15
Jul
08

Ichiro is the Key to the AL’s Success


The secret for the American League’s success in the All Star Game has finally been revealed, it’s Ichiro. Or rather it’s his f-bomb laced tirades against the National League in the locker room before the game that inspires his fellow AL’ers to go out and destroy the NL.

“It’s why we win,” David Ortiz admitted.

“If you’ve never seen it, it’s definitely something pretty funny,” Justin Morneau said. “It’s hard to explain, the effect it has on everyone. It’s such a tense environment. Everyone’s a little nervous for the game, and then he comes out. He doesn’t say a whole lot the whole time he’s in there, and all of a sudden, the manager gets done with his speech, and he pops off.”

Ichiro in interviews often prefers to speak through an interpreter, but according to the players, he is highly proficient in English. “That’s kind of what gets you, too,” Morneau added, “Hearing him say what he says. At first, I talked to him a little bit. But I didn’t know he knew some of the words he knows.”

For players like Miguel Tejada who are now relegated to the NL team, the hope is that it is less an Ichiro inspired performance and more of a Japanese cultural one, “I hope Fukudome does it this year,” Tejada said.

When asked Fukudome tersely responded, “I have no plans for that.”

The speech’s value is not lost on Ichiro, “I know how important it is to the game,” Ichiro said. “I’m more concentrated at that moment than I am in the game.” When he was asked exactly how much his speech contributed to the AL’s continued dominance, Ichiro modestly replied, “I’ve got to say over 90 percent.”

“If I don’t say it this year, I want to see if we win or not,” Ichiro said. “Personally, I want to see what happens. But I think Ortiz is going to make something happen.”

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