This is a 100 percent true story.
My 9-year-old son is home sick today. This morning, he was on the couch watching Sports Center. The highlights from last night’s Mariners’ game came on. I hadn’t discussed the game with him at all. He was already asleep when I got home from Safeco last night. He hadn’t watched the game on television — in other words, this was the first he had seen of it.
They showed the highlight from the fifth inning of Torii Hunter’s three-run double. Instantly, my son turned to me — I was getting ready to leave for the office — and said, “Ichiro should have dove.”
Two thoughts hit me:
I must admit, sitting in the press box last night and watching the play live, the exact same thought had crossed my mind. Now, mind you, I’m a staunch Ichiro proponent, one who doesn’t buy into most of the criticism of him, particularly the “he doesn’t dive enough” meme. (I’ve always wanted to use that word! Everyone else seems to be these days. I hope I did so appropriately. If not, send me a memo). I’d rather have Ichiro healthy for 160 games a year than making an occasional Jim Edmonds’ web-gem circus catch.
After watching many replays, I’m not sure if a dive would have made a difference or not. But that was a juncture of the game — pretty much a do-or-die moment — where I would have liked to have seen Ichiro lay out on that play. Much as Hunter did later in the game in making a catch that saved two runs.
This is not a bash; merely an observation. To all you ardent Ichiro defenders, I send a dove of peace. Or is that a dived of peace?