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Red Sox gear up to face Ichiro with Yanks

ARINGTON -- Given the way the Red Sox and Yankees have always been intertwined, it's probably only fitting that Ichiro Suzuki will make his home debut at Yankee Stadium against his new team's archrival.

Yes, Ichiro and the Yankees will host the Red Sox, beginning on Friday.

Valentine has known Ichiro a long time, having managed against him in Japan back in 1995.

"At the time, I told our front office, I thought he was one of the top 10 players in the world," Valentine said. "I turned out to be wrong at the time. He was like top five."

And yes, Valentine thinks Ichiro's presence will benefit the Yankees.

"Well, you know, he's one of the great players that have ever played the game, and they like to have great players," Valentine said. "It seems like he fits in quite nicely there. He'll play good defense. He'll get big hits. He stole a base last night, huh? We'll pitch him tough."

Though Dustin Pedroia certainly doesn't want to see the Yankees get any better, he seemed intrigue by the fact one of the biggest names in the game went to a marquee team.

"It's going to look weird [seeing him] in that uniform," Pedroia said. "It stinks we play him in a couple days, but yeah, that's pretty cool."

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ARI Full Game Coverage NGTON -- Given the way the Red Sox and Yankees have always been intertwined, it's probably only fitting that Ichiro Suzuki will make his home debut at Yankee Stadium against his new team's archrival.

Yes, Ichiro and the Yankees will host the Red Sox, beginning on Friday.

Valentine has known Ichiro a long time, having managed against him in Japan back in 1995.

"At the time, I told our front office, I thought he was one of the top 10 players in the world," Valentine said. "I turned out to be wrong at the time. He was like top five."

And yes, Valentine thinks Ichiro's presence will benefit the Yankees.

"Well, you know, he's one of the great players that have ever played the game, and they like to have great players," Valentine said. "It seems like he fits in quite nicely there. He'll play good defense. He'll get big hits. He stole a base last night, huh? We'll pitch him tough."

Though Dustin Pedroia certainly doesn't want to see the Yankees get any better, he seemed intrigue by the fact one of the biggest names in the game went to a marquee team.

"It's going to look weird [seeing him] in that uniform," Pedroia said. "It stinks we play him in a couple days, but yeah, that's pretty cool."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.