Jaffe: Ichiro bows out again

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on March 21, 2019:

Even if you didn’t wake up at an ungodly early hour to watch Thursday’s Mariners-A’s game at the Tokyo Dome, by now you may have seen the stirring footage of Ichiro Suzuki exiting the game in the eighth inning en route to his official retirement. If not, beware the coming dust storm.

That the 45-year-old Suzuki — who was nudged off the Mariners’ roster and into an unofficial retirement and special assistant role last May 3, at a point when he was hitting .205/.255/.205 through 47 plate appearances — went 0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout in his two-game cameo matters not a whit as far as his legacy is concerned. His awe-inspiring total of 4,367 career hits (1,278 in Nippon Professional Baseball, 3,089 in Major League Baseball) still stands as the signature accomplishment for a player who has spent more than a quarter-century serving as a wonderful ambassador for the sport on two continents. His stateside resumé, which includes not only his membership in the 3,000 Hit Club (despite not debuting in the majors until he was about half past his 27th birthday) but also his 10 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Gloves, AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards, and so on, is ample enough to guarantee him first-ballot election to the Hall of Fame. In the wake of Mariano Rivera’s groundbreaking unanimous election to the Hall in January, it’s even possible that Ichiro could replicate the feat.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/ichiro-bows-out-again/

Originally published: March 21, 2019. Last Updated: March 21, 2019.