When Eric Wedge said the idea of removing Ichiro from the leadoff spot has "as much to do with his teammates as it has to do with him," the Seattle Mariners manager might as well have screamed Chone Figgins' name.
Wedge has yet to commit to dropping Ichiro or returning Figgins to the top of the order, where he excelled with the Los Angeles Angels before signing with the M's as a free agent in December 2009. But Wedge said he is giving both moves strong consideration, as well he should.
Suzuki, 38, posted a career-low .310 on-base percentage in 2011. Figgins, 34, suffered through a second straight poor season and did not play after Aug. 1 due to a hip injury. It's difficult to argue that he has earned a return to the leadoff spot. But it's time for the Mariners to give him the best chance to succeed.
Figgins acknowledged in a telephone interview Wednesday that the adjustment to hitting second behind Ichiro has been difficult for him -- and that he will need to be more aggressive i...