Ichiro is here — in spirit, at least

As you know, when the Mariners begin the season on Monday night, Ichiro Suzuki won’t be in the lineup. He remains in Peoria recovering from the severe fatigue caused by a bleeding ulcer.

He’s not here, but his jersey is and it will be hanging in the visiting dugout at the Metrodome in every game the right fielder misses — starting on Monday night.

It was something the “team decided”, manager Don Wakamatsu said prior to Sunday afternoon’s workout at the indoor facility.

Ichiro is still expected to rejoin the Mariners in Oakland on Friday, work out with the team during the three-game series, return to Seattle and hopefully miss just the first game of the three-game home series against the Angels.

Also, Wakamatsu announced his starting linuep for Opening Night.

And here it is:

1. Endy Chavez, LF.

2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF.

3. Mike Sweeney, DH.

4. Adrian Beltre, 3B.

5. Ken Griffey Jr., RF.

6. Jose Lopez, 2B.

7. Russell Branyan, 1B.

8. Kenji Johjima, C.

9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

P. Felix Hernandez.

— Jim Street

2 Comments

This is a very good lineup, i think the M’s will have a better year than las year, and a much better year if the pitching holds up. On another note in regards to the team future. I just read in the Mariners Blog of the Seattle Times that they are going to use Phillipe Amount as a full time reliever in Class AA. Why do you think they would do this? They have Brandon Morrow now in the bullpen and Josh Fields coming up soon. They need solid starting pitchers for the next couple of years. Washburn, Batista and possibly Bedard will be gone by next year. Why do you think they would make a move like this and is it wise?

All this wonderful stuff, and Yahoo comes out with its bunch of self-styled experts picking the Ms to lose at leat 90 games and as many, in fact, as 97 this season.
The Web is a sick, sick place.
Ichiro has to be one of the toughest guys in the world, pound-for-pound. Who else, given his slight frame and modest weight, could have approached his record? First time on the DL in eight ML seasons. My, oh my.

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