FanDuel - WFBC

July 23, 2012

Ichiro is now a Yankee.: Traded for right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners.
Huh.

posted by grum@work to baseball at 07:11 PM - 18 comments

My initial reaction was:

(thanks to a baseballthinkfactory member for posting that)

But then I realized that Ichiro has a .642 OPS, so the Yankees might have actually overpaid.

Also, word out there is that Ichiro asked for the trade.

For maximum craziness, the Yankees are IN Seattle for tonight's game. That's going to be awkward for some fans.

posted by grum@work at 07:14 PM on July 23

Ooh, I'm gonna have to watch that game.
I don't blame Ichiro for wanting to try and win a championship though. I do hope that he gets one, but too bad it couldn't be with the Tigers.

posted by NoMich at 07:20 PM on July 23

yeah, I have a lot of feelings about this.

  • Ichiro wasn't himself these last two seasons. No idea if he's cooked for good, or had just lost all passion. His skills- short slappy hits and foot speed- would seem to age better than most, and even two years ago I figured him for Rickey Henderson-like longevity.
  • I hope this isn't his last season, as he's really three full seasons from getting his 3,000 career hit in MLB.
  • I would have liked to have seen his 2,979 hit come (if it does) in a Seattle uniform. That would put him at 4,257 hits in his career between Japan and MLB, which would surpass Rose's total. Yes, NPB is not the same as MLB, but it suggests had Ichiro come up through the majors, he'd probably be near 4,000 career hits today. And god knows what other counting stat totals he'd have been pulling up.
  • I would have liked to have seen his 3,000 MLB hit come (if it does) in a Seattle uniform, not in pinstripes.
  • I honestly thing the 3,000 hit barrier is critical for Ichiro's HoF chances. Without it, his low OPS numbers will seem anemic to baseball experts who've been well-versed in the bible of OBP/SLG (even though Ichiro has been a top-10 WAR player almost every one of his first 10 seasons).
  • I hope he does well enough in NY to not be platoon'ed, as I'm hearing.
  • I think it's a shame he didn't finish out his career in Seattle, but I can understand both sides wanting to part ways.
  • As a Red Sox fan, I can't help but say "Really, the Yankees?!?", and expect him to start hitting .350 again with 25HR power with that short right-field porch.

posted by hincandenza at 08:13 PM on July 23

Man, you can see Ichiro is declining, but I think somewhere in there is still a guy who can hit .300 and steal a few bases, in addition to being a plus defender...and the two guys they acquired for him are complete scrub prospects? Talk about a gift trade with no downside for the Yanks.

posted by dfleming at 08:22 PM on July 23

I honestly thing the 3,000 hit barrier is critical for Ichiro's HoF chances. Without it, his low OPS numbers will seem anemic to baseball experts who've been well-versed in the bible of OBP/SLG (even though Ichiro has been a top-10 WAR player almost every one of his first 10 seasons).

He's probably got enough good will for the MVP/ROY/116-win team season, the pioneering aspect (first great Japanese hitter), the old-school feel (not a "roided" HR hitter), the legendary arm, his single-season hit record, >.300 AVG, and ten consistent years to start his career.

I'd be VERY surprised if he's not in the HOF in the first 3 years of eligibility, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's in there on the initial ballot.

He's a shadow of his former self now, but for a long time he was the most exciting player in the American League.

posted by grum@work at 08:22 PM on July 23

Talk about a gift trade with no downside for the Yanks.

If Ichiro doesn't recover his hitting form, and he's batting #1 or #2 in the lineup, he's going to hurt the Yankees more than help them. If he did that and his name wasn't Ichiro, he'd be batting 9th, and getting less outs at that spot.

posted by grum@work at 08:24 PM on July 23

If Ichiro doesn't recover his hitting form, and he's batting #1 or #2 in the lineup, he's going to hurt the Yankees more than help them.

Even if he's a bench player/pinch hitter, what Seattle got for him was essentially a waiver pickup from earlier this year and a 25 year old, low-ranked prospect. Seattle even threw in some cash for Ichiro's salary.

I don't think Ichiro is guaranteed a spot in the lineup if he plays poorly; he's clearly in decline, playing in a city with a number of stars bigger than he is. I don't think Ichiro is "too big" for the Yankees not to play him if he's awful. That's why I don't think there's a downside.

posted by dfleming at 08:30 PM on July 23

Maybe the picked him up for his inspirations speeches.

(Another brick in the wall that is the legend of Ichiro.)

posted by grum@work at 08:38 PM on July 23

Ha, that's a beautiful story.

posted by dfleming at 08:42 PM on July 23

grum, that was a desperately needed antidote to the Penn State crap bringing everyone down. Thanks.

posted by Etrigan at 08:43 PM on July 23

Recent updates:

During his press conference, one translation of what he said came out as: ""This team has plenty of players in their mid-20s who need to play and I realized I shouldn't be on this team next year."

He's already stated he won't wear #51. "...he knew how much the number meant to the Yankees and would ask for something else." (It's Bernie Williams' number.)

Harold Reynolds asked a stupid question about the Japanese media in NYC, and Ichiro! said "I don't think we have time for useless questions like that."

posted by grum@work at 09:27 PM on July 23

I don't think we have time for useless questions like that.

In other words, "That's a clown question, bro."

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:31 PM on July 23

In other words, "That's a clown question, bro."

それが歌舞伎の質問、弟です。

posted by grum@work at 11:02 PM on July 23

That's awesome, grum.

I'm a Japanese to English translator by trade, so this isn't quite my strong suit.

I think kyōgen (狂言) might be more accurately clownish than kabuki (歌舞伎), but in this case something like お前はばかげた質問したぞ ("You asked a foolish question") would be a decent starting point; unfortunately we lose the direct translation of "clown question" and replace it with ばかげた質問 (foolish question), but this way Ichiro et al won't think we're asking a question about the theater.

"Bro" is also tricky. Omae (お前) is a rude way to say "you," and I think it conveys a similar level of contempt to that which we hear in "Clown question, bro."

Translation is a sport of compromise. In my perfect world Ichiro would sling it out gangster style: こらッ!ばかげた質問ス、お前!("Hey! Stupid question, you!")

Yeah, I can live with that.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:58 PM on July 23

He'll look better and less eye jarring in the road grays than he will in those outfits that NY wears at home.

posted by beaverboard at 12:05 AM on July 24

I think Jesse Thorn said it best. It's like your favorite uncle becoming a Scientologist.

posted by Rock Steady at 09:21 AM on July 24

Hugh, if you didn't hear it, what Ichiro did say was 「そいう無駄な質問に時間を裂けないでほしい。」 (I would prefer that you didn't waste our time with such unimportant questions.) Always the gentleman!

I like your "rephrasing", but you're missing something. Remember, Ichiro is from Aichi-ken. In Nagoya-ben it would probably come out more something like あっほ!なーにきぃーてる、おみぇ?そんなばかな質問するにゃ!! (Stupid! What the f**** do you think you're asking? Don't ask such nonsense!)

My apologies to those who don't speak or read Japanese. I am not a professional translator, like HJ, but I am 1) a long-term resident of Nagoya, central Japan, 2) an avid baseball fan, and 3) in particular, a Chunichi Dragons fan (to borrow a phrase from Tommy Lasorda, "cut me and I'll bleed [Dragons] blue"). Whether it be here in Japan with the non-Japanese players in our leagues, or in the Majors with the Japanese players, I always find it amusing to listen to what the ballplayer actually says and how the translator handles it. Often there is a big gap, as the translator opts for discretion over literal accuracy.

And, because Ichiro has gone to the "Evil Empire" (I am originally from the NYC area, and a National League fan--NY Giants first, and then the Mets), his stock has lost a great deal of luster in my eyes. Leaving the Mariners for the Yankees would be the equivalent of leaving my beloved Dragons for the Yomiuri Giants (Evil Empire, Part 2).

posted by billinnagoya at 06:55 AM on July 25

Oh, that's terrific, billinnagoya!

Yeah, English-Japanese is a bit out of my wheelhouse, it rarely works to translate idioms like "Clown question, bro" from the native tongue into the non-native target language. I love your Nagoya-ben version.

I live within walking distance of Citi Field here in Queens. But I grew up in Baltimore, so I (halfheartedly, damn Peter Angelos) root for the O's. When I'm in Kagoshima visiting my future in-laws, I go for for the Hawks. This bothers oto-san, who's a Giants fan. I pick my spots.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:33 AM on July 25

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