On Saturday afternoon Ichiro Suzuki was in a car accident, though luckily the accident was not that serious and Ichiro does not appear to be injured.
“He is fine,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “His interpreter called to let us know.’’
Ichiro was headed south in his Land Rover on a Tampa highway around 4 p.m. when he hit Linda Trange Le, who failed to yield the right of way when making a left hand turn in front of Ichiro, according to Tampa police.
“He struck her,” Tampa Lt. Ronald McMullen told The Post. “She ended up hitting a third car, but there were no injuries.”
Obviously, it's excellent news that Ichiro wasn't injured in the accident. And you can bet the Yankees were breathing a big sigh of relief when they heard he wasn't hurt as well.
Alex Rodriguez is still injured and once again the subject of steroids rumors. Curtis Granderson is hurt. Last season, the team lost Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera for the year, while Derek Jeter had offseason surgery.
The Yankees will come into the season with one of the weakest lineups the team has had in years. With Rodriguez and Granderson injured and Nick Swisher now on the Cleveland Indians, Ichiro, Jeter, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis will round out the core of the team's batting order.
That's a hardly shabby core, of course, but it's not as potent as we've seen in years past, either.
Ichiro will be a very important contributor at the top of the lineups, especially until Granderson returns. Last year, he hit .283 with nine home runs, 77 runs scored, 55 RBI and 29 stolen bases. Hardly vintage Ichiro, but the man still has it.
And the Yankees will need him to at least replicate those numbers this season if the team is to make the playoffs from the stacked AL East.