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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ichiro’s Playing Days Over

Seattle Mariners icon Ichiro Suzuki’s playing days are over, and will be transitioning to a role in the front office, effective Thursday, the Mariners announced.

Thanks for the memories Ichiro.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:16 PM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: he could if he wanted to, ichiro, mariners, marlins, yankees

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   1. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5665400)
-.6 fWAR in his last season and a half. Writing was on the wall and the Ms actually appear to have a playoff caliber team this year so time to move on. He's a phenomenon here in Seattle so I'm sure they will be doing quite a few marketing things with him as he moves to the FO role.
   2. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5665405)
Ichiro could transition into a role in the front office if he wanted to.
   3. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5665409)
And on a more serious note: will Ichiro be the first dual US/Japanese hall of famer? Obviously he's going in on the US side (sorry Ray, it's true). He left Japan after his age 26 season giving him seven full NPB seasons. Hideki Matsui is in the Japanese HOF, and he had nine full seasons. (I don't know if they have a requirement of X-many seasons.)
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5665410)
Ichiro, 44, currently has 3,089 career hits in Major League Baseball, including 2,542 as a Mariner -- the most in franchise history. He also collected 1,278 hits in Japan before coming to the Mariners in 2001. He was named both Rookie of the Year and MVP in 2001 and had won 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards.

Those first 10 MLB years get Ichiro into the HoF. Playing until age-44 is also rather remarkable. Quite a career. We'll not see anything like it for a long time, if ever.
   5. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5665413)
Damn, wanted to get to a Ichiro v Ohtani showdown.
   6. Tin Angel Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5665417)
He's not going to play another game!? Why not wait until Sunday- the Angels are in Seattle and Ohtani is pitching.
   7. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5665418)
Yeah, that's the only surprise here - that after waiting this long, they didn't give him a PA against Ohtani. But the Angels have gone to "undecided" for the weekend, so I guess it was time. It was pretty clear for the last week that after May 1st all bets would be off.
   8. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5665425)
The 2nd best player to wear #51 in Mariners history.
   9. dlf Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5665433)
With Ichiro's best years on the West Coast, I didn't get to see him enough. I've always liked the style of play he embodied: put the ball in play and run like hell. I can certainly acknowledge that the TTO players can be more valuable and that even at Suzuki's best, plodders like Giambi put more Ws on the scoreboard for his team. But aesthetically, I wish there were more like Ichiro.

...

Useless anecdote: I've never caught a ball in a MLB game. Plenty of batting practice homers and fouls while at MiLB & College games, but never MLB. Closest I ever came was while Ichiro was on the Yankees. They played a single admission double-header against the Pirates that May. I was in town on a business trip, but had a free day so I called two old college friends who joined me with their older boys, each about 10 years old. The stands were emptying out after the first game so we went down to the lower deck and sat just a little above the third-base dugout. In one at bat, Ichiro hit a hard foul that was about a foot above my head. I reached up and had the ball go right off my hands. The two kids with me were *pissed* at not getting the souvenir. I was equally annoyed that I had really hurt my hand.
   10. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5665448)
The 2nd best player to wear #51 in Mariners history.
Agreed, but that will be one heck of a dual retirement ceremony!
   11. aberg Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5665451)
will be transitioning to a role in the front office


He could draft 5 first rounders every year if he wanted to.
   12. Obo Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5665453)
The two kids with me were *pissed* at not getting the souvenir.

Would you have given it to them?
   13. JRVJ Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5665455)
It's always nice when a sensible decision like this is taken by all involved.

Ichiro! is an all-time Mariner great, and this seamless retirement is good for him, good for the Mariners and good for the Seattle fan base.
   14. BDC Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5665469)
With Ichiro's best years on the West Coast, I didn't get to see him enough

I saw the first series Ichiro played in Texas, and many, many others through the years – it's likely that he is the visiting player I have seen play most often. Last year I thought I'd seen his last series in Texas, with the Marlins, but there he was in April of this year, starting for the Mariners. He went 2-for-3 in that game, and looking at the game logs, I guess I saw his last big-league hit. (Both were infield singles that day.)

In about a full season's worth of play (570 PA), Ichiro batted .288 lifetime in Arlington, with 71 runs scored. He was a very distinctive player and always fun to watch, but I don't have a strong memory of him doing spectacular things. By contrast he hit .365 in Kansas City, with 43 runs in 65 games – Royals fans must have nightmares thinking about him :)
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5665476)
Royals fans must have nightmares thinking about him


It could just be the August heat.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5665484)
My all-time favorite baseball player, but it was time for him to go. Honest, while watching the game last night, and seeing Ichiro strike out in the ninth inning, the thought crossed my mind, "This might be it."

As I've mentioned before, Ichiro is not only my favorite player, but has had a huge, if indirect, effect on my life. I'd always casually admired Japanese culture, but my interest in the country exploded after Ichiro came to Seattle. As he became my favorite player, I wanted to learn more about Japan, and fell in love with its culture. The more I explored Japanese popular culture - J-rock, anime, manga, film - the more I found that I loved it and identified with it, to the point where probably 90% of the music, TV shows, and movies I listen to and watch these days are Japanese. I don't know if that would have happened without his influence.
   17. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5665487)
With Ichiro's best years on the West Coast, I didn't get to see him enough. I've always liked the style of play he embodied: put the ball in play and run like hell. I can certainly acknowledge that the TTO players can be more valuable and that even at Suzuki's best, plodders like Giambi put more Ws on the scoreboard for his team. But aesthetically, I wish there were more like Ichiro.


I'll co-sign on this one. Ichiro was a guy that I went out of my way to see in person, his game focused on defense and base running is the type of game best seen in person. The throw to get Terence Long in 2001 that "announced" him will always stick in my memory.
   18. Rally Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5665500)
He's not going to play another game!? Why not wait until Sunday- the Angels are in Seattle and Ohtani is pitching.


I'd like to see that, not in a snarky way as an Angel fan who wants to see the Mariners use less than their best option, but as a baseball fan who really likes Ichiro.

But if the season ended today, Angels would be WC#2 and Seattle would be a half game back. Nobody knows how the season would turn out. But imagine it did come down to one game, and the Angels win a 1 run game this weekend where at some point Ichiro hits a harmless groundball to second with 2 outs and the bases loaded. The Mariners would look back and spend all offseason kicking themselves for losing a playoff spot because of sentimentality.

And given Dipoto's history, losing in that way to the Angels would probably hurt even more.

So Ichiro's last game, 0-3 but drew a walk and scored a run. Last at bat was a strikeout in the bottom 9th. I wish I had known it would be his last (assuming he doesn't return to the field next year), I would have stayed up to watch it.
   19. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5665504)
The throw to get Terence Long in 2001 that "announced" him will always stick in my memory.

I love Ichiro's quote after that throw, like it was no big deal:
Asked to explain, Ichiro said, “The ball was hit right to me. Why did he run when I was going to throw him out?”
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5665507)
Ichiro enriched the game of baseball with his play. Glad he came over to MLB when he did.
   21. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5665513)
Aww, this makes me sad. It is time for him to hang em up, but I'd have loved if he could have gotten some type of sending off ceremony. He sure as hell deserved it.
   22. Rally Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5665516)
And on a more serious note: will Ichiro be the first dual US/Japanese hall of famer? Obviously he's going in on the US side (sorry Ray, it's true). He left Japan after his age 26 season giving him seven full NPB seasons. Hideki Matsui is in the Japanese HOF, and he had nine full seasons. (I don't know if they have a requirement of X-many seasons.)


Reminds me of an article from almost a decade ago. "One day, a warrior will ride from the East to the West, and by his feats, their halls of greatness shall become one."

   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5665517)
Here is video of the throw to get Long.
   24. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5665521)
. I can certainly acknowledge that the TTO players can be more valuable and that even at Suzuki's best, plodders like Giambi put more Ws on the scoreboard for his team.


Ichiro's career high in bWAR is 9.2, same as Giambi's. The year Ichiro won the MVP was Giambi's best year, but Ichiro was a very, very good 7.7 WAR player in his first year. Heck, the distance between Vlad Guerrero and Ichiro in 2004 was way greater than that between Ichiro and Giambi in 2001. Dude deserved an MVP award in his career, even if you can quibble about which year he won it for. A simply stunningly great player, and an amazingly fun one to watch.
   25. asinwreck Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5665534)
Come in No. 51, your time is up.

Agreed, but that will be one heck of a dual retirement ceremony!


#51 is to the Mariners what #8 is to the Yankees.
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5665550)
So one thing that people are coyly talking about is Ichiro potentially playing his last game in 2019, when the Mariners open their season in Japan. That would be amazing and perfect.
   27. dlf Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5665552)
#24 -- Not to go into the weeds on Ichiro's retirement day, but in 2004 when he had his career WAR high, Suzuki had exactly 100% more rField as in any other season. In his first six seasons, he averaged 13 to his 30 that year. Because of the nature of defensive stats, I'd tend to normalize the 30(!) he had that season which would put his seasonal high back from the "very, very good" but not superlative 7.7 of '01.
   28. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5665553)
My main memory of seeing him in person was the incessant stretching he would do in the outfield. He seemed to do something between every pitch.

He played in the most lopsided MLB game I've ever seen in person, a game in which Miguel Cairo first replaced Adrian Beltre at third and then moved to the outfield to replace Ichiro in right. That might be the all-time record for most defensive ability replaced by a single mediocrity in one baseball game.
   29. salvomania Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5665555)
In over 1000 games since the 2010 season---his last really good year---Ichiro has an OPS+ of 83, and on OBP of .310.

The one thing he's done well is steal bases---129 at an 81% success rate.
   30. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5665568)
I've always wanted to hear one of his AS Game locker room speeches.
   31. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5665569)
It's been a decade since the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but I still remember the finale when Ichiro came through with two outs and two on in extra innings to give Japan the winning margin. (Bonus coolness for our first look at a young Yu Darvish.)

I grew up in a time when there were basically zero Asians in any of the big three American sports because we were considered too small, too timid, too weak — physically inadequate to handle professional American sports, one of the many perceived inadequacies that fed the pop culture view of Asians in America at the time. The understanding and acceptance of Asians in American sports culture is so much greater now, and credit has to be given to guys like Nomo and Matsui and Matsuzaka and Darvish for helping to change that, but none of them owned the highlights and captured the imagination like Ichiro did. I would have loved to see Ichiro face Ohtani, but it's hard to say a bad word about Ichiro. When he was ICHIRO! baseball was better.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5665583)
Very sad about this. I ####### love Ichiro.
   33. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5665592)
So one thing that people are coyly talking about is Ichiro potentially playing his last game in 2019, when the Mariners open their season in Japan. That would be amazing and perfect.
That would be clever. If it's like past years, teams carry a few extra players on their roster for that trip, too, so it wouldn't be any kind of problem to have him on the squad.
   34. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5665596)
It's been a decade since the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but I still remember the finale when Ichiro came through with two outs and two on in extra innings to give Japan the winning margin. (Bonus coolness for our first look at a young Yu Darvish.)


I still don't know why South Korea didn't intentionally walk him in that situation. Tie game, extra innings, two out, runners on second and third. If there's ever a situation where a single is going to hurt you, this was it. I don't who the on-deck hitter was, but to pitch to Ichiro in that situation made little tactical sense. (Not that I'm complaining - it was great to see.)
   35. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5665610)
I've always liked the style of play he embodied: put the ball in play and run like hell. I can certainly acknowledge that the TTO players can be more valuable and that even at Suzuki's best, plodders like Giambi put more Ws on the scoreboard for his team. But aesthetically, I wish there were more like Ichiro.


Couldn't agree more. He was a pleasure to watch play, a class act on and off the field. I'm glad he was a star in Seattle when my son was young. Who better for a kid to have as a sports hero?
   36. Walt Davis Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5665620)
Happy trails!

I don't recall another mid-season retirement so sudden. I was expecting an announcement of Ichiro Day soon and that he'd hang on the roster until then. Obviously they can still give him a day.
   37. Zach Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5665646)
Good luck to him. He was an awfully fun player for an awfully long time.
   38. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5665648)
He played in the most lopsided MLB game I've ever seen in person,
Holy Craptacular Lineups, Batman - Beltre notwithstanding, the Mariners really threw the sludge out there in the late '00s...

Ichiro Suzuki RF
- Jamie Burke 3B
Jeremy Reed CF
Raul Ibanez DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
- Miguel Cairo 3B-RF
Jose Lopez 2B
Jeff Clement C
Wladimir Balentien LF
Bryan LaHair 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
- Tug Hulett SS
   39. dlf Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5665651)
I don't recall another mid-season retirement so sudden.


The first one that got me was Mike Schmidt. MVP at 36, still a star at 37, about league average at 38, and walked away at mid-season at 39.
   40. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5665665)
Cross-post from the other thread:

Toodle-oo to my favorite player of my adult lifetime.

~1987 when I became a conscious baseball fan: probably Joe Carter (visited my Ohio grandparents every summer, first-ever ballgame was at Cleveland Municipal)

~1991 when the Braves got good: Dave Justice (grew up in Braves Country)

~2003 Ichiro!

current: Kluber or Lindor
   41. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5665666)
Ryne Sandberg's retirement came out of the blue too.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5665667)
It's been a decade since the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but I still remember the finale when Ichiro came through with two outs and two on in extra innings to give Japan the winning margin. (Bonus coolness for our first look at a young Yu Darvish.)


I've mentioned this before, but my brother isn't a baseball fan at all, and started to watch that baseball classic for whatever reason and he randomly tells me "I'm loving this baseball classic thing, this Ichiro guy could probably play in the major leagues."..... and no, I'm not kidding or exaggerating about this. He was enjoying watching Ichiro play and didn't even realize he was a well established major leaguer. Ichiro is one of the most enjoyable guys to ever watch playing baseball(and yes I would put Pete Rose on that list, and I would have loved to see Jackie Robinson or Ty Cobb also)
   43. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5665702)
Assuming this is it, Ichiro! finishes at .311, just behind Edgar's .312. I like that.

ETA: Ran the numbers, if he hadn't come back this year (9/44), Ichiro! would have been at .31158 to Edgar's .31152. Life is funny sometimes.

------------

I seem to recall Dave Dravecky's retirement being sudden...
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5665707)
I don't recall another mid-season retirement so sudden.


The most recent Mariner return engagement had a sudden end too.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: May 03, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5665713)
I of course meant "willing" retirement. I don't know that I classify Sandberg's as "willing" (I think he felt he his life was falling apart and he had no real choice) and of course he came back a couple of years later. I would have just expected a bit more build up and rumors and Ichiro Day on Sunday.

That said, I don't recall Schmidt's retirement scenario. I suppose the Ms are lucky Ichiro didn't announce this would be his last season in the spring with dozens of farewells in other cities still to come.

But re-reading it, Griffey's retirement was just as sudden and more weird. At least at Wiki, it says Griffey left the teem in the middle of the night on the road, drove home to Florida and called the team to let him know he was retired, announced before the next game.

So I stand corrected. "Abrupt" is pretty common.
   46. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: May 03, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5665721)
Well, I guess I won't be checking the M's box scores anymore.
   47. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: May 03, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5665727)
The Mariners called up pitcher Erik Goeddel from AAA Tacoma to take Ichiro's spot on the 25-man roster.

I know I'd rather have Ichiro (even if he isn't playing well) on my 25-man roster than yet another anonymous relief pitcher, especially one who kinda sucks.
   48. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5665728)
Come in No. 51, your time is up.


I see you! Good tune.
   49. bfan Posted: May 03, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5665740)
It is all about the perceptions:

Ichiro revered in almost godlike terms- a right fielder with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 107.

Nick Markakis-a long run of derision and scorn in another thread yesterday over his career and what a mediocrity it has been- a RF with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 110.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: May 03, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5665747)
Ichiro revered in almost godlike terms- a right fielder with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 107.

Nick Markakis-a long run of derision and scorn in another thread yesterday over his career and what a mediocrity it has been- a RF with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 110.



Ichiro 59.4 war, starting his career in the majors at age 27.... Nick Markakis with 31.4 war and having a full major league career. It's like the people making the comments realize the true value of a player beyond a few surface stats.

Ichiro was an multiple MVP voting getting player who played multiple all-star level quality seasons... Markakis was a guy who had one great season... and was an average player more or less every year of his career, and who's one true skill was being healthy. (which for the record I don't deride.)
   51. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 03, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5665812)
I know I'd rather have Ichiro (even if he isn't playing well) on my 25-man roster than yet another anonymous relief pitcher, especially one who kinda sucks.


Well, he wasn't anonymous, but Ichiro was yet another relief pitcher who kinda sucked!

Also, this sucks (more than Ichiro sucked as a relief pitcher). Ichiro should continue playing forever, even if necessary in some South Dakota barnstorming league.
   52. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: May 03, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5665813)
Walt, there was outrage among many fans when Ichiro was a kept on the team a couple weeks ago and a better OF was sent down. I wouldn't say there were rumors here in Seattle, but there were suspicions that he might retire when the team returned home. It is intersting that he didn't hang on a few more days to face Otani.

But re-reading it, Griffey's retirement was just as sudden and more weird. At least at Wiki, it says Griffey left the teem in the middle of the night on the road, drove home to Florida and called the team to let him know he was retired, announced before the next game.


I'm getting picky, but Griffey didn't leave the team on the road and call from Florida. He got in his car in Seattle at night and starting driving, calling from the road in the morning to say he was done. I recall it because it was reported that he drove for 40-some hours almost nonstop and made some guy at a truck stop blink in disbelief, calling a buddy to say "I must be nuts, I'm in Montana, and I just saw Ken Griffey getting gas". He had said earlier in the year that he'd leave quietly when he was done, and he did.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 03, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5665826)
Well, I guess I won't be checking the M's box scores anymore.

Robinson Cano lives!
   54. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5665843)
Also, this sucks (more than Ichiro sucked as a relief pitcher). Ichiro should continue playing forever, even if necessary in some South Dakota barnstorming league.


I want him to give Japan another shot!
   55. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5665849)
He got in his car in Seattle at night and starting driving, calling from the road in the morning to say he was done. I recall it because it was reported that he drove for 40-some hours almost nonstop and made some guy at a truck stop blink in disbelief, calling a buddy to say "I must be nuts, I'm in Montana, and I just saw Ken Griffey getting gas". He had said earlier in the year that he'd leave quietly when he was done, and he did.


This sounds like a Jarmusch or Wenders movie waiting to happen.
   56. puck Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5665850)
He was a very distinctive player and always fun to watch, but I don't have a strong memory of him doing spectacular things.


No great throws or catches?
   57. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5665913)

I don't recall another mid-season retirement so sudden.

John Kruk retired at age 34, in the middle of a game, after hitting a single, during a season in which he had an OPS+ of 111.
   58. Walt Davis Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:33 PM (#5665918)
I'm getting picky, but Griffey didn't leave the team on the road and call from Florida. He got in his car in Seattle at night and starting driving, calling from the road in the morning to say he was done.

Mea culpa, I misread Wiki (which has it reasonably consistent with your version). Maybe I just find it even odder that he would leave the team in the middle of a home series.

John Kruk retired at age 34, in the middle of a game, after hitting a single, during a season in which he had an OPS+ of 111.

This sounds planned (at least by him) and a chance to get that last hurrah. It's that lack of the last hurrah that I thought would be unusual for a mid-season retirement.** Did everybody know yesterday's game was gonna be his last? If so, then I've misunderstood the whole thread! (Hey, I didn't sleep well last night and have been awake since about 4:30!!)

** Not including mid-season releases then failing to catch on with another team.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:33 PM (#5665920)
John Kruk retired at age 34, in the middle of a game, after hitting a single


Pushing his lifetime BA to .300.
   60. DanG Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5665921)
Those first 10 MLB years get Ichiro into the HoF.
Right fielders with 40 WAR, ages 27-36:

Player           WAR/  WAAOPSRfield   PA From  To    H
Babe Ruth        98.2  75.4  209   60.0 6253 1922 1931 1743 H
Hank Aaron       78.1  54.2  161   66.7 6595 1961 1970 1801 H
Roberto Clemente 68.9  47.1  147  121.1 6005 1962 1971 1820 H
Mel Ott          57.6  37.4  159    5.0 5934 1936 1945 1431 H
Pete Rose        56.3  34.5  134   30.5 7371 1968 1977 2067
Ichiro Suzuki    54.7  30.6  117   93.6 7339 2001 2010 2244
Larry Walker     51.2  35.7  147   56.4 5109 1994 2003 1453
Al Kaline        44.2  27.0  144   34.3 5235 1962 1971 1305 H
Paul Waner       44.1  23.2  133   16.0 6546 1930 1939 1959 H
Sammy Sosa       44.0  25.1  142   23.4 6303 1996 2005 1566
Dwight Evans     42.9  23.4  136   12.4 6304 1979 1988 1483 
   61. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5665939)
Did everybody know yesterday's game was gonna be his last?


Absolutely not. I watched the game, with the Mariners' broadcasters, and there was no hint that it would be his last game.
   62. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5665953)
From a financial/contractual point of view, how do retirements like (apparently) Griffey's and (maybe) Kruk's work? That is, where the player just says "I'm done" in the middle of a contract, as opposed to one like (probably) Ichiro's, where the team and the player likely reached some sort of retirement agreement beforehand?
   63. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5665958)
It is all about the perceptions:

Ichiro revered in almost godlike terms- a right fielder with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 107.

Nick Markakis-a long run of derision and scorn in another thread yesterday over his career and what a mediocrity it has been- a RF with multiple gold gloves and a lifetime OPS+ of 110.


This is trolling at an RDP level.

Markakis has 2 GG, Ichiro has 10. Ichiro has about 100 more runs worth of fielding value and about 100 more runs worth of defensive value, plus 800 more games played (in addition to nearly 1000 games played in NPB).

I would not call Markakis mediocre, but he's basically been the definition of average over 13 seasons.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: May 03, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5665966)
This is trolling at an RDP level.

Markakis has 2 GG, Ichiro has 10. Ichiro has about 100 more runs worth of fielding value and about 100 more runs worth of defensive value, plus 800 more games played (in addition to nearly 1000 games played in NPB).

I would not call Markakis mediocre, but he's basically been the definition of average over 13 seasons.


No, it's bfan. On the subject of Ichiro, he's what everyone perceives Ray to be, and it's totally unfair that he doesn't get the credit for being the site's foremost supplier of ridiculous claims downplaying Suzuki's playing record.

   65. homerwannabee Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:08 PM (#5665973)
Despite being below average his final five years, I do believe that him getting 3000 hits helped him amoung sabermetric people.
How's that?
Because with 3000 hits it's been traditionally been a milestone that gets you in if you aren't a PED user or a gambler on baseball.
If all he had was 3000 hits, then a good argument could be made that he doesn't deserve the HoF.
But he was a stellar defender, very good base runner, ten time all star with a very crazy cool narrative.
He's more than a guy with a Hall of Fame number. Without 3000, he's a guy who should be in the hall of fame, and here's why. A huge difference in the argument.
   66. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5665980)
Markakis has 2 GG, Ichiro has 10. Ichiro has about 100 more runs worth of fielding value and about 100 more runs worth of defensive value, plus 800 more games played (in addition to nearly 1000 games played in NPB).


Plus, when Ichiro was Markakis' age, his career OPS+ was 119, not 107.
   67. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5666002)
Pushing his lifetime BA to .300.


Pretty sure there's not a person among us who wouldn't say "yep, I'm good" if we had a .300 average in MLB.
   68. eric Posted: May 03, 2018 at 11:49 PM (#5666009)
Questions I wasn't sure about until I looked: Who finished his career with more SB, Barry Bonds or Ichiro? Who had more Rfield? More Rbaser?
   69. Walt Davis Posted: May 04, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5666021)
From a financial/contractual point of view, how do retirements like (apparently) Griffey's and (maybe) Kruk's work? That is, where the player just says "I'm done" in the middle of a contract, as opposed to one like (probably) Ichiro's, where the team and the player likely reached some sort of retirement agreement beforehand?

If the player officially retires, the contract is void. Few do unless it's already nearly a league min contract. In cases where it's not, teams and players probably come to an agreement, probably even in cases like Griffey's. What I'm not sure of is ... I don't recall if Griffey was still on a real contract at that point or not. But in cases where the player (let's call him Panda) is still on a big contract owed by another team, has been released, and is now on a min contract with team 2 (still paid handsomely by team 1), I'm not sure if he can retire from contract 2 only. I would assume so if he'd been released and thereby signed as a FA with team 2 but not if he'd been traded from team 1 to team 2.

Right fielders with 40 WAR, ages 27-36:

I know it was the age he came over but, for HoF purposes, limiting to ages 27-36 probably doesn't help us figure out where he sits. I don't see any good reason to limit it to RF either. HoF aren't elected by position and especially not RF.

If we look at ages 27+, regardless of position, then Ichiro is 35th all-time with 59 which is pretty snazzy. Most immediately around him are HoF but you get Pee Wee Reese (VC), Walker, Utley, Palmeiro at 56, Nettles and Lofton at 54. That seems more borderline and obviously, in MLB career terms, that's all he's got.

Another way to think about though is that almost any player who had at least one 10-season stretch with 50+ WAR and who did/didn't make the HoF. Killing time, I started with 1961-70 and worked forward. Obviously many players (esp the true greats) will appear in 1961-70, 1962-71, etc. Ichiro of course will have a tough time because of the late start. Start with (sorted by final year), ** means not an HoFer (yet) ... and is not Rose, Barry, etc. Obviously strike years can distort things.

70: 7 players, 6 BBWAA, 1 VC (Santo)
71: 8 add Billy Williams
72: 9 add Dick Allen**
73: 9 add Rose (somebody out)
74: 7 add Morgan
75: 5
76: 6 add Bando**, Bench, Reggie
77: 8 add Bonds**, Carew
78: 8 add Nettles** ... Bando first post-expansion player with 55+ over 10 seasons not to make it
79: 7 add Scmidt ... but Bando entirely gone
80: 7 add Grich**
81: 5
82: 5 add Brett
83: 4
84: 4 add Buddy Bell**, Carter
85: 4 add Yount (lose Bell)
86: 6 add Hernandez**, Rickey
87: 6
88: 7 add Boggs
89: 7 add Ozzie, Trammell (VC), Ripken
90: 6
91: 6 add Sandberg
92: 8 add Barry, Raines
93: 6 (lose Raines)
94: 5
95: 4
96: 6 add Larkin, Griffey
97: 5
98: 5 add Biggio, Thomas
99: 7 add Edgar, Biggio
00: 7 add Lofton**
01: 9 add Walker**, Alomar, Piazza
02: 7 add Sosa, ARod
03: 6 add Thome
04: 8 add Edmonds, Pudge
05: 8 add Andruw**, Chipper, Manny
06: 8 add Rolen**, Jeter, Helton
07: 10 add Abreu**, Vlad, Pujols
08: 6 add Beltran
09: 7 add Ichiro
10: 5
11: 3 add Utley, lose Ichiro
12: 4 add Beltre
13: 5 add Miggy
14: 5 add Cano
15: 5
16: 6 add Pedroia, Kinsler, lose Utley
17: 6 add Votto, Trout (in year 7), Longoria
18: 4 already, Miggy has a good shot (1.4 WAR), Longoria will probably drop out

So Ichiro was in for two years. Other than Bando, I didn't notice any other players with 55+ WAR in 10 yeas that didn't make the HoF. If I picked up all of the adds, there have been 66 players to do it at least once in the expansion era. I know I'm jumping the gun on Rolen and Abreu (yeah, right) but I'll tag it at 12 non-roid misses, 2 VC, and I'll guess 4 more that will miss with the BBWAA. That's a bit under 30%. But as I said I'm not sure any of them made it to 55 WAR in 10 years.

Still, on this list, Ichiro's case is probably closer to Allen, Raines, Lofton, Nettles, Grich than the big guns. Gwynn just missed with 49 from 1984-93.

With 3000 hits, I think of him in Carew, Gwynn, Raines (times on base), Lofton terms. Or, in a mild surprise, Lou Brock with very good defense rather than sub-par defense. (There's a sizable BA difference but Brock played through some tough BA years, has basically the same OPS+, slightly better SLG ... nearly the same PA, # of hits, etc. Brock wins Rbat and Rbase, Ichiro wins Rdp and dWAR (by a massive amount), Brock ekes out oWAR by 1.

By oWAR and post-integration OFs (at least 50% at at least one of the positions, sorry Stan), Ichiro would be t25 out of 27. He beats Rice by a smidgen, ties Doby, just behind Brock, close to Kiner and Puckett. By WAR standards, he's in on defense ... and of course we believe Rfield when we want to. :-)

Somebody like Utley is a reasonable comp as he didn't get a full-time job until 26. Lofton didn't have on until 25. Ichiro vs Lofton, ignoring a few of Ichiro's downer years to put them on a roughly equal PA count:

IS: 9278 PA, 319/361/414, 111 OPS+, 2742 hits, 121 Rbat, 115 base+dp, 5 dWAR, 59 WAR (through 39)
KL: 9235 PA, 299/372/423, 107 OPS+, 2428 hits, 140 Rbat, 101 base+dp, 15 dWAR, 68 WAR

So we don't believe dWAR/Rfield for Lofton vs Ichiro but we do for Ichiro vs Brock? Note the Rfields are pretty much the same but Lofton was doing it in CF (120 runs of positional advantage). We'd have to ignore the positional advantage to bring them even.

Ichiro's value as a hitter just wasn't that high. His WAR case comes down to the peripherals. That's fine, they're consistent with what we all perceived and believed. And the complete over-looking of Lofton, Grich, etc. is no reason to overlook Ichiro too.
   70. jmurph Posted: May 04, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5666113)
No, it's bfan. On the subject of Ichiro, he's what everyone perceives Ray to be, and it's totally unfair that he doesn't get the credit for being the site's foremost supplier of ridiculous claims downplaying Suzuki's playing record.

He also has a Rickey-like levels of homerism/persecution complex relating to the Braves. So there's that.
   71. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 04, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5666133)
From a financial/contractual point of view, how do retirements like (apparently) Griffey's and (maybe) Kruk's work? That is, where the player just says "I'm done" in the middle of a contract, as opposed to one like (probably) Ichiro's, where the team and the player likely reached some sort of retirement agreement beforehand?


I assume, perhaps erroneously, that it works like any job. You get paid through your last day worked and that's that. I suppose technically the team can argue breach of contract and sue for some kind of compensation but that's as likely to happen as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton starring in an I Love Lucy remake.
   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 04, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5666142)
I assume, perhaps erroneously, that it works like any job. You get paid through your last day worked and that's that.

I'm pretty sure that's it. Retirement voids the remainder of the contract, as long as you stay retired.
   73. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 04, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5666191)
I just wanted to echo Hombre's comments in [31]. Ichiro was one of the only visible Asian/Asian American figures in not just U.S. sports, but pop culture in general.
   74. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 04, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5666268)
That said, I don't recall Schmidt's retirement scenario.
Schmidt was convinced that he'd completely lost it, and that it wasn't ever coming back. I mainly remembering him weeping through much of the press conference.

It was weird -- he was hitting 275/343/549 on May 2, went 088/229/088 over his next 18 games, and then quit at the end of the month.
   75. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5666329)
re#60

I am pretty sure my second-favourite deadball player, Wahoo Sam, had 40+ WAR between 27 and 36

That is a solid list
   76. DanG Posted: May 04, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5666351)
re#60

I am pretty sure my second-favourite deadball player, Wahoo Sam, had 40+ WAR between 27 and 36
You're right, I forgot to allow for negative Rfield. Here's the actual list of RF leading in WAR ages 27-36:

Player           WAR/  WAAOPSRfield   PA From  To    H
Babe Ruth        98.2  75.4  209   60.0 6253 1922 1931 1743 H
Hank Aaron       78.1  54.2  161   66.7 6595 1961 1970 1801 H
Roberto Clemente 68.9  47.1  147  121.1 6005 1962 1971 1820 H
Mel Ott          57.6  37.4  159    5.0 5934 1936 1945 1431 H
Pete Rose        56.3  34.5  134   30.5 7371 1968 1977 2067
Ichiro Suzuki    54.7  30.6  117   93.6 7339 2001 2010 2244
Harry Heilmann   52.6  32.8  159  
-20.0 5381 1922 1930 1672 H
Frank Robinson   52.0  31.5  159  
-20.4 5814 1963 1972 1439 H
Larry Walker     51.2  35.7  147   56.4 5109 1994 2003 1453
Sam Crawford     47.2  23.1  149  
-45.0 6296 1907 1916 1784 H
Reggie Jackson   45.8  26.2  150  
-26.2 5788 1973 1982 1399 H 

FWIW, JAWS has Ichiro #17 in RF, between Reggie Smith and Sammy Sosa.
   77. Moeball Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5666388)
I'm getting old so I don't remember which year this was, but my favorite Ichiro moment was the All Star game where he hit the inside the park HR. You see guys hit a gapper and look up briefly between first and second to determine if they're going to try for a triple, but Ichiro was thinking Home the whole way with no hesitation. I seem to recall that it might have been Griffey trying to chase that ball down. I think it was against one of my Padres pitchers, too. At any rate, Ichiro was the very definition of fast. He'll be missed.
   78. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: May 04, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5666405)
Interesting that Crawford's defense is reported as so bad, especially as he had a good defensive rep and played CF for 3 years. Double the negative RField of "Sluggo" Heilmann doesn't seem right
   79. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: May 04, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5666452)
my favorite Ichiro moment was the All Star game where he hit the inside the park HR

Yep, it was Junior...
   80. cardsfanboy Posted: May 04, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5666527)
I've been watching videos since I read post 79...and then I went and looked at the stats on bb-ref for the fun of it... in 2001 Ichiro was the rookie of the month for April, May, June, August and September.... I don't think I've ever seen someone do that... Albert was only rookie of the month for April and May of his rookie year. (and I've seen a few other two time winners)
   81. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 04, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5666529)
Jerry DiPoto was on local radio yesterday and all but confirmed the idea of playing in Japan next season for the M's. Which means he's not retired. He's also going to essentially train as a player, in uniform and everything, right up until gametime. DiPoto said that there was a mutual agreement that Ichiro! will not play anywhere else this season, even if he had an opportunity. Also, the clubhouse loves him, and he's imparting work ethic and wisdom and all that stuff that has intangible value to the club (implying it was worth a win or two just to keep him around).
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: May 04, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5666536)
Jerry DiPoto was on local radio yesterday and all but confirmed the idea of playing in Japan next season for the M's. Which means he's not retired. He's also going to essentially train as a player, in uniform and everything, right up until gametime. DiPoto said that there was a mutual agreement that Ichiro! will not play anywhere else this season, even if he had an opportunity. Also, the clubhouse loves him, and he's imparting work ethic and wisdom and all that stuff that has intangible value to the club (implying it was worth a win or two just to keep him around).


I don't think it's out of the question that he might end up suiting up for them in September either, especially if they don't make the playoffs, to have an "Ichiro" day in Seattle.
   83. SoSH U at work Posted: May 04, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5666573)
He's also going to essentially train as a player, in uniform and everything, right up until gametime.


He'll probably keep training every day of the offseason, since I'm not sure he knows any other way of living.

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