Ray stung by Ray

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Sean Rodriguez headshot.jpgThis is important. This means something:

Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez experienced the painful irony of being
stung by a stingray this week, the St. Petersburg Times reported on
Wednesday.

Rodriguez had been playing with his 2-year-old daughter, Sofia, on the
beach near his Redington Beach rental condo on Monday morning and
decided to wade a couple of feet into the water. A few steps in, the
25-year-old saw something flash by and felt something graze his right
heel.

“I actually thought it was a catfish at first. That it grazed me, I
didn’t think much of it,” Rodriguez recounted to the St. Pete Times.
“And then I got out of the water, and I was like, Whoa!'”

We’re lucky that a similar cosmic coincidence didn’t happen to Brandon Inge or Justin Verlander!

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?