Without question, Ichiro brought a new excitement and unique style of play to major legue baseball and Mariners fans were lucky to call him their own for nearly 12 seasons. From his burst on to the stage winning the MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001 to his shattering of George Sissler’s single season hit record to his ten consecutive seasons with 200 hits and countless other records and milestones (more listed here), it was quite a ride.
Unfortunately, despite all his individual successes through the years, the team failed to make the playoffs since that first magical season. Many blame the FO for the floundering, in their mind not spending enough and/or not spending wisely. Others think the brass cares more about attendance and the bottom line than winning. Some, believe it or not, actually place partial blame on Ichiro for being “selfish” – caring more about his individual accolades than the team’s success.
Of these reasons noted above, the only one I really buy into for the lack of success this decade is the lack of spending wisely (well that and a couple of ill-fated trades, mostly in the Bavasi-era).
All that being said, I believe that Ichiro’s departure will prove to be a win-win-win…
~ a win for Ichiro, as he will be finally playing for a contender
~ a win for the Yankees, as his skill set, even in a slightly diminished capacity, can help a potent lineup offensively and is still an upgrade for them defensively
~ a win for the Mariners, as they can finally turn the page and focus fully on their young talent evaluation and have more freedom in both tactical and financial realms, as they move forward with their rebuilding plan.
|courtesy From the Corner of Edgar and Dave|