade himself?

  91. jaboom jaboom on January 12th, 2007 4:27 pm

    Bill Simmons calls it the VP of Common Sense. That is who should make the trade.

  92. taro on January 12th, 2007 4:38 pm

    Heres a translation (only the Ichiro direct quotes as everything else is speculation by the writer):

    Regarding possible Free Agency:

    “I may be affected (more than in the past) by how my agent decides to move(in regards to signing a new contract anywhere). I realize this may invite some misunderstandings, but as a professional I always want to play as hard as I can for myself, no matter the circumstances.”

    Regarding the Mariners’ season Ichiro doesn’t sound very upbeat:

    “Winning a world championship with me as the centerpiece…that would be awesome. But currently its tough to visualize that as a realistic personal goal going into the season..Thats something that only the players from a few teams can do. For now I just have to play to my ability in the present. Thats what I, myself can say being on the team (and the situation) I’m currently on now.”

    IMO sounds as if Ichiro is ready to be a FA next season; barring a promising season or some serious changes in negotiations during spring training.

  93. taro on January 12th, 2007 4:38 pm

    Also… Ichiro is NOT demanding a trade.

  94. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 5:14 pm

    Oh man Derek, the keys thing is hillarious. It took me 2 seconds to realize what you were talking about. I’ve never done, what I think you did, or nothing ;)

  95. Ralph on January 12th, 2007 5:26 pm

    Ichiro is way overrated.. he doesnt hit for extra bases, he doesnt have a great on base percentage for his position, he doesnt really steal bases. he hits singles. that its. thats all folks. he’s David Roberts with a passport.

    And in other news, the sun set in the West today. He hit the same number of doubles as the slowest player in Major League Baseball last year.. but needed 44 more games to do it. Trading him wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The bad thing would be that Bavasi would get next to nothing for him, and then sign Darrin Erstad to replace him in center field.

  96. Ralph on January 12th, 2007 5:27 pm

    Darin Erstad, that is.

  97. pensive on January 12th, 2007 5:32 pm

    #90 DMZ Whoops a slip. Meant Manager and FO are great needs not to be addressed in this trade.

    Considering a trade with Ichiro the prize indeed he would most likely be the most qualified to broker a mutually beneficial trade.

  98. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 5:40 pm

    The whole Ichiro! is overrated thing is overblown. If he continues to play plus defense in Center, be a plus base-stealer, and hit for a high average, he’s anything but overrated. His value is probably the highest to the Mariners though, because of the spacious outfield, and the fact that he’s able to product a lot of runs in a lower scoring environment. I mean, he’s put up a .370/.416 line, as a CF at Safeco, and that .370 OBP is AVG heavy, which means it’s worth a little more over the course of a year. Even if you adjust for PA against his rate based stats, he’s well above average.

  99. Deanna on January 12th, 2007 5:45 pm

    Well, on a happier note, in trying to dig up more on this Ichiro stuff, it looks like Johjima is doing some training workouts in Sasebo with some Hawks players, and his goal for 2007 is to hit .300 with 30 HR and 100 RBI. Woohoo!

    (I don’t really read too much into the Ichiro articles anyway, which is why I hadn’t even bothered really reading the Sanspo one — feels like this happens every winter, some Japanese sportswriter decides to take some of Ichiro’s comments as “Mariners suck!” and blow it out of proportion… and was too busy at work today to really translate much of anything)

  100. scareduck on January 12th, 2007 9:19 pm

    I seriously hope we sell the team and fast.

    I’ll buy it. First, though, I have to become a billionaire. It might take a while. Be right back.

  101. chrisisasavage on January 12th, 2007 9:35 pm

    If Johjima, can do that as a catcher, he’s more valuable than Ichiro!

  102. MickeyZ on January 13th, 2007 7:10 am

    What will really bum me out is if we fail to trade him for a bucket O’ tasty prospects and he walks as a free agent. The M’s survived the loss of Johnson, Griffey, ARod, Mark Langston, etc just fine. Losing a star is sad but not necessarily devastating. But we need to get something back in return.

  103. chrisisasavage on January 13th, 2007 8:24 am

    #100, not if I can outbid you. Lets see, hmm, a nickle and a quarter, oh look, 2 bucks, some pocket lint, oh, a Bruce Campbell bobblehead, I’ll be back in a second too.

  104. Rufus T. Firefly on January 13th, 2007 10:10 pm

    First, the only people who want to take down the viaduct are the nice folks at Harbor Properties, which is largely owned by the Bullitt family and other of the secretive old Seattle rich. Why let us poor plebians from Phinney Ridge, Ballard, and Crown Hill actually get to see the waterfront once in a while. The property values of the rich will grow immensely if the viaduct is demolished, and we will all get to pay for it.
    And how in hell are you going to build a tunnel down there when they had water problems on the Third Avenue Tunnel, which is a good ways up the hill from the viacuct?
    As for Ichiro, I agree that his concerns are the same as those of us who care for/used to care for the M’s. Some of us remember the 11,000 attendance on Friday nights in the Dome that only ended in September of 95 when all the front runners jumped on board. Now, Mariners fans are like Sonics fans; late arriving, early leaving, and ignorant of the real history of Seattle baseball. I can not blame Ichi because there is absolutely no frigging chance that this management team will put a winner on the field any time soon. Hell, we could not get to the World Series with Edgar, Junior, Buhner, Unit, and A-Rod. Why the heck would we figure we could get there with the current guys?
    We Seattites seem to think that everyone sees our home town like we do: living on Phinney Ridge is like living in the highest tiers of Heaven. Athletes, and their venal agents, do not think that way.
    Did you see that fucktard Boras’ comment implying he could have gotten 51 a lot more dough? What a turd (Boras). He reminds me of Max Mercy in The Natural: Have you ever played the game? Of course he didn’t. He got cut from the JV team in middle school and spent the rest of the time stealing lunch money from little kids. He is one of those who always dissed the boys and girls who actually went to practice every day by saying, “I was going to turn out, but was too busy. I could have done better than those bums.”
    Like I said: fucktard.
    Anyway, I recommend we M’s fans get used to losing because that is our immediate future until the world ends in 2012 at the end of the Mayan calendar.
    I can not hold it against Ichiro that he sees the handwriting on the wall.

  105. Rufus T. Firefly on January 13th, 2007 10:20 pm

    And apropos of nothing, Ichi was one of the best clutch hitters I ever saw in his first couple of years here. He was the anti A-Rod. Is there any Mariner fan who did not see that A-Rod was not going to be a good, or even decent, clutch hitter?
    In any event, for whatever reason, Icihiro has been no where near the clutch hitter in the last couple of years he had been in the first couple. He is a world class outfielder and a pretty fair singles hitter. He is a crappy lead off hitter, but we would bruise his ego if we hit him anywhere else. Given the personel on this team, he should not be leading off, except to placate his narcissistic wishes.
    I would say trade him, but Lincoln, Bavasi, and the “management” would probably get a used bus and Joey Cora in return.
    And sad to say, I went to High School with Wayne Perry, who is otherwise a hell of a nice guy.

  106. Josh on January 13th, 2007 11:51 pm

    A-Rod is the opposite of clutch. Felix Fermin [right now] would be so much better. Convince the Yankees that he helped us out and maybe they’ll be willing to punt A-Rod for Fermin, then we can pick him up.

    Except, he’s not a clutch player so we don’t want him. Hmmm.. I knew there was a kink somewhere in that.

    Um, what personnel on this team would be appropriate for leading off aside from Ichiro? Assuming, of course, that Fermin isn’t at our disposal to take his spot in the lineup, because I’d go for that in a heartbeat.

  107. vj on January 14th, 2007 5:47 am

    I suppose comments from someone posting as a Groucho Marx character are not to be taken too seriously…

  108. rwanderson7 on January 14th, 2007 8:16 am

    vj can “suppose” all he wants, which I guess in some circles passes for analysis. But thanks for commenting in the apparent absence of someone who actually knows something.
    I am guessing vj attended his or her first Mariner game in September of 95. Rufus and I, along with a couple others, were Mariners season ticket holders for several lean years before that. At the end of the day, I think that should give him some credibility. As for me, maybe a commentator should be judged by the logic, intelligence, and perceptiveness of the comments. Ad hominem does not pass for intelligent discourse any place that matters.
    Fran Liebowitz suggests that if you believe we have education in this country, you are wrong. Statements like 107 prove her right. Everything Rufus wrote is accurate and a good deal more perceptive than a lot of stuff you read on Deadspin or Kissing Suzy Kolber. Rather than analyzing a screen name, maybe one could analyze the content. But then that would require intelligence and analysis…. Sorry.
    I am not sure the Mariners have a true lead off hitter, but Betancourt would be a good place to start. A guy who never walks is only a decent lead off if he hits about .380.
    Not every player has to be clutch, but a few would be nice. The old Yankees teams from the fifties and sixties did not have eight clutch hitters, but they did have enough to win a bunch of titles.
    Ichiro on the right team, with power and pitching, would be great. I am sure he is thinking, with a good basis, that he could help a good team become a contender, or make a contender a champion. I think he is right. On better Mariner teams, that was his role and he played it beautifully.
    I would hate to lose him, but I understand that he may grow tired of losing. So would I. So am I, rather.
    Happy MLK, Jr. day Mariners fans.

  109. Rufus T. Firefly on January 14th, 2007 8:27 am

    Thanks RWA7. I do not remember seeing vj at any games before 9/95 either. It was good to see Frank Chopp down in Oly gave the tunnel a resounding no. That is the first good thing to come out of Oly in a long while.
    Maybe vj would like Sexson to lead off….
    As for my screen name, forgive me for enjoying one of the funniest men ever to make a movie. I aspire, though fall short, to his wit. Yes, vj, I have seen all the Groucho Marx movies and enjoy every one. Forgive me for having an actual personality.
    If you get this this morning, join me at the country club for breakfast. I’ll buy you a G and T for your kind words. I am leaving now after I check the NYT and WP online for some real world news.
    Go Seahawks.

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