Now that he’s no longer an active player Larry Johnson Jersey , maybe Ichiro Suzuki wants to start swinging for the fences.
How about at next month’s Home Run Derby during All-Star festivities in Washington?
What began as light-hearted banter among Seattle Mariners coaches grew into something that caused a stir in the clubhouse before Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees.
”He’s got power and he’s been launching balls into the seats,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”A couple of coaches said the other day, `You know, no one wants to do this Home Run Derby. Why don’t we just send Ichiro? He’d be awesome.”’
The idea gained momentum when Servais mentioned it on a radio show Wednesday, and suddenly a new Twitter hashtag was born – (hash)IchiForDC.
Not officially retired but unlikely to appear in another major league game, the Japanese-born Suzuki shifted to a new role with Seattle as special assistant to the chairman in early May after batting .205 in 15 games this season. The 44-year-old travels with the team and is in uniform for games, helping out with batting practice and other drills while keeping a locker in the clubhouse.
Even though he’s still in game shape, Suzuki didn’t seem to be entertaining the idea of throwing his hat in the ring for the annual power contest.
”I’m not a player (anymore) and just the long, great history that MLB has, I don’t think it would be good for it,” Suzuki said through a translator. ”But I think it’s fun and I’m happy that it’s come up.”
Servais was happy the concept was being discussed, even if it was nothing more than a joke.
”This is really good because he’s been giving me a hard time so I’m really glad to throw this back in his lap,” he said with a grin.
Suzuki, the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year Michael Crabtree Jersey , found humor in the situation – but promised revenge on Servais.
”It’s the funniest thing he’s said this first half of the year,” Suzuki said. ”I’m definitely going to get him back. I’m going to continue to get him.”
Suzuki has 3,089 big league hits, but only 117 of those were home runs. Despite reaching double-digit homers in just three of his 18 major league seasons, Suzuki often displayed surprising power in batting practice and it was widely believed he could have clubbed a lot more over the fence if he tried.
But the 10-time All-Star maintained his unorthodox, slashing swing throughout his career, leading the league in hits seven times.
”Right now I’m eating two hamburgers at lunch, and now that this Home Run Derby thing came up I’ll have to up it to three cheeseburgers for lunch, get some more power,” he quipped.
If Suzuki did try his hand against some of the game’s top sluggers in the nation’s capital, however, he knows who he’d want pitching to him.
”Mark Buehrle,” he said, after a long Marshall Newhouse Jersey , contemplative pause.
Suzuki was 27 for 66 (.409) against the left-hander, who won 214 games over 16 seasons.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Veteran running backs Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden headed the list of cuts as the New England Patriots got down to the NFL’s 53-player limit.
Gillislee, signed as a restricted free agent before last season, ran for 383 yards and five touchdowns in nine games.
He and Bolden became expendable with the signing of free agent Jeremy Hill, who ran for 1,633 yards and 20 touchdowns with Cincinnati in 2015 and ’16 before an injury last year ended his season after just seven games. He signed with the Patriots as a free agent in March.
Bolden, who has been with the team since 2012, was also released on cutdown day last season but then quickly brought back and played in all 16 games – at running back and on special teams.
Cornerback/kick returner Cyrus Jones, a second-round pick in 2016 who missed all last season, and rookie quarterback Danny Etling were among 26 players released. Four others were placed on injured reserve, including offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn — the team’s first-round pick — and Ulrick John, wide receiver Braxton Berrios and linebacker Christian Sam.
Saturday’s moves cut the roster to 53, but that counts Julian Edelman Michael Thomas Jersey , suspended for the first four games for PED use, thus leaving one spot open.
Also released were DE Eric Lee, recently signed WR K.J. Maye, DT John Atkins, P Corey Bojorquez, OL Luke Bowanko, OL Cole Croston, RB Kenneth Farrow, OL James Ferentz, LB Marquis Flowers, DL Trent Harris, OL Jason King, LB Harvey Langi, WR Riley McCarron Karl Joseph Jersey , DB A.J. Moore, FB Henry Poggi, OL Brian Schwenke, OL Matt Tobin, TE Will Tye, DL Vincent Valentine, RB Ralph Webb and CB Jomal Wiltz.
The Patriots, who open their season at home against the Houston Texans next Sunday, had already traded safety Jordan Matthews to the Atlanta Falcons and released five players before the official cutdown day.
Last year, coach Bill Belichick was busy in the hours following trimming his roster, including trading backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Philip Dorsett.
Among those not cut were Jason McCourty, acquired from Cleveland to join twin brother Devin in New England. Jason McCourty had trouble finding the field as a cornerback but showed versatility by moving to safety for the last two preseason games.
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