Nothing against Ichiro, but isn't it time to blow this thing up and start over? Realizing they had no shot at an NBA championship, the Sonics dealt Ray Allen to Boston and began a process that will someday turn Oklahoma City into a perennial contender.I think Moore's probably right. Ichiro isn't going to be around the next time the Mariners have their shit together, so it's probably a good idea to move him while he still retains a lot of value.
When you blow things up, you don't hang on to your best player, especially one who will be 35 in October. You don't let the player's popularity get in the way. If you're truly serious about winning, you forget about the marketing consequences, understanding that a successful team is more essential to long-term fan appeal.
Not that it's a slam dunk, of course. Indeed, Moore runs a lot of quotes from Dave Cameron* over at U.S.S. Mariner who makes the case that, if for no other reason than fan confidence, the team needs to keep its biggest star (not that that's the only reason Cameron cites).
Regular reporters and columnists almost always go to experts to get added insight for their pieces, but you very rarely see it happening in the sports pages. Nine times out of ten this kind of piece would have been given the "I think the local team should trade player X, and there is no dispute about it" treatment. Moore is obviously capable of forming his own opinions about trading Ichiro here, but it's really nice to see him go to Cameron -- a guy who probably knows more about the Mariners than anyone on the planet -- for a dissenting voice, added flavor, or whatever. I'd like to see more of this.
I realize that Ichiro may be a special case in terms of marketing, but at the end of the day the Mariners need to run themselves like a baseball team. If I'm running that team I put him back in centerfield to maximize his value, start shopping, and take the best offer that comes my way.