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Yankees Acquire Ichiro (!)

According to Jack Curry of YES Network, the New York Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Curry also suggests that the Mariners have also included some cash in the deal to cover part of the salary owed to Ichiro (!) for the remainder of the season.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that New York will only pay $2.25 million of whatever is left on the $17 million total that Ichiro (!) is set to earn in 2012.

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This isn’t the first time the ugly comparison of Kosuke Fukudome and Ichiro surfaced here on Getting Blanked. They aren’t really the same player but they have enough similarities (no power, Japanese) that the comparisons are inevitable.

It seems Adam Dunn can’t resist drawing connections between the two veteran outfielders either, as he tapped into the Ichiro lore before an intrasquad game this weekend.

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Ichiro! Does Ichiro! Like Thing

I missed this from last week, but it’s worth resurrecting because I like rarities, and I like them even more when they involve Ichiro!

Facing Luke Hochevar in the bottom of the first inning of last Thursday’s Mariners / Royals tilt, Ichiro! swung and hit a first pitch curveball over the fence in right center field. A first pitch home run, rare by most standards, isn’t even what was so strange about this play.

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Despite a carbon fiber exoskeleton and an arsenic-based respiratory system, the great Mariners outfielder Ichiro! is not immune to the ravages of age. Though he looks no older today than he did in first major league at bat, Ichiro! is actually 37. For the first time in his career, his numbers reflect it.

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All Hail Fat Ichiro

Base hit. Guaranteed.
Remember when the Jays traded first base prospect Brett Wallace to the Astros for a Little League centerfielder and everybody freaked out about losing the power hitting first basemen of the not-too-distant future?

Then remember later that year, when all kinds of scouts up and decided that Brett Wallace was too husky to swing his prodigious hips around and consistently hit major league pitching?

Turns out they’re both wrong! Brett Wallace is now the foremost authority on hitting singles and human advertisement for the tenants of in-play averages!

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Photo of Area 51 courtesy of MLB.com’s Greg Johns.

Pitchers and catchers reported last week so Spring Training must be in full swing, right? Not really. The exhibition schedule doesn’t start until this weekend meaning players are in camp doing…something. Live BP, fielding drills, casually imbibing Scotch while operating a motor vehicle. You know usual stuff.

What is the real start of spring? Opening Day? First Grapefruit/Cactus league games? Nope. Spring isn’t official until Ichiro reports to camp and holds his annual media scrum.

The annual swoonathon generally occurs the day after Ichiro arrives at camp. Ichiro is, as a rule, the last player to show up for camp every year. His eleventh hour arrival (take that, lovers of false hustle!) leaves little time for idle chatting. By design, Ichiro coyly answers through his interpretor — while wearing sunglasses worth more than your car — on the following day, giving the Mariners’ spring an official kick-off event.

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MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees

Brett Gardner‘s success at the big league level is something of a mystery. A mystery that is equal parts utility and scarcity. A triumph of selection bias, really.

Players like Gardner tend to slip through the cracks, more often than not. Lacking the big time power profile of a prototypical outfield prospect, players who go about their business in the style of the Yankees newly minted millionaire put a lot of pressure on notoriously unreliable measures.

The Yankees are no fools. They understand how important a player like Brett Gardner is to their success and so they rewarded their left fielder with a four-year, $53 million contract extension.

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