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    Archive for July 10th, 2008

    Ichiro in the homerun derby?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 10日 Thursday

    EDIT2: Now Sports Navi is reporting an Ichiro quote that his participation in the homerun derby is unlikely. This is a more credible source (Kyodo News) than the Sports Hochi original report who often jump the gun, and it contains an up to date Ichiro quote. He is quoted as saying his participation in the derby is “tabun nai” (多分ない) meaning “unlikely”. 2 out of the 4 HR derby spots are still unfilled for the AL, which spawned this rumour. The man makes news without doing anything.

    EDIT: Looks like this might’ve been the creative works of Sports Hochi paper’s writer. We’ll see, but no other source is reporting this story, so it seems unlikely, I’ll reprint the original Japanese article below, just for record keeping.

    The greatest batting practice slugger in the majors (by many eye witness accounts both on and off the field) has reportedly entered this year’s homerun derby which will take place on the 14th, the day before the All Star Game (which counts for World Series home field advantage! But is still lame nonetheless). Anyways, the slugger is of course Ichiro Suzuki. Yes, the slap happy 200+ hits per year hitter who has all of 70 HRs in 1208 career games, and only 3 so far in 90 games this season. Then again, Ichiro himself claims that he can hit 40 homers per season, if him and the team don’t mind that he hits for .220 average. He has steadfastly refused to enter the homerun derby (for fear of messing up his swing mechanics, etc.) but has made an exception this year, probably due to the combination of this being the Yankee Stadium’s final year, his appreciation of NYC fans, and the Mariners absolutely sucking so this is the least he can do to please baseball fans.

    Despite his batting practice heroics, he hasn’t fared well in his past 3 appearances in NPB homerun derbies. In 1995 he did alright, hitting 4 homeruns in 10 swings as a PL representative. In 1997 he only hit 1 homerun in 5 swings, and 1999 was the same result as he lost to Roberto Petagine in a mono a mono homerun derby with Petagine hitting 3 in 5 swings. (Japanese homerun derbies have predetermined number of swings, where as in MLB homerun derbies players keep on hitting until they hit into predetermined number of “outs”).

    This will be the most interesting part of the All Star festivities (including the game) for me to see whether Ichiro can live up to his often cocksure approach and hopefully we’ll finally get to see his batting practice slugging glory on a big stage with the world watching, well I guess there might be something about it being Yankee Stadium’s last year or something…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »