Is a big deal that I hadn't really considered. Now Ichiro isn't just linked to 'Gawa, Sasaki, Kawasaki, Johjima and 'Kuma as Mariner Teammates. You can also add 'Kuchi to the list. Do you count Mac Suzuki who was in M's spring training the year Ichiro spent a few days sick in Peoria on American food? He wasn't here when Aoki was but Iwakuma was. Ichiro is the best part but only a part of the Japanese connection here. I wonder who has gotten more overall Japanese born WAR than the Mariners. The Dodgers had 1 NPB HoFer in Nomo (6 cooperstown votes in 2014 as first ever Japanese player on the ballot) and the Yankees had WS MVP Matsui (4 votes in 2018). Daimajin will be joined by Ichiro as the second Mariner in the NPB HoF about when Ichiro becomes the first Japanese born player in Cooperstown and the 3rd MLB player in NPB HoF. He needs only 11 votes to top all of his countrymen combined in MLB HoF vote quantity. I guess he kinda breaks the scale here. 60 WAR vs 21 a piece from the other 2 (with NYY/LAD). If you take Ichiro's contributions out of the team total, are the Ms still leading in Japanese born MLB production? Iwakuma accrued 17 WAR and Hasegawa 11, all in Seattle. I guess Tanaka and Ohtani among others aren't done producing yet and Kuroda split his 20 WAR between the Yankees and Dodgers. Kikuchi isn't done producing either.
Ichiro has 10 all star games, the 65 other Japanese players have combined for 16 appearances. But Sasaki x2 appearances, Iwakuma and Hasegawa once each brings M's Japanese ASG appearances to 14 between their 8. Between the other 58 Japanese born players there's been only 12 ASG appearances. Again, even take Ichiro's 10 appearances out and the Mariners are still among the highest.
Who's expected next year when the Dodgers and Yankees are still loaded with talent and payroll? Google says:
Look at that, even written with a focus on availability before 2021. 1 down and, well, next offseason is going to be interesting. I hope.
The A's are looking for a new park...I hear the plumbing works in the Tokyo Dome. I guess there could be tenant conflicts there.