Our man has now completed his second Grapefruit League season, with lackluster stats. Going 12 for 50 with seven runs, two doubles, no triples, no home runs, seven RBI, and three stolen bases, he compiled a line of .240/.339/.364.
The 40-year-old’s numbers have been in decline for a few years now, but he has no plans to quit: “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about.” Instead, he intends to play for “many” more seasons: “Not just a few. Many. For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now.”
I hate to say it, but there’s plenty of reasons for him to retire.
With one year left on his Yankees contract, he’s been the subject of trade rumors all spring. Wherever he plays, let’s hope he either turns it around, or has the good sense to hang it up.
Photo found here.
Last Saturday. Found here.
Yesterday. (Are the shades really necessary?)
Also from yesterday: Oops!
In a similar scene when he reported last year, there was much speculation about his T-shirt, which he later sold on his official site. I’m guessing the same thing will happen this year.
Meanwhile, Newsday Yankee beat writer Erik Boland tweeted this:
And here are some quotes about his role in the crowded Yankees outfield.
Danny Wild / MLB.com
Following a campus tour, Ichiro and the Yankees played an exhibition Saturday against the Army Black Knights.
Adam Hunger / Reuters
The Yankees won, 10-5 — link.
Next: Game 1 vs. Boston, 1:05 Monday.
Our man has now completed his first Grapefruit League season, with so-so numbers. Going 16 for 56 with five runs, three doubles, no triples, no home runs, two RBI, and three stolen bases, he compiled a line of .286/.333/.339. Of course, Spring Training stats don’t mean dick, especially when dealing with alligators and a car crash.
For the record, this is the our third Ichiro/Hooters post in as many seasons, following this and this.
Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on Ichiro’s specially designed training machines — he has full sets at his New York home, at Yankee Stadium, at the Yankees’ Spring Training complex in Tampa, at his parents’ home in Central Japan, and in the Kobe hotel where he spends the offseason… Link.
The New York Times reports on Ichiro adjusting to his first spring training in Florida — the new environs, the humidity, and alligators. Says Lou Piniella, “In Arizona, you’ve got coyotes and scorpions to deal with. Here, we’ve got alligators. But they only run straight at you. You have to kind of zigzag. I think Ichiro can make the adjustment.”
Above, a portrait from the recent Yankees photo day. Below, what he looks like in one of those mandatory new batting helmets…
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…
Wonder if he’ll take in any Bolts games while in Tampa?
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.
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…
More pics here.
Ichiro had a solid spring, going 17-for-41 for a .415 average in 13 Cactus League games. He hit three doubles, no triples, and two home runs; he scored 7 runs, drove in 9, and stole a base. His .479 on-base percentage combined with his .634 slugging percentage yielded an impressive 1.113 OPS… But who cares? It was just spring training.
Here are more photos from the recent Tokyo trip…
Koji Watanabe / Getty Images
Okay, enough from Arizona and Japan — tonight the season begins for real!
Ichiro’s concentration skills are legend… Reminds me of this.
The latest batch of wacky Mariners commercials, filmed annually during spring training, were released today. In the one above, Ichiro demonstrates his weak yet somehow recognizable Sean Connery impersonation. And here he is in the blooper reel…
Went 0-for-2 in 8-5 loss vs. Arizona — box… So far he’s 3-for-9 in four Cactus League games… Photo by Jon Wells, editor of The Grand Salami.
Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Went 3-for-3 with a run and a couple RBIs. Box
Charlie Riedel / AP
Goes 0-for-2, but makes this nice grab in right.
These were taken a week ago today.
He’s gonna take a new approach at the plate this year, as demonstrated at spring training — Geoff Baker has video.
And here’s our man practicing his bunts…