Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ichiro Suzuki will reportedly retire after Mariners-A’s in Japan

Ichiro Suzuki will reportedly retire after Mariners-A’s in Japan

Ichiro was in the starting lineup for the Mariners against the Oakland Athletics in Thursday's game. He had 1,278 more hits in nine seasons in Japan before coming to the United States.

Many expected Ichiro to retire after the Japan series or when the Mariners returned home for two spring training games with the San Diego Padres before the regular season resumes against the Boston Red Sox.

"I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball", Ichiro said in a statement released by the team, "both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball".

But if the whole point of the M's participating in the Japan opener was to celebrate Ichiro and all that he's done for the Mariners and baseball in general in the Pacific Northwest, that point was unfortunately lost in translation - and a 16-hour time difference - while most M's fans were sleeping.

At one point Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon attempted to bow to Ichiro, but the future Hall of Famer waived him off and went in for a hug.

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"Seven years ago, it appeared he had played for the last time in Japan", Fumihiro Fujisawa, head of the Japanese Association of Baseball Research, told The Associated Press.

While the rest of Major League Baseball celebrates the end of Ichiro Suzuki's distinguished 18-year career, we here in Cleveland must never forget the myriad indignities suffered unto us by Japan's favorite son.

The 45-year-old Ichiro fouled out his first time up and grounded out in his next at-bat against Oakland. He played parts of three in NY and three in Miami. It was only right his final professional game came with that team. In exhibition games prior to the games against the A's, Suzuki had two hits in 31 at-bats.

Ichiro was all smiles as he greeted his teammates after the final out. Too often, Suzuki looked like a 45-year-old trying to hang on. Cameras and flashes followed his every move. He took his place in the outfield for the bottom of the fourth inning and was pulled from the game.

A half-dozen fans lined up just behind the third-base dugout and held up cards spelling out his name in Japanese. If they did, Ichiro would be hitting.065.

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