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Sunday, March 02, 2014

CBS: Ichiro, 40, wants to play ‘many’ more seasons after 2014

As Steven Taffy Wright once said…“I intend to play forever. So far, so good.”

Despite being pushed into a part-time role at age 40, Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is not planning to retire after the season or anytime soon for that matter. Here’s what he told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:

  “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said.

  Asked how many more seasons he thought he could play, Ichiro laughed. “Not just a few,” he said. “Many. For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now.”


  “I don’t know how I’m going to feel once the season starts,” he admitted. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like. But right now, it doesn’t change the way I prepare myself throughout the spring.”

...Over the last three seasons, Suzuki has hit .273/.305/.356 (86 OPS+) in nearly 2,000 plate appearances. That includes a .262/.297/.342 (75 OPS+) batting line last season. That’s a far cry from his insane 2001-10 peak and production that warrants a spot on the bench.

It’s way too early to know if any MLB club will bite and sign Ichiro after the season, when his contract expires. Returning to Japan to play figures to be an option as well. NPB clubs always seem to be willing to bring back former stars.


Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:39 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4664965)
I hope Ichiro keeps playing as long as there is any team anywhere at any level who is willing to let him. I hope when the day comes that no MLB team will take a flyer on him, he'll carry on elsewhere, be that Japan or the Newark Bears or Quintana Roo or wherever, for a long, long time.
   2. jdennis Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4664972)
The likely scenario to me is that he is a backup this season, but with a lot of appearances, and then he'll get a minimum salary offer from the Yankees and Mariners. I think he will return to Japan after that. Sadly I doubt he gets 3k here.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4664975)
It's fun to want things.
   4. Morty Causa Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4664989)
Sure, Marge, we'd all like to play many more seasons, but what are the chances of that?
   5. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4664996)
Maybe someone will let him be a player / manager and he can Punch and Judy his way to 3000.
   6. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4665000)
I think Ichiro would be the most awesome manager ever. Make it so.
   7. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4665005)
I would not at all discount the possibility of Ichiro having a decent season in 2014, à la Lou Brock in 1979. Of course, Brock did get to 3,000 hits that year and took advantage of that season to go out on a high note. 1980 might not have left good memories if he'd have tried it.
   8. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4665020)
If you want to keep playing, then stop sucking.
   9. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4665023)
"...sporadically, as a fifth outfielder" was the full quote.
   10. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4665031)
Well he could if he wanted to...
   11. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4665137)
I wonder if there'll be a team that tries to move to Ichiro to CF if he puts a .675 OPS and does a good job in RF again this year. His batting looks a lot better if he's playing CF. I do hope that he makes it to 3000 hits as a MLBer.
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4665138)
It sounds like how Rickey Henderson ended his career.

I'm kind of saddened by the fact that Ichiro Suzuki and Rickey Henderson missed playing on the same team together by just one year.
Imagine the stories they would have had as teammates...
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4665151)
I'm kind of saddened by the fact that Ichiro Suzuki and Rickey Henderson missed playing on the same team together by just one year.
Imagine the stories they would have had as teammates...

"Rickie had a teammate who could do anything if he wanted to..."
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4665159)
Given Ichiro's uniqueness, there aren't too many players who will have somebody willing to keep him on their roster all year if he is willing to play for a modest salary. It reminds me a bit of post-Phillies Pete Rose. Rose had one skill at the end: He could get on base. Ichiro is sort of down to one skill, too: He can play defense. One skill + really famous + willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the big leagues = play until you are into your 40s...
   15. John Northey Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4665170)
I hope he finds a club who'll give him a full-time job again after this year, or at least a platoon job. Heck, Houston sucks why not there? They had 4 outfielders with OPS+ sub 80 who had 150+ PA each last year. Then there would be a reason for fans to at least watch (given they had games with a 0 rating last year).
   16. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4665222)
Heck, Houston sucks why not there?

Don't look now but Houston's OF won't suck for much longer. Dexter Fowler is in CF and George Springer will likely be joining them this year. LJ Hoes isn't anyone's idea of a superstar, but he is a non-embarrassing starting player who will make the league minimum. It would be fun to have Ichiro on any team but I think a team like the Astros is better off building assets by giving guys cheap guys with upside (however modest) as much playing time as they can.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4665238)
It sounds like how Rickey Henderson ended his career.

It was useful to see all those people complaining about Rickey tarnishing his legacy, because that helped me identify all the stupid ######## whose opinions I didn't need to credit any more.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4665440)
How in the world did Ichiro get into 150 games last year? I think with a little more rest he could rebound to a 90 ops+ hitter and put up about 100 hits. (he still managed to put up 1.4 war last year...that is surprising considering how people seem to act like he's a drain, instead of just a below average player)
   19. Gamingboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4665630)
Ichiro will play forever.. if he wants to.
   20. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4665649)
How in the world did Ichiro get into 150 games last year?

The same way Vernon Wells got into 130.
   21. John Northey Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4665820)
Poor Wells. -0.2 WAR last year, -0.1 after leaving the Jays post a 4.2 WAR season. Of course, he got over $89 million over those 3 seasons plus this one (where he gets paid if he sits at home all year).

Ichiro on the other hand has had a positive WAR every single season in the majors, although just 3.8 over the past 3 seasons combined (3.7 the year before on its own).

Ichiro has value still and could be part of a platoon or a 4th outfielder easily for many teams I'm sure. Wells on the other hand won't be picked up by anyone even at league minimum I'd bet.
   22. chris p Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4665873)
I'm kind of saddened by the fact that Ichiro Suzuki and Rickey Henderson missed playing on the same team together by just one year.

still could happen!

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