Mike Trout is already poised to go down as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. So when Seiya Suzuki, the new big name addition for the Cubs, sat down for his press conference last week, the first official order of business went into understanding why he chose the number he did.
While it was probably not the most important topic covered, a decision such as choosing to wear the number ’27’ perfectly represents Suzuki and his respect for one of the game’s greats. It helps Suzuki stay grounded in his pursuit of greatness as the newest face on Chicago’s north side.
Suzuki has quickly fit in with the Cubs and the fan base. The squad’s newest member made his debut on Friday in a clash with the Colorado Rockies. Watching him take the field was an exciting thing. The buzz around Suzuki feels similar to that of when Kosuke Fukudome arrived.
Chicago Cubs: Positive vibes only when it comes to Seiya Suzuki
In the fourth inning of Friday’s game, Suzuki was in the middle of an interview when a foul ball courtesy of Willson Contreras zipped into the dugout, narrowly missing Suzuki, his translator, and reporter Elise Menaker. The look on Suzuki’s face was priceless as he was seemingly the only one to react to it.
Jordan Bastian, who covers the Cubs for MLB.com, also shared a story referring to the clubhouse culture and how Suzuki is fitting in well already, citing that many have said that he is “hilarious.” This story sums it up.
For as tumultuous as the Cubs have been over the past couple of seasons, this lightheartedness is precisely what had been missing. Reading this story about he and manager David Ross’ interaction over trail mix had me thinking about the fictional character, Tanaka, from Major League II and the hilarity that ensued. Of course, since Jason Heyward is Pedro Cerrano and David Ross is Jake Taylor, the Cubs are now a third of the way to having their version of Major League, but I digress.
Suzuki made sure to make time for fans on Friday as he was snapped signing autographs for the masses before the game. He struck out in his two plate appearances, yet the story is more significant than a couple of spring at-bats.
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The Cubs had been missing that comedic lightheartedness ever since the 2016 season, and bringing it back will help them in a big way to be successful. Like their mantra “Try not to suck” became a rallying cry six years ago, “Positive vibes only” should be the new one, and I can think of no better guy to lead the charge than Suzuki. Welcome to Chicago, kid.