Via USS MARINER, we discover that Ichiro Suzuki’s brain has been studied by a Japanese celebrity brain scientist for the salaryman version of “Inside the Actor’s Studio”, wherein a fawning expert in the field of brainery determines how successful people got that way. Ichiro’s secret? Obsessive-compulsive disorder, dime store philosophy, and active disassociation from reality.
Of course, the show (roughly translated as “Secrets of the Ultimate Professional”) didn’t phrase it quite that way. They were more, let’s say, pretentious and sycophantic. (Told you it was just like “Inside the Actor’s Studio” but for Japanese business!)
The NHK film crew stalked him for 70 days over the last year and found through careful study that Ichiro eats the same curry from his wife every game day or, on the road, cheese pizza. This, you see, is the studied form of a genius and not the fussy eating habits of a petulant seven-year-old, according to the brain scientist:
“We believe it has a lot to do with his baseball playing style. Ichiro has found in his particular case, it is helpful to follow the same ritual every day and that way he can really fine-tune his brain state so that he can concentrate fully on baseball. Ichiro’s way is not everybody’s way.”
Considering most ballplayers’ brain states are closer to Aubrey Huff’s than Ichiro’s, why not? After all, Ichiro spends his preparation trying to get in touch with his feelings. Doctor?
“Ichiro’s way is a very hard way and certainly out of the norm. In order to rely on your own feelings like that, you have to have something called metacognition. It’s the ability to observe yourself as if you’re observing your own internal state from the outside. Of course, it’s all your own feeling, but you can access and analyze it as if you are observing it from an objective point of view.”
Yes, we all remember Tony Gwynn’s famous video series, “How to Hit Better Through Out-of-Body Experiences”. The lawsuits from that one may never be settled.
We kid Ichiro because we love. Also, he’s certifiable. However, it certainly does ennoble his work to give it such thought before each performance. We are then better for having wasted a perfectly beautiful Saturday afternoon indoors watching it. We were watching greatness being slowly crafted, after all. So shine on, you crazy diamond.
And it’s much more believable than whatever Keanu Reeves claims he found inside himself for the role of Constantine.