Japan reacted to the news that Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the New York Yankees with surprise and anticipation that the move might lead to a World Series ring.
The Yankees acquired the star outfielder from Seattle in a trade for two young pitchers, bringing a close to Suzuki's 11 1/2-year career with the Mariners.
Suzuki is the most recognizable athlete in Japan, where he is revered for his stoicism, perseverance and attention to detail.
All the major Japanese newspapers splashed the move on the front pages of their Tuesday editions, with photos of Suzuki in his Yankees uniform. It was the top item on the news for public broadcaster NHK.
The 38-year-old Suzuki went from the last-place team in the AL West to the first-place team in the AL East.
''He's the top Japanese athlete in the world, both in terms of fame and skill,'' said Takuya Matsuo, a 26-year-old from Yokohama. ''The Yankees have a strong image, so this increases the chances he'll win a World Series. He is gettin...