The universe and all that exists within it belongs to Ichiro Suzuki, an actual wizard
"Hi. Yep, I'm Ichiro, that guy in charge of everything." That's my caption for the photo seen above.
For years, first in Japanese baseball and in the Major Leagues, the man known simply as "Ichiro" was appointment viewing whenever he took the field. The 45-year-old officially retired back in March, but his love of the game knows no bounds.
So of course he's back with the Mariners in an instructional role, and with Seattle hosting Ichiro Weekend, he was at T-Mobile Park on Friday night to do what he does best ... which in his case is ridiculous nonsense like this:
Be sure you fully grasp what's going on here. That's a retired-player-turned-instructor, jogging as he catches a batting practice pop fly with his back completely turned to the infield. The angles are all wrong, the approach is all wrong, everything about this looks wrong -- but to Ichiro, it's right.
It's normal. It's comfortable. It's uniquely Ichiro.
I've personally seen him do this on innumerable occasions. Going to as many A's games as I did during my youth and adolescence at the Coliseum, A's-Mariners games felt like they happened every few hours. And these behind-the-back, "look what I can do and you can't because I'm Ichiro and I'm the best at everything" demonstrations happened each time, as if they were just part of his regular routine.
He's done this all the time, you see. He's skilled at something nobody else would dare attempt, because that's just who he is.
I've witnessed that scene firsthand so many times, and it was always surreal. Beyond just having the confidence in your abilities and expert judgment regarding precisely where the ball would be landing, this is just such a weird thing to do.
It's weird because the rest of us would fail at it, every time. The rest of us would get smacked in the face by said baseball, surely, instead of instinctively knowing it would sail into the glove without issue.
Ichiro is not the rest of us, though. He's a wizard -- perhaps THE most powerful wizard in the universe, for all I know. He controls everything. He is inevitable, even in retirement, and it's important that we just come to terms with it already.