Lost in Translation: Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki is on a sizzling hitting tear at the moment.

He appears to be re-energized and refocused, and is now bringing the Yankees closer and closer to clinching a playoff berth.

Yet, while reading through all the “Ichiro reincarnated” articles inundating the sports writing world, I kept noticing one consistent factor that bugged me: all of Ichiro’s quotes were spoken through a translator.


Ichiro has been in the league for over ten years now. He is a beloved baseball icon in both America and Japan, and a surefire future Hall of Famer. Yet he still relies on other people to communicate for him in English? Don’t get me wrong, the man can do what he wants. I just figured an all-star baseball player with such brand and name recognition would have decided to break open Rosetta Stone ages ago. People may joke Ichiro might have been too busy averaging a tremendous .322 career batting average or 2,500 + hits to take the time to learn English, but I’m honestly just very surprised he still relies primarily on professional translators.

Yu Darvish is in his rookie year and he has already picked up basic English and should continue to improve. Same goes with many foreign players who have recently entered the professional baseball world.

At the end of the day, I’m just surprised Ichiro still seems to possess zero ability to speak English after over ten seasons constantly surrounded by every possible version of the language.


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