There was a special program on NHK tonight about Ichiro Suzuki's 8th season. Unfortunately, I ended up only catching the last 15-20 minutes of the show (I'm hoping they re-broadcast the show at a later date). There were some interesting bits that I thought I'd throw up for those interested.
- Ichiro was planning on hitting the first pitch he saw for his 3,000th hit. He was really hoping to hit a home run, but instead ended up hitting a bloop single.
- Ichiro takes a lot of pride in his infield singles. He knows that there are some people who think less of his records because of the number of infield singles he hits, but he in turn feels that there aren't any players right now that can hit balls in locations like he can for contact.
- Unlike prior seasons, Ichiro started his 8th season wanting to reach 200 hits. In past seasons, 200 hits was something he ended up shooting for once the season was underway.
- Ichiro was asked why he didn't celebrate when he got his 200th hit of the season and he said that he really wanted to jump up and down in join, but held his emotions back because he didn't want to show those emotions to his opponents. Ichiro feels that showing opponents your emotions (happiness, sadness, frustration, anger) only gives them the upper hand in dissecting your weaknesses and strengths and will ultimately make it easier for your opponents to beat you.
- Ichiro still isn't feeling any effects from aging that he can tell.
- Ichiro feels that the longer you feel satisfied with your accomplishments, the closer you are to being on your decline.
- Ichiro's obvious goals for 2009 will be 9 consecutive seasons with 200 or more seasons and 2,000 MLB hits.
- When asked about Pete Rose's record of 4,256 hits, Ichiro said that it was something he considered, but that it would mean at least another 6 years (assuming 200 hits a season). He said that a lot can change over 6 years and that stamina and conditioning would be really important. He also mentioned something about changing values, but unfortunately I missed out on what he was saying because I was taking notes.
That about rounds out what I managed to catch. Some of it may have already been printed in the US media, but hopefully there's also some new information in here that'll shed some more light on what kind of player Ichiro Suzuki is.