Monday, February 2, 2015
ICHIRO AIN'T WRONG
I’m an Ichiro fan. There, that’s out of the way. Yes, I admire the guy and the way he plays the game. He is and has always been a class act and is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer…NO QUESTION, “Baseball” writers. I was excited to learn that the Yankees had traded for him. He is a well-liked, well-respected hustler. Even at his advanced age I still believed it was a solid pickup for the Bombers. Now his time in the Bronx was fair, not great, and not terrible. He gave us what he had left in the tank. Did he deserve the contract the Yankees signed him to? No, no he didn’t. But the YANKEES OVERPAID HIM. Period. That is a fact. They put 14 million on the table and Ichi took it…you wouldn’t do the same? The Yankees almost always overpay their aging players. Do I need to run down the list?
It has always baffled me. Is New York really the greatest place in the world to play? If so why do the Bombers always have to overpay players to sign here? Yes, it’s a huge market and the organization can flip the bill, but it would seem that the “Yankee Charm” would save ownership from dealing out checks like they were Kleenex tissues. So like ARod, CC, Tex and even our beloved Captain Jeter (which gets a pass because of what he is the Yankees) the Yanks overpaid for a once great player expecting him to instantly transform into the 25-year-old version of himself. The Yankees are at fault here, ladies and gentlemen.
So Ichiro (who wore the # 51 to honor Bernie Williams when he played for the M’s) is gone. He flew south for the winter and signed with the Marlins. In a recent interview he remarked that Miami showed amazing enthusiasm during the courting process. The 41-year-old outfielder was quoted as saying he was impressed by that, and it was what he’d been looking for the last two years. Yankee fans lost their minds! HOW DARE HE?! WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?! HE WAS LOUSY WHEN HE WAS HERE!
Guess what…Ichiro is right. Look, he didn’t blast the Yanks. He merely said what we’ve all seen in the past few season. The Yankees are a flat team. Last year was not one to remember. Yes, we got to say goodbye to Derek and remember the good times. But I guarantee you DJ has forgotten it. Maybe not the sendoff from the fans, but Jeter played to win and the Yanks didn’t. They were more often than not a FLATLINE club. They look as if they were going through the motions. The organization had to run out Tino, Paulie, Mr.T and Goose to get the fans fired up. They got their plaques and we got to watch the Yanks loaf through nine innings. Am I being too harsh? Maybe if they were a young team cutting their teeth, fighting and gutting out every inning…but they aren’t. They are a veteran team that now has no tie to the greatest of yesterday…aside from their skipper. They spent on big names, watched the bad contracts get worse and got ZERO return for their trouble.
So Ichiro states the obvious and gets the “Robbie Cano Treatment”. I have to throw a flag on that play, folks. INSANE REACTION ON THE FANBASE. 25 YARDS. REPEAT 3rd DOWN.
Is it too much that a guy who played against some great Yankee teams expected a different experience when he came to the Bronx? Yes, Ichiro is older and can’t do what he once did. He is aging like a normal person would. He plays clean and is just not what he used to be…the Yankees KNEW that! They can’t actually say they thought a player in his late 30’s would be a .300 plus hitter that could excel each and everyday. No way, no how! They overpaid him! They bought a nice car with a lot of miles on it and paid as if it was fresh from the showroom.
The Yankees are much like they were in the 1980’s at this point. They have names that aren’t worth what they pull down money-wise and finish in the middle of the pack. Ichiro was just saying that it was sad to see from an organization he admired so much in my opinion. He didn’t rip anybody. He didn’t bash the fans. He just said he wanted so see more of “The Yankee Way” he’d played against. I think we all do.
G’luck, Ichirosan, I’m still a fan.
**Here’s one by one of my favorite Japanese bands, The Cherry Cokes.
Sayōnara Ichiro. **
Senior "Features" Writer
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