Venerable News Tribune columnist John McGrath wrote his column today on Ichiro Suzuki. After receiving the mass e-mail sent to fans from the Mariners soliciting all-star votes for the 10-time all-star right fielder, McGrath takes a look at why he won't be voting for Ichiro this year.
From the column ...
You can help Ichiro keep his streak of All-Star appearances intact by voting as many as 25 times for him. Which is 25 more times than I would vote for him.
Not that the notion of Ichiro leading off for the American League on July 12 is so unsettling. After watching Ichiro go 0-for-4 virtually every night since the middle of May, I am fully capable of watching him go 0-for-2 in the All-Star Game.
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But I’ve got this goofy, old-fashioned notion that the All-Star Game ought to be restricted to players worthy of All-Star consideration, and the Ichiro of 2011 no more resembles an All-Star than I resemble George Clooney.
No facet of Ichiro’s game is up to All-Star standards. He’s typically compensated for an absence of power by turning every three-hop infield grounder into an adventure, but he no longer beats out the bleeders. A perennial Gold Glove outfielder, his defense is now a blend of tentative and indifferent. (Although it should be noted he only has problems on fly balls hit behind him, in front of him, and to his left side.)