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Friday, July 20, 2012

Passan: Ichiro draws from lessons learned from friend Buck O’Neil as he ponders future with Mariners

They shared the struggles of pioneers, though Ichiro doesn’t dare try to compare his to a man judged and discriminated against because he was black. During his rookie MVP season, Ichiro met Buck, listened to his improbable story, accompanied him to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to learn more and made sure to seek him out every time the Mariners came to Kansas City. Buck would hang behind the batting cage and watch Ichiro pepper balls to all fields, then launch home runs to right with power belying his size. Ichiro showed off for him. He saw something great in a man from whom so much had been taken but who never stopped giving.

“With Buck, I felt something big,” Ichiro said. “The way he carried himself, you can see and tell and feel he loved this game. And when you see that presence, it makes you want to know more about him. That’s what I looked to. We’re all trying to play better baseball. Make it a better sport. That’s what I see, and that’s what I look forward to doing.”

Those are not the words of a man who seems poised to retire, as columnists in Seattle are suggesting he do. A cloud teeming with fear and negativity hovers over Ichiro right now, ready to weep on him at any moment and potentially damage a 12-year relationship with the Mariners.

Thanks to Ben.

Repoz Posted: July 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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   1. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4187901)
I love the idea of Ichiro and Buck O'Neil having a chat. For some reason that feels like Wyatt Earp meeting Buck Rodgers.
   2. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4187906)
A cloud teeming with fear and negativity hovers over Ichiro right now, ready to weep on him at any moment and potentially damage a 12-year relationship with the Mariners.

This is a ####### awful sentence, by the way. A monumentally awful sentence. My cat is trying to bury it in the sand.
   3. TerpNats Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4187919)
But has that relationship turned into holding the Mariners hostage?

I think Ichiro still has some value, but not at the price he's asking. If the M's weren't so beholden to their Japanese part-ownership, they would make him trade bait at the deadline; he could help a few contenders, and the M's could replenish their farm system with a goal of contending by '15 or '16, when the Rangers and Angels might not be as formidable. That's a strategy the Astros are using for their AL West future, and the Mariners should do likewise.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4187930)
I'm now imagining Joe Pos spending countless hours interviewing Ichiro for the definitive biography of the mercurial Japanese import. And then Ichiro dying shortly before publication (hadn't realized until now that both of Pos's main bio subjects died before the books were published).

   5. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4187939)
I'm now imagining Joe Pos spending countless hours interviewing Ichiro for the definitive biography of the mercurial Japanese import. And then Ichiro dying shortly before publication

But not before the revelation that Ichiro was a serial killer trying to murder every woman pictured in Hideki Matsui's porn collection.
   6. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4187962)
I think Ichiro still has some value, but not at the price he's asking.


What price is that? Has there been any indication that he's insisting on making the same amount he has been (or god forbid, more)?
   7. simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4187963)
But not before the revelation that Ichiro was a serial killer trying to murder every woman pictured in Hideki Matsui's porn collection.


Big deal. Forty years ago in Kansas, killing women was commonplace.
   8. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4187965)
hadn't realized until now that both of Pos's main bio subjects died before the books were published


It wasn't a bio, but Sparky Anderson lived a year after The Machine was published. He wins, I guess.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4187969)


It wasn't a bio, but Sparky Anderson lived a year after The Machine was published. He wins, I guess.


Hadn't even thought of Sparky. Jeez, three guys cut down in their primes. We shouldn't stop reading Joe Pos because of his reaction to the Paterno scandal. We need to stop because he's America's leading killer.

   10. Gamingboy Posted: July 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4188058)
I love the idea of Ichiro and Buck O'Neil having a chat.


QFT.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4188075)
Before he died in 2006, Buck often spoke of players he enjoyed watching. He had an affinity for those who stayed in one place their whole career. Ichiro's marriage to the Seattle Mariners seemed a fait accompli until recently, and in a rare interview, he told Yahoo! Sports this week that his return is no certainty.


And for Ichiro, someone who shared with Buck the idea of appreciating players staying with one team for their whole career, the coming months afford him time to prepare for a number of possibilities.


Um, Ichiro played nine years for the Orix Blue Wave.
   12. KJOK Posted: July 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4188077)
It wasn't a bio, but Sparky Anderson lived a year after The Machine was published. He wins, I guess.

Pedro Borbon escaped the Posnanski curse a little while also.
   13. Bob Evans Posted: July 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4188122)
A cloud teeming with fear and negativity hovers over Ichiro right now, ready to weep on him at any moment and potentially damage a 12-year relationship with the Mariners

with its thunder of arbitration and lightning of lowered expectations, notwithstanding a silver lining of good will and Japan-Seattle Freundschaft.
   14. rfloh Posted: July 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4188144)
"I think Ichiro still has some value, but not at the price he's asking. If the M's weren't so beholden to their Japanese part-ownership, they would make him trade bait at the deadline; he could help a few contenders, and the M's could replenish their farm system with a goal of contending by '15 or '16, when the Rangers and Angels might not be as formidable. That's a strategy the Astros are using for their AL West future, and the Mariners should do likewise. "

They are "so beholden" to the Japanese part-ownership the same way the Yankees are so beholden to the Steins.

The American part owners have / had ties to Nintendo / Yamauchi. The only reason the American part owners were around was to spare American sensibilities about the team being owned by Yamauchi. It is his team. So, it SHOULD be "so beholden" to him.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920716&slug=1502386

"Yamauchi then describes how Washington state Sen. Slade Gorton approached Minoru Arakawa, Yamauchi's son-in-law and president of Nintendo of America, for financial backing to keep the M's in Seattle. Arakawa relayed the request. As Yamauchi tells it, it sounds like a son-in-law asking the father-in-law for a little favor.

"Mr. Arakawa was wishing to work in Seattle for a very long time," Yamauchi says. "He approached me. He said, `If only you had the money, I wish you could help.' "

He agrees it is a strange kind of help.

"I was told it was OK to pay $75 million but I could not have a say in the operations," he says. His sarcasm, I would hear later from Hiroko, is lost in the translation.

However, Yamauchi adds, "I have not been interested in operating an American baseball club, so that's in accordance with the agreement." He sits back in his chair and relaxes a bit.

Watching reactions

Despite some prodding, Yamauchi would not offer any advice for the Mariners. Not even philosophical advice from a businessman who had seen his company through some hard times.

"I'm not allowed to say so much things about the operations of the Mariners at this point," he says.

He says, in fact, he doesn't consider it a business deal.

"If it were for business, I would not have accepted the offer, I believe. It's quite another reason that I went ahead with the Mariners."
   15. Topher Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4188525)
But not before the revelation that Ichiro was a serial killer trying to murder every woman pictured in Hideki Matsui's porn collection.


Ichiro was simply trying to prevent Hideki from straying from his lovely wife.
   16. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: July 21, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4188569)
Sparky only made it a couple of months after the book came out. I think Pos is obviously a serial killer and his MO is to throw people off the trail by effusively praising his subjects.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 21, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4188574)
Sleep with one eye open, Duane Kuiper.
   18. Dan Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4190718)
So does this mean what Buck really taught Ichiro was how to request a trade to the Yankees?

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