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Ichiro promises “a new sense of determination”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 18, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

After a workout in Japan earlier this week, Ichiro Suzuki spoke to reporters about his return to the Yankees. As you might imagine, I wasn’t there, so here’s The Associated Press.

TOKYO (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki is looking forward to starting the baseball season the way he ended last season: as a member of the New York Yankees.

The Yankees and Suzuki finalized a $13 million, two-year contract in December that kept the 10-time All-Star in the Bronx after he was obtained in a trade with Seattle last July.

“Signing with the Yankees has given me a new sense of determination,” the 39-year-old outfielder said Tuesday after a workout in Kobe. “This is a unique team, a team that can have a player like Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter is special and to be part of that is exciting.”

Suzuki, who’ll make $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons, revived his career and quickly became a fan favorite in New York. His batting average jumped from .261 with the Mariners to .322 with the Yankees, with five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals.

A key player when Japan won the World Baseball Classic in both 2006 and 2009, Suzuki has opted out of this year’s tournament in March, saying he decided after the 2009 event that he had no intention of playing in 2013.

“There is no reason for me to explain that here,” Suzuki said, adding that he intends to watch the tournament.

A 10-time Gold Glove outfielder with speed and a strong arm, Suzuki has 2,606 hits in 12 major league seasons. He expects to see time in the two corner outfield spots, especially after right fielder Nick Swisher signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent.

Suzuki bristled when asked about turning 40 in October.

“It’s annoying to be asked about age,” he said.

Associated Press photo

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26 Responses to “Ichiro promises “a new sense of determination””

  1. blake January 18th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Hope Ichiro is good….I like him. Just wish he was more of a complimentary piece than a main one

  2. jacksquat January 18th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Nice outfit Ichiro, lol.

  3. theREALkevin January 18th, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    “This is a unique team, a team that can have a player like Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter is special and to be part of that is exciting.”

    Oh I’m sure Alex is loving that quote from Ichiro.

  4. blake January 18th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    What would be awesome is if the team was so special that HOFer Ichiro was the 4th OFer

  5. RespectTheGame January 18th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Here’s Jr. on Ichy’s clothes on KG’s last go round with the Mariners :D
    ________________________________________________________________

    “Griffey is the first member of the Mariners ever to make fun of the way Ichiro dresses – at least to his face. Each day when Ichiro enters the clubhouse in street clothes, Junior goes through a five-point rating process.

    “I’d wear that shirt,” he said in Denver. “The pants, no. That belt? No. Shoes? Yeah, I might wear those. But that man purse? No (bleeping) way. You’re 2-for-5 today.”

    After years of being above such antics in the clubhouse or anywhere else, Ichiro’s response to Griffey’s presence has been unadulterated joy.”

    (RTG-and this!)

    “In the visiting clubhouse of Baltimore’s Camden Yards, 31/2 hours before a game, players are watching television, playing cards, listening to iPods.

    Ichiro Suzuki spreads a towel on the carpeted floor in front of his locker, lies on his back and begins doing stretching exercises. From Ichiro’s blind side, Ken Griffey Jr. pounces, gets his hands deep under Ichiro’s armpits and digs in with his fingers.

    Ichiro’s laughter is almost childlike – genuine and uncontrolled – and after about five seconds he screams the magic word to make Griffey stop.

    Junior stands up, walks back to his locker and sits down. Ichiro lies quietly for a moment, letting his body relax, then goes back to stretching as if nothing had happened.”

  6. Jerkface January 18th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    JR is Ichiro’s favorite player, there is a really funny video of Ichiro in a wolf sweater meeting JR when Ichiro still played in the NPB.

  7. Nick in SF January 18th, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    “This is a unique team, a team that can have a player like Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter get pinch hit for is special and to be part of that is exciting.”

    Even more special and exciting.

  8. Rich in NJ January 18th, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    All was all for bringing him back in 2013, but guaranteeing him money in 2014 is ridiculous.

  9. Rich in NJ January 18th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I was all…

  10. UnKnown January 19th, 2013 at 12:14 am

    https://twitter.com/Joba_62/status/292472911476948992/photo/1/large

    I’d say Joba’s ready to head south.

  11. David in Cal January 19th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    My first thought was that Ichiro’s “new sense of determination” is typical BS, like the player who comes into spring training in the “best shape in my life.” OTOH, maybe he actually lost some determination in his last couple of years in Seattle, and got it back when he was in a pennant race.

  12. Against All Odds January 19th, 2013 at 1:20 am

    UnKnown January 19th, 2013 at 12:14 am
    https://twitter.com/Joba_62/status/292472911476948992/photo/1/large

    I’d say Joba’s ready to head south.

    —————————–

    lol what a pic

  13. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 4:28 am

    This is going to be a fun season – and when I’m desperate, its Kent for Cone, along with that young fling who blew out for Rickie. And, then, … Joe is us up with his 400 something bangers.

    In matters of digression,…..call, Lloyd Moseby along with , Mookie.

  14. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Steve Karsay, Ricky Henderson was traded for the phenom, Steve Karsay ( had to look his name up ), who blew his arm out after beginning 4 and 0 or so with the A’s; had to settle for a pretty good middle relief role; I think he ended up with the Indians.

  15. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Unknown, I didn’t know Joba played hockey; LMAO :D

  16. Rich in NJ January 19th, 2013 at 6:15 am

    From the NY Post, Swisher getting that love he sought:

    “This is going to my 10th year in the league, and this is the first time I’ve ever had a manager ask me what my opinion was on something,” Swisher said yesterday, while making an appearance at the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County’s Jersey City Club. “I’m super-excited about that. It’s going to be great. The communication level [with new Cleveland manager Terry Francona] is just off the charts, and that’s something I’ve never had before.

    “I don’t really have many opinions on a lot of things, but when it comes to baseball, it’s a game that I love. It’s a game that I take a lot of pride in. For me to be able to have maybe a little input on what goes down, it’s going to be awesome.”

  17. RadioKev January 19th, 2013 at 7:21 am

    jacksquat January 18th, 2013 at 10:07 pm
    Nice outfit Ichiro, lol.
    ———–

    Only Ichiro could pull that off.

    Hopefully Ichiro proves us wrong, but that signing him just so he can chase 3,000 hits? Wasn’t this what the Red Sox were doing?

    And Dave In Cal, without a doubt he regained some of that drive while playing for the Yankees. I don’t blame him for dipping off a bit in Seattle. It honestly must be hard to stay that focused on a non-contender. That’s why Felix is particularly amazing.

  18. RadioKev January 19th, 2013 at 7:25 am

    The Yankees haven’t gone to arbitration since 2008 with Wang? That’s interesting… We know Wang was kind of hurt by the negotiations. Maybe they’ve realized the down side of scrapping it out over a million dollars or so with their signed players?

  19. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Wang, …we miss him

  20. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Ichiro, looks ready to play and signal, past, Rose :D

  21. blake January 19th, 2013 at 7:41 am

    @mlbtraderumors: Cubs, Diamondbacks Discussed Justin Upton http://t.co/lxxAaU1b #mlb

    Another report that says the 4 teams on the Yanks no trade are the Cubs, Sox, mariners, and Jays

  22. RadioKev January 19th, 2013 at 7:42 am

    jmills January 19th, 2013 at 7:36 am
    Wang, …we miss him
    ——–

    It’s one of those mild sports tragedies.

  23. blake January 19th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I could see a Smoak for Saltalamacchia trade

  24. Bronx Jeers January 19th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    The Yankees sent out an Email at 6:15 this morning telling people that the Kevin Youkilis name & numbered t-shirts are finally available for sale.

    What a sick world we live in.

  25. jmills January 19th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Jeer, unfortunately, I concure like, YF over Sylvia Plath.

  26. J. Alfred Prufrock January 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    jmills, I miss Wang….but why do you? ?

    Are you a closet Yankee fan? :D

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