Monday, January 5, 2015

As Ichiro flounders, the world looks to Seattle to do what's right

The Yankees have a looming problem in right field. It's rather simple. They have nobody to play it. Oh, technically, you can say they have ol' Carlos Beltran and the amazin' Met, Chris Young. Carlos moves like the famous Bud Selig statue in Milwaukee, and Young got hot last September and boosted his average to .222! In another era, the Yankees would be sifting through free agents the way Malaysian Airlines goes through black boxes. Not this year. And despite the flashing vacancy sign in RF, there is almost no talk of another one-year hookup with the great Ichiro Suzuki.

The reason? We've seen the Ichiro movie, and it is "Twilight: Breaking Down, Part 2." It doesn't grow on you. The world has watched Ichiro struggle now for two seasons, with an on-base percentage in the range of Lenn Sakata, and the power output of an iPod Classic left in the rain. Nobody covets a corner OF - even a future Hall of Famer - whose threat at the plate is that he might beat out an infield hit. Forget the Twilight saga. This would amount to re-watching "Hangover III."

Which brings us to Seattle... the great 1990s Mecca, which proved it can still dazzle the world last January, by adding zeros upon zeros to a contract. By offering a 10-year deal, the Mariners induced Robbie Cano to leave Gomorrah and grow his freedom beard.

Let's go, Seattle. You had the money then. It's time to pony up again.

Listen: Two winters ago, the Yankees did right by Ichiro. We re-signed him. After all, he has had a great career. He is a great player. He is a great human being. He is in his twilight, and somebody needs to give him the farewell season he deserves. We did our part. It aint our job no more.

So where are the Mariners? Last I looked, they were giddy about Jesus "Ice Cream Sandwich" Montero's inspiring weight-loss. He's dropped 35 pounds and looks great in a two-piece! But when it comes to Ichiro, Seattle is more inclined to discuss the last Soundgarden album. In fact, MLB teams as a whole seem to be passing around Ichiro like a plate of liverwurst.

This is Ichiro's finale. Somebody needs to give him a job. Let's go, Seattle. Where have you gone, Courtney Love, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

Finally, one certain person should be watching this with special interest. If he wasn't so busy staring at Beyonce's navel and the extra zeros on his contract, Robbie Cano might want to notice the silent treatment that Seattle gives stars who have passed their sell-by date. Guided by the great baseball mind Jay-Z, Robbie held out for a 10 year deal. When a player does that, it's not because he expects to be productive in that final season: It's because he expects to be bad. And Seattle doesn't do well with bad.

Oh well, maybe Robbie will be the exception. Maybe in 2023, Seattle will throw him a magnificent farewell season, with toasts and gifts and a live performance by Four Non-Blondes! Good luck with that, Robbie! But aside from Curt Cobain, nobody gave more to Seattle than Ichiro Suzuki. And now, it's time for them to give back.

Come on, Seattle. He's a person, not a hot potato. Hello-o, Mariners? Are you hearing this? Will somebody please launch a hashtag? Or even a Chat Room? Hello-o?


Buhner's Ghost said...

Ichi (that's what I called him) was a riot when he came over here in 2001, but that's when he was a rookie in the U.S. and thought it funny when Boonie taught him some dirty words. But he never wanted to get drunk and smoke cigars with me in the hot tub like Randy and Junior did. Blowers, too. Now that he's an over-the-hill vet who won't pal around with youngsters, who wants or needs him? Not us! The only time we want to see him again in the Safe is when he signs a one-day contract to retire or comes here for his M's Hall of Fame induction. Sayonara!

Anonymous said...

Nice Courtney Love reference, someone who hasn't lived in Seattle for twenty fucking years.

el duque said...

You don't shed Courtney Love overnight.