The Beauty of September Baseball

Right after Derek Jeter gets his historic hit, Ichiro takes the pen from Jeter to write his page in the eternal textbook of baseball, or maybe just continue his own chapter. Everyone knows who Ichiro Suzuki is, the hitting phenom from Japan, who happened to snag both the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in his rookie season. It’s not that he is underrated; I think that everyone respects and acknowledges what he has done, and what he continues to do. However, I kind of see him as the unsung hero of Major League Baseball. A man who always shines, yet remains in the shadows. 

I wonder why it is that Suzuki has only won one MVP award, even though he has had over 200 hits and batted above .300 in all nine of his Major League seasons. In a way, I think baseball fans take advantage of Ichiro’s consistent skill. When do we take advantage of things in everyday life? When we know that they’re always there. I for one take advantage of electricity. It is always there, I expect it to be there, and I am surprised and annoyed when it is not. Ichiro is the same way for Major League Baseball: He has been around for a while, he is always present, we expect him to be there, and I for one would be surprised and annoyed if he was not. When it comes to MVP voting, I understand that the voters look for outstanding years, it’s only natural. But I think that Ichiro needs to be recognized a bit more often for an outstanding career. 
September: the grind of the baseball season. It is considered to be the time where teams really kick it into gear. They try to retain their playoff spot, or they play their hearts out for a spot. It may just be the most enjoyable month of the season. However, when people say, “these are the games that count”, that kind of throws me off. Every single game counts just as much as the next one, and they all lead to the one collective goal for every single team: playoff berth. 
Nonetheless, September provides very enjoyable baseball. One of my favorite parts of it is the September call-ups. This is when my projects are called up, I get to see if my scouting reports from way back in March were right. It really warms my heart to see them out there because I know they’re excited. This is their chance to prove to the speculative world of Major League Baseball that they are the future, and that they can perform in the demanding September atmosphere. They are playing a part in steering the ship into the harbor, the harbor being the playoffs. 
A couple of my projects have already been called up: Josh Reddick and Michael Bowden. I am really proud of how much Josh Reddick has progressed. I don’t think he was one of the original spring training invitees, but he really proved himself when he joined the squad at the beautiful City of Palms Park. He gained confidence in his swing, and as you may have noticed, he’s a great hitter. 
I know that Michael Bowden had a pretty terrible outing against the Yankees, but I think he redeemed himself in his last outing of relief. I really enjoy his delivery, and I think he will really grow as a pitcher during this month because he has so much potential. I had such a great time talking to him a few months ago, but I would love to be able to talk to him again, after this experience. 
The Red Sox start their series against the Angels tonight, and Dice-K is on the mound for the first time since June. It has been a while, and I am really hoping that all of his training has paid off. I don’t know who to blame for his terrible start to the season. Certainly not the organization, I think that they were quite surprised as well. I think what happened was that Dice-K overestimated the amount of stamina he had. He had just gotten through a rigorous and demanding season with the Red Sox, which included his second year of appearing in the playoffs. However, he was not eased into the season like the rest of the pitchers were. He was thrown into the mix of yet another playoff like atmosphere. The World Baseball Classic may not seem like the playoffs for some fans, but it really is. It was not the way to go into the season. 
Dice-K has had extensive training, and the Red Sox are confident in his abilities. I’m a bit afraid that June Dice-K is going to show up and give up lots of hits and runs. I’m also afraid that 2008 Dice-K is going to show up and be like me when it comes to my homework: inefficient. I think I speak for all Red Sox fans (excluding the masochistic ones) when I say that I’m hoping for the Dice-K that the Red Sox somewhat blindly invested money on. 
After a delightful series against the Rays, I am hoping for a just as delightful one against the Angels. It is essential that the Red Sox use that positive momentum from that series, and carry it over against the Angels, who may be our opponent in the ALDS (again!). I was especially pleased with our pitching staff over the weekend, specifically back to back gems from Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Clay has really turned it around this season, and I hope that Dice-K can follow in a similar fashion. 


  1. TribeTed

    Love the post,

    and thanks for commenting,

    and for my next post I WILL do it on “Four reasons why the Indians will be good.” Count on it. 😉

    Just for you.

    Love the Ichiro picture, all good ones are taken at Progressive Field!! 😉

    And playoff baseball brings out the craziness of fans,

    and the hearts of cities alike.

    Be ready for some crazy antics. 😉

    Ted’s Take

  2. xcicix

    There’s no denying that Ichiro is a great player. Lots of guys get taken for granted, I agree, but the fact is everyone does know how good Ichiro is. They just don’t tend to remember, I suppose.
    Or something like that.
    The “these games count” thing really is silly, I agree. A win in April is just as crucial as a win in September, perhaps even more so. Those are the games that put you on top and let you assert yourself.

  3. Jane Heller

    I think we don’t hear about Ichiro as much as other big stars because he plays for Seattle and they haven’t been contenders for awhile. It’s tough to make noise when your team is off playing golf in October. If the Mariners were in the playoffs, Ichiro’s name would be everywhere. Congrats on Dice K’s start last night. You must be thrilled about it!

  4. raysrenegade

    Have to tell you.
    Ichiro get the press west of the Mississippi River while Jeter get it world wide.
    For the most part we already know that Jeter will be an instant first year ballot Hall of Famer.
    Ichiro might have to fight a bit of prejudice that he played professionally overseas and was an All-Star even before he put on his Mariner’s 51 jersey.
    But it also says a lot if a professional league will let you go by your fursat name on the back of your jersey.
    If you did not know…..his last name is Suzuki.
    But in that same problem there is a solution.
    We should just honor the good of the game from this day on without borders and without labels and titles.
    Great players no matter what deserve to be in Cooperstown….period.

    Rays Renegade

  5. crzblue2

    I was glad that I got to see Ichiro-san at Dodger Stadium during the World Baseball Classic. He is an exciting player to watch. I could also see how much of a hero he is to the Japanese communitiy. I saw lots of fans with Ichiro t-shirt or jerseys and the excitement he generated when he came to bat. Maybe you are right that he gets taken for granted because he consistently does well.
    I love September calls also. Is fun watching the guys that I have seen in the minor league, at Spring Training or that I follow online.
    I don’t know if playing in the WBC affected Dice-K. I know the Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton said he learned from being part of the USA team. Dice-K looked great in his last start. Congrats.

  6. twinkiegurl

    Ichiro is a great player for sure,I think he may be underesimated cuz he plays for the Mariners which sucks,Its kinda the same with Joe Mauer although he does get credit,but he should get more too.
    Great game last night by the Sox!

  7. iliveforthis

    I would totally believe that fans take Ichiro’s talent for granted. What a phenomenal player he is! I also love September baseball because I love to see the depth added to the roster, however, it also is a reminder of how close the season is to ending… I guess it’s like a love/hate relationship.

  8. diamondgirl55

    It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling when other bloggers write about Ichiro :] Especially from such an amazing writer like yourself!!! Thank you on behalf of Ichiro, haha! Anyway, another great entry from you as always! Adore reading them! xoxo

  9. devilabrit

    Sucess against the Halos and looking like sucess against the O’s, season end run to post season looks good for the BoSox, they even have the chance to embaress the Yankees in New York, before the playoffs begin…I agree on Ichiro, a lot is because of the team he plays for, not the same coverage as bigger named teams, like the NYY and BoSox etc…
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

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