These have been bouncing around my head all off-season; some are tempests in teapots, some a little more substantial – I just havent heard many of them asked…DID the Yankees actually upgrade? Acknowledging that a healthy Nick Johnson, freed of all defensive worries, could win a batting championship (or at least the On Base crown), is a trade-off of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Melky Cabrera for Curtis Granderson, Johnson, Randy Winn and Brett Gardner really a win? Has Cabreras clutch late-inning hitting been forgotten, or merely written off as a statistical fluke?…ON the other end of the Granderson trade, do the Tigers know Phil Coke wasnt that great against lefties during the first half of last year, and basically stopped getting them out at all after September 1 and in the post-season?…HAS Roy Halladay ever been tested in a pennant race? Does it matter? I seem to recall several clubs drooling over the various Javier Vazquezes who pitched in obscurity in Montreal and Arizona and even Chicago…DID the Angels look at Joel Pinieros last months worth of work in 2009? Did they break out his fly-ball to ground-ball ratio? Did they note that a sinkerball pitcher who cant get the ball down will probably end up in mopup relief?…WHY hasnt anybody else written that if Milton Bradley doesnt sink the Mariners, theyll be the first?…lastly IF you are the Nats and you have as exciting a prospect as Ian Desmond and you havent unloaded Cristian Guzman, why do you go ahead and sign Adam Kennedy?
After getting handcuffed by Hideki Matsuis second inning sac fly here at Yankee Stadium for an error that ultimately did no damage to the Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki got a mock roar of anticipation and excitement from the crowd as he lined up to catch Francisco Cervellis fly just two batters later.
Ichiro – of the underpublicized sense of humor and the giddy giggle whenever Ken Griffey tickles him, promptly pulled a Justin Upton. As he squeezed Cervellis fly to end the inning, he fake-tossed it towards the stands, giving the fans something to really roar about.
Leading off the top of the third, the one-named wonder was called out on by umpire Jerry Meals on a check swing – held his bat level in that limbo pose for a second, begging for the ball call. When it didnt come, he unfroze the pose and finished the swing.