Guillen’s heavy, but not heavy bad, Ichiro fallout, catchers bruised
Ichiro! fallout as Hargrove says it won’t be a distraction (PI notebook). Vidro’s taking balls in the infield. Don’t think about it too much, it burns the brain. Also, Jose Guillen is a little heavy, but that doesn’t matter:
“He’s a little heavier than he would like and we would like,” Hargrove said. “We’ve got plenty of time. We’re not worried about it. He’s in great baseball shape and we’re just trying to take a few pounds off.”
Such great shape that they want him to lose 5% of his body weight.
Ted Miller in the PI offers this baffling paragraph on Ichiro:
Lucky for him a divorce and new start is possible via free agency. The only choice for fans is to scratch their eyeballs out and run screaming through the streets if the home team is impaled by the rest of the American League West for a fourth consecutive season.
That’s a sort of… weird set of images to put together in two sentences. Moving on, time to make ding Ichiro for not having a great relationship with the press.
The breaking news Tuesday wasn’t so much that Ichiro is contemplating bolting Seattle but that he spoke about it openly and clearly — through an interpreter, of course — and without the haikus, riddles and circular responses he typically employs.
What, no musing about a metaphoric tree with neglected roots, see his 2006 All-Star Game media session?
Here’s the thing. I know Ichiro’s not all Ibanez/Bloomquist/Dan Wilson/whoever, happy to hand out warmed over cliches after every game. He’s been extremely reluctant to criticize the team, from incompetent manager to the lack of effort or talent by his teammates, and when he’s even approached it, it’s been extremely circumspect.
If the story here is the contrast of Ichiro making more open statements that can clearly be read as discontent, there’s a story. What’s the point in making fun of him? When has he ever spoken in haiku? Or riddles? Here’s your haiku.
Ted Miller column
wafts in with gentle spring breeze
wince at acrid smell
What’s more, if you’re interested at all in looking harder at this, you can find many examples where Ichiro’s taken intelligent questions and given careful, articulate answers that provide insight and offer a glimpse into his thinking. For instance, take David Shields’ excellent (and really long) interview with Ichiro, which unfortunately is now behind a registration wall, he talks at length about a variety of interesting baseball thoughts.
Is that it, then? Is it that Ichiro says “It was a fly ball, I caught it,” delivering a flat understated answer to a flat question? That he doesn’t instead say “well that was a really well hit ball and when I saw it come off the bat I knew it was going to be close and I ran as hard as I could and I almost ran out of room but I was lucky enough to get there and put my glove up to make the play”?
Why then bring up haikus? Is Ichiro cryptic to Miller, like a short poem? But that’s in the riddles. Is it because the haiku is Japanese? I don’t understand this column, or why the column goes that far to tweak Ichiro for something he clearly doesn’t deserve.
Moving on. I guess the PI is still refusing to wire Jim Moore money to get back from Florida, because he’s continuing to locate and hassle former Mariners. Today it’s Eddie Guardado. Isn’t there something we can do? Buy him a bus ticket, anything?
They have two young center fielders, Jeremy Reed and Adam Jones, who will need playing time in coming years to show what they’ve got. Seattle could have traded Reed, Jones, or both this winter but balked. OK then, what’s the plan now?
This implies the team has a plan, which we’ve clearly seen consists of a couple items they write down on a grocery list notepad and then proceed to check off at the off-season supermarket. Veteran starter (2). Veteran DH with power from the left side. Veteran reliever…
Oh, and Bloomquist is going to play most of the time at second until Lopez is ready to take over. First person to correctly predict the date, author, and newspaper to run the first “When will Willy get his chance to start?” article gets a year’s free subscription to USS Mariner.