Cheer For The Yanks…sometimes
I find it so strange when a franchise player like Ichiro Suzuki leaves a team.
After all, what is the team that we cheer for anyway? Isn’t it the collection of athletes? Or is it simply the uniform with our city name embroidered across the front?
That goes against a lot of my standards. I almost feel like baseball would be a much better sport if it was equalized with a salary cap and players having to stay with the team that signed them.
Then again, because baseball reflects real life, it is no wonder that there will always be Davids and Goliaths squaring off against each other in uneven matchups.
Life is unfair, people move on, and baseball doesn’t make exceptions to either of those facts.
And while Ichiro was a franchise player during his time with the Seattle Mariners and will continue to produce for the Yankees, his departure from Seattle isn’t all that bad.
Now, as the Mariners head into a new season filled with a lot of young talent and promise, let’s look at what the first season without Ichiro will bring.
Without Ichiro there is less pressure.
The international media coverage in the clubhouse is noticeably different at the start of spring training, as guys have more equality with the media and more opportunity to simply be themselves instead of being seen as Ichiro’s band of empty headed sidekicks.
With everyone on an equal plane, there is more opportunity for teamwork, which any great sports movie will show you is needed to win.
Without Ichiro there is more opportunity.
If Ichiro was with the team this season, that would mean fewer players would get a chance to make the team.
Even after his departure last season the field was opened up and the line-up was freed for guys to make some much needed mistakes in which to learn.
Ichiro was great, but he was holding the team back from their desire to truly rebuild. Not to mention the amount of payroll freed up for the M’s this season and the ones that follow.
Without Ichiro there is more leadership
I have no idea what Ichiro would have been like as a team mate, I can only speak about what I did see in the news and such. That’s not much.
Ichiro didn’t communicate with the media often, and for a veteran, that is part of the job that needs to happen to give young guys a boost and to give the fans hope.
Without Ichiro there is new hope. Hope for the Mariners to have a fire lit under their butt, and hope for a dearly loved player to find a new chance at success.
Even if it is in New York.