A brief thought on Ichiro pitching
Jose Canseco’s Typhoid Mary impression did amazing damage to baseball’s reputation, but I don’t at all doubt there would have been another. What I particularly blame him for, tonight, is the reluctance to let position players pitch. It used to happen all the time — actually, if you watch minor league box scores, it happens more often than you might guess — and Canseco blowing out his arm was so big that it made everyone more reluctant to let their position guys pitch for fear of the same criticism Kevin Kennedy endured.
But to my point — Ichiro, and probably any number of Mariners, can pitch. Not well, but they can, to varying degrees. Ichiro, if nothing else, could certainly throw smoke up there. But he can’t, because everyone’s too scared that a valuable player will hurt themselves, despite all the evidence that they can pull it off… because Jose Canseco blew out his arm in 1993. So only back-roster guys get asked to take the mound, and if you’re lucky, you get Brent Mayne 2000*.
I don’t know if Ichiro would have done any better. And yes, he might have blown his elbow out. But we have tons on tons of evidence that he’d have been fine, and it would have been absolutely freaking awesome to see. And it might have helped.
One more reason to hate Canseco.
* Brent Mayne rules woooooo!!