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Yesterday morning when I woke up, my husband asked that I please not hate him. This begged the question of what he might have possibly done in the hour since I had last been up feeding the baby that might lead me to such harsh feelings against him. “Ichiro was traded to the Yankees. It’s not my fault. Please don’t hate me.” I told him he had nothing to worry about, my commitment to love him forever is stronger than my hate for the Yankees, and Ichiro is entitled to do whatever he wants. I don’t think anyone even remembers the last time the Mariners were good, and it’s his right to look elsewhere, even if he did choose the soul-sucking Yankees who represent everything wrong with Baseball and nothing good about America. Yes, I despise the Yankees, but I’m certainly not alone.

Of course my husband was surprised by my lack of upset regarding one of the Mariners’ greats leaving, and to the Yankees of all teams. After I considered it for a moment, I was also a bit surprised by my reaction. Alex Rodriguez still gets booed when he plays in Seattle, twelve years after he moved. He’s also on the Yankees. Ichiro played at Safeco Field the very day he was traded, and not only was he applauded for his years of service in a city that loves him, he got a standing ovation. Why was everyone so worked up and angry when A-Rod ditched the M’s, but so quickly forgave Ichiro for switching to our nemesis team?

The answer seems pretty simple: it’s how they did it. Ichiro simply walked across the field and donned a new uniform; still a good person, still loves his Seattle home. When A-Rod left, he claimed he still loved Seattle, even if we booed him. But we lost respect for him. Yes, baseball is how these gentlemen make their livings and money is a factor in where they play, but with A-Rod, it was such a fuss and all about the money. Ichiro left for the love of the game. He’s been on a loosing team for too long, and it’s time for a change. He did it tactfully and with grace. Who knows, maybe he’ll bring a bit of integrity to the Yankees.

My husband desperately wants to buy our daughter Yankees paraphernalia, which I adamantly forbid, as I am at least a third generation Yankee-hater and want my grandparents to continue to send presents. Plus something about the Yankees representing everything against the integrity of the sport. But now if I somehow loose that battle (not likely), and somehow a Yankees onesie makes it into our home (hopefully never), at least I know it will have Ichiro’s name on the back.

Ten Years After A-Rod Left Seattle:

May 2020

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