NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Ichiro Suzuki has had a resurgence since leaving Seattle for the Bronx.
Think he’s been enjoying his time in New York?
That might be the understatement of the century.
Ichiro was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday following a seven-game span in which he went 15-for-25, had a .630 on-base percentage, a .960 slugging percentage, two homers, three doubles, five RBIs and six stolen bases.
But the enjoyment and renewed enthusiasm appears to go well beyond the numbers for Ichiro.
The 10-time All-Star is relishing the chance to play a major role in a pennant race for the first time in years. The Mariners, for whom he spent the first 11 years of his career with, have been mired in mediocrity for years.
“This is a special time right now,’’ the outfielder told the New York Post. “This is a special experience to play with (Derek) Jeter and the Yankees. When I am an old man I will look back and say, ‘What an experience that was to be on this team.’ Before I die, I think I will remember this time and what a special time this is. That is what I envision what it will be like when I get close to dying.’’
The 10-time Gold Glove Award winner can’t stop gushing about the opportunity to share the field with Jeter, who he believes is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
“I was always on the outside looking in on Derek Jeter and seeing what a great player he is, but there are things you can’t see or can’t experience unless you are inside of it,’’ Ichiro said. “So now that I’m in, what I’ve realized is that he is the cornerstone of this team. As a person, he is the type of person that can make people feel comfortable. He can make people feel good. I don’t know if he is doing that by design or (he) just naturally has that ability.’’
Ichiro is hitting .283 on the year with nine home runs, 51 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Since coming to New York, the two-time batting champion is hitting .328 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 60 games.
Yankees fans, in your wildest dreams did you imagine that Ichiro could still produce like this? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…