Updated Aug 3, 2012 - 8:06 pm
Robinson meets an idol and catching up with Ichiro
Trayvon Robinson has talked about changing his approach in the last year and I talked to him in depth about this on today's "Beyond the Baselines" for the pregame show. I found his approach to changing his approach to be most interesting. It wasn't so much about what he did, rather, it was about who he watched.
"This offseason I was looking at a lot of guys in the 80s," he told me. "Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson, the way they played the game, the way they took the extra base, just how dangerous they were on the basepaths. I want to be just like that."
Robinson found himself pulled in by MLB Network programming and what he saw when watching Raines and Henderson was a different style of game.
"I studied how the game was and how the game changed and what it is actually going to go back to," he said. "I just want to be that leadoff kind of guy that is going to score a lot of runs and get on base."
Robinson has always had the speed but hasn't always used it wisely. A recent chat with all-time stolen base leader Henderson helped him look at the running game a little differently.
"He told me when you are sitting on the bench don't just sit. See what the guy is doing. That kind of opened my eyes a little," he said.
"It was unbelievable," he continued. "I'm standing next to Rickey Henderson. I had to say something and the type of person that he is, working with the A's and sharing his information with me is awesome. It's about passing it on."
Needless to say, Henderson made quite an impression.
We caught up with a very relaxed Ichiro at his locker in the Yankees clubhouse before the game. While waiting for his interpreter we (Seattle media) had a friendly, casual chat with him. He's doing well, doesn't have a permanent home here yet, hasn't moved Ikkyu, his dog, yet to New York and is a little nervous about it as Ikkyu doesn't like the big city.
I asked him what it was like to hear the "Bleacher Creatures" chant his name in the roll call before each game and he struggled to answer the question. He instead referred to the crowd reaction after he hit his first home run in pinstripes.
"I don't think I have ever received that kind of ovation from the fans, from that many, that loud," he said. "Maybe it was the first time in my career that I received something that big."
He said the sheer volume of noise with so many people in the stadium is what stood out to him. He wasn't sure what to do when the crowd chanted his name after he returned to the dugout. Since the Yankees were losing he decided it was best not to come out for a curtain call.
Ichiro said that coming to a contender made it easy for him to keep his focus on baseball, which for him came naturally. He said that he was aware of what the Mariners had been doing since he left but did not know about the specifics.
"I've heard they have been doing well but I don't know how they have won," he said. "If there were 30 hours in one day I think I could check on that kind of stuff but right now I am just concentrating on what I need to do."
As we started our conversation with him about 15 members of the New York media came and joined the interview session. I am told that Ichiro has talked with the media on multiple occasions since joining the Yankees. This is not something he did often in Seattle. He was always available after the game if we needed him but it was trickier to get him pregame. It sounds like he has been the model Yankee since coming over.
Moving on ...
Charlie Furbush is scheduled to throw tonight for the Rainiers as he begins his rehab assignment.
Franklin Gutierrez stayed back to work out with the Rainiers but has not been cleared for game action yet.
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