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Ichiro to fill in as Mariners bench coach for weekend series

Kyodo

Ichiro Suzuki will act as bench coach in two games for the first time since taking an advisory position to the Seattle Mariners, manager Scott Servais said Thursday.

Ichiro will be on the bench as Servais will miss Friday and Saturday’s games against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in order to attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony at the University of Mississippi, where she’s getting a master’s in sports communication, according to mlb.com. Bench coach Manny Acta will take over as manager during the two games.

The 44-year-oldIchiro had been training on the field in uniform prior to games after taking up the role of special assistant to the team’s chairman on May 3. Because MLB places limits on team staff that can be on the bench during games, he had not been on the bench in his new role.

Instead, Ichiro watches games on TV from a room behind the dugout and hits off a tee to stay sharp. He said he is not aware of his duties as coach, but appeared excited.

“I was only able to watch (the games) on TV. The view is different from the dugout,” he said. “I have no idea (what I’ll be doing). I might make out the lineup card, but other than that, I don’t know.”