Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ichiro’s Alien Abductions!

At least three times he’s been swept up into a spaceship to have his mind probed for his thoughts on Nippon Oil, aka Eneos.

This isn’t the first time he’s pitched for Eneos — look.

Ichiro Fathead: Yankee Version

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This would look totally sweet in our girls’ room but Eliza says no.

Mariners-era Fatheads here; order here.

Weird-Ass Ichiro Video Game


Ichiro was apparently cloned several times over in this video game simulation-type thing, as two teams of NPB-era Ichiros square off against each other. It’s like Being John Malkovich, or something.

Spring Training Notes

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Above, a portrait from the recent Yankees photo day. Below, what he looks like in one of those mandatory new batting helmets

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This article has some good tidbits. Like, after seeing Derek Jeter for the first time following off-season reports of Jeter getting fat, Ichiro joked, “Jeter was not the eater the media portrayed him to be. That was good to see.”

When asked if he thinks he can be as productive in his first full season with New York as he did in 67 games last year with the Yankees (.322/.340/.454 with five homers in 67 games), Ichiro replied, “Of course.”

Check out the buzz cut…

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Wonder if he’ll take in any Bolts games while in Tampa?

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Says here he homered off Hiroki Kuroda in BP. Says here, “I was facing a Japanese pitcher, so I went in relaxed. It’s not like the ball is going to come in here,” pointing at his head. “The guys watching made a big deal about it, so in the end, I guess it was fun.”

What’s that stuff on his shirt?

Tomorrow: First game of Spring Training, an away game versus the Braves at 1:05 p.m.

Ichiro This Morning

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Photo by James Petrozzello.

2013 Spikes Update

This is what he’ll be wearing at home…

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And on the road…

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He wore these last year…

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Reporting to Spring Training

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Here’s our man arriving at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Saturday for his first Grapefruit League season… And here he is in the batting cage…

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More pics here.

New Ichiro Impersonator Videos

This is the guy I met in 2011, who days later got in trouble at Safeco Field. The above clip was shot at a Japanese shopping mall, where “Ichiro” had his own emcee. For those who don’t wanna sit through its nearly nine-minute length, some key moments…

0:09 – Ichiro makes his grand entrance on the down escalator.

3:35 – Ichiro pantomimes a hit in slow motion.

5:03 – Ichiro steals a base by running around the atrium.

5:25 – Ichiro pounds a Yunker.

7:50 – Ichiro makes his grand exit on the up escalator, perhaps on his way to Orange Julius.

Here’s a newer clip from some Japanese TV show, in which Ichiro has updated his act with a Yankee uniform and a Kirin

Finally, a Mariners-era clip at a Matsumoto Yamaga soccer game — look for the uniform surprise at 2:57…

Ichiro’s Thoughts on Philosophy, Love, Matt Weiters, etc.

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Ichiro discussed a bunch of topics in Tuesday’s The Nikkei, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, like his newfound motivation with the Yankees…

It is the Yankees’ mission to keep winning and the fans want and expect professional play from us. This motivates me a lot… The Yankees have so many star players, but I see no egotistic behavior from any of them.

Really?!?

You may sound selfless if you say you do something “for somebody,” but you can also sound self-important. As with personal relationships, you can get into trouble if you try to do something “for” someone. But if you do something for the love of someone, you are not asking for anything in return, and in my opinion, this rarely produces unfortunate results because there is love there. I played for the Yankees for only three months last year, but the Yankees were an organization that made me play with strong love.

On that crazy, two-tag-dodging run he scored in last year’s ALDS

The only way I thought I could reach home safely was to slow down. Matt Wieters, the Orioles catcher, is a smart player, so I thought the only way to create a chance to reach home safely was to make an unexpected move. In other words, I tried to confuse him… That was a play I remember fondly because it had aspects of both physical and psychological battle. We were playing away from home, so I didn’t hear the cheers of excited home fans, but rather a roar of shock from the stands. It really thrilled me.

How to be successful…

It is unfortunate if you believe that you will be rewarded for your hard work. That is how an outsider thinks. I would venture to say that (to succeed) you have to reach a point where what someone else sees as hard training is no big deal for you… You should not become a professional athlete if you want to continue to enjoy playing your favorite sport the way you did as a child. Of course, you will derive different kinds of fun and a sense of challenge from the sport as a pro, but pro athletes can only experience fleeting moments of joy. You are mostly going through a stressful time. But I work as hard as I can for that moment of glory.

On outwitting the opposition…

(North) American and South American players are quite self-promoting. A player who gets 70 points out of 100 (in terms of ability) tries to psyche out his opponents by making it look as if he has 100 points. I am quite the opposite. If I have an ability of 100, I would try to look as if I only have 70 or 80. This is a better way to blow away your opponents. This approach is much more fun for both me and for fans.

He’s cagey about his personal philosophy…

I cannot pick a favorite maxim to write on a piece of paper now. Of course, I have a favorite motto and philosophy to live and play by, but I am not yet the kind of person who can proudly write such a maxim on a piece of paper. Some older people quote the words of historical figures in situations like this, but I think that is uncool. I hope I can someday express what I think is important in life in my own words, however ineloquent they may be. But at the end of the day, it is not what is said but who says it that is important. I would like to live the rest of my life so that I will become a person who is seen as worth listening to.

How to be a “cheeky young fellow”…

For some reason, there is a lingering belief in the baseball world that a player who turns 40 should retire. I question that idea. I don’t understand why 40 is considered as retirement age when great advances are being made in all kinds of fields, including diet, living conditions, playing environments, training methods and equipment. Everything has become much better than in the past. In my opinion, those who don’t think the average career length of major league baseball players can be extended must have stopped thinking. I will certainly be called “a cheeky young fellow” if I say things like this.

On the possibility of someday managing a team…

I would say such a day will never come if I were asked now. But I once asked Sadaharu Oh whether he imagined as an active player that he would become a manager someday. He said, “Not at all.” After I heard this, I thought there was no predicting how I will feel in the future. But I know even now that I do not have what it takes to become a manager.

Stuff of interest to The Nikkei‘s target audience…

Japanese-made products are far and away the most reliable. I imagine that Japanese technology underlies many foreign-made products as well. I question the government and companies allowing many cutting-edge technologies to leak overseas, (but) I support (Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe very much now. I want him to succeed… I bought shares in a company for the first time when I was in junior high and started reading books on how to analyze stocks around that age. I also liked to play a simple Nintendo stock market game. Whenever I check into a hotel, I ask for The Nikkei newspaper. I usually buy shares in companies I want to see do well, hoping to get a little in dividends.

Awkward plug at the end there. Anyway, I copied almost all of his quotes here, but you can read the whole article here. Photo found here.

Ichiro Pitches for Orix — Now on TV

Ichiro played for the Orix BlueWave from 1992 to 2000, then signed an endorsement deal with Orix Bank in 2011. He began appearing in their ads last year, and now he’s the star of the first-ever Orix TV commercials — read this press release for details.

Both spots feature the Yardbirds’ cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man.”

Ichiro’s Littlest Fans!

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Say hello to Beatrice (L) and Vivian (R), born to my wife Eliza and me one month ago tonight!

Fake Ichiro Baseball Card #12

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Based on the ’77 Topps design. Found here.

Ichrio Art #38

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By markchidc.