Talking Points: Ichiro is not the same Ichiro
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Will Ichiro Suzuki continue to struggle at the plate, or will he rebound with something like a .380 batting average in July?
Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley writes that Ichiro simply isn’t the Ichiro of old any longer.
“As diligent as he has been in preparation, as impeccably conditioned as he is, the toll of play 1,588 major league games in the past 10 seasons is showing,’’ according to Kelley.
Ichiro entered the season with a .331 career batting average and was hitting . 265 going into Wednesday’s game. At age 37, he’s losing his legs and appears to be having problems tracking fly balls.
As great has Ichiro is, his age is slowly trumping his talent.
Will Ichiro adjust? Will he be willing to sacrifice bunt, walk, and drive the ball more even if it costs percentage points on his average? Is he willing to take a rest day now and then and give up his right field spot so young players like Carlos Peguero and Greg Halman can play?
Let’s hope so.
The best way Ichiro can cap a stunning career is to be graceful as his skils decline and to place the needs of the Mariners as a team first.
Talking Points randomly selected five NBA mock drafts from the blogosphere and four of them have the Trail Blazers selecting power forward Kenneth Faried with the 21st pick later this month.
A 6-8, 225-pounder from Morehead State, Faried is “undersized but a relentless rebounder.’’ The other pick had Portland taking Justin Harper, a power forward from Richmond, labeled “one of the best shooters in the draft.’’
The bloggers see LaMarcus Aldridge playing a lot of center because “all the Blazers’ centers are on the edge of their next knee surgery.’’