Ichiro has been placed on the 15-day DL after doctors found he had a bleeding ulcer. The M's say it's no longer bleeding, but obviously, playing baseball is not in his best interests at the moment.
"It was a very difficult decision to place Ichiro on the disabled list," Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said in a release, "especially since we know what a fierce competitor he is, and how important it is to him to help the team. However, we determined it was in both his best interest, and the best interest of the club, to place him on the DL at this time."
Ichiro will be eligible to come off the DL on April 15. He had played in 197 consecutive games.
What causes bleeding ulcers? A variety of things. Stress being one of them. Let's hope he has a speedy recovery. Not for the ballclub's sake, but his own. This is a very dangerous medical condition if not treated properly.
Who replaces him at leadoff? Endy Chavez would be a candidate. Franklin Gutierrez another. But seriously, this all seems a little trivial at the moment. Ichiro's health is of prime concern, as I just mentioned. We'll worry about the first two weeks of the season a little later on in the day.
If, one week ago, I had asked you to rank the stars in order of their likelihood of having a bleeding ulcer, wouldn't Ichiro have been very near the bottom of the list? Do Zen masters get ulcers?
Maybe it's got nothing to do with stress. But I'm reminded that whatever we might think we know about a public figure's inner life, we're probably at least half wrong. Probably a lot more than half.