Last season, Ichiro Suzuki – badly overused by the Meerkat at his then tender age of 42 because the Iron Giant was down with the hamate handcraps and Scrooge McLoria wasn’t about to shell out shekels for a higher priced outfielder the way a team in serious contention would have – put up some of the worst offensive numbers in MLB. He came puffing into the orfseason lugging one of those portable oxygen supplies on his back, sporting an abjectly unmythopoetic .229/.282/.279/.561, a slash line for which Sanjuro would’ve hung up his katana and retired to raise carp.
However, this season Ichiro the man the myth the legend the Weezard has broken out of the gate to the tune of .417 (!)/ .478 (!)/ .467(!) / .94(!). Yes, and while the ! makes for a nice change of pace from the usual (*), what’s even more amazing is the soft pink flush that has replaced last season’s dun gray pallor. You might almost think that Ichiro had a couple of monkey gonads implanted over the orfseason,
which so far as I can tell isn’t prohibited by MLB’s otherwise stringent anti-healing program, which bans not only androstenidione but Mecuro-chrome, Phisoderm, Five Hour Energy and hydrogen peroxide (soap and water are still permitted, but who know what the next CBA will bring). Cutting edge broad spectrum antibiotics, quinine water and heart-lung machines have been rumored to be on the block. It may well be that Tony Clark, whose astuteness curve sometimes runs negatively through fractal space, will propose the boolpen golf cart as a compromise, to assure that injured players can’t be transported to hospitals quickly enough unfairly to accelerate their rates of recovery.
In any case the Weezard’s four hit Picasso performance last night (and remember, as Jonathan Richman reminds us, nobody ever called Picasso an asshole – not in Macondo!) gives him 25 hits already this season towards his current total of 2960 American hits, a mere – got all of your fingers and toes out, Shiva? – forty hits shy of the magic number of 3000 hits. I repeat: American hits. In Japan over his first nine seasons, before his “rookie” debut for the Crew of the Minnow in 2001, Ichiro already had 1,278 hits, a .353 career batting average, and seven Golden Gloves. In utter words, the Weezard already has a total of 4238 hits (my Texas Instruments calculator wouldn’t lie to me, even though it was probably assembled by Republicans).
Ichiro is now 40 hits shy of the golden pinnacle in American hegemonist-exceptionalist terms. At this point he can smell it. We know the undead can smell your brain.
“I Know you’re up there darling. I can smell your brayyyyin!”
So much for that. The quotidian human olfactory system is attuned to detect gas leaks, recently roadkilled skunks, badly decomposing neighbors, and Bernie Sanders’ “pull my finger to hear everything I understand about international trade” joke, but laboratory tests by Prof. Peter Venkman at the J B Rhine Institute at Duke University
have proven the olfactory system of legendary ballplayers is so highly developed that they can smell statistics. Think about that. Next time you write the month, day and year in the upper right hand corner of the postdated check you hope won’t get to the electric company before your paycheck clears, consider that those numbers ackcherley smell like something, and guys like Ichiro know what that is. When the Feesh play the away games of the Citrus Canker Series, as well as any other interleague contests against some of those debased designatedhitterball league teams, no doubt JarJar Baseball will throw Ichiro the dummybone and let him be designated hitter to get three or four more shots at it.
Go, Weezard (!)