Monthly Archives: November 2012

On the Ichiro Beat


Jim Caple has a nice article about Keizo Konishi (above, left), a beat writer from Japan who’s covered Ichiro since 1994. However, the article’s content is nearly overshadowed by its accompanying photo of Ichiro’s ridiculous pants.

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You Stay Classy, Ichiro

Amy Franz, the Mariners fan behind the Ichi-Meter, received a sweet gift today — one of Ichiro’s bats, a pair of spikes, and a handwritten thank-you card. Despite the issues with punctuation and subject/verb agreement, it’s cool to see how our man writes, provided it wasn’t ghost-penned by an assistant and/or interpreter. I wonder what a handwriting analyst would say about it.

Seriously, this is a pretty cool gesture (and the “stay classy” headline isn’t meant to be sarcastic — I just couldn’t think of anything else). Read the story here.

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Magazine Cover #15: Sports Graphic Number 813, 2012

Ichiro Hot Stove Report

He’s now a free agent… Will the Yankees re-sign the 39-year-old superstar, or will he go elsewhere? About halfway through the 2012 season I was about to call for his retirement, but Ichiro’s surprise midseason trade to the Bronx Bombers seemed to revitalize him. Whatever happens, I’d love to see him play another season, regardless of the team.

In other news, I was bummed to hear he won’t be playing in next year’s World Baseball Classic. As he said today in Tokyo:

I appreciate being asked to play for Japan again at the WBC, but after the second tournament in 2009, I never considered playing in the third event. My feelings have not changed to this day, and it’s where things stand.

I don’t remember him publicly saying he wouldn’t play in another WBC, though he might’ve kept the decision to himself. Still, he was a major factor in both of Japan’s WBC titles — and there have been only two WBCs thus far — but the stress of the 2009 tourney resulted in “severe fatigue caused by a bleeding ulcer.” The M’s placed him on the DL for the first time in his MLB career, and he missed the first nine games of the ’09 season. I’m guessing he wants to avoid the stress of a possible Japanese three-peat.

Here’s today’s story, along with recaps of his performances in the 2006 WBC and the 2009 WBC.

Ichiro on Dave Niehaus

It was two years ago today that Seattle’s beloved radio announcer Dave Niehaus suddenly passed away. Above is a tribute video, containing a rare instance of Ichiro speaking publicly in English (his brief segment begins at the 7:05 mark)…

He was a Hall-of-Famer, one of baseball’s best, and a great man. I miss him very much.

Also, here’s a compilation of all of Ichiro’s home runs from 2005 to 2012, many of which were called by Niehaus…

Both clips submitted by Austin Conlon, a who posts lots of cool stuff on Ichiro’s Reddit page.

When Ichiro Met Obama


Read about it here.

Baseball Card of the Year: 2012 Topps Update #US272 Variation

This card’s photo by Otto Greule Jr. captures the most bittersweet moment I’ve ever experienced at the ballpark. It happened this past July 23, the day the Mariners traded Ichiro to the Yankees, just before his first plate appearance in a non-Seattle uniform. He was no longer a Mariner, as he had been for the previous 11-1/2 seasons, but his bow to the Safeco crowd spoke volumes about his respect for the Seattle fans. Thinking about it now, I still get a bit choked up.