Ichiro to the Yankees

Dave · July 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Holy crap. As you’ve probably heard by now, the Mariners have traded Ichiro to the Yankees for right-handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. But let’s be honest, you don’t care about those two right now. They don’t matter. This isn’t a trade for prospects, this is a trade to allow Ichiro a chance to play in the postseason.

And it’s absolutely in everyone’s best interests. For Ichiro, struggling to perform on a disappointing team in front of a restless fan base every night couldn’t have been enjoyable. Being continually cited as the reason for the team’s demise while having his personality and character called into question couldn’t have been enjoyable. In fact, to be honest, I’m not sure there’s been much about Ichiro’s time in Seattle that has been enjoyable the last few years. He clearly enjoyed getting to play with Junior. He probably enjoyed performing well, even when the team didn’t, though we don’t really know that to be true because we don’t really know much about Ichiro.

So, now, Ichiro gets to go to the Yankees. A team that scores runs and wins game, and will almost certainly be playing in October. He’s probably going to be a platoon player, sharing time with Andruw Jones in left, and giving them outfield depth and a guy who can still play some defense. If he starts hitting again, that will be great for them, but they’re not counting on Ichiro to hit. For probably the first time in his entire career, Ichiro won’t be under intense pressure to hit well. That will probably be different. That will probably be fun.

For the Mariners, this trade has a bunch of benefits well beyond the two pitchers they got back in return. It opens up playing time for younger players and removes a guy who has been a lightning rod for criticism among members of the media and the fan base for several years. But, perhaps most importantly, it shows that the Mariners are willing to move on. Last week, when Jon Paul Morosi wrote that the Mariners were planning on re-signing Ichiro, the reaction was mostly negative. This is a fan base that is ready to move on from Ichiro. This is a fan base that wanted to know that the team knew it was ready to move on from Ichiro. I guess they could still re-sign him as a free agent this winter, but this seems like a pretty clear sign that the organization is ready to move on from Ichiro. And that, more than anything, is a sign that the fan base needed.

It’s also a reminder that as much griping as people do about ownership, no one really has any idea how the inner workings of the team’s front office works. Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong, and Hiroshi Yamauchi have taken a lot of shots over the years about perceptions of interference in the baseball operations department, and it was assumed by many that ownership was not going to let the baseball operations staff make this kind of move. Those assumptions were wrong. At the end of the day, the Mariners made the right call here, and they deserve credit for making that call.

Later tonight, or maybe tomorrow, I’ll write the goodbye Ichiro post that he deserves. He was a great player for the Mariners, and I’ll miss watching him perform his wizardry at the plate. I’ve missed that for going on two years, though, which makes this goodbye easier to say. In his prime, he was amazing. And then he got bad, and the end wasn’t pretty. This is probably for the best for everyone.

Thanks for all your years of fine performance, Mr. Suzuki. And thanks for knowing that it was time to move on.


121 Responses to “Ichiro to the Yankees”

  1. galaxieboi on July 23rd, 2012 3:13 pm


  2. justdave on July 23rd, 2012 3:15 pm


    Didn’t think they’d have the chutzpah to do that.

    I hope we got “something” in return.

  3. terryoftacoma on July 23rd, 2012 3:17 pm

    A couple of relief pitchers, Mitchell and Farquhar.

  4. Mariners35 on July 23rd, 2012 3:17 pm

    Surprised that a Yankee reporter breaks this, rather than an M’s org fellow or similar news conference.

  5. msfanmike on July 23rd, 2012 3:18 pm

    Traded to the Yankees – just in time to see a 3 game series (at home) against the Yankees?

    In regard to the timing, that would be a rather large dumb-ass move. Provide the home fans an opportunity to say goodbye as he plays for the opposing team?

    Bizarre if true. Really bizarre.

    In regard to the rumored players in return … I have no idea – and at this moment, don’t particularly care.

  6. Jay R. on July 23rd, 2012 3:20 pm

    Was hoping to see him retire as a Mariner, but I am glad we don’t have to have the uncomfortable conversation after the season. Good luck to him- hope he wins a ring.

  7. Bender on July 23rd, 2012 3:22 pm

    NOOOOO! No, no, no, no, no!

    This can’t be true. Is it April 1st?

  8. Slats on July 23rd, 2012 3:23 pm

    Wow! Did not see that cominh.

    All the best Ichiro!

  9. StorminGorman on July 23rd, 2012 3:23 pm

    Wow. Good on Jack. And props to Ichiro. A groundbreaking player.

    Interesting read from Drayer on KIRO just now: Without Ichiro, she questions how committed will ownership be to the team. She speculates that the team will be put up for sale within a year.

  10. justdave on July 23rd, 2012 3:23 pm

    Yes if this is true, it’s going to be weird, but as an Ichiro fan I would love to see him play in the World Series.

  11. lalo on July 23rd, 2012 3:23 pm

    I hate Jack Z… Ichiro is great, I hate the fucking Yankeees.

  12. californiamariner on July 23rd, 2012 3:24 pm

    WOW. Does anyone know anything about the players the Mariners got?

  13. zzyzx on July 23rd, 2012 3:27 pm

    Intellectually I know that Ichiro is no longer Ichiro! but what else do we have that’s fun to watch?

  14. bloody_yankees on July 23rd, 2012 3:28 pm

    There are actually people who are Mariners fans who still want Ichiro to be a Mariner? This boggles the mind.

  15. BillyJive on July 23rd, 2012 3:28 pm

    Wow! Best of luck Ichiro. Although I can’t bring myself to root for the Yankees, if they win the World Series this year I will be ok with it.

  16. marc w on July 23rd, 2012 3:29 pm

    Hoooooooollllly crap.


  17. lalo on July 23rd, 2012 3:30 pm

    Hey, we´ll see Mike Carp in RF and Ichiro with the awful Yankees! Thanks Jack Z, you are great :(

  18. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 3:31 pm

    That’s funny – first thing I said, seeing the news, was “Holy Crap!”

    None of us saw this coming, for sure!

    Goodbye, Ichiro, and thank you for all the great memories! Good luck – I’ll actually be rooting for the Yankees to win the WS for the first time in my life…

  19. marc w on July 23rd, 2012 3:32 pm

    Danny Farquhar is essentially the living embodiment of the player to be named later. He was traded by Toronto to Oakland, then from Oakland back to Toronto, then Toronto waived him and Oakland picked him up (!), then picked by the Yanks when Oakland waived him. This is not an impact prospect.

    DJ Mitchell is a so-so reliever.

    This trade is not about the return, because the M’s essentially didn’t get one.

  20. Lauren, token chick on July 23rd, 2012 3:33 pm

    Wow indeed. I don’t know what to feel. Obviously I hope Ich gets to go out on a high note, but unless he magically turns things around, he won’t be a real reason the Yankees win even if they do. And if he DOES magically turn things around, I would have loved to see him finish out the season here (though that would have created its own problems).

    Good luck, Ichiro. Come back for your real farewell.

  21. PinedaExpress on July 23rd, 2012 3:34 pm

    It’s going to be odd to see for certain and I wish Ichiro all the luck in the world, but this is a move that in the end, I’m very happy has happened. Now there will be no ‘what will the team do with Ichiro’ commentary hanging over the next 6 months.

    The real downside is I think it means a lot more Peguero for the rest of the season.

  22. The_Waco_Kid on July 23rd, 2012 3:34 pm

    Yeah, Carp to OF :(

  23. pgreyy on July 23rd, 2012 3:34 pm

    Kruk, on ESPN, is saying that the Yankees are probably better off playing Ibanez & Jones in platoon than playing Ichiro (unless this trade magically makes him the player he was.)

    And no, I won’t be rooting for the Yankees.

    I won’t be rooting against Ichiro (just as my wife doesn’t root against Raul)–I just can’t root for the team they play for…

  24. Bender on July 23rd, 2012 3:34 pm

    Maybe Ichiro got sick of all of the constant ungrateful media attention?

  25. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 3:35 pm

    OH CRAP.

    Does the team have Munenori Kawasaki on suicide watch?

  26. Jim_H on July 23rd, 2012 3:36 pm

    Apparently, according to Howard Lincoln, Ichiro approached the team ‘several weeks ago’ asking to be traded…

  27. justdave on July 23rd, 2012 3:36 pm

    Dang sounds like some sort of borderline MLB hitter would have been better. Oh Well.

  28. 9inningknowitall on July 23rd, 2012 3:37 pm

    I have a hard time believing that the M’s couldn’t get at least one solid prospect for Ichiro. Oh well he was going to be gone soon enough, might as well get used to life after Ichiro in Seattle.

  29. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 3:37 pm

    I don’t think Carp will be in the outfield, as the team has had him playing 1B during his rehab and they’ve talked about protecting his shoulder.

    I think we’ll see another move in the next seven days – someone will be brought in. But until then be prepared for – The Adventures of Peggy…

  30. SpokaneMsFan on July 23rd, 2012 3:37 pm

    It had to be the Yankees didn’t it. That’s the only thing I’m upset about.

  31. lalo on July 23rd, 2012 3:37 pm

    I think Ichiro will have to accept o decline the deal, he´s a mysterious man, it´ll be fun.

  32. californiamariner on July 23rd, 2012 3:38 pm

    I know Ichiro is not the player he used to be. But you put him at the bottom of the lineup on a contending team, and he’ll be the guy that comes through with clutch hits just when you think you are through the tough part of the lineup.

  33. joser on July 23rd, 2012 3:38 pm

    Surprised that a Yankee reporter breaks this, rather than an M’s org fellow or similar news conference.

    Actually, that’s not surprising at all. The M’s front office doesn’t leak, ever. So any leaks on trades and transactions always emerge from the other side, if they emerge at all.

  34. bat guano on July 23rd, 2012 3:38 pm

    This is great! A brilliant move by the M’s and good for Ichiro. Thanks for the memories.

  35. globalalpha on July 23rd, 2012 3:39 pm

    I guess Jack Z and Wedge just couldn’t bear to see Peguero get sent back down?

  36. Jim_H on July 23rd, 2012 3:40 pm

    I have mixed feelings about this. I’ve always loved Ichiro. He’s among my top three favorite Mariners of all time. I was really hoping he’d stay through this season and then go back to Japan to finish his career.

    It’s obvious that he wasn’t happy or comfortable here, and he didn’t fit in with what Wedge was trying to do.

    I *HATE* seeing him in a Yankees uniform, especially so soon (TONIGHT !!). I really want to wish him well, but not if it means pulling for the Yankess!

  37. wabbles on July 23rd, 2012 3:40 pm
  38. Carson on July 23rd, 2012 3:40 pm

    This is such a strange feeling. I will say this: Ichiro gave this team a lot of good years while the club surrounded him with crappy players.

    That his final few months here, served on a contract that was signed when he was still good, was littered with all sorts of nasty words was depressing. I’ll always be an irrational Ichiro fanboy and am glad that it ended this way.

    I will be rooting for the Yankees come October.

  39. realsmack on July 23rd, 2012 3:41 pm

    I just don’t see any upside to this at all.

    We got nothing. We traded away the one draw (besides Felix) that this team has.

    Kiss the Japanese TV and tourism goodbye.

    How can Ichiro be worth nothing? And why, in g-d’s name, oh why did it have to be the Yankees?

  40. joser on July 23rd, 2012 3:41 pm

    Does the team have Munenori Kawasaki on suicide watch?

    Are we sure he’s not included in the deal? Even if he isn’t, are the Yankees aware they’ll have to check for stowaways when they leave Seattle?

  41. FelixFanChris420 on July 23rd, 2012 3:41 pm

    Good on Jack Z for having the stones to make this move and good on Ichi for agreeing it was the way to go.

    This deal really isn’t about what we got in return…it’s all about avoiding the “Griffey Problem” and giving Ichiro a legit shot at a ring.

    Thanks for all the great plays and awesome memories Ichiro. I’ll never forget the good times and will look forward to your HOF induction in a Mariners cap!

  42. justdave on July 23rd, 2012 3:43 pm

    Now KIRO is reporting that Ichiro requested the trade…

  43. PinedaExpress on July 23rd, 2012 3:43 pm

    “Kiss the Japanese TV and tourism goodbye.”

    Unless you planned on having the team sign him next year, this was going away anyways. Anyone that was coming over to watch Ichiro from Japan has already paid for thier tickets and lodging.

  44. billr on July 23rd, 2012 3:46 pm

    Double Whoa.

    Can’t begrudge Ichiro one last shot at the playoffs if he can play well… The M’s won’t be there for a little while yet (at least).

    How much can he/ will he play for the yankees?

  45. mearls on July 23rd, 2012 3:47 pm

    This is probably the best way to end Ichiro’s time here. He gets to play with a contender, and there are no issues with his contract in the off-season. It’s done and won’t be a distraction.

  46. horatiosanzserif on July 23rd, 2012 3:48 pm

    Goodbye, Ichirolls. Hello, Peguerolls.

  47. Cresswell on July 23rd, 2012 3:49 pm

    The jinx of the Mariners Commercials continues!!
    Featured Player/Coach …. Fate
    Griffey …. slumped, retired
    Cliff Lee … Traded
    Wak … Fired
    Adair … Fired
    RRS … slump, sent down

    Ichiro (he can hit anything … worst season of career
    Felix … OK he was fine
    Guti … got sick, couldn’t play
    Vargas and Fister …. Fister traded

    Felix … OK
    Ichiro … Traded
    (Ryan and Figgins sub .200 in same bit)
    Smoak … Timber!!! sub .200
    Ackley … avg down 50 points
    Montero … no complaints

    Not sure if I missed one of the 2011 commercials, but that’s 14 commercials with only three usable by the end of the season.

  48. kmsandrbs on July 23rd, 2012 3:49 pm

    From the statement shared from Howard Lincoln, it seems that Ichiro handled his “situation” with the class he has had through his entire career. I am sad to see him go, but this is, in effect, just about the best possible scenario (okay … would have preferred any other contending team than the Yankees). This gives Ichiro at least one more shot at the post-season, and let’s the Mariners move forward.

  49. Xteve X on July 23rd, 2012 3:49 pm

    “Kiss the Japanese TV and tourism goodbye.”

    Small potatoes. That was dwindling to nothing over the last couple of years.

  50. eponymous coward on July 23rd, 2012 3:50 pm


    I guess he was more interested in playing for a winner (even if he is on the bench a lot) than finishing out as a Mariner… and all said, I guess this is a classy way to leave. We even get a chance to say goodbye.

  51. kmsandrbs on July 23rd, 2012 3:51 pm

    KIRO is airing a newsconference at 4 PM

  52. IdahoFan on July 23rd, 2012 3:53 pm

    Classy move by Jack Z. Enjoyed watching Ichiro play for the M’s, especially the laser throws from right field. Good to avoid a Griffey-like departure. Hope Ichiro wins a World Series, even as a Yankee.

  53. georgmi on July 23rd, 2012 3:54 pm

    I hate that this had to happen, and I extra hate that it’s the Yankees. I understand it, though, and who we got in return is entirely irrelevant to the trade. I hope Ichiro gets his ring, because he deserves one. I dunno if I can extend that hope to hoping the Yankees win another WS, though.

    I wish we’d gotten him earlier in his career, though, because of all the things I wish, that Ichiro would have gotten 3,000 hits in a Mariners uniform is at the top of the list.

  54. hailcom on July 23rd, 2012 3:54 pm

    Ichiro gave Seattle some great baseball. If he asked for a trade to a contender, I’d rather have it be the Yankees than Rangers or Angels. I hope he is able to go out on a positive note. If I was at the game tonight, I’d be cheering for him when he’s introduced. I hope he gets a standing O. That might explain the timing–this is the only time the Yankees are coming to Seattle this year, so this is the chance for Seattle fans to tell him Thanks.

  55. Beniitec on July 23rd, 2012 3:56 pm

    That’s one way to sell tickets…for the next 3 days? Come say goodbye to Ichiro. Sad really. I wonder what Felix is thinking right about now? Am I next?

  56. justdave on July 23rd, 2012 3:57 pm

    Well put, hailcom.

  57. joser on July 23rd, 2012 3:57 pm

    The Japanese tourism hasn’t been all that significant for several years. Ichiro isn’t worth nothing, but the way he’s been playing he’s worth a lot less than his contract. It’s not all about money, but it’s always a little bit about money. And it’s also about Ichiro getting to do something he wants to do, which is play in the postseason for a team with a good shot to go all the way. He was willing to suck it up with bad teams for a lot of years, but his time is running out — this could very well be his last season in MLB — and given his ties to ownership he has more say in how he goes out than most players do.

    This isn’t the way any of us would have wished it, but it’s actually a lot less painful than the “should they or shouldn’t they, should he or shouldn’t he” conversation we were going to have in this offseason. It would’ve been nice to see him retire a Mariner, but it would’ve been nice to see him raise the World Series banner here too, and that isn’t going to happen either. At least this way he gets to go out with a bang, and we get to watch him do it. And when Cooperstown gives him the call, it’s still going to be an M’s cap they put on his plaque.

    So: a last hurrah for Ichiro. A classy move by Zduriencik (though I suspect he didn’t have much choice). The shock/denial/anger/bargaining will take longer among the fanbase. Eventually, once we reach acceptance, we’ll see a bit of a silver lining here too, and not just in terms of letting the kids play and moving on with the rebuilding.

    All things pass, including great players, and it’s better for them to go on their own terms before they’ve become sad shells of their former selves, as the Junior debacle should’ve reminded us. The day was going to come when Ichiro was no longer playing for the Mariners, and it was always going to come too soon for us fans. But better too soon than too late.

  58. bookbook on July 23rd, 2012 3:59 pm

    I wish we’d received a Johermyn Chavez kinda guy for Ichiro! that we could pretend would ever amount to anything instead of two potential 10th men on a pitching staff. But who cares what I wish?

  59. Scott5000 on July 23rd, 2012 3:59 pm

    My Ichiro Hit Meter Bobblehead will be permanently set to 2533

  60. jamesllegade on July 23rd, 2012 4:01 pm

    For everyone complaining that the M’s didn’t get great prospects in return… you are dictionary definition of homers. You don’t get great prospects back when you trade a 40 year old guy hitting .260 who you are trading because he wants a shot at a ring. You are just thankful to get the salary taken care of and to see the player play for a contender.

  61. joser on July 23rd, 2012 4:01 pm

    I wonder what Felix is thinking right about now? Am I next?

    I don’t think Felix feels the slightest worry. He’s on the right side of 35, he’s the reigning (literally) face of the franchise, and — most crucially — he hasn’t been asking to leave. On the contrary, he’s been vocal about being happy to be here and the Front Office has been vocal about keeping him.

  62. dchappelle on July 23rd, 2012 4:03 pm

    I will be rooting for the Yankees come October.

    Haha, never.

    Funny, feels so different this time than when Moyer did the same thing. Hope he does great and the Yanks lose to Texas again.

  63. Lauren, token chick on July 23rd, 2012 4:07 pm

    Press conference on FSN right now.

  64. Adam S on July 23rd, 2012 4:09 pm

    I’ll miss watching him perform his wizardry at the plate. I’ve missed that for going on two years, though,
    Sums it up perfectly. Well said, Dave.

  65. hidalgo on July 23rd, 2012 4:10 pm

    Does the trade include the Ichi-meter lady? Or does she have to commiserate with Big Red?

  66. mrb on July 23rd, 2012 4:10 pm

    I’m looking Ichiro’s stats on baseball-reference.

    I’m now convinced that yes, Ichiro could have hit 30 hr/year all that time, if he wanted to.

    I’m a little bummed about the “no last chance to see him” as a Mariner. But other than that, probably the best move.

  67. kenshabby on July 23rd, 2012 4:11 pm

    I’d never had more fun watching a low-power (non-Griffey/A-Rod) player than I had watching Ichiro. Up until the past couple seasons, every time he put the ball into play, every time the opposing team hit something his way in the outfield was cause for excitement.

    It was great going to games back in the early 2000s when his career was just starting here. The way he interacted with the fans (even if just through simple facial expressions), the way he’d put asses in the RF-area seats, his incredible hustle (and grit!)…such great memories.

    Ganbare, Ichiro!

  68. justinh on July 23rd, 2012 4:18 pm


    I couldn’t find the article by Shannon Drayer saying the Mariners maybe up for sale in a year? Can you tell me where it is?

  69. red_devil20 on July 23rd, 2012 4:19 pm

    From the day he threw out Terrence Long until yesterday, he remained an integral part of why I stuck with the Mariners through one of the more difficult periods of my fanhood.

    Like most Mariners fans, I’m frustrated by the lack of progress the Mariners have made over the last 5 years, and Ichiro’s slide has been at least part of that lack of progress. That said, it was still enjoyable to watch him work at the plate and in the field.

    I’ll move on to a new reason to watch the Mariners, just like I did when traded Griffey, Johnson, et al. Sports is cyclical, and will always remain so.

    So, go Mariners, good luck Ichiro.

  70. Jopa on July 23rd, 2012 4:20 pm

    Great trade. Not surprised. I called it here in a comment last week, that he would hand a short list to management of teams he wanted to be traded to as part of asking for a trade in what he knows to be his final season with the M’s. He could go out in a playoff race with one final shot at a championship.

    This is the perfect way for it to end.

  71. Section329 on July 23rd, 2012 4:21 pm

    Glad and sad. Classy guy who I loved and will cheer for always.

  72. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 4:24 pm

    Tonight’s game – Smoak in RF.

    You heard it here first. :-D

  73. bubba_gump on July 23rd, 2012 4:27 pm

    I guess Smoak stays up and this provides some clarity to Wedges comments about Ichiro not pitching…..

  74. davepaisley on July 23rd, 2012 4:27 pm

    So is this finally the end of the Bavasi era?

  75. The_Waco_Kid on July 23rd, 2012 4:29 pm

    @Westy: LOL

  76. StatBoy on July 23rd, 2012 4:32 pm

    Ialo embarrassing himself with irrationality.

    1. M’s aren’t going anywhere this year.
    in conjunction with
    2. Ichiro isn’t providing any value on the field anyways.

    Means the only reason to keep Ichiro is for sentimental reasons, and that didn’t seem to be going over well recently.

    Furthermore, the Ms DID GET SOMETHING in return.

    1. It says the Ms shipped cash to the Yankees, but I’m betting the Yankees picked up at least some of Ichiro’s remaining salary.

    2. The Ms got two 25 year old pitchers who are not highly touted prospects by any means but do have high K rates and have only pitched 2-3 years of professional baseball. Its not inconceivable that one of them puts it together and becomes a valuable MLB contributor.

  77. pgreyy on July 23rd, 2012 4:34 pm

    Dave Sims, in the press conference currently airing on ROOT, asked Ichiro if he plans on taking advantage of Yankees Stadium’s short porch.

    So, no…the bitching will not stop. It just turns from “Either the fences or Ichiro is the problem with the Mariners” to “The problem with the Mariners is the fences at Safeco.”

  78. pgreyy on July 23rd, 2012 4:35 pm

    StatBoy, ESPN reported that the Yankees are paying $2 million of Ichiro’s salary.

  79. Liam on July 23rd, 2012 4:36 pm

    Kiss the Japanese TV and tourism goodbye.

    “As part of MLB’s revenue sharing, international income is divided to all the teams, so the success of any team’s brand internationally helps all the teams.”

  80. tgf on July 23rd, 2012 4:36 pm

    He deserves a chance to win before hanging them up, which he wouldn’t get with the M’s. Good for him. Thanks, Ichiro, for the great memories.

  81. WalterNeff on July 23rd, 2012 4:37 pm

    He’s batting 9th tonight. I’m going to the game Wednesday afternoon – that’ll be fun.

  82. Section329 on July 23rd, 2012 4:37 pm

    Touche, Ichi. Dumb question, Harold.

  83. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 4:39 pm

    I’ll be curious to read the NY media’s reaction to this – mainly because every recent trade or non-trade with the Yankees has led them to launch into harangues about how the Mariners trade dirty and how the Yankee management has decided never to deal with Zduriencik again.

    Then another trade happens… rinse, repeat.

  84. make_dave_proud on July 23rd, 2012 4:39 pm

    Good for Ichiro and good for the Mariners. While everyone is wondering what we got in exchange for Ichiro, the Mariners get to avoid a strange situation in the offseason.

    It stinks for him to leave, but he’s not the same guy we all remember. Best wishes, Ichiro — knock them dead in October.

  85. Willmore2000 on July 23rd, 2012 4:40 pm

    I’ll be rooting for the Yankees the rest of the year.




    The one certainty in my life – Yankees Suck – is no more.

    There are no words.

    I’ll need a bottle of Glefiddich 18 to process this.

  86. pgreyy on July 23rd, 2012 4:40 pm

    Tears almost flowed there…

  87. Benno on July 23rd, 2012 4:43 pm

    It is a sad day for the Mariners. while the deal makes sense for everyone, there are some things that are difficult to accept. I figured that Ichiro would be a Mariner to the end of the season and would not be offered a contract, but this was too sudden.

    My best wishes to Ichiro and I hope he is able to make a few more magical moments this season.

  88. samregens on July 23rd, 2012 4:46 pm

    The Seattle media and Wedge should be happy, their incessant negative campaign against a classy, great ballplayer ran him out of town in a shocking way.

    Fuck them.

    I saw part of a breaking Japanese interview where Ichiro said something about being very sad about apparently not being part of the team plans, and he asked management to trade him for young players if it was for the best of the team (if the translation I got is correct).

    Ichiro wanted to win for the fans in Seattle, and he’s played stellar (being one of the only bright lights) among utter crap for many years without complaining.

    Again, Fuck them.

    Go Yankees

  89. beadyeyes123 on July 23rd, 2012 4:48 pm

    “The Seattle media and Wedge should be happy, their incessant negative campaign against a classy, great ballplayer ran him out of town in a shocking way.”

    Right. I might have issues with Wedge from time to time but I don’t think he ever disrespected Ichiro at all.

    And that translation? I do believe it was Ichiro who felt it was time to move on. Just goes to show he was always a class act. Please don’t demean this by posting ridiculous speculation.

  90. Choo on July 23rd, 2012 4:49 pm

    My kids have been crying all afternoon. So I guess it can’t be avoided any longer: It’s time to have “the talk.” I’ll start nice and easy – maybe an intro to WAR – and go from there. Wish me luck…

  91. samregens on July 23rd, 2012 4:50 pm

    A bit sorry about being angry, but that was my first feeling after the utter shock. And now the sadness is welling up hard.

    I figured that Ichiro would be a Mariner to the end of the season and would not be offered a contract


  92. Phoenician Todd on July 23rd, 2012 4:51 pm

    Wow, my first words were very similar to Holy Crap, just more inappropriate. As excited as I am about seeing young players, he has been my favorite Mariner for the past 10+ years and I really am unsure what I am going to do as a fan. I listen to Felix on the Radio, and would tune in whenever Ichiro would come to the plate, but the other players just aren’t compelling to me.

    Good luck, Ichi!

  93. beadyeyes123 on July 23rd, 2012 4:51 pm

    I am happy to see Ichiro have a shot at winning a ring. Watching him in pinstripes and playing part time means he is not the selfish guy people make him out to be.

    I will be rooting for the Yanks this year. To watch Ichiro win the big one will be the moment when I wipe the tears away. The man has earned it.

  94. terryoftacoma on July 23rd, 2012 4:52 pm

    And Olivo pitching Westy?

  95. WTF_Ms on July 23rd, 2012 4:53 pm

    Well, sad to hear, but I called this last week, when I was talking to my wife….I told her that we’d be seeing Ichiro in a M’s uni for the last time, and that he’d be on his way to the Yankees…

    My warning to Ichi though, is beware…the fans in NYC will turn on him in a blink of an eye, not just a few years of declining BA.

  96. samregens on July 23rd, 2012 4:54 pm

    Right. I might have issues with Wedge from time to time but I don’t think he ever disrespected Ichiro at all.

    Yanking him around the lineup was a pretty big clue.
    Pushing him out of his accustomed leadoff position to accommodate Figgins was really great. I think that his performance has been largely negatively affected by the change of approach.

    Well anyway, Wedge is not my problem anymore, thank goodness.

    And as I wrote above, I’m sorry for being angry which was my first reaction after the total shock. Now the sadness is coming up hard. Goodbye.

  97. Mariners35 on July 23rd, 2012 4:55 pm

    So Dave – how long does the “and Ichiro! admiration. ” portion of the website motto stay up now?

  98. leftfield limey on July 23rd, 2012 4:59 pm

    Long time lurker. First post. First saw Ichiro in Japan. Followed Seattle since 2001. Without him Seattle would remain a place far away only famous for Starbucks. He brought me to the Mariners, USSM and LL. Having seen the past two years part of me is glad it is over and knew it was coming but its strange when the reason you did something for over a decade is no longer there.

  99. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2012 4:59 pm

    And Olivo pitching Westy?

    Terry, didn’t you watch the press conference? Ichiro’s solo trade demand was that the Mariners let Olivo pitch one inning this series.

    Man, that would be seriously AWESOME.

  100. Kazinski on July 23rd, 2012 4:59 pm

    I hope Girardi is smart enough to start Ichiro all 3 games, and in Right Field. The Mariners are throwing 3 RH pitchers, so he has all the excuse he needs. I suppose he will probably play Ichiro in LF if Swisher plays, but he can sit Swisher for day without hurting his feelings, and DH him for at least a day too.

    I ran down to get tickets for tomorrow nights game. I got them 1st level down the right field line, so I sure hope he plays him in RF tomorrow.

  101. Jopa on July 23rd, 2012 5:00 pm

    A champion getting to play for a championship team. I love this. Also, the Yankees are under no pressure to play him every day, or in RF only, or to bat him at the top of the lineup, and in NY Ichiro will be cool with all of that.

    This also gives Ichiro his best chance of showing he’s got something left that could lead to a couple more years in the league somewhere.

    This will be the first (and last) time I root for the Yankees to win it all, as long as Ichiro is getting playing time.

  102. pgreyy on July 23rd, 2012 5:02 pm

    I won’t be rooting for the Yankees to win…anything. Not even to give Ichiro his ring. If they do win, then Ichiro (and Raul and Raphael) getting some post season success will be the only comfort.

    …but, I’ll say this. The only thing that will make me really angry is if Ichiro ends up hitting .400+ for the rest of the year, with 10+ home runs…if he finds a way to get back to being the player we wanted him to be. If I end up feeling about Ichiro how I felt about Randy when he left…I won’t be very happy (though, I admit, I got over that.)

    …but I’m not worried about that. I think Ichiro gave it everything he had. And I love him for it.

  103. Zero Gravitas on July 23rd, 2012 5:04 pm

    What a shocker watching that press conference. I couldnt help but think of when I saw Ichiro first introduced as a Mariner. That was the first season I decided to try watching the Mariners (I’d just moved to Seattle and never watched much AL baseball at all). So my whole past 11 years of M’s fandom were 100% sparked by the arrival of Ichiro. This hurts but I am really hopeful that he gets a ring – he certainly deserves it. What a sensational athlete. We were lucky to have him here.

  104. stevemotivateir on July 23rd, 2012 5:15 pm

    This is one of the most numbing moments I’ve had upon learning of a Mariner trade. I’m happy for him. Can’t say I’ll be cheering on the Yankees, but I’ll certainly be wishing him success.

    Second reaction: Who takes the roster spot? Ford? Could another trade be in the works?

  105. Bremerton guy on July 23rd, 2012 5:19 pm

    If they want to try a new first baseman, they can add Luis Jiminez to the 40-man and give him a shot. Maybe he isn’t the future, but it seems like he can hit the ball.

  106. PinedaExpress on July 23rd, 2012 5:23 pm

    “Pushing him out of his accustomed leadoff position to accommodate Figgins was really great. I think that his performance has been largely negatively affected by the change of approach.”

    Explain last season? I can’t stand Wedge, but he’s not the issue, the issue is that the M’s have three hitters that could belong in the top 7 of a decent order…and 7 places to put them in. Ichiro will probably do fine hitting 9th in Yankee Stadium but blaming Wedge for him not hitting is insane.

  107. ck on July 23rd, 2012 5:28 pm

    Thank you, Ichiro Suzuki, for many years of faithful service. You were ready to play, everyday. The Mariner’s miserable losing finally conviced you to play for a winner before you retire. Ever since the M’s front office lamented that because Freddy Garcia won his salary arbitration, now the Mariners CAN’T make a trade at the deadline; the mismanaged, bad decision, cheapskate, incompetent front office can continue to field a non-competitive, minimum salary team.
    Four years of Figgins, four years of Gutierrez on the disabled list, trading Cliff Lee for Blake Beavan; Rob Johnson, Olivo, Horacio Ramirez…a million for Pokey Reese! Giving away players that are now all-stars for other teams…
    What will the ‘Ichiro Hit Meter Lady,’ do tonight?

  108. Wolfman on July 23rd, 2012 5:32 pm

    “Maybe Ichiro got sick of all of the constant ungrateful media attention?”

    So he’s going to play for the Yankees under the classy scrutiny of the New York media??? Uh, okay.

    This move was purely about freeing up money and giving Ichiro a shot at a ring. I hope the M’s use some of that moolah to bring in some players this off-season. I hope this signals that this is their plan.

    Or maybe they’ll be sold in a year. Sigh!

  109. beadyeyes123 on July 23rd, 2012 5:34 pm

    “Or maybe they’ll be sold in a year. Sigh!”

    Lincoln intentionally pointed out in the presser that the team is NOT for sale. Not that I believe him but any payroll cuts next year will be met with some serious criticism with Ichiro most likely not coming back.

  110. mca on July 23rd, 2012 5:39 pm

    I’m in favor of the Ichi-meter staying up–updated just like the out of town scoreboard.

  111. argh on July 23rd, 2012 6:17 pm

    Heard about this at 3:30 driving back from the golf course and got to listen to the depressing and (to me) astonishing large amount of Ichiro “hate” expressed by callers. He was “disrespectful” not saying good-bye in fractured English (have any of these callers actually listened to themselves, speaking of bad English?); he never was a leader; he was selfish; who cares about singles? Etc. etc. Kind of shakes my faith in the Seattle area sports audience.

  112. Lauren, token chick on July 23rd, 2012 6:27 pm

    Zero G: Ichiro was pretty much solely responsible for me becoming a baseball fan at all. He was so different from everyone else and so much fun to watch.

    argh: You must not have ever (smartly) read the comments on any Seattle Times articles. Or from radio callers. There is a lot of shit talked about Ichiro round these parts, and it’s actually one of the reasons I’m glad for this deal. I want people to move on to thinking of him as a Mariners icon rather than bitching about what they perceive as his personal shortcomings… while we’re hard-pressed to defend him due to his current performance.

  113. vj on July 23rd, 2012 6:35 pm

    Love the new byline.
    Howabout “Felixfanboyism” once we’re past the sighing.

  114. wabbles on July 23rd, 2012 6:37 pm

    I really really wish I could find that post one of the authors did (Derek Z? Dave? Jeff?) that said something like, “Ichiro is a great player whose game is built on speed. When that goes the end will come rapidly and it won’t be pretty. OR Someday the speed will disappear and he’ll fall off a cliff.” Something like that. I didn’t think it would ever happen when I read it but 1.5 seasons into his decline it has. Thanks Ichiro!, it was a great ride.

  115. henryv on July 23rd, 2012 6:46 pm

    I am numb.

  116. argh on July 23rd, 2012 7:03 pm

    Lauren – I certainly heard and read all the grumblers and critics in years past but I guess what kind of shocked me was the viciousness expressed now that he’s leaving. Jeez, folks, can you *ever* be classy? And the utter ignorance expressed in views that he’s been some kind of drag on the team throughout his tenure (“Ichiro: How He’s Responsible for the Curse of Safeco”). Anyway, carry on folks. We got to see a lot of extraordinary baseball and maybe we still will see some. Losing to the Yankees if Ichiro makes the hit or scores the run will be a tiny bit less painful than it might otherwise be. At least the first time. After that, to hell with him — Go Mariners!

  117. Mustard on July 23rd, 2012 7:11 pm

    All the best, of course….but is this really the best the M’s can do? I am all for the lovefest and well wishes but at the end of the day this is a horrible deal made worse by the fact that we sent money to the Yanks for two guys that will never factor into the M’s plan. Disappointed, numb, happy for Ichiro, frustrated with the M’s.

  118. joser on July 23rd, 2012 9:55 pm

    The Mariners weren’t going to get anything of value for Ichiro. Every time trading Ichiro came up, the smart people pointed out that he was more valuable to the Mariners than he was to any other team. This just confirms that.

    The players they got back were just pro forma. This is about letting Ichiro go to a team where he can play in the post season. That’s it. He is an aging star who hasn’t been worth his contract for the last couple of years, and he was going to be a free agent at the end of the year. His salary was sunk, and the Mariners were going nowhere so it’s not like his contribution for the rest of the season was going to amount to anything. That they got any players back is a victory. That the Yankees are paying any of his salary is a victory.

    This is a good deal for Ichiro. And that’s what it’s about. It really doesn’t make any difference to the team beyond that.

  119. marinerblue on July 23rd, 2012 9:57 pm

    I’m glad this happened, now we can see how awesome his replacement is going to be. The Mariner’s position player scouting and development is a joke. Ichiro at 45 is better than most of the bums we roll out there on a nightly basis. This franchise has become a study in futility.

  120. tylerv on July 23rd, 2012 11:18 pm

    We are all big fans. God what a romantic ending; Rooting passionately that the Yankees win it all!

  121. nvn8vbryce on July 24th, 2012 12:37 am

    Ichiro! is one of the main reasons outside of my grandfather that I follow the Mariners at all. However, I’ve always said that if he gets traded, it will be for that elusive ring, and considering that he’s on the wrong side of 35, I’m happy that he gets to play for a contender.

    My thoughts are that if the Yankees win the World Series, Ichiro retires after this season. If not, possibly a one or two year deal, if he can reinvigorate his career in New York.

    I’m glad that Z was finally able to talk some sense into HowChuck and trade Ichiro to a contender. He deserves nothing less, and for any of us to begrudge him of that chance is foolhardy at best.

    Go Ichi and I hope the Yanks kick ass in the playoffs. We’ll be seeing you in Cooperstown.

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