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Rays Can't Get Break; Ichiro Hits Inside-the-Jersey Single

The Tampa Bay Rays are chasing the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in the AL East standings, and the Yankees, who have undergone a rash of injuries (Brett Gardner, Ivan Nova, Andy Pettitte, etc.), appeared poised to lose ground to the two young teams in September.

In a surprise trade, the Yankees acquired long-time Seattle Mariners OF Ichiro Suzuki -- Mr. Suzuki, like the Yankees, appeared about ready to collapse.

Well, since Ichiro joined the Yanks, he has played like his 27-year-old self. He's hit .331/.356/.481; he's stolen 12 bases; he's hit 5 homers. And he's done all these things -- beat his homer total, nearly matched his stolen base total -- in just half the time he played with the Mariners in 2012.

And then on Saturday, in an almost obvious sign that he is just now starting to try, he hit this single off -- or rather, though -- Jarrod Parker:

Parker-ichiro_medium

Dear Ichiro,

You were awesome when you played with the Mariners all those years, and though you are playing awesome again, maybe you should retire anyway? Like, you know, just for kicks?

Yours always,

Frustrated Rays Fan

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.