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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Ichiro has not ruled out taking part in Home Run Derby

Ichiro Suzuki has been serving in a very unique role with the Seattle Mariners this season, and fans, teammates and opposing players want to see him do something he has never done before in his illustrious baseball career — take part in the Home Run Derby.

For a guy who only has 117 home runs in 18 MLB seasons, Ichiro is said to have a ton of power. Anyone who has seen him take batting practice knows he is more than capable of putting balls over the wall, and there have been calls this season for him to be invited to the Home Run Derby. According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Ichiro has not ruled it out.

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who has been around Ichiro for many years, is all for the idea.

“Oh, definitely,” Jones said. “Start a campaign. The guy’s still tanking balls into the upper deck in B.P. I think it’s damn awesome what he’s doing.”

Ichiro has still been taking batting practice with the Mariners even as he has been moved to a “front office” role, and he hit a dozen home runs into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium in roughly 25 BP pitches recently. Five of the blasts went into the upper deck, and Ichiro simply said “Yankee Stadium” when asked about it, alluding to the short porch in right.

While he has taken on a number of different roles since leaving Seattle’s active roster, Ichiro still plans to play in 2019. There’s a reason he has stayed away from the Home Run Derby for so long, and it would be a surprise if he strays from his principles at age 44.

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