Thursday, March 20, 2008

Is Ichiro's brain bigger than mine?

That's what Dr. Kenichiro Mogi (nice naming coincidence there....), a celebrity brain scientist in Japan says, or at least that his brain is better than mine.

Ichiro says he's eaten the same thing for lunch (homemade Japanese curry cooked by his wife Yumiko) before home games for all 7 years of his career in Seattle, and when on the road prefers cheese pizza, easy on the sauce and fluffy on the edges. Doc attributes this routine for Ichiro's consistency at the plate. This isn't too hard to believe, baseball players more than athletes from any other sport are creatures of habit, abiding zealously by their pre-game rituals that every player has whether it's when they wake up, what they eat or their specific pre-game workout routine.

Where Dr. Mogi goes a little off the beaten path is when he says that Ichiro has remarkable "metacognition". Dr Mogi says "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."

Dr. Mogi says Ichiro has an ability to be able to separate himself from his body after an at-bat and be able to analyze all the feelings, sensations, emotions and other "intagibles" that he felt during the at-bat and figure out what he did wrong.

Really sounds like either the doc or Ichiro are full of it (probably even both of them....)... but baseball is a game of numbers and numbers of all things don't lie...

"Ichiro begins this season with 1,592 hits in the major leagues, just more than halfway to 3,000 in his seven years with the Mariners. If he plays beyond his new five-year deal that begins this season, he could conceivably achieve 3,000 hits in the major leagues. He'd be in his 40s, but 10 of the 27 players to reach the milestone achieved it in their 40s.

Adding his 1,278 hits from Japan, 3,000 more in America would give Ichiro more lifetime hits than Pete Rose's 4,256, currently the most of any pro to ever swing a bat."

Maybe his brain is better than mine.

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