For most of the season, as with the past couple years, the Mariners have been bedeviled by a historically bad offense. And through the first 100 games of 2012, Ichiro and Smoak were two of the primary culprits.
Despite occupying two primary offensive positions—right field and first base—through July 23, Ichiro and Smoak had combined for 0.2 Wins Above Replacement. That suggests that the Mariners could have picked up two players out of a slow-pitch softball league and received essentially the same production.
On that July day, Ichiro was granted his request for a trade, being sent to the Yankees, and Smoak was sent to Triple-A (he recently was recalled as an injury replacement). It’s no coincidence that Seattle won 19 of its next 28 games.
All of which means that if the Mariners fall a couple games short of the playoffs, they can curse the backward thinking that kept Ichiro and Smoak in the lineup about two months too long.
Ichiro was in the final year of a five-year deal that paid him $18 million a year, a contract that was absurd when it was offered and proved to be an albatross for the club. He was an icon in Seattle, a status that prevented the franchise from replacing him when it should have two years ago.
Posted: August 25, 2012 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
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