1. The Huskies beat USC. Huge win. Keep in mind that the Trojans were without leading scorer Dwight Lewis when they gave the Dawgs fits at Hec Ed, and yet even with Lewis they couldn’t get past Washington. Great, great road win for UW to salvage the split in L.A.
Mariners: Ichiro pitching? Not in Jack Zduriencik’s world. The Mariners general manager quickly put an end to any rumor of Ichiro on the mound, briefly stating yesterday that Ichiro “isn’t going to pitch.” Period.
Zduriencik issued his statement in response to a 56-pitch bullpen session that the Mariner outfielder and leadoff man tossed over the weekend. The showcase took place in Japan, with Ichiro in preparation for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
No joke. As we speak, Ichiro is preparing to pitch for Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Japan news outlet Nikkan Sports (requires a translator to view) was the first to confirm that Ichiro threw a 56-pitch bullpen session over the weekend, hitting the low-90’s on the radar gun, and even mixing in a forkball to keep prospective hitters off balance (that’s a photo of his session to the left…gonna have to lose the shades if he ever wants to make something of that pitching career).
If the Mariners are serious about their rebuilding efforts, then it’s time to trade Ichiro. The outfielder just turned 35 and probably has four or five good years remaining before he really begins to see a decline in production. The Mariners are taking another crack at a five-year plan, so the element of an aging, albeit very talented, superstar on the team makes little sense.