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Cheers all around for Ichiro's new deal

By DAVID ANDRIESEN
P-I REPORTER

All the Mariners were happy about Ichiro Suzuki signing a five-year contract extension, but few had better reason to cheer than Jose Vidro.

Ichiro's presence in the leadoff spot gives Vidro, the usual No. 2 hitter, a lot of chances to hit in an advantageous situation with a runner on base.

"It's nice to hit behind him," Vidro said. "He creates some good situations for the guys behind him."

"He has the talent to get on base pretty much any time he wants," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "He can create runs any kind of way -- ground ball, fly ball, with his legs. It's great to have that presence. When he's on base, the pitcher pitches different."

Catcher Kenji Johjima keeps not only his most valuable teammate but also his countryman and locker neighbor.

"It's always great to have a player like him around, and it's great to communicate in Japanese in the dugout," Johjima said. "That helps me out a lot. One of the reasons why I chose to become a Mariner is because of Ichiro being here."

Manager John McLaren has had a good relationship with Ichiro, dating from Ichiro's first two years in Seattle when McLaren was bench coach under Lou Piniella. He said that despite whatever stress Ichiro might have been feeling about the future, it never showed in the clubhouse.

"You wouldn't know whether he was in a contract year or not," McLaren said. "He was happy, he was having fun, he was playing hard, and he prepares like nobody else in baseball. He's the same guy every day, and that's a tribute to him."

Before Friday's game, a video tribute to Ichiro was shown at Safeco Field, concluding with the words: "He will call Seattle home through 2012." The crowd gave a rousing ovation and Ichiro came out of the dugout, doffed his cap and bowed deeply toward the fans.

"It's great to get that done, great for the fans, great for the organization and great for the ballclub," Vidro said. "It's great to have him be able to just concentrate on baseball. Now that he knows he's going to be here for another five years, it's great for everybody."
Source: SeattlePI



It sounds like Ichiro's teammates are happy about his extension too .. not that any of them would say anything bad about the M's star to the press, lol. There will always be those who see Ichiro's new deal as bad or unreasonable. Who cares? If you need numbers to prove that Ichiro is worth the money in terms of his market value, check out this post by the good old U.S.S. Mariner. I don't quite get the complicated math, but hey I like the conclusion. -:)
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| | 2007/07/13 23:41 | | ≫ EDIT

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