Why Ichiro Returning to the Seattle Mariners is Nonsense
It wasn’t more than a few minutes after the Miami Marlins released Ichiro Suzuki before some Seattle Mariners fans began pining for his return. The Seattle Mariners should take a hard pass on this preposterous notion.
Seattle fans LOVE their stars. The wrap them in bubble wrap, put them on a pedestal, and lash out at anybody with the audacity to question their play. So it is not surprising that when Ichiro Suzuki was released, some Mariners fans demanded he return to finish his career in Seattle. As such,I respectfully say to these people: you are absolutely insane.
Lets begin with the obvious and really only significant factor in breaking down this rumor. Ichiro is no longer a good Major League Baseball player. That is it. It really is as simple as that. Why can’t people accept that?
We don’t even need to talk about the fact that there is absolutely no fit for the 45-year-old outfielder on this roster. Or that spending $2 million on a 5th outfielder when you have a plethora of prospects who can be just as bad for $555,000 is sub-optimal. Or that every at bat that went to Ichiro instead of Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel, or Guillermo Heredia is a failure of epic proportion on the part of Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais.
Instead, let us focus on an undeniable fact: Ichiro Suzuki cannot play anymore. He hasn’t posted a fWAR higher than 1.6 in the past 5 seasons. He has only 1 season with a wRC+ of 100 in those 5 seasons. Ichiro hasn’t been more than a league average base-runner in 3 years and hasn’t stolen more that 20 bases since 2012.
While he still grades out as an average defender (barely), he has no power to speak of. Ichiro cannot help the Mariners win. But I am not just trying to slash your dreams to shreds to be mean. However; it is time for the Mariners fans to make a simple choice: Either you can sign Ichiro or, you can try to win.
For a fan base who continually cries that they just want to win, in this particular case, they sure aren’t acting like it. Ichiro cannot help you win baseball games. It really is that simple. He will not boost attendance. He has never been described as a good “clubhouse guy”. Ichiro doesn’t change culture anymore.
A day will come when Ichiro’s number hangs next to Mariners greats Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. A day will come when he gets a call from Cooperstown. But the day should never come where Ichiro Suzuki puts on a Mariners uniform again.
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The past is a wonderful thing. But when you continually focus on looking backwards instead of looking ahead, you are on a collision course with failure.