Game 73, Mariners at Dodgers

Mike Snow · June 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Art Thiel had a piece today – well, I suppose I should say last night, since that’s the timestamp and now that the P-I’s only online, it’s not like there’s “today’s edition” of the paper to talk about – on how Ichiro is getting no media attention. Selfish Ichiro, waiting until the media have other things to focus on (Griffey!) before giving them something to write about.

Really, I’d argue that based on performance so far, it could even be his best season ever. The hitting is up there with hit-record-breaking 2004, except it’s not all singles all the time like it was then. If you want to find fault, though, he’s not walking (at all – only 5 unintentional) and his base-stealing has been subpar.

There’s also a peculiar sequence in which Thiel gives Ichiro’s responses to some apparently uninspired reporter questioning. The frequent cliche-ness of interview questions is really a shame with somebody like Ichiro, because we know he has interesting (insightful, quirky, quasi-literary) things to say, not just the stock answers you usually see. But what caught my eye was this comment, about how he feels compared to last year:

“I don’t remember how I felt last June.”

Maybe it’s because he was drowning his sorrows. And if you imagine that time as an employee, which he is, and your company is in the toilet, people around you getting laid off, others making veiled threats, your bosses being fired, that’s a pretty traumatic numbing experience. Anyway, apparently things are much happier now by all accounts. As nice as it would be for Ichiro to put the team on his back and carry it while being a clubhouse leader and catering to the media, can we get him some help?

Can you remember how you felt about the team back then? Has it changed? Should we be happy now or still frustrated?


122 Responses to “Game 73, Mariners at Dodgers”

  1. Kazinski on June 26th, 2009 9:30 pm

    And casual and friendly FUs to the slagging of Joh immediately upon returning.

    I hope you realize my posts are a little sarcasm directed at some CERA advocates. Johjima isn’t of course responsible for how well the pitcher executes the call. I’ve yet to see Joh holding his glove right in the center of the zone calling for Vargas’s, or Corky’s 90mph heaters. The batter will never look for it there.

  2. kyoko on June 26th, 2009 9:32 pm

    Great quote from LA announcer: Yuniesky Betancourt has been a solid fixture.

  3. Slippery Elmer on June 26th, 2009 9:33 pm

    This is the first I’ve gotten to see of Josh Wilson on the M’s. The night lighting makes him look a lot more pale than he does in the afternoon, in a football helmet.

  4. Sidi on June 26th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Slippery Elmer I’ve noticed that, and it seems to be a soccer/football thing.

    I actually love the sport, but Nascar is the only “sport” that whores out advertising space at a greater rate.

  5. Kazinski on June 26th, 2009 9:41 pm

    So its the veteran pitchers that have had a lots of MLB experience that forget what they throw, and where to throw it when Joh is behind the plate? And its the 3 youngsters, that presumably depend more on the catcher, that have pretty much the same or lower OPS when Joh is catching? Wow.

  6. Slippery Elmer on June 26th, 2009 9:42 pm

    Right in the freaking zone. Nice pitch, Miggy… Ethier is unconscious.

  7. ppl on June 26th, 2009 9:47 pm

    Well, local fantasy players who have Andre Either should be happy about this game.

  8. Kazinski on June 26th, 2009 9:50 pm

    I think Wak’s strategy of letting LA’s young hitters swing themselves into exhaustion in the first game of the series will pay dividends in the last two games of the series.

    Ichiro, selfishly, is not conserving his energy, like the rest of the hitters batters until Wak springs his trap in game 2. I don’t think Lopez got the memo either.

  9. msb on June 26th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Catching up with the thread, it makes listening to the game this last 2 hours a tad more enoyable in retrospect.

    I’m just amazed the Ms aren’t being shutout, the way things have gone

  10. Slippery Elmer on June 26th, 2009 9:58 pm

    In a way, that was an appropriately symbolic way to end the game. Couldn’t they have pinch hit Griffey or something?

  11. Kazinski on June 26th, 2009 10:14 pm

    That’s not good news, Beltre in a recorded interview in the postgame show basically says he’s the drop of a hat away from surgery.

    He may not last out the road trip. The good news I suppose is that he’d be back by mid August. That stinks, can’t trade him, and he is unlikely to be a even a type B, if he misses a third of the season. Of course his value on the market won’t be great with back to back shoulder surgeries, he might as well come back to the M’s.

  12. Marinerfan4life on June 26th, 2009 10:15 pm

    Beltre is hurting, you can see it with every dive and swing. If or when he has to get that shoulder fixed again, that is really going to hurt the teams chances of contending.

  13. kenshabby on June 26th, 2009 10:20 pm

    Well, Corcoran’s worn out his welcome. Can’t wait for Shawn Kelley to return. Oh yeah…Ethier was just ethereal tonight (as in belonging to another world).

  14. msb on June 26th, 2009 10:22 pm

    Larry Stone had more tonight from that pregame interview with AB

  15. Marinerfan4life on June 26th, 2009 10:30 pm

    It sounds like he will be DL bound pretty soon….
    I can imagine that this shoulder is going to prevent him from hitting with any power. He can’t even swing hard or dive for a ball without a lot of pain. The only good thing I can see out of this is that he would be seen as damaged goods in the FA market and maybe the M’s could get him back for pretty cheap.

  16. bilbo27 on June 26th, 2009 10:47 pm

    “It sounds like he will be DL bound pretty soon”

    Well that sucks. That makes Tui’s injury doubly crappy. I suppose on the bright side, we’ll get to see Carp playing a bit with presumably Branyan over at third. And hey, when Yuni’s back, that quasi third he often likes to play for some reason might actually help out with Branyan over there. 🙂

    Has anybody crunched the numbers to see how much worse off we can presume to be with Branyan at third and Carp at first? I assume Carp’s defense is better than Branyan’s given that I heard in an interview that he has played 1st pretty much his whole life going back to little league (note: i haven’t looked at any numbers to back that up, just going off the fact that he said he played it his whole life, so he’s probably better than Branyan defensively there).

    Obviously then we get a pretty major drop in defense from Branyan at third over Beltre, but also get a very nice boost in offense at third with Branyan there, assuming Branyan keeps going as he has.

    So has anyone crunched all the numbers to see how it all should come out?

  17. msb on June 26th, 2009 10:59 pm

    Josh Wilson? Morse? 🙂

  18. Marinerfan4life on June 26th, 2009 11:04 pm

    Branyan at third sounds a little scary but he used to be a 3B so why not? It does blow big time Tui had to get injured back in April. But Branyan at third and Carp at first is the only way I can see it going down without making the offense even more anemic. Ugh they have overcome so many injuries and obstacles but this one may be the one they can’t overcome. Their lack of minor leauge talent at many positions is beginning to show.

  19. Lixjgrib on June 26th, 2009 11:19 pm

    FINALLY. I had given up on reading the main Seattle blogs, and just reverted to googling Ichiro news for the day. Of course, if you google Ichiro, you will find many news sources talking about his 100th hit, rising BA, etc., etc. BUT, not a work at the Seattle Times (typical), and surprisingly, not much here either. Glad you guys are getting caught up with the news. There really is so much to read about. Ichiro just never ceases to amaze. He is approaching a several more records, and obviously shows no signs of decline.

  20. Kazinski on June 27th, 2009 2:35 am

    Chris Shelton has been playing 3b for the Raniers, and I see that he leads the team in errors by a wide margin with 15. Still it may work out better than playing Branyan out of position. I think the last thing you’d want to do is take one of the few consistent offensive threats on the team, who does not have a history of being consistent, and then move him to a new, harder, defensive position to replace a gold glover.

    Imagine the team without Beltre, now imagine the team without Beltre, and Branyan’s offensive production dropping off the table, along with his trade value. I’d rather trade Branyan for a third base prospect, or a third base journeyman and a prospect rather than move him to 3rd.

  21. Nate on June 27th, 2009 7:36 am

    Has anybody crunched the numbers to see how much worse off we can presume to be with Branyan at third and Carp at first?

    hang on… crunch, crunch, crunch.
    yep, we still don’t make the playoffs.

  22. nadingo on June 27th, 2009 10:31 am

    I love that quote about Ichiro not remembering last June. I don’t think that’s just him trying to be cute when answering a lame question — I think it’s just his whole Zen approach to the game. Last June was a crappy time for the team and for his happiness in playing the game, so why would he dwell on that time instead of focusing on the present moment and on making his current performance as good as it can possibly be?

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