ABOUTI’m Steve Mandich. I was born in Seattle, I live in Seattle, and the Seattle Mariners are my all-time favorite baseball team. And, ever since his 2001 Major League debut with the Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki has been my all-time favorite baseball player (even after his 2012 trade to the Yankees). This blog has tracked Ichiro’s game-by-game progress since 2011, along with plenty of fun sidelights... Disclaimer: this blog is a labor of love, and is not affiliated with Ichiro Suzuki, the New York Yankees, or Major League Baseball... As of the 2013 season, all times listed are local New York time.
- December 2013 (1)
- November 2013 (4)
- October 2013 (4)
- September 2013 (32)
- August 2013 (44)
- July 2013 (28)
- June 2013 (40)
- May 2013 (40)
- April 2013 (41)
- March 2013 (9)
- February 2013 (13)
- January 2013 (3)
- December 2012 (5)
- November 2012 (7)
- October 2012 (17)
- September 2012 (39)
- August 2012 (41)
- July 2012 (37)
- June 2012 (47)
- May 2012 (62)
- April 2012 (47)
- March 2012 (21)
- February 2012 (7)
- January 2012 (6)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (1)
- October 2011 (4)
- September 2011 (59)
- August 2011 (68)
- July 2011 (71)
- June 2011 (55)
- May 2011 (53)
- April 2011 (61)
- March 2011 (3)
- Another Gift from Ichiro
- An Interview with Ichiro’s Guardian Spirit
- Ichiro Visits an Animal Shelter
- Customized McFarlane Ichiro Figure
- Ichiro Art #51
- Happy 40th, Ichiro!
- Fake Ichiro Card #16
- The Best Song About Baseball Players: “Ichiro Goes to the Moon”
- October 13, 2000: Ichiro’s Last Game in Japan
- Game 162: Did Not Play in 5-1 Win at Houston
- Game 161: 2-for-4 in 2-1 Win at Houston
- Game 160: Did Not Play in 3-2 Win at Houston
- Game 159: 0-for-4 in 4-0 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
- Game 158: 1-for-1 in 8-3 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
- Game 157: 1-for-4 in 7-0 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
- Game 156: 0-for-3 in 2-1 Loss vs. San Francisco
- Game 155: 0-for-3 in 6-0 Win vs. San Francisco
- Game 154: 1-for-3 in 5-1 Win vs. San Francisco
- Game 153: 0-for-1 in 6-2 Loss at Toronto
- Game 152: 1-for-1 in 4-3 Win at Toronto
- Game 151: 0-for-4 in 2-0 Loss at Toronto
- eBay Alert: Ihciro Jersey
- Game 150: 2-for-4 in 9-2 Loss at Boston
- Ichiro Art #50
- Game 149: 0-for-3 in 5-1 Loss at Boston
- All-Star Game (12)
- Art (55)
- Baseball Cards (65)
- Books (3)
- Comics (17)
- Endorsements (25)
- Fans (14)
- Game Recaps (506)
- Impersonator (8)
- In Japan (1)
- Japan (11)
- Magazines (24)
- Memorabilia (33)
- Miscellaneous (143)
- Postseason (9)
- Rock 'n' Roll (11)
- Schedules (12)
- Spring Training (19)
- TV (6)
- Uncategorized (1)
- Uniforms (11)
- Video Games (3)
- World Baseball Classic (4)
Category Archives: Miscellaneous
The guardian spirit of Ichiro!
The guardian spirit of Ichiro!
Please descend to the Happy Science Headquarters and tell us about the essence of work, and the secret to human life.
The guardian spirit of Ichiro!
The guardian spirit of Ichiro!
From the bottom of my heart, I beg you to come to the Happy Science Headquarters and give us guidance.
Honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing, but here are a few bits I came across:
I’m not that different from Spiderman… I’m a god in the sense that I’ve reached the summit of my field… My sword is a Jedi sword.
For more info, read Wikipedia’s Happy Science page, which sounds totally bananas.
On Wednesday, Ichiro (along with teammates Shawn Kelley and Brett Gardner) visited a Bronx animal shelter as part of the Yankees’ community outreach program. Said Ichiro: “I would love to have pet owners out there really take care of their animals and be responsible. They are a part of your family, and to really take care of them so things like this (unwanted animals winding up in shelters) doesn’t happen.”
Here’s Ichiro with his own dog, Ikkyu.
From my Ichiro site:
In his seventh and final full major league season in Japan, Ichiro’s .387 batting average was not only his career best, but he also set the Japanese record with seven straight Pacific League batting titles. He won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove award, played in his seventh straight all-star game, was named to his seventh straight “Best Nine” end-of-season All-Star team, and his .460 on-base percentage led the league for the fifth time. Though his season was again cut short (this time with a rib-cage injury), Ichiro played in the Blue Wave’s final game of the season, and ultimately his final game in Japan. Altogether, in his nine NPB seasons, Ichiro amassed 1,278 hits and a .353 batting average, and became the most-recognized person in the nation.
Ichrio4000.jp appears to be an officially sanctioned site, tracking Ichiro’s approach to 4,000 hits. It’s got photos, videos, links to companies he endorses, and a bunch of Japanese text that I can’t read. Of course, it’s no Super Ichiro Crazy!, but it still looks pretty cool.
“(Ichiro) is the guy I relate to more than any athlete. His precision, incredible precision. Look at his body type — he’s made the most of what he has. He’s the hardest guy to get out. He’s fast. And he’s old.”
– Jerry Seinfeld in The New York Times Magazine, December 20, 2012… Link.
An article in today’s New York Times article puts things in perspective…
To include Suzuki’s hits in Japan, on the argument that they came as part of his professional career, opens a can of worms. The same logic could be extended to the minor leagues in the United States and would open the 4,000-hit club to Hank Aaron (3771 + 324 = 4,095) and Stan Musial (3,630 + 371 = 4,001). And that does not account for the partial season Aaron spent in the Negro leagues.
And what about postseason hits? Or spring training hits??
The article also touches on the dark side of the 4,000 hit club — Rose’s gambling, Cobb’s hateful disposition, and Ichiro’s alleged selfishness and aloof nature — and says that Ichiro means “most cheerful boy,” though elsewhere I read it meant “first son.”
If my math is right, he’s on pace to hit number 4,000 on the 18th in Boston or on the 20th at home… I keep wavering on whether he’ll pass Rose’s 4,256 career hits. Whenever I suspect his career is done for, he’ll redeem himself with a hot streak… In any case, at this point he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame — I’ve already decided to visit Cooperstown for his induction.
Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame at Safeco Field tonight. During the pre-game ceremony, Ichiro’s (non-embeddable) video message played on the big screen — watch it here.
Ichiro is now just 11 hits away from 4,000 in his professional career — that would be 1,278 hits over nine seasons in Japan, plus 2,722 hits in thirteen seasons as an American major leaguer. So far, only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Julio Franco have reached the 4,000-hit milestone.
Pete Rose finished with 4,256 in his major league career, while Ty Cobb ended up with 4,189. Taking international play into consideration, Julio Franco amassed 4,229 hits in his 26-year professional career, spread between Major League Baseball (2,586 hits), Minor League Baseball (618), the Mexican League (316), Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (286), the Dominican Winter League (267), and the Korean Baseball Organization (156). As far as I know, nobody else has reached 4,000 professional hits, no matter what league(s) they played in.
Ichiro thinks he can pass them all. With typical understatement, he says in this New York Times article, published Thursday: “If I am able to play in enough games, I think I can do it… But it’s not like that’s the goal, just to get there. I don’t feel like that’s the end. When I do get there, obviously, it will feel good. But it’s not going to be this overwhelming feat that is going to change anything.”
The same article makes some projections:
To match Rose’s total, Suzuki will need 2,978 hits in the majors. At that point, he would need just 22 more to become the 29th player to reach 3,000 hits strictly in the United States… This season, Suzuki has 105 hits in 405 plate appearances, batting .278. Suzuki, who is signed through next season, is on pace to finish with 151 hits this year. If he winds up with 140 hits this year and 140 again next year, he will have 4,164 total hits and will be within striking distance of Rose’s mark in 2015.
I have plans to see the Ichiro and the Yankees in Toronto on August 26, 27, and 28. Though I’d love to see him hit number 4,000, he’ll probably get there beforehand.
He’s even creepier in
A few more images from Ichiro’s weekend series back in Seattle. Above, yesterday’s game-winning run; below, how it appeared on the front page of the New York Post…
That run made up for this boner…
Here he is on Safeco’s brand-new, biggest-in-the-majors scoreboard…
I took the picture through my binoculars from maybe 500 feet away.
Last night was Ichiro’s first game back at Safeco Field since last July, shortly after the Mariners traded him to the Yankees. Before the game, the stadium PA played John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” (the Welcome Back Kotter theme), though his return didn’t seem to generate much enthusiasm — the attendance was a typically measly 18,776.
Also before the game, he spoke to the press through his interpreter Allen Turner: “I was here 12 years, but I didn’t realize how many Starbucks there were here in Seattle… It just really feels weird. Obviously, I know this place really well and I’m really close to it, but at the same time, I just kind of feel distant, a little bit. It just feels a little weird to be here.”
“In 2001, when I first came over, I think anybody that would have said that I’d be here 12 years probably wouldn’t have believed it… I don’t think I would have said that at that time. So it’s really difficult to plan out what your future holds. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. But what I can do now, what I can prepare myself to do now, for the future, is what I can control. I want to do that and see what the future holds.”
Read more about Ichiro’s return in this New York Times article.
It’s called Ichiro Times, and it appears to be officially sanctioned. I bought it for my iPhone, but like its corresponding website, it’s almost all in Japanese. However, from what I gather, it has up-to-date news and game stats, video highlights, something called “Users Voice,” a bunch of analytical graphics, and Ichiro’s TV commercials for NTT, Sato, and Asics. The website also has a link to buy this T-shirt that he wore to Spring Training. A closer look at the design…
Here’s my initial Ichiro app roundup.