“I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,” he said. ”It’s hard to contain my excitement for that reason.”
Suzuki, who stayed with the Mariners for more than 11 years, is considered the most recognizable athlete in Japan, revered for his perseverance, attention to detail and stoicism. Japanese TV shows debated his at-bats in his first game Monday, when after he got a hit in his first outing against the Mariners he stole second base, his 16th of the season. The game on Monday at Safeco Field showed Suzuki going 1 for 4 in his Yankees debut and catching the final out in New York‘s 4-1 victory over Seattle.
‘I was worried about my first at-bat,” Suzuki said after the Yankees’ 4-1 victory. ”I was really relieved with the standing ovation. It was a special day today.”
The decision to take Suzuki and give 25-year-old righties D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to Seattle, was taken by the manager Joe Girardi who made the trade a few days after he found out that speedy outfielder Brett Gardner won’t play for the rest of the season due to an elbow problem.
”We’re very excited with the caliber of player we are getting. We feel that he brings the speed element. He’s a tremendous hitter. That speed element is what we lost when Gardy had surgery,” Girardi said. ”So this is a big day for us.”
Suzuki is indeed a valuable player, a former AL MVP, a 10-time Gold Glove and 10-time All-Star winner, a career .322 hitter, and the holder of the most hits in a season record. The only thing he misses in his résumé is an appearance in the World Series, but the Yankees may offer him this chance.