From Brian ..... You make a good argument Locke, but I think the M's are almost forced to bring back Ichiro and overpay. The fan backlash if he were allowed to walk away would be astronomical. He puts fans in the seats. As bad as attendance has been the last couple of years, imagine what it would have been had Ichiro not been here.
Ichiro does keep himself in tremendous shape so hopefully any dropoff in production towards the end of the contract would be minimal.
I agree on twofold. The city that has lost Randy, A-Rod and Griffey needs to have a superstar retire in Seattle. In addition, the organization needs to show commitment that has been lacking over the past seasons. Ichiro does keep himself in great shape, however so much of his game is speed and when he losses that step or two this is going to be an ugly contract.
From Courtsense ...... the occasional double or triple is nice, but pitchers have adjusted to Ichiro since 2001 - they know he'll swing at pitches in the dirt and way out of the zone, so they constantly feed him garbage. If he really wanted to impact the team, he'd walk more, steal more, and score more! I always have the feeling Ichiro is playing a mind game of trying to prove that "his" way of playing is somehow better - when what the team needs is less slap hits, more line drives, more runs, and more overall impact.
Bottom line: If I'm paying $20 million/year, I want a guy who I can count on for .325+, 40+ HR, 140 RBI, 100+ runs, and an OPS out of this world...Pujols, A-Rod, Griffey in his prime, etc.
Ahem. For 20 million a year I want more production. Again, I am nervous on production based on speed as a player ages. Ichiro has not always been the best team player and has not always done what the team needs to win so those are valid complaints.
From Peter ..... i think signing ichiro is only a bad move if you don't sign another stud to go with him. ichiro just got "superstar, carry the team on my back" money. i'm not sure he is that type of guy. but. he is definitely a phenomenial "i'll support the top guy" kind of guy.
so the money is justified to me IF Ichiro becomes the Manny Ramirez to the David Ortiz. However, if Ichiro is supposed to be THE GUY, then it is a bad move.
But my issue from a baseball sense is I don't believe Ichiro impacts a game the way a Manny Ramirez does. Ichiro might be a table setter to the big boys. Unless the clearance of steriods is bringing the game back to another era power is the name of the game not speed. Also, ro $20 million doesn't he have to be that guy.
From John S .... Very valid points David, but I have to disagree, I like the move. Who takes over the leadoff spot for the M's? Adam Jones is not a leadoff hitter of any sort. He strikes out too much to leadoff, plus you want his power in the middle of the order. You need someone defensively who can cover Safeco. How many more balls would have been outs in Safeco if Raul Ibanez was not in left field. Ichiro leads the outfield in putouts by a wide margin.
Ahem again .... this time going against me but I agree half the game is played on defense and if Ichiro makes 5 plays a game on offense how many does he make on defense. Yes, value the defense it is a great point. Under my philosophy you would use the money you save on Ichiro to fill the gap of a leadoff hitter.
Jeremy says ..... Dave over at USS Mariner has a very good defense of the trade. I happen to agree with his reasoning on this one.
I love USS Mariner. I think Dave Cameron and the guys do an amazing job. I give them the nod on their baseball knowledge over mine. I had one point of view they have another. If you are a baseball fan that is a site you should visit.
Anonymous (read: Gutless) says .... Geez Locked you've been spewing the same "garbage" about Ichiro for like the last 3 years, the M's are in the playoff hunt, Ichiro is a serious MVP candidate and he is peaking interest and putting fans in the seats, by that definition he is worth it, I'm wondering if you're worth it.............
Why is it no one has the balls to rip me with a name attached. All solid points even the one about me being garbage but it losses its umphf when you won't put a name on it.
Great work everyone. This is what this site is all about.