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Ichiro!

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Will be hard to watch him in a Yankees uniform, although it would hurt more if he could still play.  And since it’s pretty clear that I will be winning my hedge bet with Howard as the Yankees have a commanding lead, I can’t even root that he’ll continue to have a bad year and cost the Yankees a playoff spot.   (Speaking of which, belated thanks to Howard for sending me a copy of Shakhill’s Warrior, which is indeed fantastic.)

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  • Erik Loomis

    Does he even start for the Yankees?

    • Scott Lemieux

      With Swisher out for a while and Gardner* out for the year, sure. And between defense and regression to the mean it’s not clear that he’s much worse than Ibanez or Jones either.

      *Given that apparently neither he nor Longoria can be expected to live through the month, I think we know who drafted them this year…

      • Bill Murray

        I think they should bring up Ronnier Mustelier or Zoilo Almonte, but then I hate the Yankees

  • charles pierce

    I see…triples to the gaps.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, assuming that the Yankees are winning the division no matter what I actually hope that the trade to the bandbox reignites him a bit.

      • greylocks

        I’m thinking this might be one of those Ray Bourque kind of deals, in which case, if true, I will take back 1.5% of all the bad things I’ve ever said about the Yankees. I stand firmly behind the other 98.5%.

    • Stag Party Palin

      Get back to work, Charles. You haven’t posted for over two hours!!!

      • Fighting Words

        Well, David Brooks did have the day off today.

    • Sherm

      There is no gap to right center in that fisher price ballpark

  • howard

    i must say, this one came completely out of the blue, and the mariners are of course correct to cut ties with ichiro.

    as for the yanks, i do have to like the way that in order to make up for having a 35-year-old and a 40-year-old getting too much time in the outfield, they added…a 38-year-old!

    but even the 40-year-old has an ops+ of 96, and the 35-year-old has an ops+ of 112, so unless playing in meaningful games does rejuvenate ichiro, he doesn’t have enough of a defensive edge on either of those 2 guys to be anything but an interchangeable part.

    the big yankee problem remains age and whether it’s going to catch up with them over the last 30 days of the season and october; their average hitter is 2 years older than the second oldest (the red sox) and 4 years older than the american league average. it’s amazing to realize that gardner is their entire everyday youth….

    • E

      Don’t forget this guy.

      • howard

        cano’s not young anymore: he’s 29, which is older than the average american league hitter, and he turns 30 during the world series.

        • greylocks

          For a Yankee, 29 is barely out of diapers.

        • howard

          i was just double-checking wise’s age, and it turns out that gardner is older than i thought: he turns 29 in august.

          every single yankee everyday player is older than the league average hitter.

          • Richard

            And they have the best record in baseball and a six game lead despite having lost four in a row. Age isn’t hurting them much

            • richard, it isn’t hurting them yet, but hell, losing mariano hasn’t hurt them yet either, but that doesn’t mean it won’t.

              as i noted at 5:57, the concern is what will some of these guys at bats be looking at come september and october: remember, this is a team that doesn’t have the speed to manufacture runs. it’s a heavy-duty ops team (highest ops+ in the league) that relies on strike-zone judgement and mistake-hitting, and when your bat gets tired, that can turn into mistake-missing….

              • Richard

                I think they are pretty much set to cruise to the division championship this year. I don’t think September is going to be a problem at all. Going further in the playoffs is more likely to be a question of how the bullpen holds up

                Obviously their age will take a toll in the future but other than the last four games, they’ve been pretty dominant this year. And I’m a Yankee hater

                • that’s ’cause you yankee haters think it’s easy!

                  normally this time of year i’m worried about the yankee starters and the relievers not named mariano; this year the starters are doing fine (nova and hughes have been surprisingly good), and where they feel the absence of rivera is in middle relief, which could be in trouble in the fall (robertson and soriano are doing fine).

                  but an offense that lives entirely by walks and home runs is a worrisome offense, and i feel highly confident that the chavez/jones/ibanez troika, who are collectively averaging a home run every 16.9 at bats (32 in 541 at bats) are unlikely to reproduce that over the remaining 70 games.

                • Richard

                  I think you’re worrying too much. It’s a cruise to the playoffs. The legs and bats of the old guys will hold up for another sixty days

        • Rob

          Since the Yankees offense is other worldly not sure what the point is other than the whole must get and young and cheap thing doesn’t really help.

          • the issue for the yanks is speed, as in the lack thereof without gardner.

            a team with their number of homers and their ops should actually be scoring more than they area, and the absence of speed is a big factor why they aren’t.

    • greylocks

      the mariners are of course correct to cut ties with ichiro.

      Gave up very little and got very little in return. One of the better deals they’ve made.

    • timb

      I wouldn’t mind having their problem

  • howard

    as for shakill’s warrior, david murray, don pullen, and andrew cyrille walk into a bar….

    seriously, this is an album that works on a double level: on the direct level, it’s just a kick-ass tenor/organ combo record, the jazz form of 1960s black urban neighborhoods, particularly in the northeast.

    but because the 3 key players are all post-bop freedom players first and foremost (although all are deeply knowledgeable of african-american musical traditions), there’s a second level on which you’re just waiting for the musicians to blow right through the song forms and take it completely outside, and their control is implacable: we are making a tenor-sax record, damn it, not an Artistic Statement.

    which is what makes it all the more an artistic statement.

    p.s. for a classic tenor/organ combo record, check out baby face willette’s 1961 “face to face.”

  • efgoldman

    Where’s gulag?

    • c u n d gulag

      Here I is!

      I shut down my computer early, to make dinner for my Mom, and then went to finish reading a book.

      As I posted in the earlier post, I think it’s a good deal for the Yanks, AND for Ichiro.

      He’ll be rejuvinated playing for the Yankees – if there’s anything left to rejuvinate, that is.

  • Fighting Words

    In even better news, the Oakland A’s just swept the New York Yankees in a four game series (in Oakland) and are now tied for the (second) Wild Card spot. Now I need to re-think my “baseball purism” and actually support the second wild card.

    Ok, so this is not an Ichiro related comment. But it is American League West and Anti-Yankee. Plus, there just aren’t any places where I can post about the A’s success this season (before the inevitable slide and heartbreak).

    I mean, the Oakland A’s are now contending for the playoff’s in late July. The Oakland A’s…with a combined batting average of about .230. Who would have thought such a thing would happen?

    Anyway, I really, really, really hope that the Giants, the A’s, the Orioles, the Reds, the Pirates, and the Nationals can all make the playoffs this season.

    • Fighting Words

      Having said that, I have enjoyed watched Ichiro and the Mariners play a lot against Oakland over the years. It will be sad seeing him play in another uniform.

    • howard

      annoying as that series was from a yankee perspective, that was a terrific performance by the a’s to sweep, capped by yesterday’s especially admirable comeback from trailing sabathia 4-0….

  • Jim Lynch

    Can’t fault a guy for wanting a World Series ring before his career is over. Kudos to the Mariners for not standing in his way.

    • Katya

      That was my feeling.

  • Matt

    Now we find out if he can really hit 30 home runs “if he wanted to” because in the new park it’ll be impossible to not hit 30 homers unless he just can’t.

  • rea

    It’s just wrong, like Ruth in a Braves uniformm.

    • i was at the 1975 sox home opener at fenway when the brewer dh was…henry aaron.

      • Rob

        You mean MILWAUKEE Brave great Henry Aaron?

        • rea

          When Ruth played for the Braves, they were still in Boston.

          • timb

            He hit his 3 homers and retired, once he accepted that he couldn’t do it any longer. That’s the way I would want to retire….if, you know, I had one-millionth the talent of a Double A journeyman instead of zero talent at all

  • I got to see him play in Fenway once, from great seats – right behind the catcher, about 12 rows up.

    He looked like he was born with that bat in his hands. He looked like he could east spaghetti with it.

    • Eat spaghetti, that is.

      Plainly, my orientalism got the better of me.

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