NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki sat at a table beside interpreter Allen Turner in a cavernous interview room, sunglasses perched on his cap, Yankees logos everywhere. The faces of American and Japanese media stared at him. His sentences were punctuated by the rat-a-tat-tat of cameras capturing history.
Suzuki had arrived in the Big Apple, donning pinstripes in Yankee Stadium for the first time, thrust into baseball’s biggest rivalry in perhaps its most frenzied market.
When Suzuki was growing up in Japan, he fancied himself a big fan of major league baseball, collecting jerseys of all kinds.
“I had the Yankees uniform,” Suzuki said. “Obviously it’s different, but it feels like I’ve worn it before.”
But never like this. Suzuki’s 100th career game against the Red Sox was his first while in the Yankees dugout, coming four days after the Mariners swapped him for minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. He entered hitting .304 lifetime against the Red Sox, with 44 stolen bases in 48 attempts.
Hearing constant chants of his name, Suzuki went 1 for 4 with two runs in New York’s 10-3 win Friday night.
“As a visitor, you come in here, a lot of the fans in the stands are pretty tough on players,” Suzuki said. “Right now, I’m wearing the pinstripes. Hopefully when I go out there, the fans will be on my side this time.”
A devout student of the game and a frequent visitor to both Cooperstown and grave sites of baseball legends, Suzuki is wearing…