Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M’s bench in fake mustache disguise

Friday, June 22, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Just who was that guy sitting on the Seattle Mariners bench, the odd fellow with the bushy mustache, shades and hoodie?

Wait a second — it was Ichiro! Now a team executive, Ichiro Suzuki donned a Bobby Valentine-style disguise and sneaked into the Seattle dugout Thursday to watch a bit of the action at Yankee Stadium.

"He was perfect. I never would have known it was him," Valentine texted to The Associated Press.

Officially, Suzuki isn't allowed to be in the dugout during games under MLB rules. The 44-year-old outfielder with 3,089 career hits came off the Seattle roster in early May and moved into the team's front office as a special assistant.

He has been taking part in pregame drills and batting practice in a role similar to a coach. But he's required to retire to the clubhouse when games begin. This time, in a ballpark where he played for parts of three seasons, Suzuki stayed in the dugout.

AP photographer Bill Kostroun spotted Suzuki with his face nearly covered by a fake mustache, sunglasses and a gray hoodie drawn tight over his head during in the first inning as the Yankees hit a pair of two-run homers.

He was gone by the second inning of Seattle's 4-3 loss that completed a New York sweep.

The 10-time All-Star hasn't officially retired, and there's speculation the Japanese great might play when the Mariners open the 2019 season in Tokyo with a two-game series against Oakland.

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