Ichiro after night off: ‘I feel this time I am being tested’

Jun 10, 2011, 9:18 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2011, 6:13 pm

Q:How much did you appreciate the rest which was given by the manager?

Ichiro: When you talk about our skipper he is very stable, his feelings will never change. More than my will I felt his will stronger than ever because in today’s situation, a tight ballgame, I thought I would be in there but saying I would have the day off he completely gave me the day off, although I was in the cage since the 3rd inning working out, throwing balls, hitting off the tee, being prepared. But I didn’t play today so that is a very strong feeling that you could feel from his approach. When you look back you would have managers who would say you would have the day off but at the end of the day you would be playing the 7th, 8th or 9th inning. Now I know how he truly feels so from here on when he gives me the day off I can sit on the bench all day long. (laughs)

Q: Were you able to relax and not think about hitting at all today?

Ichiro: No. From a player’s standpoint you don’t want to shut it down, you want to be ready. That is something we all need to have in our heart to be ready, prepared fro each game.

Q: You have overcome a lot of challenges in your career. Where does this one rank?

Ichiro: Well every challenge is big, every accomplishment I overcame is big. This is another one. I feel this time I am being tested. This is something I need to overcome, not just as a baseball player because it is not just about coming up with good results, it is about overcoming that as a human being so that is what I feel I need to do now to overcome that line so as a human being I become bigger and better.

Q: The other day in Chicago you hit some balls hard, do you feel like you are close to overcoming this?

Ichiro: That’s just the results, that’s not something we can talk about now because even if I was to say that was great that is something for everyone else to see and grade and evaluate. At the end of the day it is about results. If the results are not there it is meaningless. I think that applies to everyone. You guys need to write to good articles to have people follow you. That applies to us as well.

Q: How do you change the results? Do you change the process of how you hit or do you just try to improve the way you have always hit? The same style or do you try to adapt a different style or approach?

Ichiro: There’s many answers. There is not just one answer to this game and that is the tough part. We have got to keep ourselves balanced to this game, good and bad. You have got to be in between because bad days doesn’t mean you are struggling. It is all about the end results. That is where you have to fight and be mentally tough. Like yesterdays game, if I play today maybe a different story if you talk about mechanics. You have to be mentally strong enough to say hey I am still balanced out to a good position to where I am tomorrow. It’s not about end results yesterday and then end results for tomorrow because it is all about mentality. That is why you want to keep the same basic approach to your game and not let that sway because if you do, then you start to run into big issues.

Q: Is that something you have had to fight?

Ichiro: You are always battling against yourself because it’s not just when you have bad days you battle against that when you have good days too. You are always thinking about that too, to get better. That’s why it is always on your mind.

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