Saturday, October 4, 2014

HANDS OFF ICHIRO, METS!

Steve Kallas has a great piece the CBS site today, and while I appreciate, I would be devastated if Ichiro went to the Mets. It's something being suggested believe it or not.  That being said, we all know that if Ichiro doesn't want to be a part-time player, maybe going to Citi Field could work in his favor. I can't believe I just wrote that...


Kallas writes: "...While he’s not what he used to be, I believe that Ichiro has never received the respect he deserves from the Yankees, from the media and even from most fans. Before the season began, Yankee announcers on the YES Network talked about how Ichiro was being showcased for a possible trade. Even early in the season, the announcers talked about how Ichiro might be traded to another team that needed a center fielder.

At the time, given the makeup of the team and the high level that Ichiro was playing at, I could not believe that the Yankees would trade Ichiro. 


As discussed back then, with an old and/or injury-prone group of outfielders (Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano) seemingly ahead of Ichiro, you didn’t have to know much to know that he would get an opportunity to play this past season..."

Some of this is true, but not all of it in my humble opinion.  The conversation about Ichiro being traded was a story that was created by the media, not by the New York Yankees.  As far as "respect", the Yankees like Ichiro, but they can't sign Ellsbury and Beltran for a ton of money and then have them ride the bench and favor Ichiro. Everyone knows that. It doesn't work that way.  Ichiro was in the best position he could be in because of the size of his contract as well as what he was able to offer to the club.  Guess what, 85% of Yankees fans, not the media, the FANS, knew that Ichiro would be playing a heck of a lot this past season because we all knew that Beltran would break down.  He did... and Ichiro was able to come up with 102 hits. Nice work.


But where are we now? Ichiro is no longer a New York Yankee. Could he be again? Damn, I hope so. But, it's also realistic to think that in 2015, Beltran would be healthy. 


While the Yankees would sit Beltran to rest him on certain days, playing Ichiro is something that will happen less.  That being said, Ichiro is a 4th outfielder in baseball these days and offering him a 2 year deal with the Yankees would be smart. Not only for Ichiro to collect 3000 hits, but for the marketing and promotion of the Yankees and their player.  They can throw around the fact that Ichiro is another "living legend" and he'll get 3000 in a Yankee uniform.  That's money in the bank and something the Yankees need to consider when they're negotiating his next contract offer.  Letting Ichiro walk to Queens to accomplish that feat is insane.  We're New York's team, not the Mets.


Kallas goes on: "... the Yankees should sign Ichiro to another two-year deal. He’s likely going to get 3,000 hits (he’s 156 away) in Major League Baseball, a stunning accomplishment for a guy who showed up in America at the age of 27. But the early tea leaves seem to read that the Yankees don’t want him back..." 

The tea leaves. Seriously? Let's be honest, the season just ended for New York. There is no indication that the Yankees DON'T want him back. That tea leaves line is bogus. Don't believe it. Besides, it's too early to suggest that.  Give it a month then let's talk.

More from Kallas about Ichiro and the Mets: "Wouldn’t it be good to have a future Hall of Famer in that locker room? Wouldn’t it be good to have a guy who has played 19 games in the postseason, and has batted .356 with a .400 OBP in those 19 games? As recently as 2012, Ichiro hit .353 with a .389 OBP for the Yankees in the playoffs."

Yes, Steve's right. For the Mets to try and swoop in and snag Ichiro would be smart, but who knows if he'd want to go to Queens. I guess money talks, but I don't see Ichi as that type of guy.  And it is possible ladies and gentlemen, that Ichiro could end up being in the same spot in Queens as he would be in the Bronx...a fourth outfielder.


Here's some truth' No one will take a 40 year outfielder to player full-time for their club. But the Yankees should keep him to pay for 2 more years for Ichi to be their 4th outfielder. It makes perfect sense for the club's sanity when it comes to OBP and for them financially if he can reach 3000 hits. 

Let's hope the Mets didn't read Kallas today.

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