Ichiro: Yes, I’m excited to be in Cleveland
The Yankees’ arrival in Cleveland called to mind one of Ichiro’s most hilarious quotes, when he told the Seattle Times this in a notebook published back on June 11, 2007:
“To tell the truth, I’m not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to,” Ichiro said through an interpreter. “If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.”
As I chatted with Ichiro for yesterday’s off-day story, I couldn’t resist asking him about the circumstances of that quote. Ichiro flashed a grin and said he absolutely remembered saying that, but wanted to clarify he wasn’t speaking ill of the city of Cleveland.
“There was a misunderstanding,” he said. “I think it was five years ago, there was a lot of snow and I think all three [actually four] games got cancelled. So throughout the year, we had to make up the games by going to Cleveland one off-day at a time. It wasn’t because of Cleveland.”
Presented in that light, it makes a little more sense why Ichiro would be threatening to punch himself in the face. By the way, there has been quite a bit of change since the last time the Yankees were at Progressive Field – it looks like a bunch of new restaurants and businesses have popped up in the area, and Cleveland boasts a casino now, too.
The quote is still funny, though.