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Ichiro knows how to talk trash in Spanish

Ichiro Suzuki YankeesMany people don’t realize it, but Ichiro has one of the best senses of humor in all of sports. Anyone who has been the 40-year-old’s teammate will tell you that he is hilarious. Opponents might say the same — especially the ones who speak Spanish.

A recent feature that was published in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Japanese and English aren’t the only languages Ichiro speaks. He has also learned to talk trash and fool his opponents using Spanish. Cincinnati Reds shortstop Ramon Santiago got a first-hand look at that over 10 years ago during his first encounter with Ichiro.

After a leadoff single to open the game, Ichiro dashed to second on a steal. As he popped up safely from his slide, he looked at Santiago and deadpanned in Spanish, “No corro casi.”

Loosely translated, he was telling Santiago, a native of the Dominican Republic, “I don’t have my legs today.” Before Santiago could stop smiling, Ichiro was stealing third two pitches later on those same heavy legs.

In addition to deceiving opponents, Ichiro also uses his limited grasp of the Spanish language to mess with people. He once mouthed off to Carlos Pena, who was born in the Dominican Republic, in Pena’s native tongue after reaching first base.

Veteran first baseman Carlos Pena remembered one of his frequent encounters with Ichiro. He was defending first for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Ichiro had just arrived on one of his patented infield hits. Ichiro peered over at Pena and asked, “Que coño tu mira?,” or, “What the hell are you looking at?” Pena clamped his lips together to prevent the laughter from bursting through.

Ichiro said he feels a bond with Latin players because, like him, they are “all foreigners in a strange land.” The bond must be mutual, because the Wall Street Journal’s Brad Lefton also noted that several Venezuelan players called Ichiro over to pose for a photo with them at the 2004 MLB All-Star Game. They obviously think of him as one of their own, which is hardly a surprise. Ichiro is one of the most popular players to ever play the game, and we can see why.

H/T Deadspin

Derek Jeter has great reaction to Ichiro’s first home run (Video)

Ichiro Suzuki on Friday blasted his first home run of the season and first dinger in nearly 11 months. Nobody had a better reaction to the jack than teammate Derek Jeter.

After Ichiro cleared the bases with a 3-run shot off Mark Buehrle to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead over the Blue Jays, Jeter was waiting at the top step to congratulate him. Jeter sort of gave him the quiet treatment, but then he quickly broke out of it with all sorts of enthusiasm.

That was precious.

Ichiro should get a picture of this look and throw it on a T-shirt and begin a battle with Jetes:

Derek Jeter face reaction

And below is a Vine of just the Jeter reaction:

H/T Jimmy Traina

Ichiro wants to be emergency pitcher for Yankees and Joe Girardi is open to it

Ichiro Suzuki YankeesIchiro Suzuki has long expressed an interest in pitching later in his career, and he continues to make a push to appear on the mound.

The Yankees used 21 players in a 13-inning win over the Cubs on Wednesday. That means all but their four starting pitchers who had the off day appeared in the game, including everyone from their bullpen. If they needed someone else to come in and pitch, Ichiro wanted it to be him.

“I would be happy to help if they need me,” Ichiro said via The New York Times.

The Times’ David Waldstein noted that Ichiro’s “eyes brightening at the prospect of” pitching for the Yanks.

Ichiro has a great arm in right field and was a pitcher in high school before switching positions and focusing on the outfield and hitting. He even made a pitching appearance in an All-Star Game in 1996 in Japan.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he will consider Suzuki if the team is ever pressed into a desperate situation.

“I’ll definitely ask him if he can do it,” Girardi said. “It looks like he has pretty good stuff.”

As for Ichiro’s stuff, the outfielder says his strong pitches are a fastball and slider. And like many Japanese pitchers, he also throws a good splitter. Now who among us baseball fans wouldn’t want to see Ichiro pitch, even if it’s only for one inning?

Ichiro thanks Amy Franz, fan who invented the ‘Ichimeter,’ with gifts and a note

Anyone who has watched a Seattle Mariners home game over the past eight years may have taken note of the “Ichimeter.” The Ichimeter is a hit-counter that was invented by Mariners Amy Franz in 2004, when it was used to count Ichiro’s hits on his way to an MLB record 262 hits in a single season. Over the past several seasons, the Ichimeter has been used to count the total amount of hits Ichiro has in his MLB career.

On Tuesday, Ichiro decided to thank Franz for her loyal service in operating the Ichimeter all those years by sending her a thank you package. Franz proudly shared the goods on Twitter, which included some autographed items and the thank you note that you see below.

[Read more...]

Ichiro says he is grateful to experience the pain of losing in the postseason

For those of you who may have blinked and missed it, the Yankees made it to the ALCS this year. After battling against the Orioles in a dramatic ALDS series, New York was embarrassed by the Tigers by way of a four-game sweep in which they never led for an inning. Whether it was the injury to Derek Jeter or the slumps of Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano, the Yankees looked like they didn’t even want to be there.

At least one player appreciated the experience, no matter how painful it may have been. After New York’s 8-1 loss in Game 4 on Thursday, Ichiro Suzuki gave the following comments through his translator.

“I’m very disappointed the season ended,” Ichiro said according to the NY Post. “But this time the Yankees gave me, I’m so grateful for. The feelings you have, the satisfaction and hurt, is something I hadn’t experienced in a while. So to even experience this pain right now, I’m so grateful for.”

Ichiro hadn’t appeared in the postseason since 2001 and has been a part of some awful Mariners teams over the last decade or so, so you can understand why getting swept in the playoffs beats a 65-win season for him. That being said, the fans hardly feel the same. Nick Swisher felt a different kind of pain when playing at Yankee Stadium in the ALCS, and Yankee fans are disgusted as a whole. If 2012 winds up being the last time the soon-to-be 39-year-old Ichiro appears in a playoff game, we’re glad he enjoyed the experience. The fans of New York certainly didn’t.

Ichiro scores first Yankees run by avoiding tag with incredible moves (Video)

Ichiro Suzuki scored the first run of the ALDS Game 2 between the Yankees and Orioles by making some incredible moves to avoid a tag at home.

The Yankees left fielder was trying to score from first on a two-out double by Robinson Cano in the first when the throw home clearly beat him. Ichiro swung out wide to avoid catcher Matt Wieters, and then he leaped over the diving catcher’s tag attempt to touch home plate for the run.

It was some incredible base running by Ichiro, and just the sort of boost the Yankees were hoping to receive when they acquired him from the Mariners.

As awesome as that play by Ichiro was, it still has nothing on the best slide ever.

David Cone calls Ichiro’s bat a ‘chopstick’

Cy Young Award winner and current Yankees TV analyst David Cone referred to outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s bat as a “chopstick” on the telecast during the Yankees-Red Sox game on Tuesday night.

“Probably a ball, but Suzuki with the chopstick,” Cone said while watching a replay of Ichiro’s at-bat.

Suzuki reached for an outside pitch and grounded a ball to the shortstop in the 11th inning. The Yankees won 4-3 in the 12th, but Cone’s remark stood out.

H/T Jimmy Traina
Video via @CJZero