I would like to state from the beginning of this blog entry that I have almost no interest in baseball. I like playing sandlot baseball if a game gets going, but I’d rather shove a pencil through my cornea than sit down and watch a baseball game on TV. With that out there for the world to know I would like to take this moment to say “Thank you” to Japanese perennial all-star, Ichiro Suzuki, for his long run with the Seattle Mariners. Now, I would also like to say that I am from Cincinnati, the city that gave birth to professional baseball, so if I’m going to follow a team it sure as sh!t isn’t going to be the Mariners. So my thank you to Ichiro has nothing to do with my love for Seattle.
You see, I come from a time when baseball players joined a team out of the draft and stayed with that team until they retired. Of course trades were made, but by the time a trade was made the player in question had already had a full run of his career and was saddled up and ready to ride off into the sunset. A time when you could walk into a baseball stadium and hang over the dugouts to get autographs while the players were warming up……and it didn’t cost you anything. A time when October rolled around, a kid could look to his favorite player and KNOW that, after the long cold winter, when spring returned and the flowers began to bloom, that his player would be right there on that grassy field waiting for him. A time when the word “team” actually meant something.
Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees a little less than 2 hours ago. I saw the announcement while thumbing through tweets. My initial reaction was a mix of surprise, sorrow, disgust, and whogivesaratsass. I was surprised because he had been with the Mariners for so long that I just assumed he would retire a Mariner. I was sorry because he’s saddling up that horse for the ride into the sunset…..I remember when he was drafted out of high school so this dates me as much as it does him. I was disgusted that a team would trade a player that had been so loyal to them for so long, not to mention that he single-handedly brought sunshine to that God forsaken city of perpetual mist and grey skies. I really didn’tgivearatsass because baseball is no longer a sport as much as it is a business and, I really just don’t care about baseball.
I get to my desk this morning and decided to read up on the trade. Regardless of my lack of interest in baseball, I know that Ichiro being traded is going to be the big talk around the campfire, so I wanted to get all the info I could so I could handle myself when the conversations start. My lack of interest means nothing. Co-workers and students will be talking about this all day and, with me being the token round eye in the room, the conversation will eventually come across my desk…..so I should be prepared.
I started reading the article about the trade and after sifting through all the garbage about money etc… one thing stood out to me. This trade was put into motion by Ichiro himself. My initial reaction was “douchebag is tired of losing and wants to be traded” but then the article went on to say that Ichiro got this in motion because Seattle is building a young team for the future and that, at his age, he was holding them back.
Again, I have no interest in the baseball of today, and I really have no interest in Ichiro Suzuki, but I have tons of respect for the man. He is the last of a long gone breed of baseball players that actually stuck by his team and his city.
Thank you, Ichiro!
Y’all come back, I’ll leave a light on for ya,
Header photo, Sunset At The Park, by Jeremy Bronson, used with permission via Flickr Creative Commons (link below)