Maybe because it was his last game in Seattle.

However, reports indicate that Ichiro will be hitting leadoff, at least against right-handed pitching.

Star Ledger:

The 38-year-old veteran started as the team’s leadoff hitter, with Derek Jeter moving down to the second spot, followed by Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, who moved from second to fifth.

“It was good today,” said Girardi, who seemed committed to the lineup against right-handed pitchers.

Jeter finished 3-for-4 while Ichiro went 1-for-5. But Girardi wouldn’t say if the lineup changes would stick.

Though Ichiro began the day with an on-base percentage of just .288, Girardi said he liked his experience in the top spot.

Ichiro’s been one of the worst hitters in baseball over the past year and a half. He has a sub-.300 OBP and rarely walks. His walk rate ranks 7th-worst out of 158 major league players with at least 300 PAs this season. These aren’t exactly the traits you look for in your “table-setter.” In fact, on Wednesday, Ichiro had one more plate appearance than Curtis Granderson, who was moved to 5th in the order. Who would you rather get more at-bats: Curtis Granderson or Ichiro?

Again, maybe this was a one-time thing because it was his last game in Seattle — if so, classy gesture by Girardi. But if the reports are accurate, and Joe plans on putting Ichiro at the top of the lineup, we really have to question whether the Yankees manager is taking a page out of his predecessor’s “Experience > Talent” book. After all, wasn’t this a trade for defense and speed, not offense?

But since we’re a democracy, we ask:





Is somebody living in the past?