Yes, I'm starting with a sports related post. I can't apologize for being me!
In case you haven't heard, the Seattle Times yesterday published a report that said that some Mariners players wanted to kick Ichiro's butt around May this year. Why? Apparently he was playing hurt, he had some hamstring issues, and so he wasn't as fast and couldn't get to fly balls the way he normally would have. Some national media outlets even picked up the story, since I saw it on ESPN.com and MSNBC.com.
When did Major League Baseball become 2nd grade recess? That is wrong on so many levels.
Here's the thing, almost all professional sport players play hurt and through pain at one time or another. Heck, even weekend warriors, people who are not getting paid to play sports, play through bumps and bruises and tweaks and sprains. I did that. Why? Because of the love of the game. It doesn't matter what sport you play, there is an elevated possibility of getting hurt. To tell you the truth, if a professional player starts complaining about HAVING to play through pain, then that's a player that your team probably doesn't need, and would probably be better off without that player.
Let's dissect that sentiment a little further. A teammate wanting to go kick another player's ass because that player is playing hurt. I cannot see that statement coming from a position player, just because they themselves might get hurt at one point and would have to play through the pain, so they wouldn't even be thinking about taking another player out just because they're playing hurt.
So did this come from a pitcher? Most probably. A reliever wouldn't have the same prima-donna attitude as starting pitchers, so I would say this came from a starting pitcher. This year, only two new starting pitchers were added to the M's staff: Bedard and Silva. Bedard doesn't talk to anyone in the clubhouse, he's as quiet as a mouse (even though I've had a mouse in an old apartment that kept me up at night because of its incessant running back and forth across the ceiling, but that's a different post for a different day). So that leaves Silva. And yes, I can see Silva saying that.
If that's the case, if Silva was the one who wanted to kick Ichiro's ass, then I would advise Mr. Silva to take a look in the mirror. First, he wouldn't like what he would see, girth-wise. Boy is huge! Second, didn't he, himself, play hurt a few games this year and couldn't even get out of the 2nd or 3rd innings? Perhaps other M's should have kicked his ass. Problem is, you would need a really big foot to do so.
And what about Ibanez last year? Didn't he play hurt throughout the first half of last season? his power number didn't start going up until after July. However, there was no mention of any ass kicking threats. Ibanez might have cost the Mariners even more last year. Think about this: If Ibanez had admitted that he was having back problems, perhaps the organizations would have let him rest his back for a while and called up Adam Jones to play left field. Perhaps Adam Jones would have put up some decent numbers and when Ibanez was ready to come back, then both would have stayed in the lineup (I'm sure the M's would have found a spot for Ibanez in the lineup, they need his productivity), and if you all remember, last year the M's had 88 wins and were very close to earning a sport in the playoffs. Perhaps the above scenario of playing Adam Jones and Ibanez would have produced a couple more wins, and put the M's in position to remain a contender for a playoff spot down the stretch. Not too far fetched, is it? Still, no talk about any Ibanez ass kicking. Go figure!
I would rather have Ichiro play at 90% than a lot of the other Mariners playing at 100%, except for Ibanez and Beltre, because he would still be better than those bums. All of them.
So whoever is saying those things about Ichiro, just shut it. Yes, I'm looking at you, Silva. Don't make me come down there (is Shaq available?)