Let me tell you a little bit about my off-day from work so far. Woke up early for a 10:45am tee time with a buddy. Played decent enough, would’ve loved to done just a bit better, but plenty well enough to win a whopping $34 in skins (we played a dollar a hole, double-or-nothing on the 18th). Typically during a round of golf, I tend to ignore my cellphone. Not uncommon.
During those four hours on the course, I learned that the Atlanta Braves thought they had acquired Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for Randall Delgado (we’ll have more on this in a different post). Surprising? Yes, but everybody knew the Braves were still looking for pitching help despite the success of Ben Sheets in his first two starts with the team.
So, OK, not a big deal. Get home, find out the Rangers finally traded for Rick Nash while not giving up, well, anything (post coming), discuss a few article ideas with TWW’s Vinny Ginardi (there’s some exciting stuff coming down the pipe, be ready). Take a quick shower to rinse of the course and the sun and decide to make my way down to the movies to catch The Dark Knight Rises. One of the places here in Savannah has something called a “Super Matinee” which offers movie tickets for $5.50 between 4-5:30pm. Naturally, this is how I spend my Monday off days when there is a movie worth seeing.
I get to Carmike 10, buy my ticket, my Bunch-a-Crunch and my water, and settle into my seat in what is a surprisingly crowded 4:45pm showing. I ignore the portion of the previews where they tell me to turn off all my electronic devices.
I will ultimately regret this decision.
Sometime during one of Alfred’s big monologues to Bruce Wayne, my phone begins to blow up in my pocket (it was on vibrate, and it really felt like it was having a seizure in my pocket). I get nonsense texts from my buddy Ted, not uncommon considering the free fall the Mets are currently in. Naturally, I think these are about the Mets path down the road of suck-a-tude. Then, he flashes a name in a text, and that’s all it read.
Nothing about that makes any sense. Why would the Mets want to trade for Ichiro? Why would the Mariners trade for Ichiro? What’s going on here? As I would find out, it wasn’t the Mets that traded for Ichiro.
The Yankees. Why should I be surprised by this. Naturally, I lost some focus in DKR at this point, and sat in utter amazement as to how the Yankees, yet again, shocked the world by trading for a player that nobody thought was movable.
How could this happen? How could the Yankees, of all teams, swoop in and acquire Japan’s favorite son? How could the Mariners, a team struggling to compete and bring people to the ballpark, trade away their most marketable asset?
Well, it turns out Ichiro wanted the trade. He’s in the last year of an expiring contract, didn’t view himself as a part of the rebuilding process Seattle is going through, and wants to continue playing competitively for at least a few more years.
The trade also makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. Here’s a team that is largely reliant on the long ball. Now, they import a player who may not be the All-Star and Gold Glove award winner he used to be, but he’s going to hit around .300, get on base better than 35% of the time, provide a little speed and score a ton of runs in front of their power hitters hitting behind him. He can still hold his own defensively in the outfield, and is the perfect half-season replacement, if not upgrade, from Brett Gardner. I get it.
You can even talk me into believing the Mariners train of thought. They wanted to do one of the best players in the franchise’s history right by meeting his request to be traded and sending him to a contender where he’ll get a chance to win a World Series ring he wouldn’t have gotten by staying in Seattle. The players they received aren’t stellar, but its never a negative to acquire two relatively young arms for a player with so-so value on the market.
And yet, it all still feels really weird. Its Ichiro Suzuki, after all. This guy is Seattle Mariners baseball. It feels a lot stranger than when the Mariners lost either Ken Griffey Jr., or Alex Rodriguez, because at least then both players made their demands to leave town clear. I don’t know, I guess I was naive enough to think that Ichiro would retire a Mariner, for better or for worse.
Seeing Ichiro playing in any uniform that doesn’t have an “M” on it is going to be weird and uncomfortable. Rebuilding projects, especially in baseball, are always awkward.
To do so now, without your marketable star, seems, well, uhm…I really don’t know. How did this happen.
Long story short, I’m not going to the movies ever again.