Late this afternoon, it was announced that the Seattle Mariners have traded away the face of their franchise to the New York Yankees for what amounts to filler; basically, they gave him away. According to Ichiro's statement during the press conference that ended a few minutes ago, after determining that Seattle was no longer a good fit for him, he quietly requested to be traded a few weeks ago. The Mariners would have been in a tough position this off-season; Ichiro will be a free agent, there would have been strong sentiment to re-sign one of the greatest players in franchise history, but his production the during the last year and a half does not really warrant much of a commitment from any team. That scenario is now avoided, Seattle's front office is spared that difficult decision his departure can be spun as allowing him to play for a contender during the twilight of his career.
Friday, July 20, 2012
The day balloting closed, a few weeks later, I received a message from Graham, inviting me to contribute to the project by writing 200 words or so about one of the "inductees," Negro League legend Josh Gibson. Graham's previous collaborative project included many writers I greatly admire and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this effort.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
With what feels like a never-ending wait for baseball to resume after the All-Star break, I thought I'd make my picks for the best position players in each league so far. I believe in separating a player's performance from that of his team, I don't think we should hold mediocre teammates against great players, which means not only do I largely ignore the standings when making my choices, I also try to avoid statistics that are largely dependent on teammates, such as RBI. I like more modern statistics like WAR and WARP, but also don't believe any one number can perfectly rate a player, it's best to cast a wide net and then sort through what you find. Here are my National League selections