Bruce Bochy and Ichiro Suzuki meet one last time: ‘Legends respect legends’

PEORIA, Ariz.–Bruce Bochy’s ride as the longest-tenured
manager in baseball will come to an end on the final day of the
Giants’ season.

Ichiro Suzuki’s run as the game’s most experienced position
player will likely finish sooner.

As Ichiro’s Mariners prepare for a trip to the outfielder’s
home country of Japan and the Giants gear up for Bochy’s last
year in the dugout, a pair of future Hall of Famers acknowledged
one another Wednesday evening in Peoria.

After Ichiro and teammate Jay Bruce exited their game against
the Giants, the duo approached the visiting dugout to congratulate
Bochy on his upcoming retirement. Even by the relaxed standards of
spring training, it was a rare but much appreciated gesture.

“I get it, it’s spring training and people are probably
like, ‘Well you’re supposed to hate each other,’ but this was
pretty cool to see,” Giants starter Derek Holland said. “Guys
like that come over to the dugout and say stuff to Boch.”

Ichiro, 45, has expressed a desire to play until he’s at least
50, but the Mariners may no longer have room for him on their
roster upon returning from Japan. General manager Jerry DiPoto
hasn’t committed to keeping Ichiro beyond the club’s two-game,
series-opening trip overseas, leading to speculation that Ichiro
could retire in the coming weeks.

“It was nice of him, what a class guy and what a tremendous
career he’s had,” Bochy said. “It was good to shake his hand
because I don’t know what his situation is to be honest, but he
knows mine.”

If Wednesday was the last Cactus League game Ichiro ever
participates in, his at-bats came against a pitcher who truly
appreciates what Ichiro has meant to the sport.

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“He’s been outstanding to watch and in my eyes, that’s a
legend. Or as we would call it, a GOAT. He’s been fun to watch
all the way through, especially growing up even before I got to
face him. I watched him on TV. He had a cannon out in the outfield.
Fastest dude out there,” Holland said.

Ichiro finished the night 0-for-2 at the plate against Holland,
who used a curveball to strike him out in his first at-bat before
firing a fastball on the outer half to catch Ichiro looking later
in the game.  Despite Ichiro’s struggles Wednesday, Holland said
he won’t forget the way Ichiro found ways to get on base.

“We’ve got the shifts and all of this stuff, this guy beat
the shifts,” Holland said. “Whatever you did, he found a way to
beat it. To me, he’s an unbelievable player and I’ve got
nothing but straight up respect for that guy. And he carries
himself very well, a super nice guy.”

Holland lasted four-plus innings and gave up four earned runs
Wednesday in what will likely be his third-to-last start of the
spring. He pitched well at times –striking out six– but
admitted he wasn’t quite as sharp as he hoped.

Years from now, the left-hander won’t remember Wednesday’s
game for he did on the mound, but instead for the interaction that
took place in the visiting dugout.

“Legends respect legends,” Holland said.

Source: FS – All – Interesting – News 2
Bruce Bochy and Ichiro Suzuki meet one last time: ‘Legends respect legends’