NEW YORK - A mysterious man was sitting in the Seattle Mariners’ dugout Thursday night, sporting a bushy mustache and wearing a hoodie.
And shades -- shades reminiscent of Bobby Valentine’s failed disguise in 1999 when he was ejected from a game and tried to sneak back into the dugout.
The mystery man was no stranger to Mariners fans -- Ichiro Suzuki, now an executive in the Seattle front office.
Suzuki sneaked into the Seattle dugout Thursday to watch the first inning of the Mariners’ game at Yankee Stadium against the New York Yankees, The New York Post reported.
"He was perfect. I never would have known it was him,'' Valentine texted to the The Associated Press.
Officially, Suzuki, 44, is not allowed to be in the dugout during games, ESPN reported. He was removed from the Mariners’ roster in May and moved into the front office as a special assistant to the team chairman, the AP reported.
AP photographer Bill Kostroun spotted Suzuki hiding in the dugout during the first inning. He had exited the dugout by the second inning as the Mariners lost 4-3 to the Yankees.
Perhaps Suzuki had dropped a hint when he moved into his new position.
"During the game I will be doing the same preparations I've been doing the entire time. Nothing is going to change for me that I did as a player," Suzuki said. "But I can't say for certain that maybe I won't put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout."
Valentine, who was managing the New York Mets in 1999, was ejected from a game in the 12th inning. He later put on a fake mustache and sunglasses and attempted to sit in the dugout.
Valentine was caught and was suspended for two games. He also was fined $5,000.
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