The G.M. meetings are getting underway

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The G.M.s of all 30 teams and their various and sundry assistants have assembled in Indian Wells, California for the annual G.M. meetings.  That’s in the Coachella Valley, which means that there will be a performance by a holographic Branch Rickey at some point.

At least I think that’s how it works.

No, actually how it works, based on recent years anyway, is that a lot of talking happens over the next couple of days but not much in the way of big deals get done.  It’s more of a feeling out thing, laying the groundwork for deals as the winter wears on.  What we will see, however, are a lot of interviews with G.M.s that may give us a sense of what direction they’re leaning on this or that player.

But mostly, nah, not likely to be any major stuff going down.

Ichiro wore a fake mustache to sneak into the Mariners’ dugout

Associated Press
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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:

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

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.