WBC will be a pleasant diversion

Originally Published: January 31, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Wondering about everything else while wondering how many times the Marlins can resurrect themselves...

• Here's my momentary take on the question: "Will Ichiro return to the hitting machine he was in 2004?" Well, he might. But he probably will not.

Ichiro doesn't hit like anybody else in the major leagues, so we tend to think that the rules that apply to everybody else do not apply to him. But they do. After four seasons, Ichiro's career batting average in the major leagues was .339. That's an impressive figure, of course. But hardly a figure that would lead reasonable people to think that Suzuki, at 31 (last season), had a reasonable shot at batting .400 last season.