Tuesday, September 07, 2004


As most baseball fans do, I receive Lee Sinins' ATM Reports every day. I appreciate the work that he does on a daily basis. But I have to take issue with his assessment of Ichiro.

I've been asked by a few people about a Suzuki H watch.

Here's why I'm not doing it--Despite all of those hits, he still isn't leading the league in OBA. Despite all of those hits, he's still only 5th in the league in total bases. Despite all of those hits, he's still far behind Bonds for the major league lead in times on base and his figure in that area is tied for 2nd in the majors, he is in a too close to call battle with 3 others for that spot. Despite all of those hits, he's on pace to just barely make it into the top 100 on the all time list for times on base. There is no way in the world, that he's going to make it into the top 100 on the all time list for times on base vs. the league average. His status for the top 10 in the majors in RCAA in day to day, with multiple other players competing to knock him out of it.

Suzuki's having a very good year, but far from a top of the line season just among 2004 players and certainly not such greatness when the pool is expanded to history as a whole. He's on pace to just barely make it into the top 500 all time RCAA list, but that's only if he keeps his current pace and does finish with 60 RCAA. If he "falls" all the way down to finishing with just 59, forgot the top 500. And, at this point in time, he still hasn't cracked the top 800.

I could care less about on-base percentage. I could care less about whether Ichiro will make the all-time RCAA list. The fact is, what Ichiro is doing right now is nothing short of incredible.

He has 226 hits on a team that could very well lose 100 games. Have I bashed Ichiro in the past? Yes, and deservedly so. But I cannot bash him right now. He's the only Seattle Mariner who has been useful in 2004.

If anything, he's the one reason why I still care about the 2004 Mariners. This isn't the first time Ichiro has been criticized in the media (see last week's ridiculous Fox article, which I will not link to, because it's a waste of space). And it most certainly won't be the last time.

Ichiro deserves my respect this season. He deserves the national media's respect as well.

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