Ichiro announces his retirement

Pandarama

lurker
Aug 20, 2018
73
A couple of days before his retirement, the arm was still there

Seattle Times: Ichiro announces his retirement after Mariners’ final game in Japan

It was a great privilege to see his debut season live in Seattle back in 2001. I would never guessed that he would have been able to perform at an MLB level for 18 years.

Posnanski wrote an interesting post back in 2010 comparing Ichiro and Nolan Ryan. The whole thing is worth reading, but this is worth quoting:

Nolan

No pitcher struck out more batters. But then you add in the walks. You throw in his remarkable skill at throwing wild pitches — his 277 is 50 more than second-place Phil Niekro. You throw in his preposterous inability to prevent runners from stealing bases — Ryan’s 757 stolen bases allowed are BY FAR the most allowed; that’s 200-plus more than Greg Maddux, who is second on the list. You throw in his general struggles with fielding his position. No good pitcher in baseball history did the big things better; but perhaps no good pitcher in baseball history did the little things worse. And that is how a guy most would call the most unhittable and greatest strikeout pitcher in baseball history ends up with a bland 112 ERA+ and ends up over an astonishingly long career allowing more runs than any pitcher in history except Niekro.

Because of all this it’s hard to really define Ryan as a pitcher. He’s the most extraordinary pitcher who ever lived, I think. But I also think he’s not especially close to the best.
Ichiro

Still, as we try to look honestly at his career, we are left with two questions and two seemingly conflicting answers:

1. Is Ichiro Suzuki one of the greatest hitters in baseball history? Absolutely.

2. Is Ichiro Suzuki one of the greatest offensive forces in baseball history? No, probably not.
 

Pandarama

lurker
Aug 20, 2018
73
A couple more quotes from a very excellent piece written last year, at http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22624561/ichiro-suzuki-return-seattle-mariners-resolve-internal-battle

The Yankees clubhouse manager tells a story about Ichiro's arrival to the team in 2012. Ichiro came to him with a serious matter to discuss: Someone had been in his locker. The clubhouse guy was worried something had gone missing, like jewelry or a watch, and he rushed to check.

Ichiro pointed at his bat.

Then he pointed at a spot maybe 8 inches away.

His bat had moved.

The clubhouse manager sighed in relief and told Ichiro that he'd accidentally bumped the bat while putting a clean uniform or spikes or something back into Ichiro's locker, which is one of the main roles of clubhouse attendants.

"That can't happen," Ichiro said, smiling but serious.
Whiting is a best-selling author and Japanese baseball expert and among the world's most sophisticated translators of the two cultures. He asked Ichiro about a passage in his father's book describing their training sessions as fun for both father and son. For the first and only time in the interview, Ichiro switched to English.

"He's a liar," he said.

Everyone laughed but Whiting didn't think he was joking at all. The next day, Ichiro's manager successfully petitioned Whiting not to run that quote because of the importance of filial reverence in Japan. Whiting left in what Ichiro said next in Japanese. Ichiro said his dad's behavior "bordered on child abuse."
Once Ichiro didn't want to practice baseball. He wanted to run around with his friends, so he defiantly sat down in the middle of the field. A furious Nobuyuki started throwing baseballs at his son, but Ichiro's fast reflexes allowed him to avoid them. Ones aimed directly for his face he easily caught.
Ichiro has broken away from his father -- the man who invented Ichiro, the wellspring of all that's good and bad in his life -- but he cannot break away from the man his father created. He cannot escape the patterns burned into him as a boy. His American teammates all talk about how he still polishes his gloves and spikes, as he was taught. He works out every day without break, forsaking even a family, wearing shorts in the freezing Kobe winter. He's made a $160 million fortune and can't enjoy it. He's earned his rest but can't take it. He's won his freedom but doesn't want it. The kid in the essay who wrote of a life away from baseball no longer exists.

Ichiro now does to himself all the things he resents his father for having made him do.
I literally worry how he's going to cope with life after baseball.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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May 5, 2017
456
The talk about teenagers making MLB rosters made me just realize that with Ichiro's retirement and Bartolo Colon remaining unsigned, Fernando Rodney is now the oldest active player (he turned 42 nine days ago). For the first time in my life there are no major league players as old as me.

*
 

DanoooME

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The talk about teenagers making MLB rosters made me just realize that with Ichiro's retirement and Bartolo Colon remaining unsigned, Fernando Rodney is now the oldest active player (he turned 42 nine days ago). For the first time in my life there are no major league players as old as me.

*
Mine was Tim Wakefield. Makes you feel old, doesn't it?
 

santadevil

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Aug 1, 2006
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The talk about teenagers making MLB rosters made me just realize that with Ichiro's retirement and Bartolo Colon remaining unsigned, Fernando Rodney is now the oldest active player (he turned 42 nine days ago). For the first time in my life there are no major league players as old as me.

*
Why did you do this to me?
I'm turning 38 in June this year

Can someone do a bbref search for me and find out who is still active and older than me, so I can keep those guys in mind
I'm too dumb to figure this stuff out
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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MLB Trade Rumors just posted the list of oldest and youngest players. You're probably safe until the Pujols contract expires after the 2021 season. Heck, I'm not even certain Pujols is younger than me.

A few guys not on the list... Bartolo has specifically said he hasn't retired (I saw him pitch an exhibition game right before his rookie season - back then he was "younger" than me). Matt Holliday (Jan 15, 1980), Santiago Casilla (Jul 25, 1980) and Jose Bautista (Oct 19, 1980) all played last season, but while I haven't heard any of them announce their retirement, it seems unlikely they'll ever play another MLB game.

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moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Are we at the point yet where players born in the 90s outnumber those born in the 80s?
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
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Pujols is definitely 2-3 years older than the official date.