The Baseball Desert

Monday, May 16, 2005

Small consolation

I hate to see my team lose, especially to the Mariners, but the one bright spot in these defeats is being able to watch the one-man highlight-reel that is Ichiro. He hits (for average, rather than for power, which is cool, because I'm not a big fan of the long ball per se, except perhaps on milestone occasions), he steals bases, he fields his position as well as, if not better than, any other player in the major leagues and he runs like the wind. Even when he's thrown out at the plate, he manages to turn the play into what Denton calls "a baseball version of Twister":

Image hosted by
(photo: AP)
I love his Zen-like ritual at the plate, which is a perfect picture of concentration: arm outstretched, bat upright, staring out at the pitcher. A little tug on the sleeve of his jersey and he's ready to go. He's not scary in a Gary Sheffield, psycho-bat-wiggle way, but you know that he can inflict some serious damage on the opposing ballclub. I can't root for him when he's playing against the Red Sox, but I can still admire him from afar.

In other, non-consolatory news, it would appear that reports of the Yankees' death have been greatly exaggerated. I knew it was too good to be true.