07/10/2002 12:45 AM ET
AL West Notebook: Ichiro hears it
2001 AL MVP gets a surprise at Miller Park
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- I don't think we're in Seattle anymore, Ichiro.
In his MVP rookie campaign in 2001, Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki got to play in front of his home fans in Seattle for the All-Star Game. The crowd in Milwaukee -- well, at least one member of the crowd -- wasn't quite as friendly as Mariners fans were to him last year.
Ichiro conducts his interviews in Japanese and has them translated, but he definitely understands some English. Without needing a translator, Ichiro now has a better understanding of what it's like to be a visiting player in an All-Star Game.
"Last year, we were playing in Seattle, so I had a little bit of the welcome, the cheering," Ichiro said. "And then here, I was playing right field and then I heard that someone said, 'You're no good.' "
In English? "Of course," Ichiro replied through his interpreter.
It turns out Ichiro speaks a little bit of English, as well.
With reporters standing around his locker before the game, Ichiro showed off some English of his own, granting MLB Radio's Seth Everett's request for him to give fans around the world a message in English.
"I just want to say one thing to all the baseball fans of the world: You are the best. Thank you," Ichiro said in very solid English.
Both Ichiro and his teammate and fellow countryman Kaz Sasaki didn't have quite the same warm and fuzzy experience they had last year at home in Seattle. While Ichiro was hitless in his two at-bats, Sasaki had a rough go of it in the sixth inning, allowing two earned runs on three hits.
Starter Freddy Garcia, meanwhile, entered the game in the 10th inning and worked out of a jam and then threw the final pitch of the tie game in the 11th.
Ichiro did have a great angle on the game's biggest highlight -- Twins center fielder Torii Hunter's leaping grab over the fence to rob Barry Bonds of a home run in the first inning.
"I thought that was already gone over the fence, and then I thought, 'Oh, I'll just go back to my position,' " Ichiro said. "And I heard that sound of a catch of a ball and, oh, I was surprised about that."
Derby downer for A-Rod
Ichiro went 0-for-2 Tuesday in Milwaukee. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP)
Alex Rodriguez might lead the American League in homers, but he's still striking out on the Home Run Derby.
A-Rod was able to laugh about it Tuesday, one day after putting only two over the fence in the first round, bringing a quick end to his 2002 bid. This time, Rodriguez came in with high hopes because he brought Rangers bullpen coach Jamie Quirk with him to pitch in the Derby.
"Jamie was awesome, I just [stunk]," Rodriguez said. "This year, I really enjoyed it. Last year, I just wanted to get through it without getting killed by the Seattle people."
The All-Star Game itself didn't go all that much better for A-Rod. He struck out his only two times up in the game before being replaced by Oakland's Miguel Tejada in the fifth.
Anderson's All-Star debut
Anderson entered the game in his customary spot in left field in the bottom of the third, and he stayed there for the rest of the 11-inning game.
At the plate, Anderson grounded out four times, but at least his groundout in the seventh knocked in a run.
"Everything just happens so fast when you're out there," Anderson said. "It's just a weird situation, because it's something I hadn't experienced before. But it was a good experience."
Garret Anderson had waited a few years for an invitation to the All-Star Game. Once the Angels outfielder got there, he got the chance to soak in the opportunity as much as anyone on either side Tuesday night.
It might not have made for great color coordination, but Barry Zito's heart was in the right place with his shoes.
The A's lefty was wearing the green and gold of the A's on the rest of his uniform in pregame warmups, but the Pumas on his feet were decked out in red, white and blue, complete with an American flag patch on the tongue.
"It's commemorative of what happened on September 11," Zito said of the specially made shoes provided by his shoe company, which he wore in his one-out relief stint in the game.
John Schlegel is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.