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October 10, 2001

Ichiro Suzuki


Q. What have the Indians done to reasonably contain you on the bases, in the times you've met this season?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, first of all stolen bases -- to be successful, having to be good at stolen bases, the pitchers must show me some room I can jump on them. But yesterday he didn't show that.

Q. What did you expect playing in the Major Leagues to be like, and playing in the United States and what has it been like?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, there are so many elements of things I could talk about, but this is just a short time, so I could not tell everything. But it's more like individual persons. And that's what I expected, and that's how I have been playing. It's more like individual.

Q. You were asked before the playoffs started about pressure in the postseason, you said you didn't know, because you've never been there before. Did it feel different at all being out there yesterday?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, of course it was a pleasure, because I've never been through that. Because playoffs are such a short game, short season, I felt some pressure. But here in the States there's only one day off between the season ending and the playoff start. So I just go -- started play without any hesitation, just go play naturally.

Q. Your teammates say you've made a very good adjustment to life in the United States. What are some of the things you've liked the best? And also they say you like rap music, what are your favorite groups?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, regarding living in Seattle, I think I haven't had any major problem living in Seattle, because it's really -- it's close to what I had in Japan. Everything is so natural living here. Regarding that second question, I don't know if this is an appropriate place to answer that question, but I like the Snoop and then Nelly.

Q. A couple of pitchers have had success throwing over to first base a couple of times, how can you explain that?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Doing a pickoff at first base doesn't mean they keep me on the base. Sometimes without doing any pickoff they keep me on bases. So you can't count how many pickoffs they do. And they put me on the bases, that number of pickoffs doesn't mean anything.

Q. For all the wins you had in the regular season, do you feel that if the team doesn't advance in the postseason, that the regular season will have been incomplete?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, I have a lot of satisfaction, fulfillment on what we have done this season. Regarding the playoffs, of course, if we do not advance, we may have some dissatisfaction and some stress on it. But everything depends on how we play in the playoffs.

Q. Are there any pitchers in Japan who throw like Jamie Moyer?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, just speaking of velocity, there are many players in Japan. But just speaking of his knowledge about how to pitch and then his style, we don't see that many pitchers over in Japan.

Q. What were the uncertainties that you had coming from several years as a top player in Japan to the unknown of playing here?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Are you talking about differences in baseball here than in Japan?

Q. Yes, how good do you know you were or how good did you think they were here?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Of course, I don't know whether I could play here or not, I really don't know that. But only I know about myself is I could prepare for the game well. So the preparation, that's -- I have a lot of confidence with that.

Q. Is there any difference between Japan's experience and just playing one game in the playoffs yesterday?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Here and in Japan scoring first, and then winning first, first game is very important. It doesn't make any difference if you're here or in Japan. In Japan there are a lot of dates between season ending and then playoff starts. So there is a lot of time, the media covers, and there are a lot of time to think of the games. But here we just naturally start playoffs with just having one day off and without any long days off. So that's the main difference.

Q. Just playing yesterday against Cleveland -- individual is very unique here, and anything you saw in yesterday's game, individual persons? How did you compete against Alomar or Gonzalez -- is there anything you can see in an individual battle with Cleveland?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): There are so many players, I have had a good time and enjoyed watching them play individually. And it's not only the Cleveland Indians, but also other clubs.

Q. Is there any difference here you felt yesterday, the atmosphere of the ballpark or the mood with the team and/or the feeling in your mind?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Regarding the mood of the ballpark, atmosphere, it's very close to the opening day of this season. Well, like I said in this interview, the playoff is such a short season. As an individual, I like to get as good a result as soon as possible. As a team we'd like to get a win as soon as possible. If we don't get a good result, the rest of the games we have more pressure than the previous. So we like to get in the groove as soon as possible as much as we could. So that's a huge difference. Speaking of yesterday, I got a base hit in the first at bat, so I got relieved, and the rest of the at-bats I could play as close as normal feeling or mentality I had in the season. So I had just a normal feeling in the rest of at-bats yesterday.

Q. It is very unusual having a day off between the first game and the second game in the playoffs in Japan, I was just wondering how you feel about this day off and does it make any difference?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, this is not something that just happened. We knew our schedule. We were mentally ready to have this day off and this schedule.

Q. You talked about the different moods or atmosphere in the ballpark. But did you feel any difference in the ways the Indians pitched to you or faced you compared to during the season?

ICHIRO SUZUKI (Through Hide Sueyoshi): Well, even in the season they make adjustments in the way to pitch to me, so I think that's just nothing surprising. And that's just what happened in the season. Speaking of the base running, and stolen bases, maybe they do it more intensely, maybe than they have done during the season. So intensity is more than anything else.

End of FastScripts....

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