Hall of Fame to begin a drug education program

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Sadly, it’s not for Hall of Fame voters (presentation: “HGH: it really does nothing, dudes, so just chill, OK?”), it’s for the kids:

The Baseball Hall of Fame is starting a drug education program for students and young adults … The Hall plans to promote a healthy lifestyle that is free of PEDs. The program will be called “Be A Superior Example,” or “BASE” for short, and will work with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

I’d like to think that this is a preemptive P.R. thing for when Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are elected on the first ballot as they should be, but you know that ain’t happening, so I’ll adjust my expectations accordingly.

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?