In the Secret Gym of Ichiro Suzuki

In the middle of sleepless nights, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki sometimes wanders out of the hotel room he lives in during the winter in Japan and seeks solace in an area off limits to other guests.

He jiggles his personal key into the door knob of a storage closet in the back of the parking garage and steps right into his own dream world. Seven specially designed training machines he has delivered here each winter have transformed the drab space typically reserved for the hotel’s spare furniture into his personal gym.

In this most unlikely of settings, Ichiro does his most important training. He also credits his toil here for never having spent a day on the disabled list for a muscle-related injury in 12 seasons since coming to America. That’s allowed him to rack up 1,278 hits in Japan and another 2,606 in the major leagues—putting him just 116 shy of 4,000 for his career.

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Ichiro Suzuki to be a Yankee

In their recent search for help in the outfield, the Yankees explored several modest options that might have created a small ripple inside the world of baseball. Instead, they made a move that surprised two continents and helped reinvigorate their pursuit of a 28th World Series title.

With a little more than two months remaining in the season, the Yankees acquired Ichiro Suzuki, who became the first Japan-born position player in the majors when he joined the Mariners in 2001, when he was named the rookie of the year and the Most Valuable Player.

Before Monday’s game between the two teams at Safeco Field, the Yankees sent minor league pitchers D. J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners for Suzuki , whose five-year, $90 million contract expires after this season. The Yankees will also receive cash considerations to offset the financial commitment.

Read the rest of the story: Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki From Mariners.

Oakland As, Seattle Mariners to open 2012 season in Japan

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open next season in Japan with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29.Seattle and Oakland had been scheduled to play there in March 2003, but the series was scrapped because of the threat of war in Iraq. The As will be the home team in both games, the commissioners office said Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story: Oakland As, Seattle Mariners to open 2012 season in Japan.

Ichiro ties Pete Rose’s record for most 200-hit seasons

Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki extended his major league record for consecutive 200-hit seasons to 10 after going 2-for-5 against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

Ichiro, who came into the game with 198 hits, also tied Pete Rose for the most career 200-hit seasons after hitting a double down the left field line in the third inning and singling up the middle in the fifth.

The 10-time All-Star began the streak in his rookie year in the major leagues in 2001. He said he is comfortable with the change in the way he has been treated by the media and people surrounding him in the process.

via Ichiro ties Rose’s record for most 200-hit seasons.