{Photo of an Ichiro mouse on a kleenex box in Japan taken by rocketlass.} From a New York Times article about Ichiro’s nine straight 200-hit seasons comes this quote:

“Chicks who dig home runs aren’t the ones who appeal to me,” he said. “I think there’s sexiness in infield hits because they require technique. I’d rather impress the chicks with my technique than with my brute strength. Then, every now and then, just to show I can do that, too, I might flirt a little by hitting one out.”

Two questions: 1. How can anyone not love Ichiro? 2. What on

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earth must it be like to be his translator?

Next thing you know, I’ll start voting for those guys with the (R) next to their name!

A mere week after I actually offered a toast* at a dinner party to Bud Selig, in appreciation of that nasty, nasty man’s surprise brokering of an amicable new baseball labor deal, I find that I again have to credit him: surprisingly enough, he made a truthful statement!

“Tony La Russa is not a shrinking violet. He can be very confrontational,” says Selig in Murray Chass’s column in the New York Times today on Kenny Rogers’s dirty, dirty hand.

Should I worry that my world is turning upside down?

*Stacey refused to join the toast.