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|Now that he’s no longer an active player http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-russell-bodine-jersey , maybe Ichiro Suzuki wants to start swinging for the fences.How about at next month’s Home Run Derby during All-Star festivities in Washington?
What began as light-hearted banter among Seattle Mariners coaches grew into something that caused a stir in the clubhouse before Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees.
”He’s got power and he’s been launching balls into the seats,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”A couple of coaches said the other day, `You know, no one wants to do this Home Run Derby. Why don’t we just send Ichiro? He’d be awesome.”’
The idea gained momentum when Servais mentioned it on a radio show Wednesday, and suddenly a new Twitter hashtag was born – (hash)IchiForDC.
Not officially retired but unlikely to appear in another major league game, the Japanese-born Suzuki shifted to a new role with Seattle as special assistant to the chairman in early May after batting .205 in 15 games this season. The 44-year-old travels with the team and is in uniform for games, helping out with batting practice and other drills while keeping a locker in the clubhouse.
Even though he’s still in game shape, Suzuki didn’t seem to be entertaining the idea of throwing his hat in the ring for the annual power contest.
”I’m not a player (anymore) and just the long, great history that MLB has, I don’t think it would be good for it,” Suzuki said through a translator. ”But I think it’s fun and I’m happy that it’s come up.”
Servais was happy the concept was being discussed Courtland Sutton Color Rush Jersey , even if it was nothing more than a joke.
”This is really good because he’s been giving me a hard time so I’m really glad to throw this back in his lap,” he said with a grin.
Suzuki, the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, found humor in the situation – but promised revenge on Servais.
”It’s the funniest thing he’s said this first half of the year,” Suzuki said. ”I’m definitely going to get him back. I’m going to continue to get him.”
Suzuki has 3,089 big league hits, but only 117 of those were home runs. Despite reaching double-digit homers in just three of his 18 major league seasons, Suzuki often displayed surprising power in batting practice and it was widely believed he could have clubbed a lot more over the fence if he tried.
But the 10-time All-Star maintained his unorthodox, slashing swing throughout his career, leading the league in hits seven times.
”Right now I’m eating two hamburgers at lunch, and now that this Home Run Derby thing came up I’ll have to up it to three cheeseburgers for lunch Cody Latimer Color Rush Jersey , get some more power,” he quipped.
If Suzuki did try his hand against some of the game’s top sluggers in the nation’s capital, however, he knows who he’d want pitching to him.
”Mark Buehrle,” he said, after a long, contemplative pause.
Suzuki was 27 for 66 (.409) against the left-hander, who won 214 games over 16 seasons.
The Miami Heat went to Philadelphia to open their first-round series of the NBA playoffs, and coach Erik Spoelstra’s team did what they always do.
Get a win after losing Game 1.
Miami ran its record to 7-0 in Game 2 contests after being down 1-0 in a series under Spoelstra by beating the 76ers 113-103 on Monday to even the series at 1-1, shifting home-court advantage to the No. 6-seeded Heat.
With the Heat returning to South Beach for Game 3 on Thursday in much better spirits than after Saturday’s Game 1 drubbing, much of the credit for Miami’s surge falls squarely on Dwyane Wade http://www.titansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-luke-falk-jersey , who was discarded by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their run-up to the playoffs and gridded as the second-worst jump shooter in the NBA this season.
Wade outscored Philadelphia 21-20 in the final 15 minutes of the first half. Then, after a 21-7 run by the Sixers cut Miami’s lead to a perilous two points, Spoelstra put Wade back on the court in the final minutes, and the Chicago native stepped through a portal and went back in time.
Wade stealthily swooped in on Dario Saric and hacked the ball away for a steal, then scored on a breakaway dunk. Wade then passed to a slashing James Johnson for a dunk on the next possession. Then came an offensive rebound that led to a jumper by Goran Dragic and, finally, Wade’s own long shot — a 23-foot dagger over Philly’s star rookie Ben Simmons — that iced the game.
Not too shabby for a 36-year-old near the end of his Hall of Fame career.
Wade’s numbers completely belied his age. In 26 minutes off the bench, Wade totaled 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. He also posted a game-best plus-16 rating.
“I don’t care what his numbers were anywhere else or all year long or at different times. He’s (made) for these moments,” said Spoelstra http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chukwuma-okorafor-jersey , whose team won a road game in their 19th straight series, dating
Philadelphia was riding a 27-point blowout win in Game 1 and a 17-game winning streak, including 11 straight at home.
However, Wade proved to be too much for the Sixers to overcome. And coach Brett Brown knows his team, which has played both games without injured All-Star center Joel Embiid, must prepare for the energy and production Wade provides off the Heat bench.
“There was a rhythm and a calmness to his game like he didn’t feel too much. And there was a real confidence the way he played to make those shots. That is classic Dwyane Wade,” Brown said to the media after the loss.
“Dwyane’s steal changed the game. If you were to pick one defining moment, one defining play, I think it was that.”
Embiid, who is out with an orbital fracture, was frustrated by being kept out of the Sixers’ lineup again http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sylvester-williams-jersey , and a serious question remains if he will be able to play in Game 3.
He posted an Instagram story Monday saying he was “sick and tired of being babied,” and the Heat’s aggressive style and defense intensified without Embiid in the lineup.
“There’s a way you have to play in the NBA playoffs from a toughness standpoint and a physicality standpoint, and that was shown tonight,” Brown said of the Heat’s effort in Game 2.
“To me, (this game was) the reality of NBA basketball, and it only gets harder. This game equals the NBA playoffs.”