Ichiro Is Testing You

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008

While the Mariners sank out of the pennant race last year, Ichiro decided to do a little social experiment.

Ichiro’s Hypothesis: People laud a catch that “looks hard” even when it isn’t.

Ichiro’s Test: “I actually slid and caught a ball, one which I could have caught without sliding. It was just a routine play for me, but I purposely slid and caught it just to see people’s reaction.”

The Result: “Everyone came up to me and said, ‘Good play, nice play.’ On TV, they even had it as a ‘Web Gem.’ To me, it was pretty funny. That was proof to me of what I was saying.”

Ichiro divulged his little test to the Seattle Times’ Larry Stone. Stone asked Ichiro if, for the sake of adulation, he might do the same thing again. Said Ich: “In situations where the play is not crucial to the game, I might do it…[but] I take more worth in making a play look easier.”

Also, when the Mariners visit the Yankees in May, Ichiro will paint himself in blackface and try to hail a cab.