Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

Ichiro Suzuki News and Notes: July 25, 2012

by on Jul.26, 2012 @ 3:59 am, under MLB

Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) news and updates from July 25:


Additional press conference Q&A (skipping sections that were done earlier) -

From Daily Sports:

Before his first game in a Yankees' uniform

On playing left field...

For eighteen years, I have not really played the position, but the last time I was out there was during the playoffs in my first year.  It was actually at Yankee Stadium.  The memories from that moment are still with me so I do not think it will be a problem.

On what it means to play with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

I just want to get along.

What are your thoughts on Jeter?

I imagine, and this is just my opinion, that a person that can provide so much stability over a long period of time, that can remain in that frame set while playing for a team that pushes winning so hard, can not just be someone with potential, but must also be someone that has reliable human qualities.

You have been chased by the Japanese media for a very long time.  Was this in preparation for your arrival in New York?

Um, I can not spend time on such useless questions like that.

From Nikkan Sports:

Before his first game in a Yankees' uniform

Do you think moving to a strong team can help you get going again?

Of course, that is what I would like to do.  Thinking about the Yankees' situation right now, I just want to do whatever I can to help out.

Thoughts on playing against your former teammates tonight for the first time?

I still have not stood in the stadium yet so...  At this point, the only thing is the pinstripes so I do not have a feel for that yet.

On having a lot of veterans in the clubhouse.

I have not seen that yet either so I can not really say.  What I can say is that I probably will not be able to use two lockers any more.

On playing in the small Yankee Stadium.

The size of the stadium does change the kind of baseball, or at least has an effect on it.  Not just with hitting, but also fielding.  I plan to adjust.

After his first game in a Yankees' uniform

How was your first day?

This is something that could have only happened today.  I can not really explain it, other than I am not really sure what happened.  I think how the fans reacted at the beginning made this a special day for me.

You got a hit and stole a base.

It is something I really wanted to do.  My body is very light, but it felt very heavy all day, like I could not move around freely, until that moment.  I felt a great release.

How did you make your decision to walk away from the Mariners?

The more time you spend, the more uncertainty [fills your head].  It took a lot of time to make this decision.  And in the end, I am not really sure if it was a decision I made with 100% certainty.

Why the New York Yankees?

It is important to move forward and I felt I wanted to give it a try.  I did think about negative things as well.  If I say no, then it is a negative move, if I say yes, then it is a positive move.  If you have these two paths and have to decide, there is not much to be uncertain about.

The three looks different from the familiar number five.

Sixty-one was also an option, but that did not feel quite right so I decided against it.

From Sponichi:

You are no longer the face of the organization.

I am grateful when people say that I was the face [of the organization], but I never thought that myself.  I do not really have any special thoughts about that.


Ichiro wanted to be a New York Yankee and did what he had to in order to get the trade done.  From ESPN's Wallace Matthews:

Ichiro Suzuki apparently wanted the New York Yankees even more than the Yankees wanted him.

Before completing a trade to acquire the Japanese star, the Yankees spelled out a list of conditions to Ichiro, a former American League MVP and two-time batting champion.

Ichiro would be asked to switch positions, hit at the bottom of the lineup and possibly sit against left-handed pitching.

... A team source acknowledged that if the player's name wasn't Ichiro, the Yankees probably wouldn't have had any interest in the outfielder, who is batting a career-low .261 this season.


Munenori Kawasaki (SEA) finally spoke to the media on Tuesday:

Via Sponichi: "I was not surprised by the trade. ... I had the opportunity to experience something valuable over the last six months. ... If you read his number from the opposite direction, it is Ichi-san."

Via Nikkan Sports: "I was not surprised by the trade.  I am happiest when Ichiro is playing with vitality. ... This is something Ichiro thought about and he made the decision.  I want to root for him. ... I also have a goal to earn a starting job here.  I can not be worried about Ichiro-san.  I have to work hard."

FWIW: Kawasaki's former teammates (Softbank Hawks) were apparently a little worried about him.  Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2012


Travel agent JTB has received inquiries from customers about canceling their tour packages to Seattle. But since the packages were not sold as "Ichiro Tours," customers are being informed that they will need to pay cancellation fees.

All Nippon Airways just started a new flight between Narita and Seattle (July 25).  They are also slated to add a second flight between Narita and New York, beginning in October.

Travel agencies feel there will not be fewer people heading to Seattle now that Ichiro is gone.  And If he stays with the Yankees, tour packages to New York could increase next year.

Source: Sponichi 7/25/2012


Sato Seiyaku (Yunker) has a number of posters that feature Ichiro wearing a Seattle uniform.  These will likely remain as-is until new updated units are created.  Their current TV commercial features an Ichiro wearing regular street clothes.  And fortunately for Sato Seiyaku, their next commercial, slated to run in August, was recorded with Ichiro wearing training clothes.

And of the four other companies Ichiro has TV commercial deals with, SMBC Nikko Securities was the only one lucky enough to have a version that does not feature him in a uniform.

FYI: Sato Seiyaku (Yunker) is apparently open to giving away their POP displays while SMBC is on the fence.

Source: Sponichi 7/25/2012