I made a crack in the recaps this morning about this being 1968 all over again. This factoid just passed along by Major League Baseball explains why last night gave off that impression:
Of 30 starting pitchers last night, 13 went at least 7 innings and gave up no more than one earned run.
There are going to be a lot of pitchers who make a lot of money in arbitration and on the free agency market in the next couple of years before people get the brains around what could very well be a new, low-offense environment kicking off.
And I say “could,” because if these attendance numbers hold, someone is gonna get the bright idea to juice the ball again in order to get people back to the ballpark.
Ichiro wore a fake mustache to sneak into the Mariners’ dugout
Ichiro Suzuki is now a Mariners employee and, as such, he’s not allowed to sit in the dugout during a game. That’s for coaches and players only.
He knows that, too. Indeed, on the day Ichiro announced his sorta-retirement, he talked about how it was going to be hard not to be down on the field with the other players. He even made a ridiculous joke about how, “[he] can’t say for certain that maybe [he] won’t put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout.”
In related news, this mysterious stranger was seen by an Associated Press photographer in the Mariners dugout during the first couple of innings of the M’s-Yankees game:
No beard, but I guess that joke was not very ridiculous after all. Either way, by the end of the second inning — poof — he was gone.
Obviously, when something interesting like this happens you mustache an expert for their opinion on the matter. To that end, the Associated Press reached Bobby Valentine, who famously did the same thing after an ejection way back in 1999, for comment:
“He was perfect. I never would have known it was him.”
Valentine was suspended for two games and fined $5,000. I’m assuming Ichiro won’t get hit quite as hard given that he wasn’t defying an umpire’s authority, but even if he does have to pay a fine, he’ll likely do so willingly.