Jamey Carroll ends the majors’ longest homerless streak

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Jamey Carroll hit a home run yesterday. It was his first since Aug. 9, 2009, covering 1,348 at bats and 1,540 plate appearances. That was the longest active homerless streak in baseball.  Now the top guy is Chris Getz with 908. Carroll now has 13 homers in a career that is now in its 11th season.

Speaking of his career span, The Star Tribune talks about how yesterday was also the 10th anniversary of Carroll’s callup to the bigs. Which, incidentally, means that Carroll will be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot when he retires.  Just planning ahead.

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?