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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

LEADING IN THE OUTFIELD: ICHIRO SUZUKI

There is a lot going on in Yankeeland. Everyday when I read the sports news section, we’ve racked up yet another injury. It makes me grateful for those few gems that we have acquired and I don't necessarily mean Brennan Boesch and Vernon Wells... I mean gems like Ichiro Suzuki.

I want to say that I have always been an Ichiro fan. With the exception of when he played against the Yankees, I have always rooted for him. He was probably one of my favorite non-Yankee players. And it was more than his game play; he just seemed like a genuinely humble guy that loved the game.

Back in June of 2012, BYB wrote about the possibility of having Ichiro in pinstripes, read ICHIRO IN PINSTRIPES? ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE. It was far fetched, but he was in the last year of his contract and, hey, we can dream, right? Fast forward a few weeks later and Jay Buhner is making some really rude comments, read (ICHIRO TO THE YANKS IS MY PIPE DREAM) about the idea of re-signing Ichiro and that making him want to vomit. About two weeks after that, the Yankees shocked the fans by announcing that Ichiro would in fact wear pinstripes! It not only put BYB on the map, it re-energized his love of the game.
Ichiro came to us hitting .261. Playing for Seattle, the Mariners were getting younger and changing and that had an affect on him. He admitted to needing a team where he felt he fit in. Just the change from Seattle to New York was enough to kick him into high gear.  Ichiro came to the Bronx and it was like a bunch of happy little fireworks lighting up the sky. Corny, I know, but true nonetheless. His veteran presence on the line-up was well received and we, fans, adored him. He ended up hitting .322 with the Yankees last season.
We are starting this season with a number of our big hitters on the DL, including Derek Jeter. It is very rare to find a player with Jeter’s ability to lead the team. Ichiro has that ability, I'm stating it now. With all the question marks looming over our line-up, there is no doubt in my mind that Ichiro will step up and help this team early on, both in the clubhouse and at the plate.

We love Ichiro Suzuki here, and we are grateful to have him. A lot of times, he has been exactly what the Yankees line-up needed. In 2013... trust me, it will be no different.




--Erica Morales, BYB Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804




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