Ichiro Suzuki walked into the visiting clubhouse last night at Safeco Field, looked around at all his new Yankees teammates, took a deep breath and smiled.

CC Sabathia was the first Yankee he spotted. Ichiro walked up to the big lefty and said, in perfect English: "CC, how you doing? Good to see you again.''

A few seconds later, Ichiro was giving Derek Jeter a hug. Jeter smiled and asked, "Are you older than me?''

Ichiro smiled and said: "By one year. What's the difference?''

The two superstars, who own a combined 5,746 major league hits, laughed. Exactly, what's the difference?