Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baseball Is Just Baseball: An Ichiro Book

Ichiro Suzuki had a nice run in pinstripes this year. All parties involved--Ichiro himself, the Yankees, and their fans--would like like him back with the team in 2013. It remains to be seen if that will happen. But while everyone waits to find out where Ichiro will land, reading a new book about him is a good way to pass the time.

Actually, Baseball Is Just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro is not a new book. It was originally published in 2001, just after the All Star Break. A new edition was released in September of this year, covering the trade and its aftermath.

The best way to describe this book, I think, is to say that it is part memoir, part philosophy text. Author David Shields presents Ichiro as a deep thinker who says things that transform his listeners into deep thinkers as well. He does this by giving the reader nothing but quotes. Yes, it's a book of Ichiro quotations, all of which are very enlightening.

On the other hand, knowing that Ichiro doesn't speak English when he meets with the media, I cannot help but wonder if any of the quotes were embellished by his translators. That is something that should be kept in mind as you go through the book.

That being said, Baseball Is Just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro is definitely worth reading. I recommend it to any Yankee fan looking to learn about the pre-Yankee Ichiro.

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