PEORIA, Ariz. – Ichiro Suzuki didn’t want to spend time talking about jealous teammates, a divisive clubhouse or record flops from a year ago.
To him, it’s all just “silly.”
Ichiro arrived at Seattle Mariners spring training Thursday fresh off a second World Baseball Classic title with Japan. He made his Cactus League debut by slapping two singles and scoring a run in a 10-9 win over the Kansas City Royals.
The eight-time All-Star played five innings and got his first taste of life in the same outfield with Ken Griffey Jr.
But everyone wanted to know what he thought about comments from former teammates and coaches this spring that Ichiro was a divisive force that led to bickering by other players.
Former closer J.J. Putz told The Seattle Times in February: “It’s hard to argue with 200 hits every year. … I just think there’s so much more he can do that doesn’t happen.”
When asked about those comments, Ichiro felt addressing it was “silly” and said through a translator, “I hate to be wasting time with this kind of thing. I’m surprised at this.”