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Ichiro wants to pitch. The Yankees may let him

May 23, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

ichiro suzuki getty Getty Images

Ichiro is hitting when he’s playing, he’s just not playing that much these days. So why not give him something else to do, Joe Girardi?

He just may, David Waldstein of the New York Times reports. After noting that the Yankees have played a lot of long games and burned through a lot of players, Girardi tells Waldstein that Ichiro may be the next position player he calls on in a blowout. And Ichiro likes the idea:

“I would be happy to help if they need me,” he said, his eyes brightening at the prospect of it.

Suzuki pitched to one batter in the 1996 Japan All-Star Game, and with his free-and-easy delivery, he induced a ground ball for an out from a pitcher.

Suzuki has two strong pitches.

“Fastball and slider,” he said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter.”

My bread and butter. I feel like that kind of hubris is kangaroo court fine-worthy. Not that I wouldn’t want to see him on the mound. God, now that I think about it, that may be the best reason to watch a Yankees game all year.


  1. commonsenseisnotcmonman - May 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    He’s already a much better option than Aceves

  2. thomas844 - May 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    He’s one of the greatest baseball players of all time. They should let him do it if he wants to.

  3. 18thstreet - May 23, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    I hope he learns to pitch and does it until he’s 80. I love the guy. That quote is hilarious.

  4. gothapotamus90210 - May 23, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    He said something 10-15 years ago he planned to retire from hitting at a certain age, then become a pitcher full time. Obviously, that has not happened, but I’d love to see what he could do in a Brooks Kieschnick type of role.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 23, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      I’d love to see him in a Bert Campaneris type of role. Play all 9 positions in one game! A few others have done it since, but Bert was first.

  5. proudlycanadian - May 23, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    The Yankees could use a catcher who can hit; so, I think that they should try him behind the plate.

  6. ripwarrior - May 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    The headlong should read “ichiro still doesn’t know English. Wants to pitch.”

    • American of African Descent - May 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Obviously you also do not know English.

    • 18thstreet - May 23, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      Get a brain, morans.

      • nbjays - May 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        Don’t be stupied.

  7. ripwarrior - May 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM


    • 18thstreet - May 23, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      Also, you used a period where a comma was called for. And Ichiro is a proper noun, and thus should be capitalized.

      Lastly, you’re an idiot.

    • renaado - May 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      wilmyers09… Is that you?

  8. mikhelb - May 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Way better how Mike Axisa redacted this same note:

    “Ichiro Suzuki has adapted to his new role as an extra outfielder very well so far, and he told David Waldstein that if the opportunity arises, he’d like to get back up on a mound at some point before his career ends. He pitched in the 1996 All-Star Game in Japan (video above) and would like to give it another shot. “Fastball and slider, but like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter,” he joked. “If they need 100 pitches, I would have to get stretched out.” Obligatory “he couldn’t be worse than Alfredo Aceves!” joke goes here. Needless to say, Ichiro pitching needs to happen before the end of the season.”

  9. apkyletexas - May 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    No Craig. The best reason to watch Yankees games is to watch 50,325 idiots pay an average Fan Cost Index of $337.20 for a party of four (including tickets, parking and concessions) to cheer for a non-playoff team that pays $2,347,983.44 for each win.

    And that’s Priceless.


    • apkyletexas - May 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Downvoters – you are truth deniers. Your payroll is $197,230,609, and if you are lucky you’ll win 84 games. Do the math.

      The maths don’t lie.

      • paperlions - May 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        You aren’t getting down votes for inaccuracy, but for being a dick.

      • 18thstreet - May 23, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Why would anyone drive to a Yankee game? The subway is right there. The average Yankee ticket is $55, according to the Fan Cost Index, but tickets are available for $20 for their next home game. And who says you have to buy a souvenir at the Stadium? Don’t Yankee fans already have Yankee hats?

        The fan cost index is a good idea, but poorly executed. They could come up with three semi-typical fans:
        – Single guy going to a game. Gets a couple beers and dinner at the park. Sits in median-priced seat.
        – Upper-class couple. Drives to the game and pays for parking. Buys four high-priced drinks and some sort of food. (Beats me; I’m not rich). Sits in the top 10th percentile of seats by cost
        – Family of four. Takes cheapest transportation option. Buys the cheapest seats available. Buys sodas and hot dogs for the kids and a $10 souvenir for eat kid. Two beers for the adults.

        Lastly, Paperlions is right about why you’re getting the thumbs-down.

      • apkyletexas - May 23, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        Typical reactions. Yankee lovers usually hate me as much as they hate the facts about what their corrupt organization does to its fans. But I provided you with the source references – your argument about the fan cost index at Yankee stadium is with the team marketing website – not me.

        But go ahead and cry about it – and then be sure to ask “Please Mr. Steinbrenner, could you take some more from our wallets?”

        Yanks and Red Sox have highest fan cost in the league for a reason – the fans enjoy the abuse.

      • Reflex - May 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        Uh, neither of the posters who responded to you are Yankees fans. I felt I should probably point that out. One of them is a pretty strong disliker of the organization, and the other is uninterested in them…

        The index you mention has issues that were legitimately pointed out. Also, your original post was dickish. Hence the thumbs down.

        Side note: I dislike the Yankees. Your post still sucks.

      • 18thstreet - May 24, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        Man, I hope I was counted as the long-time Yankee hater that I am, and not the ambivalent one.

        But more to the point: the high cost of attending Red Sox and Yankee games is a result of supply and demand. Take up your complaints with Adam Smith, not the Steinbrenner heirs.

      • apkyletexas - May 24, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        I have no complaints – I love watching idiots getting ripped off to cheer for an overpaid losing team. And yes, like it or not you are Yankee lovers – you support the financially corrupt system that the Steinbrenners and their allies have foisted on MLB and forced into every CBA for 35 years.

      • asimonetti88 - May 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Angels fan here… hate the Yankees (and the Red Sox for that matter) and voted you down.

      • apkyletexas - May 24, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        Good for you. As an Angels fan, you clearly buy into the corrupt financial system that the Yankees and their ilk have saddled MLB with. Might as well put your Yankees cap on and cheer your $197 million dollar non-playoff losers. Or in your case, put your Angels cap on and cheer on your $158 million dollar team that will finish second to the A’s and out of the playoffs for the 5th straight year. Congrats. Lack of a legitimate salary structure is clearly serving you quite well.

  10. NatsLady - May 23, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Eh, they said Mo would play the outfield. Never happened. All kind of stuff gets said.

  11. Carl Hancock - May 23, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I’d rather they trade Ichiro to a team where he can play everyday so he can get to 3,000 hits. He’s hitting when he’s playing. Play him until he isn’t hitting.

    • genericcommenter - May 23, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      That assumes that he has that many at-bats left in him. He might be hitting BECAUSE he isn’t playing. A lot of people can hit in a part-time role, but he hasn’t hit the last 3 years when he was playing.

      I like the sentiment, but how many teams have a full-time role for a 40 year-old who hasn’t been a league average hitter since 2010?

  12. riverace19 - May 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Easy CC… Is it hubris or is he just having fun with the situation?

  13. anthonypaul23 - May 23, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Really? Why are you Yankee fans so miserable. It’s the beginning of the year and you can’t watch a game all year ?? Start cheering your team or find another team to put down….

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      It’s the beginning of the year and you can’t watch a game all year

      I’ve watched every game except the ones they’ve played against Bal, because they are blacked out. Maybe it’s dealing with inane comments that makes us miserable?

  14. dillongeeescapeplan - May 23, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Ichiro could throw 100 mph if he wanted to.

    • clemente2 - May 23, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Chuck Norris could throw infinity if he wanted to.

      • apkyletexas - May 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Chuck would hold the ball perfectly still and move the stadium underneath it at whatever speed he wanted to achieve. The speed may be 1mph, or 100, or infinity – it doesn’t matter. Any bat that touched it would explode so completely that it would be result in a “Big Bang”, and a new universe would be created on the spot. The opposing batter would be held in a suspended animation of screaming full-body pain until the end of time.

        And that would be a first-pitch foul ball. You wouldn’t want to know about a strike-out.

  15. rje49 - May 23, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    I really don’t need another reason to see the Yankees get blown out, but this would be interesting!

  16. renaado - May 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Damn, this guy is awesome. No wonder he’s the pride of Japan’s sports fans. Truly a role model.

    • renaado - May 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      • jwbiii - May 23, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        Thanks, ren. One of the odd things about watching NPB baseball: English on their jerseys. Blue Wave and not ブル 波 or something.

      • renaado - May 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        I think the reason they’ve done this was for foreign fans from other countries visiting that league gets to know more of em better especially their names.

        I really hope the KBO will do this too knowin theirs an increase of fan attendance from other countries visitin the league there. Player’s jerseys there are mostly written in Hangul/Han-geul.

  17. mtr75 - May 23, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    If he has a fastball, slider and a splitter, wouldn’t that be three pitches?

    • renaado - May 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM


    • renaado - May 23, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      He said his fastball and slider were both of his strong pitches.

      While the splitter is his legitimate finisher like all other pitchers in the NPB. It’s three but only his fastball and sliders were more dominant than his splitter.

      • Reflex - May 24, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        Where have you hidden Ares? This place has been sadly “XD” deficient lately….

      • renaado - May 24, 2014 at 12:37 AM

        Her summer classes ends at May 31st so she rarely shows up here. Well, I’m glad she’s here yesterday though.

  18. deathmonkey41 - May 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Can they fire Kevin Long instead?

  19. denny65 - May 24, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    Pitching? The Mariners need a DH, whataya say?

    (Just think of the savings to be realized from re-cycled #51 merchandise. It’s a win-win.)

  20. Minoring In Baseball - May 24, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    He’s no Danny Worth…

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