Mmm… the catch

DMZ · May 3, 2005 at 3:59 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Check out this cool PI photo from the AP. I swear, if that guy reaching out had got in Ichiro’s way, I’d have strangled him myself. You know who you are.

Garret Anderson, quoted in the PI:

“He just went up on the wall and made the catch,” said Anderson, who did not initially believe it was a home run. “I mean, I’ve seen a lot of guys go up on the wall and make a catch. You might blow it out of proportion because he’s a good defensive player. I’ve seen that before.”

Mr. Anderson,

Hi. Ichiro took off on the hit, ran full-tilt to the wall, lept up, planted on the padding to get up, then turned, adjusted, and caught it before he came back down. I’ve been watching baseball for almost all of my life, though in deference I will admit I have likely not seen as much baseball as you have played. I have seen Griffey make many spectacular plays during his time as a stellar centerfielder, and enjoyed Mike Cameron for years, and probably in that way have seen more spectacular centerfield play than you.

I have seen Griffey go up on the wall, Buhner go over walls, I’ve seen all kinds of crazy things. I have never seen a catch like that. Ichiro didn’t just go up on the wall and make a catch, as you say — Ichiro ran a long way to get there and then had to do a couple of equally spectacular things to snag the ball.

If you have indeed seen such a play more than once in your life, you are a luckier man than I am.



Also, the PI notebook has a lot on Madritsch’s shoulder (it’s better but he’s still going to be out for a couple weeks, at least). It also mentions that the team has now watched “Napolean Dynamite” seven games in a row.

The Times has Spiezio news: his midsection still hurts. Your reaction to this news may vary.


58 Responses to “Mmm… the catch”

  1. Jim Thomsen on May 3rd, 2005 10:22 pm


    I suggest you go to Google and type in the keywords “Rob+Neyer” Ichiro. You’ll come up with no fewer than six columns that state, among other things:

    — Ichiro can’t be considered a superstar because he hits singles;
    — Ichiro is not the equal of George Sisler;
    — Ichiro can’t be considered a great player because of his lack of power;
    — Ichiro is “overrated but good.”

    It’s bizarre, quite frankly … in several cases, Neyer has made the Ichiro backhand the subject of his columns; in several others, he settles for a secondary slapdown. But the evidence is ample. He almost never offers a positive assessment of Ichiro that stands alone, always, it is followed up with a “but he’s not …” statement.

    As the man said, you could look it up.

  2. Itea on May 3rd, 2005 10:36 pm


    “Ichiro hits safely at a tremendous clip, he terrorizes opposing batteries with his speed, and he plays wonderfully in the outfield.”

    Compliments. Rob doesn’t write this to be nice, he writes it because it’s true.

    “Ichiro doesn’t show much power (except occasionally in batting practice), and he walks roughly once every four games.”

    These are not compliments. Rob doesn’t write this to be mean, he writes it because it’s true.

    “I do think that Ichiro’s game would have been more valuable in 1905 than it is in 2005.”

    I take this as an insight neither negative nor positive. YMMV.

    “What sort of player is Ichiro Suzuki? He is, in the annals of major league history, unique. We might compare him to relatively modern contact hitters like Wade Boggs and Rod Carew, except Boggs drew tons of walks and hit tons of doubles, and Carew did plenty of both. We might compare him to old-time right fielders like Ross Youngs and Sam Rice, except neither of those players won batting titles or stole many bases. ”

    I personally find it a compliment to be called unique, you may feel differently. What do you disagree with here? He points out the edges Boggs and Carew had, he also points out where Youngs and Rice fall short of Ichiro.

    “For an approximate analog to Ichiro Suzuki, perhaps we must skip backward past the 20th century, and recall Wee Willie Keeler, who liked to “hit ’em where they ain’t.” Beginning in 1897, Keeler led his league in singles four straight seasons (just like Ichiro). Keeler didn’t have much power, but he played a pretty solid right field and ranked as one of the game’s better base stealers. Just like Ichiro. Keeler was a wonderful player, of course; a Hall of Famer.”

    He finds a comparison he finds apt – with a Hall-of-Famer. Is this an insult?

    “But because Keeler didn’t do enough of the things that put runs on the scoreboard, he wasn’t one of the truly greatest players.

    Just like Ichiro. ”

    He concludes Ichiro isn’t an upper-echelon HOFer. Is that an insult? And in particular, you think Rob wrote that to be insulting?

    Also, the word “greatest” in the last quote is actually in italics in the original, suggesting that Ichiro is one of the greatest players, just not one of the GREATEST players ever.

    I think that for Neyer to write this after only four years in the MLB is not only not an insult, it’s high praise.

    – Itea

  3. John in L.A. on May 3rd, 2005 10:36 pm

    “…you’ve got the power to delete anything I say…”

    God, I hope they use it.

    You’re making a fool of yourself. We can all see what you wrote. It was uncalled for. And instead of apologizing, you go on the attack.

    Riddle me this… no one was offended by anyone who didn’t think it was the “greatest catch of all time”. They were irritated at someone proposing that it was an average catch – which it clearly was not.

    When someone sees that catch and wants to write it off as average… then you have to wonder what that person’s problem is.

    And when you rush in to defend just silliness by attacking a fan… then I have to wonder what your problem is.

    Again… no one offended by not making it the best ever. But clearly it wasn’t an everyday, average catch, either. That’s the argument, not whether the catch should be given a Medal of Honor and it’s own parking space.

  4. Jim Thomsen on May 3rd, 2005 10:43 pm

    Okay, okay. I take it back. Rob Neyer is a wonderful human being and a brilliant writer who loves Ichiro. I’m sorry. Can we move on with our lives now?

  5. Dave in Palo Alto on May 3rd, 2005 11:42 pm

    Missed the game. Is a video of the Catch posted anywhere?

  6. change on May 4th, 2005 2:21 am

    Did anyone else hear that loud screeching sound of the thread being derailed by Itea?

    I second the request for a video of that catch.

    I think it’s one of the better catches I’ve seen. It’s doubly impressive since Ichiro isn’t really a ‘wall climber’ type of guy which is why I’ve always disagreed with people when they say he would be a top centerfielder. After seeing that he can do it I’m going to have to re think.

    Do you guys think this is a sign of things to come? Maybe Ichiro is going to start climbing walls more often. Oh man I hope so.

    One last thing: I don’t think Ichiro is the best player in the bigs, I just think he’s one of the most, if not the most, fun to watch.

  7. Stanley on May 4th, 2005 8:11 am

    For those without TV like myself, you can see Ichiro’s catch at:

    Click on “Ichiro Steals a Homer” under More Sights and Sounds.

  8. Xteve X on May 4th, 2005 9:41 am

    It’s the best catch of the year so far in MLB. To describe it or intimate that it was a simply average play is, to put it kindly, ridiculous.