Ichiro First to Combined 4257 Hits; Rose Channels Trump

Well, we know that MLB doesn’t recognize mix-n’-match hit totals so in the little rouge rubber tip atop the pencilneck Ichiro’s remarkable feat of achieving 4257 hits between his Japanese and American careers will always be an ignis fatuuous. Yours truly, on the other hand, figgers that anyone with Ichiro’s amazing record of two batting titles and a buncha gold gloves, supra-200 hit seasons and lifetime .314 BA (compared to Pete Roses’ .303) would be where he is now if he’d spent his entire career on this side of the San Andreas Fault anyway. So, anata wa watashi no hi-ro- yo, big guy.

For the rest of us, we’re doomed to remain in awe of The Weezard as he keeps on chugging along like the Eveready Bunny in heat. Ichiro squibbed what he called “a five footer” orf Pads starter Luis Perdomo leading orf the first. Catcher Derek Norris scrambled for the ball, tripped over his beard and fell on his ass while throwing slightly wide to first baseman  Will Myers, allowing the Weezard to reach first. The San Diego fans applauded enthusiastically, though whether for Norris’ Chaplin routine or Ichiro’s preternatural speed for a 42-year-old is hard to say.

The record-breaking hit that shook the foundations of civilization and tilted the Earth orf its axis came on a crisp line double orf reliever Fernando Rodney. Somewhere near Las Vegas (in spirit if not in geographical fact), the ever-gracious Pete Rose seethed and made snide comments about Japanese baseball, going so far as to suggest that if elected president he would impose a temporarily permanent moratorium on Japanese ballplayers immigrating to MLB, especially Shinto and Buddhist ones. “We can’t have them threatening our most hallowed records,” he mumbled.

Then he noted “Hic! Urrrpppp!

Incidentally, the Feesh lost, 6-3. Let’s see if the front orifice hasn’t figured out that Justin Nicolino isn’t ready for prime time yet.

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6 thoughts on “Ichiro First to Combined 4257 Hits; Rose Channels Trump

  1. 1) Yes, Rose is a jerk.
    2) I like Ichiro Suzuki much more than Pete Rose. I also feel he’s the better ball player.
    3) However, NPB hits are not the same as MLB hits. One cannot give Ichiro credit for all his hits in both leagues and limit Rose to only his MLB hits if the total hits are to be compared. One cannot also say Ichiro would have done the same had he played his whole career on this side of the ocean–it’s not a given he’d be on a MLB team at the age of 18, or which team he’d have been on/which manager he’d have had/how he’d have been used, whether he’d have had the same good health here with longer seasons that he had in Japan, and so on.

    The only real apples to apples comparison is professional hits. That means Rose’s MiLB hits count. It also means Ty Cobb’s hits in Cuba and in winter ball count. Ichiro Suzuki stands at #3 on the all time professional hits list as published by SABR.

    Ichiro has broken plenty of records, will be in the Hall of Fame immediately upon eligibility, and is a credit to the game of baseball. He does not need to be credited with surpassing a record which he has not surpassed.

    http://sabr.org/latest/simkus-ichiro-suzuki-minnie-minoso-and-4000-career-professional-hits

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    • I don’t regard SABR as the voice of doG speaking from the whirlwind. I grant you that there are plenty of variables in play when we speak of what Ichiro might have done if he had played his entire career in MLB. However, his performance for Seattle strongly suggest that he had no problems adjusting, would have excelled here too and, all things being equal, he’d be right up there with Pete Rose anyway.

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      • I really have no doubt Ichiro could have excelled similarly either. I simply draw the line at saying he now has more hits than Rose when he does not. I’d love it if he did play long enough–whether here or back in Japan–to pass Rose’s total professional hits.

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        • I don’t want to speculate on how he rejuvenated himself after such a horrible performance last season. Buddhism is full of marvels us spiritually desiccated occidentals can’t fathom, and Shinto is full of oni in the outfield. However, 43 years old is still 43 years old (and I may have passed that mark a couple of decades ago, but I still vividly recall how winded legging out a triple with nothing but a fundamentalist interpretation of the myths would leave me back then). Even so, I suspect that he’d have to be playing in some professional Strat-O-Matic league to pile up another thirteen hundred hits if he went back to Japan to do it.

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        • I meant the roughly 500 to best Rose’s professional hits total. I doubt that is truly doable either, and certainly 4256 MLB hits is out of the question.

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