Futility Watch: A horrible week of failing for the Marlins and the Astros

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Sometimes I think these teams don’t WANT to be the worst in baseball history. Each has gained ground on the 1962 Mets:

  • Record of the 1962 New York Mets through 58 games: 16-42;
  • Record of the 2013 Houston Astros through 58 games: 21-37;
  • Record of the 2013 Miami Marlins through 52 games: 16-42.

The Marlins swept the Mets, who were no doubt trying to protect their own team’s record. The Astros are on a legitimate big boy winning streak, having taken six in a row including a sweep of the Angels.

Meanwhile, the Brewers (21-35) and Mets (22-32), while not nearly as bad on paper as Houston and Miami, are showing us an awful lot of awful lately too.  I don’t feel like it will turn into a four-way race or anything, but things are shaping up to be far more interesting on the futility front this year than first thought.

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?