Posnanski: Pete Rose, Ichiro Suzuki, and what it means to be the Hit King

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at NBC Sports on June 16, 2016:

OK, magnanimity isn’t exactly Pete Rose’s strong suit. Back when Ichiro Suzuki was several hundred hits away from Rose, he was happy to be big-hearted. Sure! Ichiro can count his hits in Japan! Why not? He’s still not catching the Hit King (trademarked)!

Then, in 2013, when Ichiro reached 4,000 total hits between Japan and the U.S. and started getting a little attention for it, well, the collar started getting a little tighter and the Hit King (trademarked) started getting a little grumpier about things. Wait, if he can count his hits in Japan, well, what about my 427 minor-league hits (and how about Pete Rose KNOWING that he had 427 minor-league hits)?

And now, yes, there are all sorts of alarm bells going off in the mind of the Hit King (trademarked). Ichiro just got his 4,257th international hit. That is one more than the 4,256 Major League hits of Pete Rose. And so, yes, out comes the jab about high school hits. Like I say, magnanimity is not exactly Pete Rose’s strong suit.

And it’s a shame too because this would have been a great time for Pete Rose to be magnanimous, to celebrate Ichiro’s grand achievement without reservation. Here’s why: Ichiro’s achievement isn’t just a celebration of Ichiro. It isn’t just a celebration of baseball. It’s a celebration of Pete Rose.

I’ve written this before: If Ichiro Suzuki had started his career in Major League Baseball, I think he would have actually broken Pete Rose’s record.

Read the full article here: http://sportsworld.nbcsports.com/pete-rose-ichiro-suzuki-hits/

Originally published: June 16, 2016. Last Updated: June 16, 2016.