Archive for the ‘Ichiro Suzuki’ Category

Fresh on the heels of the wacky outfielder catch/flip/thing yesterday comes this bizarre Japanese commercial for a vaguely Red Bull product. Reader Gino sent this my way, saying most of the people on the subreddit in which it originally appeared believed it be real.

Real it ain’t. Awesome it is. That’s sort of the way it works with these videos. Take them for what they are: cool ways to Friday away your Friday. FRIDAY!

You know what remains one of the weirdest things? Ichiro doesn’t play for the Mariners any more. He was traded in July and played against the Marines at Safeco and the world kept on spinning. The Ichiro! of 2012 is not the Ichiro we all know and love – the rare player with four elite tools who uses them in a most peculiar way.

Ichiro was better with the Yankees during his two month cameo (and requisite playoff appearance) posting a .322/.340/.454 line in 240 plate appearances. Late career resurgence or dead cat bounce: either way this ain’t the real Ichiro.

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We, along with almost everyone else, have already gone over the amazing Ichiro (!) run-scoring play from the first inning of Monday night’s New York/Baltimore game. While most “analysis” of the play consists of dropped jaws and a barely audible “wow,” there is more to look at than the amazing agility of the 38-year-old Yankees left fielder.

However, before we delve into whether or not this run should have counted, let’s spend a little bit of time adding to the praise heap for Ichiro’s efforts on this play, which represent a level of game intelligence I don’t think I’ve never seen before in baseball. Watch as he dodges one, two and three tags all in the span of less than a three seconds. To someone like me, who has trouble navigating his own bedroom without bumping into a desk or night-stand, Ichiro’s dodging and weaving movements seem beyond human.

In a way, they are. At least the way Ichiro uses his mind is different from how the average human uses his or hers, and this is what allows him to react in the fashion that we see above. Generally speaking, the brains of athletes act more efficiently than regular people’s.

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So the narrative goes like this:

Ichiro Suzuki, despite his standing as one of the greatest, most beloved and longest-lived Mariners in team history (he would have passed Edgar Martinez for the team lead in career plate appearances had he played out the 2012 season, and got 1200 more PA there than Ken Griffey, Jr. did), had worn out his welcome during the team’s recent, especially lean years. He’d grown sullen, selfish, uninterested. In fact, he’d become kind of a jerk.

Then the Yankees came calling; Ichiro was suddenly back in a pennant race, and was revitalized, rediscovering his prime-years self at age 38. Even after a pedestrian 1-for-5 in Sunday’s loss (though he did throw in his 27th stolen base) broke a string of six straight multi-hit games, Ichiro is hitting .331/.347/.481, which falls pretty well in line with the .333/.378/.434 he put up during his stateside prime from 2001-09.

So Ichiro is back with a contender, back in the spotlight, and back to his old self, or so the narrative goes. As Michael Schur/Ken Tremendous put it:

Well, we’re not big fans of narratives around here, and while I love Ichiro and wish him nothing but success (even on the Yankees), this one struck me as quite the stretch.

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Ichiro! Kris Medlen and the beginning of the end for the Washington Nationals. It is the last Getting Blanked show of your week, featuring a very special Geekin’ Out with Eric Thames of the Seattle Mariners, who brings Dethklok into the conversation. For real.

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