Ichiro watch moves to Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs expect an overflow contingent of Japanese media beginning Monday when the Miami Marlins come to town for three games.

Ichiro Suzuki is with the Marlins, and he is 2 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

The only player to notch his 3,000th hit at Wrigley Field was Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals on May 13, 1958.

Suzuki does not start every game, so it will be interesting to see how many chances he gets in the series.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon expressed admiration for what the Japanese star has accomplished.

"Pretty phenomenal, right?" Maddon said. "I got to know him a little bit during the All-Star Game in 2009. He gave me bats, and I gave him bottles of wine. I think that's somewhat unfair, for him. I got to visit with him. I got to know him a little bit.

"I actually ran into him the night before the All-Star Game in 2009. We were up on the Hill in St. Louis having dinner in some little Italian restaurant. He walks in with several people. So Jaye (Maddon's wife) and I were sitting there having dinner. We sent a bottle of wine over.

"I had one request - that he hit a home run on the first pitch of the game. He did swing, and it was well struck, but it went foul. He tried."

Maddon was asked why the milestone isn't getting more attention.

"He's done it on two different worlds, man, the best hitter in both places," he said. "Playing a lot against him with the Angels with Seattle, this guy was an absolute force.

"Maybe it's slowing down a bit, maybe because of that people aren't giving it as much emphasis, but what he's done and what he's doing are pretty remarkable. Japanese baseball is very good, too. I would imagine that in Japan there's going to be a ton of enthusiasm about it."

Tough roster moves:

When the Cubs selected the contract of pitcher Brian Matusz from Class AAA Iowa to start Sunday night's game against the Seattle Mariners, they optioned reliever Justin Grimm to Iowa. Grimm was 0-0 with a 4.72 ERA in 45 games.

The Cubs recently optioned infielder Tommy La Stella to Iowa to make room for outfielder Chris Coghlan, who came off the disabled list. Both Grimm and La Stella have minor-league options remaining.

"It's been very difficult," Joe Maddon said. "Good people and big parts of what we're doing here. He (Grimm) took it wonderfully. He spoke really well. He got it. He'll be back. We love having him here.

"Again, that's part of the rules. That's how this thing works sometimes. He was really good, and again, we gave him all the reasons why, and the big reason is to have Matusz start today."

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