Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Love the Mariners

One of my hobbies is watching MLB on TV. NHK broadcasts one or two games a day, but only those that have teams with Japanese players on them. Due to this trend, very naturally I have grown to love the Japanese players, and tend to root for them tirelessly. The most popular players' daily activity is covered on the sports coverage of the evening news , too.

Of course, my favorite is Ichiro. He grew up outside of Nagoya, and I live about 30-45 min. from that area. So over the years, I've begun to feel a personal pride in his accomplishments; he's one of our own, as it were. Why he chose to play with the Mariners, I've never heard an explanation of, but he's been with them for ten years now. The Mariners have one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game on their team, yet they are unable to make it to the playoffs, and instead come in last place in their division more often than not. This has given them a somewhat underdog status and image. I'm an old Cubs fan, so rooting for the underdogs comes natural to me! (LOL)

For the 2010 season, the Mariners' active roster has some great names on it. Long time Mariner fans were very happy when Ken Griffey Jr came back to the team a year or two ago, but we are all quite grateful he decided to put off his retirement till after this season. He and Ichiro have a great friendship and at the end of their daily batting practice, regularly slug a bunch of homers into the stands, I've heard. Ken loves to tickle Ichiro, who is constantly on his guard, but to no avail. Supposedly he came up with a new type of tickle for this year, which I have yet to see, but hope to catch a glimpse of eventually.

A great addition this season is Chone Figgins, who came from the LA Angels, I believe. He is a great base stealer, which will put him in good company with Ichiro. Already we have seen the fruit come from him joining the team, and I look forward to getting to know him better in the weeks ahead.

Last Saturday the Mariners were able to win four in a row, and put their average at .500. We'll see if they can change their image as the West Coast Underdogs this year, or not. Either way, I'll be rooting with great gusto. Go Mariners!!!


doramihaha said...

Ichiro takes his physical & mental
preparation seriously.
Not only is he the lead off batter,
but he's also a strong outfielder.
I really admire him.
Go Mariners!
Go Ichiro!

Sal said...

Doramihaha, Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to know you share my passion!

I heard once that Ichiro is so serious about never swaying from his prep routine, that he even eats curry every single day before going to work! If I were his wife, I'd go insane, having to cook curry daily. But she is a wonderful support to him.

They say behind every successful man is a great woman, and in this case, I think it is true (although I do admire Ichiro for the enormous efforts he himself takes in being the best baseball player he can be!).

I hope this year will be a successful one for the Mariners!!