Happy Thanksgiving HBT Nation/Universe

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Thanksgiving may be the most unbaseball holiday.

It’s far enough removed from last season to where the taste has left our mouths, still too far from the next season for our appetites to be rewarded. It’s usually cold, often gray. Someone always has a football game on.

It’s probably still my favorite holiday, though.  Yes, there’s a lot of karma to it. The amount of attention paid to food in a world that wants is troubling if you think about it. Then I got Old Gator sending me emails telling me to have a Happy Native American Memorial Day. But forget him, I like stuffing.  And of course pie.

The thought behind Thanksgiving — or at least the thought I think we’re supposed to have — is what I like the most. It’s become a bit of a cliche for people to say what they “give thanks” for, making lists and all of that, but in a year full of holidays that celebrate either materialism or an unsettlingly-imposed orthodoxy of sentiment, there’s a simple warmth to it.

I’m thankful for all of you people coming by the blog every day. It keeps Aaron, Drew, D.J., Matthew and me off the streets, of course. But it’s also a validation that our weird obsessions aren’t too terribly singular.  It’s nice to share a virtual conversation with all of you people every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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?