Ichiro feels “new sense of determination” with Yankees
“Signing with the Yankees has given me a new sense of determination,” Ichiro told The Associated Press. “This is a unique team. A team that can have a player like Alex Rodriguez as a pinch hitter is special, and to be part of that is exciting.”
That probably sounds good to the Yankees, who are rolling the dice that Ichiro will be able to continue what he started after being acquired from the Mariners. Ichiro proved to be a good fit in the lineup and in the clubhouse following the July 22 trade, batting .322 (with a .340 on-base percentage), five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals in 67 games. He was rewarded with a two-year, $13 million deal.
Ichiro confirmed that he will not participate in the World Baseball Classic after playing for Japan in the 2006 and 2009 tournaments. He declined to explain his reasons, and also apparently bristled when a reporter pointed out that he will turn 40 in October.
“It’s annoying to be asked about age,” Ichiro said, according to the AP.