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Ichiro’s Remarks Anger Team Korea

Posted February. 23, 2006 03:07,   


“I will make them see that they won’t beat Japan for the next 30 years,” said Ichiro Suzuki (33, Seattle Mariners, photo) in an interview after the first day of Japanese World Baseball Classic practice yesterday.

After the Japanese team’s practice at the Fukuoka Yahoo Dome yesterday, Ichiro said, “Not only will we win, but also we’ll make Japanese baseball fans feel that they saw a truly great game. I want to make [Korea and Taiwan] see that they will not be able to beat Japan in next 30 years.”

Ichiro: Korea Smells Like Garlic-

Ichiro’s provocative remark is nothing new. Back in 1997, Ichiro, a member of the Orix Blue Wave at the time, visited Korea for friendly baseball games against Korean pro teams. When asked what his first impression of Korea was, he replied, “It smells like garlic.”

Ichiro’s remark angered many Korean players. Pitcher Sohn Min-han (Lotte) said, “Hearing what he said, I want to make him eat his own words by beating the Japanese team.”

“I have been called five times to play on the national team, and from 2000 Sydney Olympics through the 2002 Busan Asian games, the Korea national team has never been defeated by Japan,” said the team’s slugger Lee Byeong-gyu (LG). “We have many world-class ballplayers on the Korea national team; we won’t be easy to beat,” Lee added confidently. The World Baseball Classic preliminary round match between Korea and Japan will be held on March 5 at the Tokyo Dome.