Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the founding of a new Major League Baseball franchise, the Seattle Offense, which will start play in early July.
Major League Baseball confirmed the announcement, explaining the circumstances which allowed the three players to bypass most regulations concerning expansion franchises.
"Ichiro pitched the team to me two weeks ago," Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told the press.
"And it's fairly clear-cut. We are granting Ichiro, Ken, and Russell a new franchise based on a 'talent grievance' they filed against their current ball club."
According to Selig, the three players have statistically proven that, while they remain under contract with the Seattle Mariners, the offensive production from their Mariners teammates has crippled their potential for success.
The talent grievance specifically cited the offensive production of current Mariners Mike Sweeney, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Kenji Johjima. The report also included a retroactive claim against former Mariner Richie Sexson.
Selig showed nothing but confidence in the new franchise.
"The bottom line is this: Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan could give the city of Seattle some form of offensive production," Selig concluded.
"And believe me, that city needs it."
Seattle Offense officials confirmed on Wednesday that former Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton has been named as the team's first manager.
Griffey Jr. told the press that the decision was easy to make, citing the need for a coach who could demonstrate business aspects upfront but carefree aspects in back.
"I played with Norm in the mid-1990s," Griffey recalled. "I've seen the mullet in action, and believe me when I say it is 'fierce'."
Charlton had nothing but high hopes for the upcoming season.
"It's exciting," Charlton said at the press conference on Wednesday. "The guys and I have a chance to do something that Seattle fans are dying to see; score a lot of runs!
"Let's put it this way," Charlton added, "We might even finish better than MLB&year=season_2009&sort=702" target="_blank">dead last in total runs scored."
Despite his initial excitement about the job opportunity, Charlton is aware there are necessary roster moves on the horizon.
Major League Baseball officials reported the Seattle Offense declined to partake in an expansion draft, instead relying on a preliminary roster which features only Branyan, Griffey Jr., and Ichiro.
"Filling out a scorecard is going to be a stretch," Charlon conceded. "As of now we have Ichiro penciled in at pitcher, Griffey playing left field, center field and right field, and Russell playing pretty much the entire infield.
"It's a stretch," Charlton admitted, "But it will work out."
There is no word yet concerning who will start at catcher for the Seattle Offense, but Charlton did not deny the current rumors which claim that Mariner Moose will be suiting up at catcher for the Offense.
Regardless of future additions, the current Seattle Offense players are excited about a new playing environment.
"We are doing this for a few reasons," Russell Branyan said Wednesday, "But most importantly we want to see what its like to have a lineup full of competent hitters."
"Imagine that," Ichiro interrupted through his translator, "A lineup that goes Ichiro-Branyan-Griffey instead of Ichiro followed by three guys who should be in the minor leagues."
According to Branyan, the idea came about after a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 6.
"Ichiro, Griff, and I were sitting around after the game and got to talking about how [the Mariners] offense was performing," Branyan explained.
"We were looking at the stat sheet and realized that on that night we accounted for over sixty percent of our team's hits."
"It was bad," Griffey said of the June 6 game, "Ichiro and I were actually leaving notes on the bases which made fun of Adrian [Beltre]."
"It's not as mean as you think," Griffey said in defense.
"It's not like [Beltre] was ever going to get on base to see them. Regardless of the notes, we knew something had to be done."
Ichiro declined to talk about how the idea came to be, instead focusing on what the Seattle Offense can accomplish.
"All three of us just want to win," Ichiro said through his translator.
"And in baseball, in order to win, you need players who can hit the ball."
"Russell, Griffey, and I decided to take the best hitters on our team and move on. Unfortunately we found that there was no one else who qualified to join us."
The Seattle Offense expect to begin play on July 16, following the All-Star break.
The Seattle Mariners declined to comment on the issue.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!