Talk on the Nagoya Dome field prior to Game 6 of the NTT Communications All-Star Series 2000 on Nov. 9, besides the chaotic U.S. presidential election results, centered around the news that some major league team had offered 14 oku yen ($13,125,000) for the rights to negotiate with soon-to-be-former Orix BlueWave outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. At the time, the team had not been named, but the next day it was learned the Seattle Mariners would be talking contract with Ichiro.
Asked what he thought about the seven-time Pacific League batting champion, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said he saw Ichiro’s stats, knew he was a .353 lifetime hitter and heard he can hit, run, throw and play defense with the best in the game. “If some team is offering that much money just for the right to negotiate, he’s got to be a great player,” said Cox. Asked if he thought Ichiro is worth that much, Cox said, “I don’t know because I haven’t seen him play.