A hilarious story about how Seiya Suzuki is fitting into Cubs clubhouse
MESA, Ariz. – It certainly doesn’t appear as if shyness is going to be a problem for Seiya Suzuki.
The Japanese outfielder represents the fifth largest signing in Cubs history and the biggest move by the team this winter. It is a major life change for the 27-year-old, who first stepped foot in America three weeks ago and has only been with his new team for a week.
Yet Suzuki has had zero issue fitting into the Cubs clubhouse.
A couple hours before Suzuki’s Cubs spring debut Friday afternoon, manager David Ross told a hilarious story about how comfortable the star outfielder has been so far.
“I was in the weight room the other day with some trail mix and he came up to me and pointed at me eating trail mix and asked me, ‘is that chocolate?'” Ross said. “I said, ‘no, it’s trail mix. It’s like a snack.’ He goes, ‘no, no, like chocolate in the trail mix.’ I was like, ‘oh yeah, yeah, that’s chocolate.’
“And he reached over and rubbed my belly and goes, ‘chocolate.’ I was like, ‘you’re way too comfortable around here.'”
Ross couldn’t help but laugh in response to the interaction and joked with Suzuki that he’s way too relaxed with the manager already.
“He’s got a really good way about him,” Ross said. “He’s fit in really nicely. The guys in the locker room seem to really be taken to him and him to them. He’s fit in really nicely.”
Suzuki has fit in well with the fanbase, too.
He took a couple rounds of batting practice in Sloan Park hours before the game and as he was walking on the path back to the Cubs clubhouse, fans mobbed the fence hoping for selfies and autographs.
Suzuki stopped for about 10 minutes, signing autographs and waving to fans.
At one point, he wrapped up signing and began his trek back to the clubhouse but saw a group of kids holding out baseballs and pens. So Suzuki stopped, set his bat down and made sure to sign for each of the kids before continuing on his way.
Suzuki gave everybody a taste of his personality the day he was introduced with the Cubs when he professed his admiration for Mike Trout.
In just a short time in camp, he’s already impressed the Cubs with how he’s handled the pressure as an international star while also trying to build up for a regular season amid a shortened Spring Training.
“He’s a hard worker,” Ross said. “Passionate about his craft, works really diligently. Loves to hit, loves to be around the field, loves to take care of his body and then the personality stuff has really stood out. Super fun.”
Then Ross smiled and added:
“He knows more English than he’s letting on – that’s what I think.”