Ichiro pitch-i-ro! Almost happened at the World Baseball Classic

The Mariners, who really know how to spoil a good ballgame — peanut enthusiasts, PDA lesbians and sufferers of Richie Sexson know what time it is — are throwing more cold water on fun this spring.

The M's prohibited Ichiro Suzuki from pitching in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Those rotten...

Wait. What in the name of Bill Caudill...? Ichiro, the outfielder, pitching?

Ichiro pitch-i-ro!

It's the truth. He reached 91 mph on the gun, also throwing some forkballs (natch) during a 56-pitch bullpen session a couple of days ago.

Said Ichiro: "I'm here today for a purpose. This isn't just playing around. I'm not here to relax."

The story first launched at NikkanSports.com (in Japanese) and then by SimCentral and U.S.S. Mariner (in English). Then the team found out.

From the Seattle Times' Mariners Blog:

"He's not going to pitch,'' Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said.

New M's manager Don Wakamatsu told MLB.com he hoped the reports were more "propaganda than real," adding, "I don't think it's a good idea. I just don't think it is a very good idea after the career he has built. It wouldn't be worth hurting his elbow."

Aw, you guys are no fun.

Japan will just have to defend its WBC title without Ichiro coming in for the save.

Double extra-credit goes to the U.S.S. Mariner's DMZ, who speculated on Ichiro pitching this past season. Aye, aye, captains.

The WBC starts March 5, not that it matters now.

Oh, and thanks to an Internet Web page translator for the "Ichiro real pitcher," etc., in the photo collage.

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