There was a blog post today on blogger "Bloggin'" Murray Chass's blog about Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, and it includes this predictably insane story about the lengths Ichiro goes to in selecting his bats:
When Ichiro Suzuki gets a shipment of new bats, he gives them the Ichiro test.
“He has two sets of bats,” Tony Attanasio, Suzuki’s long-time agent, related this week. “He’ll take a bat and hit the barrel of the bat with his finger nail and listen to it. Then he’ll put that bat aside. He does that with every one of the bats. He puts some of the bats on his left-hand side, some on the right-hand side. The bats are different.”
Ichiro uses one set of bats, the ones he pronounces good, in games. He gives away the others when a player asks him for a bat.
Of course he does. There are innumerable stories about Ichiro's meticulous preparation throughout history. The humidors. The pre-game tickle fights with Griffey. Baseball writers eat this shit up ("Look at how dedicated to THE GAME he is!"). So at this point in his career, as he tries to wring every last drop of good baseball from his body, nothing written about Ichiro's pre-game methods would surprise me. He only uses bats made from timber felled by grass-fed beavers who receive a daily green tea enema. He sleeps on a replica Ryokan tatami mat made out of 17th century sandalwood. He plays Vivaldi to his nipples. Pretty much any #IchiroFact is plausible at this point.