Bud's Special Committee met for four hours yesterday

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I’d make a joke about the length of the meeting, but I’ve had barroom arguments about the DH alone that have lasted longer than that, so such lengthy discourse is to be expected.

Sadly, however, no one is talking about what the big Special Committee is up to.  Joe Torre: “Please don’t ask me anything else because I don’t want to be eliminated on the first day.”  Everyone else deferred to Selig, who said that “15-20 subjects were discussed” and that the committee had “a
lot of work to do.” Selig said, however, that the committee will
meet again in two-to-three weeks and
that at least one of the changes they were talking about would be implemented by the start of the
regular season.

My guess is that there won’t be anything Earth-shattering such as banning or expanding the DH.  Rather, it will either be about compacting the postseason schedule or some game-length tweaking such as not granting batters time outs to adjust their gloves after every single pitch or something.

Sadly, my long held dream that they’ll finally lift the ban on pepper games will likely have to wait for another year. But I accept that people just aren’t ready for it yet.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?