Ichee-ro !

Constantly bombarded with coverage of Seattle sports up here in Alaska, one can’t help but follow the Mariners every summer. We get all their games on TV and radio. The Mariners have a nice organization, stadium and fan base. They have a “good brand” here in the northwest, although the results on the field the past coupla years were dismal. Seattle’s “team for the ages” back in 2001 that won 116 games but fell short in the playoffs vs the Yankmees got old very quickly. Ironically, 2001 was the “rookie season” for their 27 year old Japanese sensation, Ichiro Suzuki. Now 33, “Ichee” is enjoying another great season, batting .362 with an OBP of .416 and 22 SBs.

When you take a step back and look at Ichee’s first 6 1/2 years in MLB, it’s pretty damn amazing … certainly on a Hall of Fame pace if he can stay healthy and play another 6-7 years. So in a fairly brief span, he’s amassed a .333 career BA, 1,466 hits, 257 stolen bases, soon to be 7 All-Star appearances and … oh yeah … he’s an awesome outfielder with a bazooka arm and a few gold gloves. What team wouldn’t want a lead-off hitter like this??? He’s averaging over 225 hits and 111 runs scored per season!!! By comparison, here’s what other legendary players averaged: Pete Rose .303 BA, ~178 hits and ~90 runs scored per season. Ty Cobb .367 BA, ~183 hits and ~98 RS per season. Tony Gwynn .338 BA, ~165 hits and ~73 RS per season. Ricky Henderson .279 BA, ~128 hits and ~96 RS per season. (Stats were unprofessionally adjusted for partial seasons). But what a “BASEBALL PLAYER” this guy is!!! The name of the game is to get on base and produce runs; and of course defense counts as well. Who is more valuable than Ichee?!?!?

Granted, Suzuki’s stats probably reflect a 7 year period during the prime of his career. Undoubtedly, his legs and hand speed will slow down as he approaches his mid-late 30’s, although you wouldn’t know it by the season he’s enjoying now. This guy keeps himself in great shape, so I can see him being very effective into his early 40’s. Anyway, keep an eye on him … he should be passing the 3,000 hit mark in 2014. I know the Mariners are a mystery to everyone west of Denver, so I see it as my responsibility to enlighten BoSox Nation and others tucked away on the right coast. By the way, haven’t the Saux dropped their last two in Seattle? This was an Ichee I had to scratchee 🙂

Wally

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8 Responses

  1. Wally,

    Don’t worry Red Sox nation is well aware of Ichiro. Isn’t he a free agent at the end of this season? My wouldn’t he look good in a BoSox uni.

    Hey how are the Southside Sox doing? When does the fire sale start?

    Casey

  2. Why did you want me to look at that blog? What am I missing?

    ChiSox are hurting and look to be sinking. How’d they get so old so fast?? I hope Cubs’ recent streak is a sign that they’re gonna be a good team rest of the way. I think they have the necessary pieces, but that doesn’t mean they’ll catch Brewers or wildcard.

    Wally

  3. Missing? Harmon Killebrew? The venerable Harmon Killebrew.

  4. ooohh the Saux have been swept. Get out your broom Wally – have a blast!

    Casey

  5. Gotta agree with you Wally, Ichiro is one of the best in the league and is underappreciated in other parts of America.. I can tell you this though, he is well thought of here in Boston and a lot of fans have called up local radio stations asking if the Sox are interested in Ichiro.

    Wally, I think you are missing the boat on Red Sox fans.. Granted we are rabid and a little overzealous at times. But we know our baseball and we are well aware of what is going on in the league.. Which is why we aren’t worried about the White sox.. Are Ozzie’s days numbered? The players don’t seem to be responding to him anymore and it makes me wonder if his schtick – which working incredibly two years ago – has worn thin with some of the players.

    Getting back to Ichiro – safe to say, another solid 6-7 years and he will be in the HOF.. Although it is interesting, I think he is 1 for 8 this year against Dice-K..

    And while I would love to see the Sox make a run at Ichiro in free agency, Ichiro will probably stay in Seattle.. I hope so too.. Please don’t go to the Yankees..

    The Sox were swept.. Oh darn. Toronto is 9 games out.. And yes, that was Toronto..

    Does anyone else see the Yankees ditching Torre at the All-Star break? And Clemens is looking old. So much for the savior.

  6. Something that gets overlooked with Ichiro: he thrwos out runners and holds guys from advancing. Doesn’t look strong but like everything else the guy knows how to play.

    Casey

  7. Re: the Chisox … I think Ozzie will be given a little more rope than some of the players. GM Ken Williams is aggressive and not very patient … I think we’ll see more player changes before a managerial change. I haven’t completely written them off this year yet (probably cuz they just won 3 — koolaid), but my expectations are very, very low.

    The Clemens thing is playing out like I hoped it would so far … a big waste of time, money and lots of embarrassment. Hope the trend continues. Aaron, Clemens is “old”!!!!

    Casey, Ichiro’s prowess as a fielder was not overlooked by Wally (see the original reference to his “bazooka arm”). He is the complete package ballplayer. I hope he stays in Seattle … I think it’ll ultimately be rewarding with both $ and a contending team.

    Wally

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