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Joe vs. Ichiro: The plot thickens

A couple weeks ago, with Joe Mauer set to debut atop the AL leaderboard with a .389 batting average and Ichiro Suzuki hitting .360, I wrote that “it would be great to watch those two duke it out down the stretch to see who can capture their third batting title.”

Since then Mauer has slumped and Ichiro has kept chugging along, and yesterday they flip-flopped spots in the batting title race. Ichiro leads the league at .363 with Mauer second at .358, and Jason Bartlett is right there with them at .345 now that he has enough plate appearances to qualify.

There are three lesssons to be learned here. One, be careful what you wish for. Two, maintaining a .390 batting average is really hard. And three, Ichiro is really good.