Ichiro stories are the best stories, and the Wall Street Journal recently published another great one that will make you dread the day Ichiro eventually retires. It turns out, Ichiro has spent his career becoming a favorite of Latin players around the league because he talks shit to them in Spanish.
The Journal caught up with Ichiro and a handful of other players, who revealed that the Japanese star made a concentrated effort to pick up some Spanish when he got into the league, so that he could communicate with and relate to other foreign players. His methods of communication are wonderful:
Veteran first baseman Carlos Pena remembered one of his frequent encounters with Ichiro. He was defending first for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Ichiro had just arrived on one of his patented infield hits. Ichiro peered over at Pena and asked, "Que coño tu mira?," or, "What the hell are you looking at?" Pena clamped his lips together to prevent the laughter from bursting through.
Ichiro's apparently been doing stuff like this for years, and it seems to have made a real impression on Latin players around the league:
Some years later, at the 2004 All-Star game in Houston, the seven participating Venezuelan players lined up for a commemorative photo. But eight players appeared in the shot when Ichiro was summoned over and asked to stand right in the middle. That was when Miguel Cabrera, then with the Marlins, first met Ichiro.
Be sure to read the Journal's whole story, which contains a handful of other Ichiro anecdotes and quotes that will make you smile. Ichiro is the best, man.