Home Samurai culture Superstar in Japan, Seiya Suzuki yearns for new challenge in MLB – The Athletic

Superstar in Japan, Seiya Suzuki yearns for new challenge in MLB – The Athletic


Seiya Suzuki has covered everything.

He spoke of the journey he took to become arguably the best all-around baseball player in Nippon Professional Baseball, the pride he felt lifting the previously downtrodden Hiroshima carp to back-to-back appearances in the Japanese series, honor to strike cleanup for his nation. Olympic Gold Medal Team. He talked about all the ways he’s improved since entering the league as an undersized 19-year-old, gaining 20 kilograms – over 40 pounds – in the weight room, stacking the power on top of his pure right-handed shot. skills, honing a selective approach to home plate and transforming into the Gold Glove right fielder. And he explained why he was motivated to make a major change in his life: leaving a adored fan base and welcoming a new challenge in Major League Baseball.

Suzuki was wrapping up his first interview with an American reporter — his first, anyway, since Hiroshima officially released his major league club rights on Nov. 22 — when he asked his own question.

He wanted to know which city had the best restaurants.

What was he looking for? The izakayas with their delicious yakitori skewers rotating on hissing embers? The sushi counters with their gems of sashimi cuts from Tokyo’s famous Tosoyu fish market? The upscale kaiseki restaurant with its elegant progression of a dozen plates, each a harmonious and integrated work of art? Or was he curious about something other than Japanese cuisine?

Suzuki tried to explain. He made a pouring motion with one hand. “Chīzu” was among the words he spoke.

“Oh,” said one of his agents, Dai Sugiura, from his quadrant of the Zoom screen.

“He means nachos.