Ichiro Suzuki’s introductory news conference with the Miami Marlins was held at a Tokyo hotel on Thursday, in a large room filled with media members — no fewer than 20 television crews, dozens more photographers and even more writers. There was an MC on hand to push the proceedings forward, and the space filled with the frantic sound of camera shutters whenever Ichiro so much as shifted in his seat.

It had been 15 years since Ichiro addressed the media in Japan like this, back when he was ready to trade his Orix BlueWave uniform for one bearing the logo of the Seattle Mariners. No one quite knew what to expect out of Ichiro then. Many wondered if he had the skills to compete in the majors.

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