Ichiro Suzuki

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Ichiro Is One Of A Kind

A-Rod is someone you shouldn't give your number to.

May 10, 2018 - 11:50 am

Rookie of the Year. MVP. 10 time All-Star. 10 time Gold Glove winner. 3 time Silver Slugger. 2 time batting champ. 3,089 hits. A career .311 average. The most famous Japanese born baseball player of all-time. 

And all of that doesn’t even come close to this. Ichiro Suzuki will be remembered for a lot of things—but none more than these six words he dropped in the Marlins clubhouse back in 2017: “Who the bleep is Tom Brady?” 

That’s the question Ichiro asked out loud to Don Mattingly—after reading a text message from a number he didn’t recognize. The text was from someone that wanted to come to study Ichiro’s legendary stretching system. One of the coaches in the clubhouse asked who sent it. Ichiro scrolled down and said, “Some guy named Tom Brady. Who the bleep is Tom Brady?”

There is so much to unpack here. The most obvious being Ichiro not knowing who Tom Brady is. Which seems as likely as Nick Saban not knowing 2016 was an election year. But then you consider who Ichiro is and remember that baseball is his heroin and that he does absolutely nothing excect play baseball. Dude probably doesn’t know who LeBron is. He’s probably never heard of Eldrick. And wouldn’t know Roger Federer if he smashed him in the face with a racket. Don’t take it personally, Tommy. You’re just not a baseball. Or a glove. Or a bat. So Ichiro doesn’t have time for you. 

The other part of this story that’s worth discussing is that Brady is so damn thirsty to extend his career that he’s reaching out, personally, for stretching advice. Seems to me that someone else could have connected these two. And saved Tom the embarrassment of the world finding out yesterday that Ichiro doesn’t know who the bleep he is. But this guy wants pliability so bad that’s he’s running down a right fielder he doesn’t know to get some advice. This dude is searching! Hard. I wonder how many times Tom thumbed that text out and deleted it and re-wrote it and deleted it again—before he finally pressed send and then threw the blower all nervous to the other side of the couch and waited for a response that never came.

But here’s the part no one’s talking about. Tom had to get Ichiro’s number from someone. Because if Ichiro doesn’t know who the bleep he is—it stands to reason that Tom didn’t get the number from Ichiro himself. So who gave out the digits to TB12? Well, accord to Tom in the text to Ichiro, he said he got the number from—Alex Rodriguez. Of course, he did. A-Rod totally would be out there giving out Ichiro’s personal cell number. Freaking guy. The common courtesy here would have been for A-Rod to tell Tommy that he’d reach out to Ichiro for him and connect them that way. Nope. Alex just gives up the number and doesn’t even tell Ichiro to expect a text from the greatest quarterback of all time who’s looking to loosen up his hamstrings. Well played, A-Bag. Your faux pas spawned one the greatest stories ever—well, at least for Ichiro. He’s the only one coming out of this thing looking awesome. 

But it really is incredible. Tom Brady hitting up Alex Rodriguez for Ichiro does number for stretching advice and Ichiro not know who the bleep he is. Incredible. And if I’m Cooperstown—all this guy’s plaque needs to say come induction time is: “Ichiro Suzuki” and under that: “Doesn’t know who the bleep Tom Brady is.” And then put that plaque on the door so it's first thing every visitor sees.

Ichiro is one of a kind. And A-Rod is someone you shouldn't give your number to. Unless you want him giving it out and not giving you a heads up.