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Suzuki Sees Room for Improvement

Wednesday, February 23, 2005; Page D05

Perhaps Ichiro Suzuki is too much of a perfectionist. He hopes to cut down on the miscues he made last season -- when he set the single-season hit record with 262.

"I feel like I'm a player who makes a lot of mistakes," Suzuki said yesterday. "Last year, I made less mistakes than maybe the years past. I want to go out and make less mistakes at the plate. When I do that, I'll hit for a higher average and get more hits."


Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki wants to get better at the plate and thinks he has a chance at hitting .400. (Elaine Thompson - AP)

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Suzuki led the majors with a .372 average last season, his best in four years with the Seattle Mariners. No major league hitter has hit .400 since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. Tony Gwynn came the closest when he hit .394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Suzuki recalls he hit over .500 in high school. He won't say he can hit .400, but he won't say he can't, either.

"I don't know if I'll ever do it, but I want to be a player that the people can say he has a chance," he said.

New Mariners manager Mike Hargrove doesn't plan to do anything to change Suzuki.

"I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I know not to mess with some things," Hargrove said. "Ichiro is pretty much the complete package."

-- From News Services


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