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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Articles tagged: Kurt Suzuki

Angels let retiring player serve as manager for final game of season

Kurt Suzuki in catching gear

Apr 16, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) walks to the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels gave Kurt Suzuki a nice sendoff to end his career.

The Angels let Suzuki start Tuesday night’s 161st game of the season at catcher. He caught one pitch and then exited to a standing ovation as part of a ceremonial exit.

Then on Wednesday, which marked the Angels’ final game of the season, Suzuki got to manage the team. He exchanged lineup cards with Oakland’s Stephen Vogt, who is also retiring.

Later in the game, Suzuki was holding the Angels’ lineup card, made a pitching change, and called for a challenge.

Though he’s retiring as an Angel, Suzuki has much more history with the A’s. He was a second-round draft pick of the A’s in 2004 and played seven seasons with them. The 16-year big league catcher won a World Series with the Nats in 2019 and made one All-Star team during his solid career.

Maybe Suzuki’s final day as manager serves as a preview for what lies ahead in his career.

Ex-World Series champion to retire after 2022 season

Kurt Suzuki in catching gear

Apr 16, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) walks to the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After 16 solid seasons, The Kurt Suzuki Show is coming off the air.

The veteran catcher Suzuki told reporters this week that he plans to retire upon the conclusion of the 2022 MLB season.

“I feel like it’s time,” said Suzuki, per Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register. “I’ve had a great run, won a World Series, All-Star Game. Played 16 seasons. I’ve accomplished a lot of things I never would have dreamed of. I felt like it’s time for the next chapter. My three kids, all they’ve known is baseball.

“They used to be excited to watch me on TV,” Suzuki added. “Now they want me at home. That’s kind of when you know. I’ve said from the beginning, family is always first. That comes first no matter what. The game will tell you, but also your family will tell you.”

Suzuki, who turns 39 in October, is currently on the Los Angeles Angels, his sixth MLB team. He is batting a career-low .179 in 48 appearances as a backup this season (and also suffered an on-field scare in May).

As Suzuki hinted at, he made an All-Star team with the Minnesota Twins in 2014. Additionally, Suzuki won it all with the Washington Nationals in 2019 (drawing some attention off the field after that World Series win).

Angels provide update on Kurt Suzuki after terrifying incident in warmups

Kurt Suzuki behind the plate

The Los Angeles Angels are giving an update on catcher Kurt Suzuki after a scary incident during Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Suzuki was catching warmup tosses from starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen in between innings when he was hit in the neck area by an errant throw. It did not appear that Suzuki was wearing a throat guard at the time.

As the 38-year-old veteran Suzuki made his way off the field, he appeared to collapse near the dugout steps and had to be carried into the clubhouse. Here is the video (but beware that the content is disturbing).

Over an hour after the incident occurred, the Angels provided an update on Suzuki’s status. They said that Suzuki had a neck contusion but was alert and undergoing further testing.

The former All-Star Suzuki is in his second season with the Angels and is hitting .188 through 15 appearances thus far. He was replaced by fellow catcher Max Stassi upon exiting Saturday’s game.

Kurt Suzuki: ‘No question’ Astros cheated during 2019 World Series

Astros cheating meme

Major League Baseball found evidence that the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 regular season, 2017 postseason and into the 2018 season, but the investigation did not mention anything about the team stealing signs during the World Series last year. However, Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki doesn’t need an investigation to tell him what he experienced firsthand.

Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post asked Suzuki this week if he believes the Astros were cheating during the World Series last season. The catcher said there is “no question” and that Nationals players could hear whistling coming from the Houston dugout.

“We could hear it from their dugout. We heard their whistling,” Suzuki said. “What are you going to do?”

In order to counter the sign-stealing, Suzuki says the Nationals changed their signs during every at-bat of the World Series. On some occasions, they even tried to change the signs in the middle of an at-bat. He said there were swings Astros hitters had in certain situations that were “so good” there was no other explanation for them aside from sign-stealing.

“When Max Scherzer has two strikes on you and he throws one 98 miles per hour near your head and you smash it — come on, nobody does that,” Suzuki said. “We got a couple of big strikeouts when their crowd was so loud they couldn’t hear. The whole thing was crazy. I got messed up on signs a couple of times, had to call time and take us out of rhythm. I kept thinking, ‘We have to go to the field and work early on our signs in the World Series just to stop their cheating.’ It’s so stupid and so wrong.”

Astros players have insisted the illegal sign-stealing stopped before last season, but Suzuki says Houston just “got better at it.” The way he spoke made it clear that his opinion was shared among his Nationals teammates.

There has been no evidence from last season of blatant banging on trash cans to relay signs like we saw with the Astros in 2017, but Houston was accused of cheating during the 2019 postseason before The Athletic blew the lid off their elaborate scheme. A report said the New York Yankees believed the Astros were stealing signs and relaying them by whistling during the ALCS, and then-Astros manager AJ Hinch denied it with an arrogant response that later came back to haunt him.

Simply put, the Astros have not earned the benefit of the doubt. There’s no reason to think they would have stopped cheating before MLB caught them and handed down punishment. The Nationals beat Houston in the World Series, so it’s not as if Suzuki’s comments are sour grapes. Why would he lie?

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Kurt Suzuki wears ‘MAGA’ hat during Nationals’ White House visit

President Donald Trump hosted the Washington Nationals on Monday to honor them for their World Series title, and the visit was not without some controversy.

How many members of the team would even attend the ceremony was a question. Eight Nationals did not make the White House visit, including Anthony Rendon. With the exception of closer Sean Doolittle, who explained why he was skipping the visit, no reason was given for their absences.

The most notable moment of the ceremony itself came when catcher Kurt Suzuki donned one of the Trump campaign’s well-known Make America Great Again hats, to Trump’s surprise and delight.

Suzuki’s decision to wear one of Trump’s campaign hats — a divisive symbol to say the least — earned both praise and scorn online, and was a major talking point of the visit.

Considering the reception Trump got when attending Game 5 in Washington, it will likely prove an unpopular decision with a significant part of the team’s own fanbase.

Also see: Stephen Strasburg says he did not snub Trump on handshake.

Kurt Suzuki leaves game after being hit in hand, head

Washington Nationals

Kurt Suzuki left Wednesday night’s Game 5 of the NLDS between his Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers after being hit by a Walker Buehler pitch in the top of the seventh inning.

Buehler was trying to go up in the zone on a 1-2 pitch and ended up throwing inside on the Nats catcher. The ball hit Suzuki in his left hand/wrist first and then ricocheted towards his head/helmet.

Suzuki was down on the ground at Dodger Stadium and later was helped to his feet. He was clearly dazed as he headed towards the dugout and walked into the clubhouse.

The 36-year-old catcher was 0-for-1 with a walk in the game prior to exiting.

Nationals reportedly sign Kurt Suzuki to two-year deal

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are continuing to retool their team in what is expected to be an offseason of significant change for them.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Nationals agreed to terms with catcher Kurt Suzuki on a two-year deal.

Suzuki will take up the duties vacated primarily by Matt Wieters, who is also a free agent now. The veteran catcher moves to Washington from the Atlanta Braves, where he hit .276 with 31 home runs in total over the course of those two years. The position has been a big problem for the team in recent seasons, and adding a steady, veteran option in Suzuki should help resolve that issue.

Ultimately with the Nationals, all attention will be on the future of their star player, but they’re insulating themselves as well as they could if he does leave.