Marlins prez David Samson (above) has branched out from his public endorsement of the Accu-Jack to blasting the Mariners for signing Ichiro to a 5 year, $90 million extension (“it’s a joke, it’s inexcusable, it’s complete mismanagement.”) The Hardball Times’ John Brattain, mindful of the way Junior, A-Rod and Randy Johnson left Seattle, counters that Suzuki’s new deal is “an investment for the fans.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Mariner fans loved Edgar Martinez and he is now a Pacific Northwest baseball legend. Make no mistake, he was well-compensated for the privilege of becoming such. Now they have fallen in love with Ichiro. He could™ve tested free agency but he was amenable to the idea of giving up the hectic bidding for his services to stay in Seattle if he liked the numbers. Ichiro obviously had a level he was comfortable with but still could have an excellent chance of being exceeded in the free agent market.

Maybe the financial resources could have been allocated more efficiently, but it was more than just a straight player signing”it was the front office™s way of saying: œWe know how much you love this guy. So here he is! Ichiro™s a tremendous player and the fan base knows that the front office will open the purse strings to make them happy when it’s viable to do so.

That will pay off in ways not immediately obvious. It was a gesture of goodwill toward the fans. It might not add up in an accounting ledger over the years of the contract, but its effect will outlive the deal. It™s called investment”not mismanagement.

Mismanagement occurs when you bad-mouth your customers, run down your product and your place of business, try to extort money that rightfully belongs to the public to be used for schools, libraries, infrastructure and the like. It™s when you expect people making much less than you to unilaterally enrich you before you™ll give them the product they pay for. It™s when you lie to people living pay check to pay check to give you free money”claiming poverty while you live a life of affluence all the while threatening something they hold dear. Mismanagement occurs when you destroy an institution when you don™t get your way and then take your act on the road.

That™s mismanagement. Giving the customers something they want? That™s called smart business. That™s why they can pay Ichiro $90 million while you try to trade anybody who comes near your yearly income.