Truth & Rumors > MLB

Why Ichiro was 'desperate' in 2011


08:22 AM ET 01.04 | Ichiro has an admission to make. The Seattle Mariners outfielder told local media he was struggling to find reasons for a drop in form which triggered some serious soul-searching for the 38-year-old. "I felt desperate last season," Suzuki told the Nikkan Sports newspaper. "That doesn't happen to me very often. Mental stress is a lot worse than physical stress." Suzuki has taken Major League Baseball by storm since leaving Japan in 2001, laying claim to being the country's greatest athlete in any sport. ... Critics say age has begun to slow Suzuki, who has been linked to the general manager's job at his former Japanese club Orix in the local media.


Ichiro, Getty Images Ichiro, Getty Images
January 4, 2012  08:42 AM ET

Last year was a pretty bad season by his standards. It was the first time in his career that he had less than 200 hits and batted under .300.

January 4, 2012  09:13 AM ET

Also first year with no gold glove. Age is definitely catching up...

January 4, 2012  09:32 AM ET

Yep, that happens to all MLBers who werent using PEDs and Ichiro is one guy I definitely dont think ever cheated. Age always wins unless you cheated.

January 4, 2012  09:41 AM ET

What he has doen in 11 years is amazing. Maybe 2012 will be better for him.

January 4, 2012  09:45 AM ET

Just glad I got to follow one of the greatest hitters in MLB history. Wish he was only 23 when he came to the pros.

January 4, 2012  10:10 AM ET

He is a system hitter.

January 4, 2012  10:17 AM ET

He's been the lone bright star for the Ms for a long time. I've felt bad for him that he couldn't play on a decent team, but he's been a real class act the whole time. I hope he plays for a few more years, just so that he has a chance to play meaningful ball in the fall. It's been the biggest shame that he and Griffey never got to the WS.

January 4, 2012  10:20 AM ET

When you get older you do lose a little foot speed and hand speed. Your vision weakens a little too so the time to react as a hitter is getting squeezed. The changes physically at that age may not seem hardly even noticeable but we're talking about the best skill level here and when you slip a tiny amount, say a few less hits a week it add ups over the long haul of the MLB season. Ichiro moves around a lot while in the process of swinging and an older player has to become more efficient at the plate by reducing the extra movements, lowering the hands, and eliminating hitches in their swings. That said I think also a lot of times guys resist making changes that take them away from what they've always known to work. It's an internal struggle convincing yourself to make those changes.

January 4, 2012  10:21 AM ET

He is a system hitter.


January 4, 2012  10:37 AM ET

He is a system hitter.

That makes no sense whatsoever.

January 4, 2012  10:44 AM ET

Hey, we all slow down......

January 4, 2012  11:23 AM ET

Having to play for the M's every year will do that to you.

January 4, 2012  11:41 AM ET

A down year for Ichiro would still be considered a pretty good year for a lot of the guys who wear major league clothing.

January 4, 2012  12:14 PM ET

ichiro has nothing else to prove in the majors, the player its outstanding not matter what happen in 2012 season ichiro has done great job in his whole career!!

January 4, 2012  12:31 PM ET

He is a system hitter.

No doubt. His system is to hit the ball thats thrown at him

January 4, 2012  12:43 PM ET

Ichiro has a last name?

January 4, 2012  12:53 PM ET

Yep, that happens to all MLBers who werent using PEDs and Ichiro is one guy I definitely dont think ever cheated. Age always wins unless you cheated.

he's a great player no doubt about it. but he's not immune to the possible PED's use. honestly, I would've put Braun in the same category as a player I thought was clean......NOT!

I believe Ichiro would've broken rose's record had he came to the majors back in 1992. 8 or 9 seasons with 100+ extra ab's per year......yeah that record would've been his

January 4, 2012  01:02 PM ET

He is a system hitter.

My guess is a reference to the accusations of Aaron Rodgers being a "system QB"

January 4, 2012  01:38 PM ET

His bat speed may have slowed down some but he still had enough foot speed to steal 40 bases.

January 4, 2012  01:54 PM ET

He is a system hitter.

i believe he may have meant "systematic" hitter, meaning someone whos main goal is to control his swing, sacrificing power for contact.

a "singles" hitters if you will, as opposed to a power hitter.

also possibly a nice way of saying "an efficient" player as opposed to an "impact" player.


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