Seattle Mariners: Prior to spring training, manager Bob Melvin discussed the possibility of moving Ichiro Suzuki out of the leadoff spot, the batting order position he has occupied since coming from Japan in 2001. In the end, he only tried it once, however, and Ichiro will not spend 2004 batting out of the three-hole. What is more, he seems to be exhibiting some real patience at the plate this spring. He has taken the first pitch in 35 of his 38 at bats in Arizona reports John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune. Regarding this trend, Melvin said, "Word is getting around. He's not going to swing at a first pitch that isn't a strike." Like the actor who "really wants to direct," Ichiro's dream is to pitch someday. While reserve players continue to see mound action in blowouts, Jose Canseco ruined that fantasy for stars, wrecking his arm in a worthless mop-up outing.
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