For nearly 30 years, Rick Griffin has been a trainer for the Seattle Mariners and he’s seen hundreds of players come and go. During that time, Griffin has also seen eight different players make the transition from Japanese baseball to the Major Leagues and he spoke to the Japan Times about what makes Japanese players special:
“One thing I’ve always noticed is, the Japanese players are very hardworking, very respectful,” Griffin said. “And they have a very good program, they stay on their program. They have very good routine, and they stay on their routine. Whether they have a good day or a bad day, they stay on their routine. This is very important.”
Griffin is also familiar with baseball in Japan from his continuous time spent touring the country with MLB All-Stars since 1994. The veteran trainer talked about where or not Ichiro has lost a step in his advanced age:
“Well, he’s 38 years old, he’s played a long time,” Griffin said. “He’s played in the outfield a long time, and that takes a tremendous amount of tear on your body. If he’s a little slower, that’s OK, because he’s 38 years old. He’s not going to stay the same as when he was 21, 25.”
No word on whether or not Griffin has decided to use “The Ichiro Squat” in his own training sessions.