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Ichiro: “I was just having fun”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Aug 31, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A quick glimpse into the unique experience of playing baseball, watching baseball and covering baseball when Ichiro Suzuki is involved…

In today’s ninth inning, with a runner on base, Chris Davis lifted a deep fly ball to right field. It was extremely high, and while it initially looked like a routine out, Ichiro kept drifting back, back, back. Occasionally, he would turn his body as if preparing to either play the ball off the ball or making a running leap at the fence. He always seemed to be tracking the ball just fine, but he never seemed sure he would have room to make a play.

“I was just having fun,” he explained. “I’m a professional, so it’s good to get things excited. Obviously the result is the most important. If you look like you’re going to get it and it goes over the fence, obviously the fans wouldn’t be excited about it. But if the fans thought, ‘Oh no!’ and then you make a play, I think humans want to come from a bad place to a good place, in general. So that’s all it was.”

Yes, Ichiro was messing with everyone in Yankee Stadium. Did he really know he had it the whole time, and there was no chance of it going over his head? Ichiro nodded silently before answering, without his translator: “Absolutely.”

But what about poor Ivan Nova watching from the mound?

“I kind of feel bad about that, but once again, he feels really good afterwards,” Ichiro said.

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53 Responses to “Ichiro: “I was just having fun””

  1. Jesus Bustero August 31st, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    mnmboys August 31st, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    We should all be rooting for an A’s sweep. It’s easier to catch Tampa when we have games remaining against them.

    _________

    yes

  2. luis August 31st, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    In my time, I hated when the fielders did that to me… But he is right afterwards you just laugh about it…And when I played the field, i did so as well… it was fun to be on the other end for a change… Later guys

  3. tucker August 31st, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Ichiro is a treat to watch. From the way he gently lays down his bat after making contact to his thoughtful answers to postgame questions … One of a kind …

  4. MG August 31st, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    luis August 31st, 2013 at 4:33 pm
    4 NYY,

    You know why? Because he had a completely different arm slot for the CB than the rest of his pitches… I always said on game threads that he needed to throw the CB because it helped him mechanically… What I think they did on triple A was move the arm slot of the FB and other pitches closer to where the arm slot of the CB is and voila! we have an ace… Since his FB is more over the top than it used to be his landing is more balanced and has more sink and late movement, so instead of seeing those FB float back in to the heart of the plate, they sink and disappear from it.
    ———————-
    luis, excellent explanation of the changes made by Nova-when his curveball is really on (as was apparent in the 1st inning today) he is basically unhittable at this point in time.

    Andy has a chance to get a big win for the Yankees tomorrow, a sweep puts them right in the thick of it, particularly if either the Rays or A’s win both of the next two games (I prefer the A’s but either one is OK).

  5. GregD August 31st, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I saw a great game at the Stadium….Nova was ace like and the beer was cold. :)

  6. blake August 31st, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Boy nova was a stud today huh…..I was cooking and missed the game but wow what a big time effort. He’s been a big reason they have hung around

  7. GregD August 31st, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    He was only in trouble once and induced a double play

  8. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Blake, I was grocery shopping and only caught Casey’s last pitch :)

    Congrats guys, the hope for an October party is still on.

    Luis, hold on, there are many in your corner.

  9. UnKnown August 31st, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Yesterday offense, today pitching. That’s what it takes. Can’t feel comfortable or let up, need to go hard again tomorrow for the sweep.

    I like it though, I’m still not giving up on this year.

    The last two days the Yanks have made me look smart to stay invested.

  10. Abe Peterham August 31st, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Good for Ichiro , good to have fun when winning.
    Nova was awesome today. Lets get the brooms ready please… Andy’s turn

  11. MG August 31st, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    blake August 31st, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    Boy nova was a stud today huh…..I was cooking and missed the game but wow what a big time effort. He’s been a big reason they have hung around
    ———————–
    blake, he was great today-he K’ed both Machado and Davis in the 1st inning with curveballs that they missed by a mile and you could see he had his best stuff.

    He kept the fastball down and had them hitting almost everything into the ground-add that to the plus plus curveball and it’s a tough day at the park for the other team.

  12. Hankflorida August 31st, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    mnmboys August 31st, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    We should all be rooting for an A’s sweep. It’s easier to catch Tampa when we have games remaining against them.

    That makes a great deal of sense, but the Yankees have Nova and maybe Pettitte and a bullpen against a Tampa team with dependable arms. Huff starts, Hughes to the bullpen, and the Yankees bring up Betances and as many pitchers from the farm because Giradi has to become Captain Hook as his team can only afford seven more losses.

  13. MG August 31st, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Pettitte vs Chen tomorrow.

    Chen is pretty good but it isn’t fun to be lefthanded and face the Yankees right now…

  14. Jorge Mexico August 31st, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Joe Girardi. I don’t like that he gives Stewie much more playing time than Romine. I also don’t like that he’s keeping Hughsy in the rotation. But, even with those and other issues, I have to admit that if the Yankees make it to the postseason, Girardi should be a strong candidate for the Manager of the Year Award. Don’t you all think so

  15. blake August 31st, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I think Girardi is one of the best managers in baseball in spite of his Stewie obsession

  16. CountryClub August 31st, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I certainly understand people wanting to pull Hughes from the rotation. The problem is that he’s not even their worst starting pitcher right now.

  17. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    It is hard at this time of year, living and dying with your team ( yes, I know its been since ’93 for me, but I remember ). People who don’t follow sports wonder what the heck we’re doing; meanwhile, they’re chasing down their favourite soap opera.

  18. MG August 31st, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I think the September callups can help the Yankees significantly because it gives Girardi the option of the quick hook when a starter doesn’t have it.

    He can start Hughes on Monday, if he wants, and tell him to throw as hard as he can for as long as he can without worrying about wearing out the ‘pen.

    If he doesn’t have it you get him out before the game gets out of hand.

    That’s actually the way managers used to operate back in the 50′s and 60′s because starters went deeper in games and relievers threw more innings in a single game-I remember more than one occasion where the Yankees pulled their starter in the 1st inning after a couple of runs and Steve Hamilton, in his pre-Folly Floater days, came in and went the rest of the way and got a win.

  19. tomingeorgia August 31st, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Mr. blake,
    I agree about Girardi.

    What’s in the Egg this afternoon?

  20. jlyanks85 August 31st, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I’d say him and CC are tied in being awful, but CC has a proven track record so I give him the respect to think he’s just having a bad year. Hughes hasn’t done enough to earn that.

  21. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Girardi seems like a good handler and he rightfully came out in defence of Alex. John Gibbons is getting some heat up here, but what the heck could he do about no starting pitching? John is a gentleman, the type of soul you wish the best for.

  22. RhapsodyInBlue August 31st, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Blake I agree. We’re all scratching our heads over that one.

    There are just too many reasons why Romine should be in there more often.

  23. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Dickey was fine through 8 today. At least with R.A. and Buehrle, you know you’re going to get predictable innings, a fact that gets buried when contemplating a potentially over worked pen.

  24. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    One of my fave middle relievers for the Jays of all time, is Dennis Lamp; I think he went 11-0 in ’85. Tom Filer also strung up something like a 7-0 season. Bill Caudill sucked, but we got Tom Henke from Texas for, Cliff Johnson, and it was away to the races.

  25. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Mark Eichorn and Jim Acker were also very solid relief guys. Danny Cox did some good work in, ’93.

  26. tucker August 31st, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    JMills, the first Yanks game I attended was a doubleheader vs the A’s in the early 80s. Cliff Johnson was on the A’s. He struck out something like six times during the Yanks’ DH sweep. Tried to score an autograph from Cliff after the game in the players’ parking lot. When I asked, Cliff, clutching a bat, just glared … So I moved on …

  27. blake August 31st, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    “What’s in the Egg this afternoon?”

    Mr Tom,

    Boston butt was put on last night….also made a rack of baby backs and 2 tenderloins…..it was a pork o plenty

  28. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Tucker, I had the same experience with, Rico Carty. I got up the gumption to approach the guy in the parking lot, and dick he was. Listen, I can have a bad day, but if there’s a kid in front of me, that overrules everything.

  29. Duh Innings II August 31st, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Would it have been “having fun” if Ichiro misplayed the ball? No.

    Hey Ichiro, what if your antics resulted in the ball dropping for a double or worse, a triple, and it’s 2-1 Yanks with one out and Davis on second or third?

    This is not the time to mess around with the fans or mess around period and I’m really shocked by Ichiro who was basically saying he wanted fans to think it was a homerun and wasn’t 110% focused on making the play on the last day of August with the Yanks 4.5 games back for the second wildcard slot (now four games back for now.) Had he missed that ball it would’ve been potentially disastrous considering if Davis winds up on third with one out, all the Os would’ve needed was a long flyout or well-placed groundout to tie the game and all bets are off with this Yankee offense which was once again non-existent outside of Cano and the guy Cano drove in. Sure, Mo could come in with Davis on third and one out, get the final two outs without allowing the tying run and cpllect the save or come in after the tie, finish the ninth, and throw up a goose egg in the tenth thus give the Yanks two innings to walk off with the win, but what if the Yanks don’t score in the ninth or tenth? You trust Robertson and Kelley (my second and third lines of defense after Mo) will hold the tie as much as you trust Mo? I like them but I don’t trust them as much as I trust Mo. What if Mo blows the 2-1 lead and it’s 3-2 or worse Baltimore after coming in?

    The Yanks MUST sweep the Os AND the White Sox then take three out of four against Boston for a 9-1 run through next weekend.

  30. tomingeorgia August 31st, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Damn, blake, I should say so!

  31. blake August 31st, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    tomingeorgia says:
    August 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm
    Damn, blake, I should say so!

    Well I was just gonna make the butt….then the wife wanted ribs….then a couple more people decided to come and I had some tenderloin in the fridge I needed to make soon so I just made it all. ’twas very good

  32. tucker August 31st, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Rico and Cliff were both feared hitters in their day, and apparently fearsome in other ways, too

  33. tomingeorgia August 31st, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Duh,
    Baseball is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. Ichiro is a pro, but he still wants to have fun. He said he had it all the way. Nothing to merit a screed, I thought it was kind of fun, too, after he caught it.

  34. austinmac August 31st, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Jmills,

    I looked it up. Lamp was 11-0 in 1985. Good memory.

  35. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    blake, it might’ve been good, but with the guests and all, it sounds like too much work for this solo flyer :)

  36. mick August 31st, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    We should all be rooting for an A’s sweep. It’s easier to catch Tampa when we have games remaining against them.
    =====================
    Yet, a renown cognescenti here stated earlier we should root for Tampa.
    Go figure…
    Between Randy wanting Hughes tomorrow and that guy they make quite a team.
    Checkmate!

  37. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Austin, thanks, something’s still intact.

  38. Hankflorida August 31st, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    That’s actually the way managers used to operate back in the 50?s and 60?s because starters went deeper in games and relievers threw more innings in a single game-I remember more than one occasion where the Yankees pulled their starter in the 1st inning after a couple of runs and Steve Hamilton, in his pre-Folly Floater days, came in and went the rest of the way and got a win.

    MG, I remember that was the way it was before the era of a seventh, eighth and ninth inning specialists. We had Johnny Murphy in the thirties and forties and then Joe Page took over to close games and most of the other pitchers out of the bullpen were expected to go the distance as was expected from the starters.

  39. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Mick, you have to listen to, ” How we Operate ” by, Gomez – youtube Jacques Villeneuve the making of a champion, you’ll pull it up.

  40. MTU August 31st, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    The great irony of Ivan Nova is that we lost him in the rule 5 draft to the Padres who returned him to us.

    He was left unprotected.

  41. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Listening to, ” Every Breath you Take “. Dang, I wish I wrote that song!

  42. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    ” Every Breath you Take “, isn’t exactly a wedding song! :D

  43. MTU August 31st, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I would love to know who worked with Nova this time down at AAA ?

    Whoever it was maybe needs to be our ML pitching coach.

    Was it Scott Aldred, or maybe Gil Patterson, or maybe both worked with him ?

  44. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    By all accounts, Gil Patterson is an ever so valuable asset. ( Wish you were back here )

  45. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Jacques Villeneuve isn’t the talent his dad was ( must be hard to live in the shadows ), but he was Indy champ followed by F1 world victory, even though Michael S. tried to dirty and knock him out. Michael, you couldn’t tie Gilles’ shoes.

  46. blake August 31st, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    “I would love to know who worked with Nova this time down at AAA ?”

    Hard to believe that somebody didnt do something to him

  47. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    blake, since its all up in the air, I’m taking all the credit :)

  48. mick August 31st, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Youse guys should thank your lucky stars for the looseness that is Ichiro.
    He will not wilt in the clutch like Swisher.

  49. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    In the clutch, I want Molitar and Alomar, thank you very kindly. ( Don’t forget, Joe )

  50. mick August 31st, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Mills man- This is more my style….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BteIwbKU_iQ

  51. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Mick, thanks, will listen now, can’t post from this mobile on the next thread, as Chad has placed a video, which renders me, useless and one blocked so and so.

  52. mick August 31st, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    In the clutch, I want Molitar and Alomar, thank you very kindly. ( Don’t forget, Joe )
    ===============

    Don’t forget Winny…

  53. jmills August 31st, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Yes, David put that wonderful awkward double past the Braves, making a winner of surprise reliever Key, and me and my girlfriend, a couple of very happy campers. That’s me, Sting, on ” Days Like This ” – just kidding!!!

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