An Open Letter to Ichiro Suzuki

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1 Steve Bartman Circle
Washington, DC 20500
May 7, 2015

Mr. Ichiro Suzuki
C/O the Miami Marlins
501 Marlins Way
Miami, FL 33125

Dear Mr. Ichiro,

I am writing to convey my sincerest apologies regarding reckless and abhorrent behavior that led to an unfortunate incident during your game against the Washington Nationals on the evening of May 4, 2015.

Let me preface my detailed account of the transgression by saying that you are one of my favorite baseball players of all time. Your elite hitting ability, incredible longevity, and upbeat attitude are nearly unparalleled in the sport of baseball, or on any other athletic field. You have always been a joy to watch throughout your career.

I attended your game on May 4 at Nationals Park, with my Crooked Scoreboard colleague, Dustin Petzold, and others. We were seated in section 409. During the second inning of the game in question, you hit a line drive into right field and advanced to first base. During the subsequent at-bat, in which your teammate, Adeiny Hechavarria, was at the plate, Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann repeatedly threw the ball to first baseman Ryan Zimmerman in an attempt to record an out at your expense, or to “pick you off,” in everyday parlance.

I then made a comment to Mr. Petzold, who was sitting next to me. I asked him, “How often do pickoffs actually work?” to which Mr. Petzold replied, “Not very often.” When making my comment, I made an error in judgement in thinking that, since I was seated in the upper deck of the stadium, my commentary could not be heard all the way down on the field, and it would not negatively impact your evening. However, either due to the intimacy of Nationals Park, our proximity to the Shirley Povich Press Center (from which the game was being broadcast and reported on), or simply due to my miscalculation of the jinxing radius from my location to yours, within a few seconds, you were successfully picked off by Mr. Zimmermann, Mr. Zimmerman, and second baseman Ian Desmond. For your convenience, I have located video of the play at this link.

I want you to know that I was deeply disturbed when I realized that I had caused your early exit from this portion of the competition. I have a keen appreciation for how much you have worked over the years at your craft and am very sorry that I denied you the baserunning opportunity that should have been afforded to you. I hope you can forgive me, Mr. Petzold, and the rest of our media organization for any damages—physical, emotional, or financial—that we may have inflicted.

Sincerely,

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Raynell Cooper
Writer, Crooked Scoreboard

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