With Ichiro batting third for Japan in the World Baseball Classic the annual barking from some Mariner followers for Ichiro to bat third has begun. While this may have made sense for Japan, the same cannot be said for the Mariners. Don’t get me wrong the thought of a .330 hitter batting third sounds pretty good. But. And this is a big but, who leads off for the M’s. Jeremy Reed represents the only other viable option. His 2005 performance doesn’t elicit great hope for the mid to high .300 obp you would like to see from a lead off hitter. So with no other options, Ichiro provides the best option to lead off for the Mariner’s.
Just another Ichiro note. Wouldn’t it be something if we could see 162 games of the passion and emotion Ichiro displayed in the WBC. That passion and emotion has not been seen in Seattle since Lou Pinella left town. While Ichiro won’t throw any tantrums ala Lou the fire he showed in the WBC is desperately need at the Safe.