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“Ichiro-san told us that being able to come to Japan and play in these games was a gift. Yusei Kikuchi thanks Ichiro for getting him out of the fourth inning Thursday with his foul-ball catch in the corner for the final out. That game might also mark an end for Ichiro, 45, although no one is saying. Maybe Ichiro can even help Kikuchi add a curveball to his repertoire: Luckily for Kikuchi and all of us, Ichiro is very real. Kikuchi: Mr. Ichiro is like a god in Japan. “Aside from them needing me and me wanting that responsibility, the Mariners were the first team I’ve ever known in the big leagues, the first team I’ve watched—with Mr. Ichiro… Perhaps, at some point, Kikuchi will have that impact in the majors. “Mr. “It wasn’t only the things he said, it was the way he prepared every day. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site. “Based on that, I shouldn’t be here. The teams held workouts and media availability at the Tokyo Dome in preparation for two exhibition games. In their full uniforms, they waited for Ichiro and Kikuchi to appear on the field after the news conference. Instead of being asked about replicating their magical 97-win season from a year ago, they were mostly asked questions about Ichiro’s place in baseball and their expectations for facing Kikuchi – the latest Japanese star to come to MLB in search of success at baseball’s highest level – in the second game of the series. Half a dozen fans lined up just behind the third-base dugout and held up cards spelling out Ichiro's name in Japanese. Greg Johns reports: While his boyhood hero was retiring from baseball, new Mariners southpaw Yusei Kikuchi merely went about retiring batters in an impressive Major League debut in Seattle’s 5-4, 12-inning victory over the A’s on Thursday as they swept the two-game Opening Series.He went] for four scoreless innings before tiring in the fifth and giving up two runs — one earned […] In going to Seattle, he joins a team that not only will open the 2019 season playing in Japan, but already employs a legendary Japanese baseball player in Ichiro.As you can tell, Kikuchi was less bold than Ichiro in his wardrobe selection for Day One on the job: Ichiro arriving at #MarinersST in 2001, and 17 years later. Mariners manager Scott Servais found that out quickly as he followed Ichiro and Yusei Kikuchi into a room where a mass of photographers, television … Seattle Mariners: Yusei Kikuchi influenced by legend of Ichiro Suzuki Ichiro Suzuki is still influencing players in Japan, as his presence is a part of why Yusei Kikuchi chose to join the Seattle Mariners. A's manager Bob Melvin knows Ichiro from their days with the Mariners. Mariners manager Scott Servais found that out quickly as he followed Ichiro and Yusei Kikuchi into a room where mass of photographers, television cameras and reporters – more than 100 – waited for them. "There will be certain periods in the game here when you sit back and reflect a little bit, and certainly just watch," Melvin said. What do you get when you combine a block party and a baseball league? ", And one sign had the clearest message of all: "We Love You Ichiro.".

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