At this point in Ichiro’s storied 17 year career (26 if you include Japan), things have not become "ridiculous" yet; but that is about to change fast.
For people who love baseball (like Ichiro), they don’t quit the game, the game quits on them.“I want to keep playing till I’m 50,” Ichiro said to the media when asked when he plans to retire. It’s a nice thought, but it’s unrealistic. Very few players escape this game on their own terms. For every Derek Jeter, there are hundreds of guys who get pushed out the door. Even a Yankee legend like Alex Rodriguez, was essentially dropped like a fly mid-season by the Yankees organization last year.
Ichiro will retire when he is not wanted anymore. But how soon could that be? Ichiro is rapidly declining, and at this rate the Marlins won’t want him by July.
In the past three years Ichiro has played in over 300 games, yet has accumulated just 33 Extra Base Hits. The reality is, he is hitting for a low average, with just singles coming out of it.These past three seasons he’s been in a Marlins uniform, he’s hitting below the league average of .253. This would be tolerable, if he was a power guy like Todd Frazier or Khris Davis. But these past three seasons, he has hit a combined two home runs. This has resulted in a career low average of 21 RBI per season between 2015 and 2016. 12 games into the Marlins season and Ichiro has reached base a total of one time. Not what you are looking for in a fourth outfielder.
With top Marlins outfield prospects Austin Dean, Stone Garrett, and Thomas Jones itching for a shot, you have to wonder how much patience the Marlins will have with Ichiro.
Ichiro’s career has not reached “ridiculous” yet, but you hope he retires on his own terms, before things start getting ridiculous.
Photo credits: Google Labeled For Reuse