Tag Archives: Ichiro Suzuki

2008 ULB All Stars Voting Winners Announced

The 2008 ULB All Star Game Voting Period has ended, and here are the winners for the  14th edition of the ULB Classic.


Players League

C Alfonso Delgado PHO
1B Alex Crooks OKC
2B Gerard King LV
3B John McCurdy SJJ
SS Stephen Drew CHA
OF Josh Hamilton MIL
OF Mark Folsom CHA
OF Ichiro Suzuki LV
DH Kenneth Payne PHO

Federal League

C Andy Burress WAS
1B Eron Morrow POR
2B C.J. Henry NO
3B Mark Schramek JC
SS Mike Peeples SJS
OF Jason Kubel LAS
OF Jason Harrison SL
OF Albert Pujols HOU
DH Jody Gerut JC

Union League Baseball First Ten: Ichiro Suzuki

With three outfield spots to choose from, we’ve selected the best position players, regardless of which spots they have manned in the outfield. Naturally, this values left fielders slightly less, but think it’s a fair position to take. Having said that, we come to the first of three outfielders we’ve chosen to honor as the ULB’s First Ten.

Ichiro won the Fielding Bible Award at his position seven times in seven seasons.
Ichiro won the Fielding Bible Award at his position seven times in seven seasons.

Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki (Vancouver Canucks 1998-2003, Las Vegas Vipers 2004)

Ichiro might be one of the best players to come out of Japan in the history of the ULB. He was posted for sale by the Nippon Professional Baseball in the 1997-1998 offseason, and former Vancouver Canucks GM Matthew Monagle pounced on the chance to secure himself a sure thing Fielding Bible Award winning caliber player.

When asked about the Star youngster being offered by the Orix Blue Wave, Monagle simply exclaimed “He’s Mine!” and dashed off to the Canucks offices to make a 6 year,  $140,670,000 offer (On to of the $9 Million Posting Fee he paid to the Blue Wave, mind you.) This combined with the Addition of Mike Mussina, helped propel the Canucks to a… er… second place finish in from 1998 to 2000. Monagle would find himself addicted to painkillers and antacids after the 1998 season, and made a quiet exit from the league.*

Ichiro meanwhile would proceed to win the 1998 Players League Rookie of the Year Award while batting .352.  In 2000, he would win the Players League MVP Award while batting .379 with 224 hits. He was named an All Star seven times, and was elected as a starter in very year thanks to his loyal Japanese and Canadian fans. He would also go on to win the Fielding Bible award at his position (right field) every year as well.

From 1998 to 2004, Ichiro batted .358 with 1521 hits, 233 doubles, 29 triples, 102 home runs, 600 runs batted in,  865 runs scored, 671 walks, and 257 stolen bases. He led the entire league in Value over Replacement Player (VoRP) with a score of 588.6, narrowly beating out Fellow First Ten Award Winner Kenneth Payne who had a score of 583.2.

Ichiro would be unable to come to an agreement with the financially crippled Canucks organization who moved to St. Paul and became the Saints in 2004 and would go on to sign a new deal with the Las Vegas Vipers. He helped guide the previously hapless Vipers to their first ever Playoff appearance, and batted .314 in the postseason, in which they would be knocked out the Divisional Cup by the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

Ichiro’s spectacular defense in right field and his ability to drive pitchers and catchers insane net him a spot in the ULB’s First Ten.

*Monagle now runs an ice fishing business in Anchorage. He has several pet Reindeer.


Here are your starters for the 2004 Union League Baseball All Star Game, which will be held in Sunny San Jose, home of the Jedi. Skywalker Stadium will host the All Star Game for the 2nd time. Last time the ASG was in San Jose, the Crickets Hall of Famer Michael Jordan won that game for the Players League with a Walk off Home Run. Who will provide the fireworks in 2004?

LIGHT SIDE (Players League)

  • C Brian Horner, BRO
  • 1B Stefan Bailie, COL
  • 2b Jose Vidro, OKC
  • 3b Gary Sapp, BOS
  • SS Brett King, BRO
  • OF Shannon Carter, STP
  • OF Kevin Forbes, BOS
  • OF Ichiro Suzuki, LV
  • OF Juan Morales, OKC (Won FL Vote)
  • DH Kenneth Payne, PHO
  • SP Andy Yount, PHO
  • RP Scott Williamson, BOS

DARK SIDE (Federal League)

  • C Eric Christopherson, SJS
  • 1B Derek Baker, SJS
  • 2B Jason Moore, LAS
  • 3B Brian Sutter, HOU
  • SS Alex Rodriguez, JC
  • OF Daylan Holt, BUF
  • OF Anduw Jones, WAS
  • OF Albert Pujols, HOU
  • DH Adam Dunn, HOU
  • SP Roy Halladay, POR
  • RP Rhett Parrott, SLC

Reserves will be announced later today once the Jedi Council decides who will oppose the forces of Darth Timms and the Federal League. May the Force be with you and don’t forget to go see Star Wars, Episode II Attack of the Clones back in theaters nationwide for a limited time.



British Columbia to Canucks: NO DEAL

The Vancouver Canucks have been struggling to come to an agreement with BC Place Stadium and the Province of British Columbia on a new contract. Under the old terms, the Canucks paid a relatively modest upkeep fee on the facility while sharing minimal profits. The Province wants the Canucks to agree to a new deal that would pay the Province more of the money generated by the team, which Canucks owner Jim Pattison Jr. says would harm the team’s ability to compete.

“We simply cannot afford to agree to the Province’s terms at this time. We’re trying to come to a mutually agreement contract for the use of BC Place Stadium, but right now, we’re not close to a deal.”

The Canucks were at one time the darlings of Canada, winning the first two Union Cup championships, and are credited with revitalizing interest in baseball in Canada at a time when rival franchises the Expos and Blue Jays saw a marked decrease in fan interest due to the 1994 MLB Strike that saw the Expos chances at postseason glory ended prematurely. But with three MLB franchises decreasing interest in the on field product of the Canucks, despite stars like Mike Mussina, Ichiro Suzuki and the emergence this season of rookie outfielder Shannon Carter. The Canucks were unable to afford to sign Ichiro to an extension, and fans are worried that Ace Mike Mussina may be next to leave.

“It’s a tough time for the Canucks, there is no doubt about that.” said Fay Vincent, commissioner of the ULB. “But we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached before the start of the season.”

Pattison was not quite so hopeful, saying that “We’re keeping all options open right now, including relocation. I’ve fielded calls from a few cities that would love to have us. If the government of the Province of British Columbia doesn’t want us, well, it will be the city of Vancouver’s loss. We want to stay. They’re the ones who are telling us to get out. I feel bad for the fans most of all. We’ve been here for 9 years. We’ve provided this city with two Championships, and we are being treated like dirt.”

ULB Trade Deadline Approaches

Could OKC's Jose Vidro be moved before deadline?
Could OKC’s Jose Vidro be moved before deadline?

The ULB’s Trade Deadline is now just over a month away. While the season has already seen some trade activity, with Adam Dunn moving to the Apollos from division rival Boston, and Matt White traded to Columbus, there could still be a blockbuster or two in the works. Oklahoma City has made it known that they would consider trading All Star third baseman Jose Vidro for the right price. Teams like Boston could be convinced to move parts like Curt Schilling and Bobby Abreu, as they move into an obvious rebuilding mode.

The Los Angeles Stars have some players on the books that might not be returning in 2004, like third baseman Brian Heigle, Wilson Alvarez and former MVP Orestes Kindelan. Kindelan might be a shell of his former self, but he’s made it known that he would like a chance at winning the Union Cup, even if it means riding the bench.

Another player that could attract serios attention is the Washington Generals’ Larry Walker. Walker has been moved to the DH role for the Generals, but he is 36 now and has two years remaining on his contract. The Generals have a lot of pitching talent coming up through the minors to join their young staff, but one wonders if Walker will still be part of the plans when it finally all starts to come together.

And then there is Vancouver. The Canucks have a trio of stars in Mike Mussina, Ichiro Suzuki and Shannon Carter on their books. Ichiro is in his walk year. Mussina has one more year left on his contract. Shannon Carter is still under team control for two more seasons. And let’s not forget Darryl Brinkley and Angel Delgado who are both in their walk years as well. On the whole, the Canucks remain a mystery, with much of the speculation being on if they can resign Ichiro to a new deal. If that is not a possibility  look for them to maybe conduct a firesale in the coming month.

1999 ULB All Star Voting Update


All Star Voting is in full swing in the ULB, and there are a few surprises thus far. While voting is still in the early stages, Fans from Vancouver and Jersey City have stuffed the voting box thus far. Vancouver has 4 leaders, while Jersey City has five. Pedro Astacio is riding a fan campaign to get him to start the game, and he currently has a narrow lead over Salt Lake City’s Roger Clemens. In the PL, BJ Wallace maintains a slight edge over Phoenix’s undefeated Pedro Luis Lazo. Ray Rice is looking to dethrone 3 time All Star Jamie Taylor. 1996 ASG MVP Michael Jordan finds himself in an odd place, not leading in voting, perhaps due to a switch to the DH spot in the Crickets lineup.

Players League

  • C Ivan Rodriguez, VAN
  • 1B Frank Thomas, BOS
  • 2B Lonnie Goldberg, BRO
  • 3B Dave Konigsmark, PHO
  • SS Ed Renteria, VAN
  • OF Ichiro Suzuki, VAN
  • OF Wayne Edwards, BRO
  • OF James Harrison, COL
  • DH David Justice, VAN
  • SP B.J. Wallace, SJ
  • RP Pedro Borbon Jr., BRO

Federal League

  • C Mike Piazza, HOL
  • 1B Darren Doucette, JC
  • 2B Mike Peeples, SA
  • 3B Ray Rice, JC
  • SS Nomar Garciaparra, NO
  • OF Felix Vega, JC
  • OF Mark Merchant, JC
  • OF Orestes Kindelan, HOL
  • DH Ryan Keith, POR
  • SP Pedro Astacio, POR
  • RP Jim Brantley, JC