This season is no different and the focus has been on veterans like Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney - but three good catchers is one too many for most teams.
The Mariners have rookie Adam Moore, Rob Johnson and Kenji Johjima, and Johjima has two more years left on his contract. Still, there is some thought that the Mariners might try to buy him out gracefully and send him home to Japan.
That's a long shot, but anything is possible, so tonight could be Joh's last game as a Mariner. If so, he's going out on a roll - batting .309 over his last 16 games with five doubles and three home runs.
Junior's the DH tonight, free agent Adrian Beltre the third baseman and rookies Mike Carp - batting .314 - and Michael Saunders get starts, as well.
It's Ryan Rowland-Smith vs. Tommy Hunter.
Ichiro singles into left field, his 222nd hit of the season. That's the fifth highest total in Mariners history - and Ichiro has each of the top five spots.
Franklin Gutierrez grounded out with Ichiro running, getting him to second base. Jose Lopez flied out. Griffey struck out.
And yes, that's why ichiro won't score 100 runs this year, for the first time in his career.
Mariners rally? No.
Rowland-Smith has been dominant for three innings - one pop-fly single that should have been caught, one walk.
The Mariners opened their half of the third with singles from Josh Wilson and Ichiro (his 223rd hit), but went south from there.
Gutierrez popped up a bunt attempt, Lopez ground back to the mound to start a double play.
After three: No score.
One thing Griffey can still do at 39 is work a count, and he worked this one to 3-0 - then hit his 19th home run of the season on a line into the right field stands.
That's career homer No. 630 if you're counting.
Beltre followed with a double, and Johjima's' ground ball got him to third. With the Texas infield playing in, Carp grounded out. Saunders grounded out.
After five: Mariners 1, Rangers 0
A Mariners rally - really!
Wilson doubled and Ichiro singled for the third time (No. 224!), setting up an RBI single for Gutierrez. That's 68 RBI for Gutierrez.
Ichiro went to third on a fly ball, and Gutierrez stole second base. The Rangers walked Junior intentionally, loading the bases.
With Jason Grilli pitching, Beltre stuck out, swinging wildly. Johjimsa flied out.
After five: Mariners 2, Rangers 0
Rowland-Smith was in trouble, with Rangers at the corners and only one out, when Marlon Byrd hit a sharp ground ball up the middle.
Rowland-Smith jumped to get above the ball, threw his glove behind his legs and somehow snared the ball as it passed between his legs.
From there, he turned an inning ending double play - and walked off the mound laughing at himself.
In the sixth: Mariners 2, Rangers 0
Rangers coming on
Clearly, Rowland-Smith is struggling with command, giving up a double and a walk to open the seventh - this after needing a spectacular play to get out of the sixth.
Rookie Elvis Andrus then hit an opposite-field, ground rule double to end the shutout, and with his 100th pitch, Rowland-Smith struck Taylor Teagarteden out.
On his 104th pitch, he got a pop fly from Julio Borbon - and that was that for Rowland-Smith.
Manager Don Wakamatsu went with Shawn Kelley against Ian Kinsler, and Kinsler walked. Michael Young flied out.
In the seventh: Mariners 2, Rangers 1
Lowe-less in Seattle
Left-hander Garrett Olson on the mound for the eighth inning because Mark Lowe has been shut down.
Olson gave up a one-out hit, then got a line drive double play.
In the eighth: Mariners 2, Rangers 1
And in the ninth
The closer for your Seattle Mariners tonight - Miguel Batista.
David Aardsma, like Lowe, isn't available tonight and Batista is Senior Experience with his 38 career saves.
Adruw Jones struck out. Elvis Andrus grounded out. Taylor Teagarden struck out.
It's a final: Mariners 2, Rangers 1