Tag:Hanley Ramirez
Posted on: May 2, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: May 2, 2011 12:21 am

3 up, 3 down: Marlins muscle up

By Matt Snyder

3 UP

Florida Marlins' offense. Hanley Ramirez started the fun in the first inning with his first home run of the season, snapping an incredibly long drought for himself. The Marlins weren't done with the long ball, though -- far from it. Before the day was over, they'd connecting on five home runs. Greg Dobbs and John Buck went deep. Mike Stanton hit a mammoth blast to center. Even the light-hitting Emilio Bonifacio knocked one out, and it was his first career home run that wasn't of the inside-the-park variety. Meanwhile, the Marlins won 9-5 and continue to claw at the heels of the mighty Phillies in the NL East. They are certainly one of the most fun teams to watch. Too bad so few do in person. Maybe (hopefully) it changes in the new yard next season.

Bud Norris, Astros. Even if they aren't always consistent, the Brewers have some pretty good hitters, led by superstars Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Norris stymied the whole team for almost eight innings Sunday, working 7 2/3 innings and only allowing three hits. He did walk three, but also struck out 11 without allowing a single run. He's now thrown 13 2/3 shutout innings in his last two starts and has a 1.05 ERA in his last four starts (25 2/3 innings) after a rough first two outings.

Carl Crawford, Red Sox. There are no words that could possibly describe how abysmal the start in Boston has been for Crawford after signing his gargantuan contract. Sunday, we moved to a new month and Crawford knocked in the game-winning run in walk-off fashion against the Mariners. He got to celebrate with his teammates and hear the home crowd cheer him. I love stats, but one thing stats can't measure is the human element. Now that Crawford has had a weight lifted off his chest, the bet is he gets going. When he does, you'll hear that it was simply a regression to the mean from many, but it has to start somewhere. Breaking through with a big hit like this is something that sets a player's mind at ease.

BONUS UP: The Phillies fans -- along with a decent amount of Mets fans -- in attendance Sunday night in Philly. When news of Bin Laden's death spread through the stadium, fans stopped worrying about team allegiances and chanted "USA! USA! USA!" (There's a good video of it here , but I'm not sure it lasts too long before MLB sees it and pulls it). It's a nice reminder that, while we might bicker amongst ourselves, we're still Americans. Pass along some of that camaraderie this week.


Ryan Franklin's fortunes, Cardinals. Franklin took the loss and the Cardinals' late-inning bullpen woes continued. If you look only at the surface of what happened, that's what you'd see. But remember, you can learn a lot by actually watching games. Not only did Ryan Theriot drop a pop-up to let Alex Gonzalez on base -- who scared the game-winning run -- but the Brooks Conrad single to win the game for the Braves was a blooper with eyes. Anyone who blames Franklin for this doesn't know a lick about baseball.

Matt Harrison, Rangers. So much for that hot start. Remember, after Tax Day, Harrison was 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Then he had a decent outing (6 2/3 innings, three earned runs) and took the loss. Since then he's been dreadful, and that may even be an understatement. In his past two starts, including Sunday's debacle against the slap-hitting A's, Harrison has allowed 14 hits, 11 earned runs and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. He couldn't even make it through two innings Sunday. Worse yet for Harrison is the fact that Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Brandon Webb are making progress in recovery from injuries -- not to mention how well Alexi Ogando is throwing the ball. Harrison could very well be pitching himself out of a job. Who woulda thought that a few weeks ago?

Carl Pavano, Twins. He's in such a bad stretch, he can't even properly throw a temper tantrum. After being rocked by the Royals to the tune of 12 hits and six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, Pavano went nuts on something in the corner of the dugout with a bat (watch it on MLB.com by clicking here ). To use one of my favorite lines from Seinfeld, Pavano failed at failing, because he was trying to break the bat: "That's why I kept wailing away, because that [expletive deleted] wouldn't break." (Twins Now via Twitter)

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Posted on: April 25, 2011 11:17 am

Pepper: Mets winning on and off the field


By Evan Brunell

AMAZING CALLS: The Mets have instituted a new program this season where Mets players will phone citzens for various reasons, including sad ones.

Such a call led to the arrival of John Falcone and family to Citi Field, mere months after John's son, also named John, was shot to death after saving a 3-year-old from the assailant in Poughskeepie, N.Y. The Falcones came to Citi Field Saturday to watch the Mets eventually defeat the Diamondbacks after David Wright told the family the club would do their best to win for them.

"More than anything, you just hope that for at least one afternoon, they can get their minds away from the tragedy," Wright said.

The Falcone family spoke to multiple Mets players and were allowed on the field prior to the game. They were given seats three rows behind first base and came away with signed baseballs. Needless to say, John and wife Margaret were "overwhelmed" by what the Mets had done for them.

"You have this deep emotional connection between fans and the team, and if you can bring some joy and momentary happiness, of course you want to do it whenever you can," Mets vice president Dave Howard said.

Credit the Mets -- and David Wright, the son of a police officer -- taking a great idea and helping to make a difference. (New York Post)

BASEBALL TODAY: Will Jason Bay's return catapult his team back into contention? Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about the Mets and the rest of the NL East.

CONSISTENCY: Being in the starting lineup every day and not having to worry about a demotion has worked wonders for new Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin, whose biggest question in his bat is coming around. (North County Times)

HOUSEKEEPING MEANS MASSAGING: To Lenny Dykstra, if you're hired to clean his house, you also need to give him a massage while the former major-league star is buck naked. That's what happened to a potential employee when she interviewed for the housekeeping position. Police are now investigating charges of lewd conduct. (TMZ)

DIETING: Athletics relief pitcher Brad Ziegler could be primed for a big year. The submarining reliever is receiving treatment for childhood asthma, which he believed he no longer suffered from, as well as starting a new diet as his body does not handle milk, eggs or gluten well. Ziegler can already notice a significant difference. (San Francisco Chronicle)

KEEP YOUR PANTS ON: Hanley Ramirez is running out of ways to snap out of the slump that's plagued him in the early going and is turning to superstition to help. He tried wearing high socks, then abandoned them, but no luck. What's next? "Maybe no pants," Ramirez suggested. Something tells me he won't go to that extreme. (Miami Herald)

REHAB TIME: Domonic Brown will begin a rehab assignment later this week in his return from a fractured hamate bone. While Ben Francisco has been equipping himself fine as the starting right fielder, you can bet the Phillies can't wait to see what Brown can do. (Philly.com)

HOLD IT: Can you imagine umpiring a 33-inning game? Take it from someone who's umpired Little League games -- even umpiring those games is no picnic, so imagine how tough Denny Cregg had it as home-plate umpire. But then ratchet it up a notch, as Cregg reveals on the 30-year anniversary of the game, and factor in not going to the bathroom even once during the whole affair. (MLB.com)

INSPIRATIONAL: Or something like it. Take a listen to Tim "Wild Thang" Lepard, who delivered an "inspirational" speech during a minor-league baseball game last season replete with monkeys riding dogs. You read that right. (Youtube)

BASEBALL FAMILY: Bernie Stowe has been part of the Reds' clubhouse for 65 years, and it's grown into a family affair as his two sons pilot the home and visitor's clubhouse. A nice profile on people with deep connections to baseball that you never hear about. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Astros reliever has suspension reduced

Anuery Rodriguez By C. Trent Rosecrans

Astros right-hander Anuery Rodriguez had his three-game suspension reduced to two after an appeal and will begin serving it immediately, sitting out games today and Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle 's Zachary Levine reports .

Rodriguez hit Florida's Gaby Sanchez in the ninth inning of last Sunday's 7-1 Astros victory. He was ejected after Marlins pitcher Edward Mujica hit Bill Hall, who had made a hard slide against Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez earlier in the series.

Astros manager Brad Mills was also ejected during that game and given a one-game suspension, which he served last Tuesday.

The Astros will be short a man in the bullpen with Rodriguez on the shelf, but with the Astros' two best starters going -- Brett Myers today and Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday against the Mets -- and a day off, the timing could hardly be better for the Astros' bullpen.

Rodriguez, a rookie, last pitched on Tuesday and Wednesady against the Cubs and has yet to appear in a game this season with the score within fewer than three runs.
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Posted on: April 15, 2011 1:44 am

3 up, 3 down for 4/14: Here's Johnny

By Matt Snyder


Johnny Damon, Rays. He set a record Thursday night, in case you didn't hear. A quite obscure one, but a record nevertheless. When Damon hit a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, it was the fifth team for which he'd hit a walk-off homer -- the others being the Royals, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he's the first player in major-league history to do so. That speaks to both longevity and bouncing around. For the present, however, the concentration should be on the Rays' third straight victory.

Randy Wolf, Brewers. After starting the season 0-4, the Brewers are now 7-5. Thursday night, they owed a big portion of their victory to the man on the hill. Wolf allowed just three hits and two walks with zero earned runs and didn't allow a Pirates player past second base. He also struck out 10 men. Big outing for Wolf and the Brewers are really rolling now.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins. He entered the game hitting .194 with a dreadful .553 OPS. The star shortstop has been badly outplayed by Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki to this point. Thursday, Ramirez showed signs of life. He got on base five times in five plate appearances, going 3-3 with two walks, a run and an RBI. This could be exactly the thing he needs to get going. With the Marlins being 7-5 now, basically without his bat, watch out.


The Twins. Joe Mauer is going to the DL. Rays starter James Shields allowed 11 baserunners, but the Twins only scored twice. Twins starter Carl Pavano threw an absolute gem (eight innings, four hits, zero runs, seven strikeouts) and it was wasted by the bullpen. And it wasn't just two random members of the 'pen. It was Joe Nathan, who coughed up the lead in the ninth on a two-RBI Matt Joyce double, and Matt Capps -- who lost the game on Damon's aforementioned shot in the 10th.

Mariners offense. They were already starting with a strike against them. Adam Kennedy was hitting cleanup. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Then the Mariners go out and get handcuffed by Bruce Chen. In fairness to Chen, he had a 4.07 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last year, so he's not the worst pitcher in baseball or anything. It's just that he's still Bruce Chen and held Seattle to six hits, a walk and zero runs over eight innings. That shouldn't be happening to a major-league offense. Then again, Adam Kennedy should never be batting cleanup even in a minor-league offense.

Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers. He got off to a stellar start to the season, but it came crashing down Thursday night as the Cardinals let loose against the right-hander. He was only able to get through five innings, allowing 10 hits and five earned runs as the Dodgers lost 9-5.

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 5:31 pm

Mujica ejected without warning for hitting Hall

By Matt Snyder

Marlins reliever Edward Mujica has been ejected for hitting Bill Hall of the Astros with a pitch. Neither team had been warned and it was the first pitch Mujica had thrown in the game.

Mujica entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with the Marlins trailing 6-1 and dotted Hall in the back with a first-pitch fastball. Home plate umpire Jim Joyce immediately ejected Mujica -- who didn't seem to react.

So was the pitch in retaliation for Hall taking out Marlins' star Hanley Ramirez Friday with a hard slide at second base? It's tough to tell.

We have to consider Mujica's reaction, or lack thereof. It was almost as if he was expecting to get tossed. Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, however, argued at length rather vehemently with Joyce. He also didn't have anyone else up in the bullpen ready to come in. Being down by five on getaway day late in the game would be an opportune time to retaliate, but if the manager ordered it he would have been ready to bring someone else in. There's always the possibility Mujica did it on his own -- or simply lost control of his fastball. Then again, he hasn't hit a big-league batter since 2008. From 2009 until Sunday, he'd thrown 167 innings with zero hit batsman.

UPDATE: In the top of the ninth inning, Astros reliever Aneury Rodriguez hit Gaby Sanchez with a pitch and was ejected. It was the sixth pitch of the at-bat and the count was 2-2.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 9:35 pm

Five teams to improve, five to decline in 2011

By Matt Snyder

Finally, spring training is concluding. Now we have a day or two before your favorite team begins play. In the meantime, I'm here to bring you the top five teams to decline and the top five to improve upon their 2010 performances. In return, you accuse me of bias and call me names. It's fun for everyone, really. One thing to keep in mind is that improving or declining by more than 10 games is pretty drastic. On some of these, I'm looking at something like a seven-game swing.


1. Boston Red Sox. Well, let's see ... Last season Kevin Youkilis only played 102 games, Dustin Pedroia saw action in 75 and Jacoby Ellsbury just 18. Josh Beckett was either injured or ineffective all season. Meanwhile the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to a team that won 89 games, despite all those injury woes -- and some underachieving from people like John Lackey. Easiest call on the board here, and even Yankees fans would have to concede this team is loaded.

2. Oakland A's. The pitching staff is stellar, even including the bullpen. The starting rotation is already really good and only getting better. The A's won 81 with one of the worst offenses in baseball last season. A full season of Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki bouncing back and the additions of Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham don't exactly sound like adding Gonzalez and Crawford, but small improvements will do wonders for the pitching staff. Slugger Chris Carter is waiting in the wings, too, and don't be surprised if Billy Beane adds a bat at the deadline.

3. Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki needs to stay healthy and Dexter Fowler needs to get closer to his ceiling. I'm going out on a limb that both happen, along with steps forward from Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart. Watch Jhoulys Chacin's development in the starting rotation, too. He's got big potential.

4. Milwaukee Brewers. This is contingent upon the big names staying healthy and Zack Greinke getting healthy as soon as possible, because this team is paper-thin. But the top line is very impressive. Plus, the division is not very good at all. The Brewers are going to score runs, get good starting pitching (again, assuming the health thing) and have a good back-end of the bullpen. If they can overcome defense and depth deficiencies, they'll win the Central.

5. Florida Marlins. Call it a bit of a gut call, but I really like the Marlins. The rotation really has great potential with Javier Vazquez returning to a pitcher's park in the NL East (he's apparently too intimidated by being a Yankee) and Ricky Nolasco having the ability to be a true No. 2 if he can ever stay consistent. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad have -- again, this word -- potential to be solid at the end, with stud Josh Johnson leading the five-some. I love the outfield potential of Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton, so long as all three can stay healthy. Hanley Ramirez is primed to have a big season, too.


1. San Diego Padres. Removing Gonzalez from the middle of the batting order changes the complexion of everything. And Mat Latos is already hurt, which does nothing to alleviate the concern of the huge workload increase he's experienced over the past two seasons. Most of all, the Padres just seem outmanned by the Giants and Rockies. Winning close to 90 games seems outlandish. Of course, many people said that last year, too.

2. Houston Astros. They overachieved in a big way last season according to run differential (the 'Stros allowed 118 more runs than they scored) and aren't any better. Other than Hunter Pence, the position players are either getting old (Carlos Lee), still unproven (Brett Wallace) or just not that good (Jason Michaels, Bill Hall, Michael Bourn). I'm not a huge fan of the rotation, but it's going to have to carry the team. Good luck with that.

3. Tampa Bay Rays. This is difficult. It's hard to not love the Rays for being so good at sticking with the Yankees and Red Sox in the mighty AL East on that paltry payroll. The loss of Crawford hurts. Carlos Pena wasn't overly productive -- though he was much better than his batting average said -- last season, but his presence helps everyone else see better pitches. That goes away with Dan Johnson at first. The loss of Matt Garza isn't a big deal, so long as Jeremy Hellickson does his thing and James Shields returns to form. The bullpen is worse, though. Look, I'd pick the Rays to win the NL Central if they were in it, but the Yankees aren't any worse and the Red Sox are way better. The Orioles should be better as well. I think the Rays win in the ballpark of 86 games, but that's 10 worse than last year and good for third place.

4. Toronto Blue Jays. They're still building and are moving in the right direction, but winning 85 games again in that division is a very tall order. Any offensive bounce-back from the likes of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind is negated by Jose Bautista's return to this planet.

5. St. Louis Cardinals. If anyone can pull this off, it's Dave Duncan, but losing Adam Wainwright was a death blow. Chris Carpenter is old and injury-prone. Jaime Garcia is due a massive regression. Kyle Lohse was awful last year and Jake Westbrook doesn't have good stuff. Kyle McClellan could very well prove a solid No. 5 starter, but he hasn't exceeded 75 2/3 innings the past three seasons in the bullpen. Can he really double that and remain effective? The outfield defense won't do the staff any favors, either. The Pujols/Holliday/Rasmus combo -- and even Lance Berkman in a best-case scenario -- is very solid, but there's only going to be so much they can do on some nights. I feel like mid-to-high 70s in wins, but Duncan and Tony La Russa find ways to make people wrong often.

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:58 pm

Strong words from Sanchez on Marlins' performance

By Matt Snyder

Sure, it's only spring training, but the Marlins were dismantled by the Mets Friday, 10-0. In the process, the Fish committed five errors, including two from superstar shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Starting first baseman Gaby Sanchez was none too happy afterward, and he wasn't shy about letting his feelings known, saying he was "embarrassed" by the "awful" and "terrible" play. He reportedly used those words multiple times. (SunSentinel.com )

The 27-year-old Sanchez was a rookie last season, but it's not like the Marlins are teeming with tons of experience from their everyday position players. It's possible he's ready to step into that role, after hitting .273 with a .788 OPS, 19 home runs and 85 RBI -- good enough to finish fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez had praised the team defense as a strength prior to the game. Afterward, he was left saying it was the team's worst game of the spring, "by far."

In fairness to the sometimes-maligned Ramirez, the Palm Beach Post reported after the game that he made no excuse for the errors, and expressed that he felt bad for making his coaches look bad.

It's one game, and a spring game at that, but it must also be nice for Marlins fans and players alike to see someone ready to step up and take a vocal leadership role in the locker room.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 11:46 am

Pepper: Can Hanley take on leadership role?


MIAMI NEEDS A HERO WITH A FACE: The new-look Marlins are preparing for their final season known as the Florida Marlins. Their team colors and logo are expected to change upon relocation to the new stadium as well as becoming known as the Miami Marlins. The face of the Marlins in this move is Hanley Ramirez, one of the best shortstops in the game (if not the best).

But now that Dan Uggla, Cody Ross and Jorge Cantu are no longer part of the game, Ramirez will be asked to step up and provide leadership in the clubhouse which is littered with young players. Ramirez is no old fogey himself at age 27, but amid questions about his maturity in the past, can HanRam step up to the plate?

"I'm very confident that he's going to be capable of doing that," manager Edwin Rodriguez stated. "We all know what he can do on the field. I think that he's maturing. Let's put it this way: As a player, he's only 27, and we've been very patient with him. He's ready to take this team to the next level."

Ramirez, for his part, is saying all the right things. He has said he has no problems with ex-manager Fredi Gonzalez who benched him in a well-publicized spat for lack of hustle. He believes that Mike Stanton, expected to hit cleanup behind Ramirez, needs to show everyone what he's capable of. And most of all, Ramirez wants to play in the postseason, something he has yet to experience.

"I like the challenge that I've got to take the team to the playoffs," Ramirez noted. "That's my challenge this year. That's my goal. I'm going to put them on my back and go all the way until the end, hard every day."

These platitudes are all well and good, and while the hope certainly is that Ramirez takes the next step forward, actions speak louder than words. Let's see what happens before anointing Ramirez a leader. (MLB.com)

FEED ME POPCORN ANYTIME: By now, everyone has seen and heard of Alex Rodriguez being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz on live TV at the Super Bowl. A-Rod was reportedly furious, demanding he not be shown for the remainder of the game, but on Tuesday, made some jokes about it. "No popcorn endorsements yet, but our lines are open. Who would be upset about getting fed popcorn?" (page/TB">Rays)">Tampa Tribune)

DUDE, WHERE'S MY TRUCK?: Everett Teaford has a shot to win a job with the Royals as a 26-year-old. He languished in the minors before developing a cut-fastball that suddenly vaulted him into legitimate-prospect status. Except now he'll have to try to win a job without a truck after it was stolen Sunday night while Teaford was at dinner. 

More importantly is how pitching coach Bob McClure views Teaford. "Teaford looks like Jamie Moyer did when Moyer threw a little harder, and Teaf might throw harder than Moyer ever threw."

Sounds like quite a ringing endorsement. (Kansas City Star)

AGE IS NOT LIKE A FINE WINE, AT LEAST IN BASEBALL: Joe Posnanski comes your way with sprawling thoughts on how aging athletes always believe they can turn back the clock. All it takes is a tweak here and there and don't worry, they'll be right as rain.

Except they're often not. Citing Derek Jeter as a prime example with his work on changing his swing, Poz believes at some point, age is the determining factor in a player's decline. And history supports him. (SI.com)

JETER LAUGHS OFF STEINBRENNER COMMENTS: "I'm not upset," Derek Jeter says of Hank Steinbrenner's thinly veiled shot at Jeter amid comments the Yankees were not "hungry" enough in 2010. "It doesn't bother me," he adds, laughing it off. Probably the right move, but still dumb on Steinbrenner's part. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

WHO NEEDS PERFECT EYESIGHT?: Corey Hart had a season to remember in 2010, cranking 31 home runs in 614 plate appearances and earning a three-year contract extension. But he started the year on the verge of being released, became a bench player, fought his way into part-time play then finally, back to becoming a full-time starter with a $26.5 million contract in tow. 

The right-fielder did all this despite being slightly near-sighted which some felt may have been responsible for his poor 2009 season. In spring training last year, Hart tried several solutions to alleviate the problem but had a brutal spring -- which could have led to his release -- and ditched his contacts before the start of the year. He may not have Ted Williams' 20/10 eyesight, but he's doing just fine. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ROLLER-COASTER RIDE: Charlie Zink has bounced around the last several years after finally achieving his dream of pitching in the major leagues. Back in 2008, Zink made his Red Sox debut at age 28. The knuckleballer pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief in a 19-17 beatdown over the Rangers (that game was positively exhausting to attend in person) but gave up eight runs in the process.

 Since then, Zink has battled injuries while traversing between the Cardinals and Twins for 2010 -- but had surgery to remove a bone chip in May. This bone chip had been lingering since 2008, causing Zink to drop his arm slot and flattening his knuckeball out. Expected to return in August, Zink headed to Universal Studios while on rehab in Florida with his wife and promptly injured himself on one of the rides, feeling it on the new Harry Potter ride. So Zink can say he was injured while riding a roller-coaster. Nice.

Zink has signed a deal to pitch for Butch Hobson's Lancaster Barnstormers, an independent-ball league. Zink says his knuckleball is as good as it was in 2008 and is hoping to get back into MLB's system. (MLBlogs.com)

JUST AN ORDINARY MAN: Ichiro Suzuki conducted a wide-ranging interview in Japan, talking mostly baseball but touching on other aspects such as love. (When you propose, do it in midday as that is when most people are rational. Nighttime gives way to romantic darkness and "other persuasions.")

Ichiro was surprisingly honest, saying that he was hoping and praying to be walked in the 10th inning of the 2009 World Baseball Classic championship game. He had never had such thinking before in his life, but he got over it as soon as the catcher readied for the pitch. As is legend in Japan, Ichiro stroked a two-run single that would prove to be the game-winning hit.

"Despite the levels of success he's attained," interviewer Shigesato Itoi explained, "he has retained the sensibilities of ordinary people far more, actually, than I would have imagined. Through this experience with him, I came to appreciate how he's actually made an effort not to embrace the ordinariness that we all have. When you achieve success like he has, that's something you only retain if you make a conscious effort to retain it." (Seattle Times)

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com