Sunday, September 28, 2008
M is for maudlin
Those of you people who know me well, know that I am a passionate and caring Seattle Mariners fan. I rise and fall with the Mariners; and right now, the M's have fallen and they can't get up.
And up until a few days ago, I thought that was ... OK. I think sometimes you have to hit bottom, before you can make your comeback. If you start coming back before you hit bottom, you may be coming back too soon. Because once you hit bottom, the impetus for change is so strong that you vault right back up. See?
So, the M's were just awful this year. If I'm not mistaken, they were the first MLB team with a $100 million payroll to lose 100 or more games in a season. They fired their manager. They fired their general manager. They fired Richie Sexson, even though they still need to pay him dozens and dozens of millions of dollars. They sucked! But ... they still had Ichiro.
Ichiro Suzuki is my all-time favorite baseball player. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played! His on-base percentage is huge. He can steal. Occasionally, he can hit for power. He's a defensive demon in the outfield. And he just tied a mark set by Wee Willie Keeler, getting 200 or more hits for 8 straight seasons. Unbelievable. For those of you who don't know Wee Willie Keeler, he was only probably the greatest athlete of all time. And Ichiro has now tied him.
But just a few days ago, some anonymous M's player told the media that Ichiro was disliked in the clubhouse. He said some players had wanted to "knock [Ichiro] out," apparently meaning bludgeon him into unconsciousness. Said something about how Ichiro was a "selfish" player, or some shit like that.
Now, I've never spent time in the M's clubhouse. So I don't know about all that. But I do know this: Ichi is just doing what he's paid to do. Better even than Wee Willie Keeler. He didn't come over here from Japan just so some gaijin could talk junk about him, talk about assaulting him. He came to play well for the Mariners, and to make the people of Seattle and fans of the Mariners love him. And that's just what he's done. And if anyone even tries to knock him out, or do anything bad to him, then I'm going to knock them out. And that's a promise.
You hear me, anonymous bullshit-talking member of the M's? Ichiro's my boy. And Ichi, pay no mind to all that talk. You're among friends here. And I've got your back, chijin.