ICHIRO IS A YANKEE!

It’s nothing new when I admit that the Yankees haven’t always pleased me with trades, whether they have occurred during the offseason or at the deadline. The deadline especially is an extremely nerve-wracking time of year where you NEVER know what’s going to happen. Since I’m weird in my choice of favorite players (Francisco Cervelli is my favorite despite being in Triple-A), I know that none of my guys are ever safe from being shipped away. And I hate when they’re shipped away for no one.

The Yankees – although having just been swept by the A’s out west – are in undeniably solid shape this season. Everyone knows about their fair share of injuries, but the guys who have come back have come back strong, like CC Sabathia. And the guys who are going to remain out, like Brett Gardner, have surprisingly successful guys filling their shoes, like Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.

Guys like Ibanez and Jones, along with Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix, and Chris Stewart, in my opinion have proven to be the best bench the Yankees have had in awhile. It hasn’t been this good since the 90s days that I barely remember – but I do remember that the 90s were filled with championships for the Yankees, and a good bench is important if you want to win.

I was playing guitar before, and in honor of my idol Slash’s birthday, was attempting to improvise the outro solo to the song Nightrain. Through the killer riff, I heard the faint voice of my little brother, yelling, “MOM! MOM! HEY MOM! THE YANKEES….”

The rest of what he said wasn’t clear, but I heard my Mom’s reaction, “OH MY GOD! WOW!”

Turns out, my family was ecstatic over the latest Yankees news: ICHIRO HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE BRONX! It was just for two pitching prospects, D.J. Mitchell who I saw a few times this year (wasn’t overly impressed) and Danny Fahrquar (who I’ve never heard of).

It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve said this, but I’m ecstatic over this trade, too.

Ichiro amazed the world when he came to America from Japan – and actually performed above and beyond our expectations. I truly believe he’s the best Japanese player who has come here, and without a doubt he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Naturally, guys don’t play like they’re in their prime forever, and at age 38, Ichiro has slowed down a bit. He’s hitting just .261 this season. But still – the Yankees acquired a future Hall of Fame veteran for barely anything. He’s the kind of guy that I never saw coming – and perhaps the kind of guy who can really help this team.

Something interesting about Ichiro, which may have influenced the Yankees’s pursuit of him, is his success against AL East teams. For his career, Ichiro hits .300 against the Rays, .304 against the Red Sox, .333 against the Blue Jays, and .356 against the second-place Orioles. If nothing else, I think Ichiro will help the Yankees beat these teams and continue to gain the ground they need in the AL East. This may be just what the Yankees need.

Even if his overall offensive numbers are not where we’re used to them being, there’s no denying that Ichiro is an incredible outfielder. Where’s he going to play? I’m not sure. The whole Yankees team this season seems like a giant platoon system, with this guy DH-ing every other day, that guy hitting against lefties, and those guys resting because they’re old. Ichiro will probably just slide right into this platoon system. Combine him with starters Granderson and Swisher, and Ibanez and Jones from the bench, and the Yankees have a killer outfield system.

Tonight against the Mariners (how ironic!) Ichiro will hit 9th and play left field for my Yankees. It will be interesting to hear how the Seattle crowd responds.

And I know it’s going to be fun to see him on my Yankees. He’s not what he used to be, but he’s still Ichiro, and is still a legend. Legends – that’s what the New York Yankees are made of, am I right?

Still have another week until the deadline….I wonder what other surprises the Yankees will come up with next.

GO YANKEES!

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