Jeff Passan did a nice piece on Ichiro's rebirth over on Yahoooooo! I like to see Ichiro getting fired up. Even in 2004 when he had all those hits, I never got the sense that he was having a lot of fun. In fact, it seems like ever since Cameron left, he hasn't quite been as happy. I'm not sure what that scream Passan is referring to was, so if anyone saw it fill us in. After Ichiro's comments this off-season about things like playing cards in the clubhouse, it's nice to see him loosen up a little bit. Part of what makes Ichiro great is his work ethic and focus, but for those that are a fan of fire and passion (and I'm not talking about romance novels), this is a side of Ichiro you'll be happy to see in 2006.
So the WBC may give us a confident Beltre and a passionate Ichiro. I'll take that.
Edit: Jim Caple also noticed Ichiro's newfound emotions.