Tag Archives: Ichiro

Mariners Fans Don’t Deserve This – But the Franchise Does

Mariners fans know aggravation.

With every ill-advised decision their favorite baseball team makes, the frustration boils and festers until it can’t simmer any longer. It’s the kind of maddening anger that widens the eyes and quickens the pulse and feels as if it can only be satiated with destruction and rage. Unleash a fury of haymakers upon a punching bag. Smash a Louisville Slugger upon the ground until splinters fly in every direction and sweat drips to the earth. Throw a TV out a window, scream to the heavens, sprint until a lung bursts, whatever it takes to ease the angst. And yet the angst never eases.

The club’s latest maneuver has nearly everyone wondering whether the brass on the corner of Edgar and Dave have any clue what they’re doing. On Sunday, the M’s optioned outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for the activation of pitcher Erasmo Ramirez. In doing so, they elected to keep outfielder Ichiro Suzuki on the big league roster – despite the fact that Heredia had outplayed Suzuki in every facet of the game to begin the year.

Though any of number of excuses could be conjured to justify keeping the 44-year-old future Hall of Famer around, the reality is that the organization chose to honor a legend rather than invest in the on-field success of the ballclub. Anyone with two eyes and a passion for the game could see right through the front office’s intentions – and that, above all else, was incredibly irritating to a fan base that has suffered long enough.

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The PTBNL Podcast – Episode 5: A New Approach to Tinder, LeBron James, and Mariner Magic

Intrepid reporters Josh Liebeskind (The Seattle Times) and Jacob Thorpe (The Spokesman Review) join the program for a cavalcade of discussion topics.

From bachelor parties, to dudes tanning themselves on the beach, to LeBron James, to the warmth of Jack Zduriencik’s hot seat and more, we touch on all the things you may or may not care about in Episode 5.

The show really takes off with the return of the Rex Looks for Love segment, which answers the question “What happens when you only send quotes from Ichiro Suzuki to prospective love interests?”


Top 11: Reasons to be Optimistic About the 2013 Seattle Mariners

mikemorseThe 2013 baseball season is underway and you don’t know how you should feel about our beloved Seattle Mariners. Fear not, M’s fans. I’m not here to tell you how you should feel (that’s no one’s place), but I can give you 11 reasons why you might be able to shed some cynicism and believe in this year’s team.

Without further delay…

11. Chone Figgins is gone.

Lest you think three years of vitriol directed towards the Mariners’ sometimes-third baseman was unwarranted, consider this:

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Recent Tide Movements of the Seattle Mariners: A Roster Update

Hitter?The Mariners are making waves. The Mariners should make waves. For one, they are Mariners, who by definition are navigating ships through the ocean. But more importantly, the Mariners are not a very good baseball team, and should be making waves with their roster. Big ones. They have won seven games in a row. This is fantastic news, but let’s not fool ourselves. The Mariners roster is not the best. Change is welcome. These are not the big waves we were hoping for, but we’re hoping the small waves continue to wash away most of our recent memories of the Mariners experience.

Players have been sent down, called up, and traded. I’ve provided you with blurbs to help you put it all in perspective. Or to confuse you. We’ll see.

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Ichiro: An Ode and a Goodbye

Editor’s note: Seattle Sportsnet welcomes Peter Whitmore to the writing staff. Peter is a lifelong Seattle sports fan who adds years of passion to these pages. A journalism major in college, Peter’s talent and storytelling ability raise the bar for this website, and will provide an increase in exceptional content on a regular basis. Take a glance at Peter’s first piece and be sure to follow him on Twitter @MarinerMagic.

Ichiro is a New York Yankee. That sentence seems impossible. But here we are. As real as it undeniably is, it will always feel unreal. Ichiro, Seattle Mariners right fielder and intergalactic sports icon, is gone.

Here is a piece of his legacy, as this fan tells it:

My wife loves Ichiro. She is an academic and a romantic. She moved to Seattle in 2004 for graduate school at the UW. She loves baseball. She’s no baseball addict, but she truly appreciates the magic and nuance of baseball – enough that she can tolerate living with and loving an addict. She grew to love baseball and the Mariners by watching and admiring Ichiro. She loved the discipline of his routines. Was fascinated with the respect he had for his bat, his most revered tool of the trade. She marveled at the graceful control with which he patrolled the outfield. Ichiro was the lens through which she learned to love baseball. In many ways, he was her primary connection to the game.

So when I called her yesterday afternoon, in the middle of her day, to tell her Ichiro had been traded to the Yankees, she cried. She really did, I’m not messing around. Later, at home, she said simply, “I’m not ready for this,” and wept. This was her first baseball heartbreak. I can’t say I reacted the same way. I felt shocked and unsettled and a little ill. I loved Ichiro, too, but other Mariners have occupied bigger spaces in my sports-loving heart. I felt awful because I knew how bad she felt. I knew that pain. Chambers and Junior and G.P. and Ray. And all the others in between. Every time it happens, you are more hardened to it. You build calluses. We live in a sporting world with very few happy endings. And this was not the happy ending my wife had envisioned for herself and Ichiro.

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Top 11: Reasons The 2012 Mariners Are Worse Than Your First Sexual Experience (aka, Your Mariners Midseason Failure Analysis)

The 2012 Mariners have been an abomination. They are Paris Hilton acting, combined with Lindsay Lohan singing, mixed with Gilbert Gottfried speaking, blended together with any of the Real Housewives screaming (“You’re supposed to be my friend, Tamra!” Well, you’re a crazy bitch, Vicki.).

Think of the worst things you’ve ever been a part of, then make them more boring than they were at the time. Like, your first sexual experience, for example. That was horrendous, was it not? Trust me, it was. You may not want to believe it was…but I guarantee you, it was bad. Which isn’t to say that you haven’t corrected yourself in the bedroom as time has passed. Frankly, it’s not easy to take what you’ve learned in health class and put it to good use. A two-dimensional vagina looks nothing like a three-dimensional vagina. They don’t tell you that, though. You have to figure that out on your own. On the fly. As a kid.

Anyway, I digress.

My point here is that if you took your frighteningly awful first sexual experience and made it boring on top of what it already was, you’d have the 2012 Mariners. The M’s are the awkward clumsiness of teenage body parts clashing together as one, the requisite forced “I love yous” that follow, the feeling of regret, the saline of tears, and that fear of “OhmygoddidIgetherpregnant?!” – yeah, that fear is real – topped off with all the pizzazz of the Vanilla Sky plot. I hope that sounds as horrible to you as it does to me. Personally, I found “awkward clumsiness of teenage body parts clashing together as one” to be the most horrible line.

Let’s call this midseason report card what it really is: a failure analysis. Not only that, but let’s list out 11 of the reasons the team is failing. We can do this. It’s on par with belting a Hector Noesi 0-and-2 fastball right over the outfield wall. So much easier than it may seem.

11. Steve Delabar is not a Major League pitcher, yet has been tasked with pitching in Major League Baseball.

Continue reading Top 11: Reasons The 2012 Mariners Are Worse Than Your First Sexual Experience (aka, Your Mariners Midseason Failure Analysis)

Too Selfish, Too Proud: It’s Time For Ichiro To Leave

First of all, let me start by saying that I’m Asian. Half-Japanese, in fact. And if there’s anything I know about Asians, it’s that we tend to be a little proud and a little selfish. I realize that this is what sensitive people call “stereotyping.” Frankly, I don’t care.

I, for one, fall under the umbrella of proud and selfish at times. I’m not going to lie to you. It is what it is. The guy driving 50 miles per hour in the fast lane on the highway? He falls under that category, too. And if you want yet another example of the proud and selfish Asian man, look no further than Ichiro Suzuki.

Ichiro is a bad teammate. There’s no getting around it. The man plays a team sport in selfish fashion. You can say what you want about his talent level, his ability, his meticulousness, his craft, but at the end of the day, he’s more concerned about Ichiro Suzuki than he is about the team he plays for.

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Writer X: Blame Ichiro

*Editor’s note: Welcome to our first installment of Writer X, a column written by anonymous contributors for your reading pleasure. Periodically, we will be presenting you work from accomplished scribes behind the guise of the mysterious Writer X. The idea here is that we give our talented journalists the freedom to say what they want about who they want without fear of retribution. Were they to pen these thoughts under their own names, they could face serious repercussions. Writer X, however, is perfectly immune to it all. Enjoy the candor.

Obviously, the Mariners blow homeless guys again this year.

Yeah, sure, they made the first half interesting. But they did it with ungodly pitching that was wholly unsustainable. This has been a familiar refrain over the last few seasons.

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Overrated? Ichiro? You Don’t Say…

So there’s this dude, Phil Rogers, and he happens to be a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. A few days ago, he penned this article declaring Mariners’ right fielder Ichiro Suzuki to be the most overrated hitter in baseball. Why he cares so much about a player and a team situated 2,000 miles away from his coverage area is beyond me, but obviously this is Phil Rogers’ world and the rest of us are just living in it.

Let me start by saying that Ichiro is overrated to a degree. He is. A lot of that has to do with the advent of fantasy baseball (where a player in real life is only as good as his fantasy value), as well as Ichiro’s rock-star stigma. His international following helps, as do his nine All-Star appearances, nine Gold Gloves, and an MVP award. While he possesses numerous accolades, he is, for all accounts and purposes, a great player with a larger-than-life aura. He’s good, he’s just not as good as perception would indicate.

But the most overrated hitter in the game?

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Fixing The Mariners In Three (More) Unique Steps

Because the first three weren’t enough.

Step One: Put Ryan Rowland-Smith on a raft and send him out to sea.

Rowland-Smith originally hails from Australia. If Mother Nature is just, the Mariners’ 27-year-old lefthander will at some point arrive back in his homeland. But if not, who cares.

RRS is an absolute abomination right now. His initials stand for “Really, Really Sucky.” He can’t pitch to save his life.

Monday night Rowland-Smith got shelled by the Oakland A’s (2.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 H), which is akin to having one’s butt kicked by a fourth grade cub scout. The Aussie had been teetering on the edge of crappiness all year long, however, and his latest implosion was probably enough to force the organization’s hand.

Rowland-Smith certainly doesn’t deserve to start games any longer. Were he left with any minor league options, he’d almost certainly be on his way to Tacoma this morning. But because he can’t simply be optioned down to the farm, the Mariners would have to designate the southpaw for assignment if they wanted him off the 25-man roster. In designating Rowland-Smith, the M’s would risk losing him to another ballclub. Which honestly doesn’t scare me at all right now (but understandably scares an organization who has invested two commercials in the guy in the past two years).

In all likelihood, Rowland-Smith will be sent to the bullpen to work through his struggles while attempting to help the big club. That probably means a guy like Ian Snell finds his way to the rotation, or a middle reliever gets sent down while a guy like Luke French or Steven Shell gets called up.

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Adrian Beltre’s Nuts Are Okay

testiclesAdrian Beltre has been activated from the 15-day disabled list, meaning his lacerated bleeding testicles are fully healed. The emotional scarring may never disappear, however.

Beltre, who was injured when a wayward ground ball collided with his groin, had been practicing in recent days…without a protective cup. Guess it’s tough to change your ways.

Also returning to the lineup this evening is right fielder Ichiro Suzuki. The M’s leadoff hitter has been nursing a tight calf and hasn’t played in nine days.

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Fat Guy Robs Ichiro Of Amazing Catch

Ichiro is robbed by a dimwitted lard ass. (AP/Jim Bates)
Ichiro is robbed by a dimwitted lard ass. (AP/Jim Bates)

There’s really no nice way to put this, so I’ll just summarize.

Yankee DH Hideki Matsui is up to bat in the top of the eighth inning. He connects on a pitch from Garrett Olson and hits a long fly ball to the right-center field gap.

Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki sprints to the warning track, does a Jackie Chan leap onto the top of the fence, poises himself, and prepares to make one of the greatest catches in the history of the universe.

Simultaneously, a fat guy sitting in the front row of outfield seats gets up and decides to exercise for what appears to be the first time in months. Noticing that a wayward baseball happens to be headed his way, he decides that he’ll attempt to put his glove to good use and catch it.

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If Yuni’s drawing walks, you best be taking a pitch, Ichiro

ichiro2Yuniesky Betancourt drew his first walk of the season with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday night. Betancourt represented the winning run in a one-run ballgame, Texas leading 6-5, with the tying run in Franklin Gutierrez standing on second base.

That brought the Mariners leading man, Ichiro Suzuki, to home plate. No other person we’d rather have at the dish, right? Wrong.

After Texas Rangers’ closer Frank Francisco issued a five-pitch base on balls to the Mariners shortstop, struggling mightily to locate the strike zone, Ichiro should have taken a pitch, maybe two. It’s common knowledge in the baseball world that in that situation, a hitter, no matter how great, gives himself the red light.

Maybe this is where our cultures clash, but what Ichiro did was selfish and flat wrong. The best thing for the team at that point would have been for Ichiro to at least let the first pitch go by, and force Francisco to regain composure in a shaky situation.

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Ichiro has bleeding ulcer…gross

ichirolaughHold the wasabi!  Ichiro is out?

What started out as a rumor that Seattle Mariners’ right fielder Ichiro Suzuki might miss the rest of Spring Training, took a wrong turn Thursday.  As it turns out, Ichiro will be making a full-blown trip to the DL with Opening Day just a weekend away.

The M’s leadoff man extraordinaire, Ichiro will be sidelined with a bleeding ulcer until further notice.  His trip to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 31, means he cannot be activated until April 15, the team’s second home game of the year.

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