Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?
That’s right. This slide into home is going the wrong way. Some were concerned that future hall of famer Ichiro Suzuki may have been past his prime when added to the Yankees this year, but he certainly pulled his weight scoring the first run in their second divisional playoff game against Baltimore.
Ichiro, after being waved home suddenly found himself cut off by an early throw to Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters. Staring an inevitable 3rd out in the face, Ichiro wondered “What would Naruto Uzumaki do right now?”
As Wieters reached out to the side for what should have been an easy tag, he was surprised to feel nothing but the wind of Ichiro sidestepping him with lightning speed. Weiters, however wasted no time in pursuit of Ichiro with an impressive dive for a second tag.
Luckily for Ichiro the momentum of his run threw him out of Wieters’ reach coupled with a nimble barrel roll over the ball. The Oriole catcher’s third attempt to tag and miss was too late anyways. Ichiro already managed to sneak a hand in and was called safe.
In the confusion it seems quite possible that Ichiro might have been touched, so here’s another gif in slow motion.
There is also doubt over whether Ichiro acrobatics were legal or not. According to the MLB rulebook, the runner is not allowed to stray over 3 feet from its intended path when the tag is attempted.
I’m a fan of Ichiro and enjoyed this “slide,” but I’d have to admit it does look like he was outside of 3 feet. Regardless, it was a moot point as the Orioles went on to win the game 3-2.
Unfortunately for the Asian community, this doesn’t help the stereotype that all Asians are proficient in martial arts.
The other Yankees likened the event to ninjitsu or something from the Matrix – except for Rodriguez, who was busy getting his previously bruised foot massaged by Cameron Diaz while eating a giant turkey leg.
Source: NanJ (Japanese)