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Ichiro Q & A about Daisuke Matsuzaka

Ichiro steps up to the plate
February 25, 2007

A few questions for Ichiro Suzuki (through interpreter Ken Barron):

Do you like Boston, and would you consider coming as a free agent? IS: (Laughter.) "I said all I'm going to say about free agency in my first press conference for the rest of this year."

You had lunch with Daisuke Matsuzaka before spring training; can you comment on what type of advice you might have given him?

IS: "That conversation was confidential and probably nothing that you all would be interested in. Dice-K and I have gone out to get something to eat many times during our private time even back when we both played in Japan. How often? It's not like we're dating and I'm keeping a journal. We hadn't seen each other for a while and we're both going to be in the United States. I just thought it was a good idea for us to go out and get something to eat."

Did it take place in Japan or in the United States? IS: (Laughter.) "There's no way we could have done it in America. When you think about when I got here [to Mariners camp] and when he got here, it wouldn't have been feasible for it to have been here."

What's the biggest challenge Dice-K faces? IS: "I love freshly cooked rice. For me, finding that was the biggest challenge. I'm not sure what it will be for him."

How about communicating with his pitching coach and manager? IS: "If Matsuzaka was a pitching coach going to the Boston Red Sox, it might be tough because he'd be the one who would have to deliver the message to the player. Being the player and receiving the message isn't as hard."

How about the challenge of facing great hitters every game as opposed to Japan, where he'd face a few good hitters? IS: "That's what he wants. He looks forward to that."

Have you thought about the first at-bat against Matsuzaka during the first week of the season and what that will mean to Japanese fans? IS: "It's something to look forward to and something the both of us want to give to the Japanese fans. But we both can't think about that right now. We need to prepare to be at that place so that we can put on a good show for them."



Source: Boston.com
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