Ichiro, from the field to the front office
Ichiro Suzuki has been a Major League Baseball icon for nearly two decades from when he first broke into the big leagues from Japan, with the Seattle Mariners back in 2001 when he was 27. It was a feel good story when the now, 44 year old outfielder signed back with the Mariners this off-season. Now, in a weird turn of events, his season and quite possibly his career, has come to an end.
This has nothing to do with a major injury or anything like that but, effective immediately, he will be transitioning into a Special Assistant Adviser role with the organization for the remainder of 2018.
Ichiro and his agent, John Boggs aren't ruling out a return to the field for him in 2019, "He is not retiring -- he's taking on a different role for 2018, and 2019 has yet to evolve," Boggs said. In addition, "There is always that possibility. ... The future has yet to be determined."
It has been a struggle for Ichiro to find any kind of consistency coming off the bench and playing sparingly so far this season. He's hitting just 9/44, scoring 5 runs, and has yet to record an RBI on the season in 15 games played.
It doesn't feel like the right way for Ichiro's playing career to end, he deserves a send off like David Ortiz and Marino Rivera got as they had made it clear it was their final year and rode off into the sunset. Maybe Ichiro wanting to keep coming back and playing has made it difficult as father time catches up to him but he deserves a proper send off, and to be celebrated as the baseball icon he is.