Friday, June 1, 2012
Get Off Ichiro's Back!
Ichiro Suzuki got a well deserved night off on Wednesday from his duties as the Seattle Mariners right fielder. In his absence the M's managed to score a whopping 21 runs as they blasted the Texas Rangers 21-8. After the game the talk around town wasn't about the offensive onslaught, but whether or not the team still needs Ichiro's services going forward. What's wrong with this picture?
The mere fact that the local media (mostly talk radio) would attribute the Mariners offensive success to Ichiro not being in the line up lets me know their opinions are personal and not professional. For years Ichiro has rubbed media types the wrong way for refusing to do interviews, speaking only through an interpreter, and possessing an arrogant attitude. They have also ridiculed him for his refusal to change his spot in the batting order until this season.
Without question Ichiro is still the Mariners best player. He leads the team in hits and is one of only two players on the team batting over .270. Aside from Ken Griffey Jr, A-Rod, and Randy Johnson Ichiro is the most productive Mariner of all time. His bad relationship with the media shouldn't diminish his accomplishments on the field and his contributions to the team overall. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean you're better off without them.
If Ichiro were more likable and engaging he would be Seattle's most beloved athlete. Instead his aloof and distant personality makes him a target of criticism and angst. Although I think Ichiro should be more friendly and outgoing you can't always get everything you want in the superstar package. Ichiro is a first ballot hall of famer and deserves more respect from the Seattle media. Your thoughts?