06/17/08 7:10 PM PDT
|Florida Marlins||Seattle Mariners|
|Hanley Ramirez - SS||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Jeremy Hermida - RF||Jose Lopez - 2B|
|Jorge Cantu - 1B||Jose Vidro - "DH"|
|Mike Jacobs - DH||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Dan Uggla - 2B||Raul Ibanez - "LF"|
|Luis Gonzalez - LF||Richie Sexson - 1B|
|Wes Helms - 3B||Kenji Johjima - C|
|Matt Treanor - C||Willie Bloomquist - CF|
|Alfredo Amezaga - CF||Yuniesky Betancourt - SS|
|2008 - Felix Hernandez||5-5||14||14||1||0||0||0||96.0||89||34||30||7||37||82||2.81||1.31|
|2008 - Scott Olsen||4-3||14||14||0||0||0||0||88.0||73||40||32||12||35||48||3.27||1.23|
It was clever of the Mariners to try and hide Ichiro's move back to right field underneath the firing of the GM, but I'm not that easily duped. This is ridiculous. Not content with making zero progress, John McLaren and the Mariners have elected to start making negative progress, moving one of their two good defensive regulars to arguably the least important defensive position on the field. McLaren says he just wants to see Ichiro happy and smiling again, but you know when Ichiro was the happiest? When his team didn't suck. It has little to do with where he stands half the time and everything to do with how well he and the guys are playing.
All things considered, right fielders are pretty easy to find. Center fielders are not. It would be one thing if Ichiro were shifting over to make room for some glove demon like Coco Crisp or Mike Cameron, but he's not, so this is just silly. Why do this? Why now? I hope McLaren has a better explanation than daydreaming of Ichiro in a corner, because otherwise I'm going right back to enthusiastically counting down the days until his stupid ass gets canned.