Ichiro is happy to be away from Joe Girardi

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You tend not to hear many bad things said about Joe Girardi. He’s had great success. Even the past couple of seasons, with the Yankees down, he’s gotten more out them than anyone else likely could’ve. He’s generally viewed as a player’s manager but has never butted heads publicly with his bosses. The media likes to rip him some for what they consider to be his computer-driven strategies (all of the lame “binder” talk). But given the nature of the New York baseball media, being ripped by them is a pretty good sign you’re doing OK.

But he does have one detractor. A surprising one, actually. Ichiro:

A smiling Ichiro went through his first official workout with Miami on Tuesday. He is thrilled to be a Marlin, and although Ichiro will not say it, for he is much too polite and professional, he is happy to be away from Joe Girardi as his manager.

That’s from Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, who reports that Ichiro was not happy with how he was used and how often he was used. Ichiro characterizes it all as a learning experience, which, given what else he says, is sort of a polite way to say that he was unhappy with Girardi and had to deal with it.

Which, um, OK. Ichiro is big and famous and should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he is the very definition of a role player these days. A bench bat which wasn’t even all that useful in 2013 and, while better, was still sub-par in 2014. No matter his level of fame, he is being used exactly how a guy with his skills should be used these days. And while that may bruise his ego a bit, it’s pretty misguided to criticize Joe Girardi for any of that.