The Japanese star retired after Thursday’s game in Tokyo.
The Japanese star retired after Thursday’s game in Tokyo.in Orte, Plätze, Gegenden 14.05.2019 05:20
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"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Chicago Cubs recapsChicago Cubs minor leaguesChicago Cubs essaysChicago Cubs game threadsWrigley Field renovationsFull archiveLibrary Bleed Cubbie Blue Community GuidelinesCurrent time in ChicagoBCB Specials & Site InfoWinter 2019 music threadsCubs StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Cubs newsYahoo Cubs team pageYahoo Cubs reportYahoo Cubs depth chartYahoo Cubs transactionsYahoo Cubs photosOdds Shop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub essaysThe meaning of IchiroNew Adrian Beltre Jersey ,60commentsThe Japanese star retired after Thursday’s game in Tokyo.CDTShareTweetShareShareThe meaning of IchiroDarren Yamashita-USA TODAY SportsThe headline to this article isn’t something I made up. It’s actually the title of a book written by Robert Whiting, an expert on Japanese baseball.And it’s also a phrase quite meaningful today, as Ichiro Suzuki retired from baseball, at age 45, after playing two games for the Mariners in his native Japan.Here’s how it happened [VIDEO], in the eighth inning of the Mariners/Athletics game.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.Here’s more of the amazing scene from the Tokyo Dome:To understand what Ichiro means in Japan, check out the words of his teammate Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi made his major-league debut in Thursday’s game for the Mariners and what he said at the time of his signing with Seattle in December sums it all up:“Mr. Ichiro” wasn’t just the most famous baseball player in Japan. He is probably the most famous person in Japan, beloved by all.And he spent 19 seasons in the USA, playing major league baseball and thrilling fans, mostly in Seattle, where he became Rookie of the Year and MVP in the American League in his first season, 2001, when the Mariners won 116 games. He set many records, including the one for most hits in a single season (262).It’s true that after those first 10 seasons in Seattle Nolan Ryan Jersey , his performance began to decline. But he was still a very good player into his early 40s; in 2017, then with the Miami Marlins, he came within one of tying the big-league record for pinch hits in a season. You’ll likely recall the three-game series at Wrigley Field in 2016 when he came to bat once each game, as a pinch-hitter, one hit short of 3,000 in his MLB career. Warm ovations greeted this all-time great each time he batted at Wrigley, but he was retired in each of those at-bats, and eventually got his 3,000th MLB hit in Colorado, of all places.He had long before cemented his place in history and eventual induction to the Hall of Fame, with his hitting (3,089 MLB hits, currently 23rd all-time), baserunning (509 stolen bases) and great throwing arm — which he showed off even in the last few days in an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants [VIDEO].Your browser does not support HTML5 video.That one was reminiscent of this throw he had made nearly 19 years earlier:It’s the same body Rougned Odor Jersey , the same man, only with a little less hair that has now turned gray.The reason Ichiro is so important in the history of Major League Baseball is that up until the time he came to the Mariners in 2001, all the Japanese-born players in MLB had been pitchers. No Japanese-born position player had even tried to come to North America; it was thought, at the time, that those position players wouldn’t be able to handle MLB pitching and the rigors of the 162-game schedule.Not only did Ichiro do it, but he did it well, and always with class and dignity.There’s a story regarding Ichiro and his first MLB manager, Lou Piniella, which I think sums up the Japanese star perfectly:He did “whatever he wanted” for almost two more decades.Six summers from now, when Ichiro is inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (hopefully, on a unanimous vote), I’d expect perhaps the largest crowd ever in upstate New York, potentially tens of thousands of Japanese fans making the pilgrimage, along with Mariners fans and people who just love baseball and this man who devoted his entire life to playing baseball. The conclusion to this Deadspin article sums up the meaning of Ichiro to the Mariners http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-moore-jersey , Kikuchi and MLB:Indeed. Farewell, Ichiro. There truly will never be another baseball player like you. Five seconds hardly seems worth talking about, and in a way it’s not. Trimming the time between innings might save a minute or two over the length of a game, but the real heavy lifting toward solving baseball’s many issues is still to come.Eliminating one mound visit for the upcoming season isn’t going to suddenly make baseball America’s Pastime once again, either. America has moved on, even as a dedicated core of fans keeps baseball propped up and keeps profits flowing to owners.Actually, the changes announced Thursday in an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ union don’t do much of anything to make the game better in 2019. If anything, they are merely Rob Manfred’s way to show that he’s trying to do something — anything, really — to keep baseball from growing too stale.Still, it’s a start in a sport that in normal times resists changes like no other. And it’s a signal that there is a might just be a new willingness among owners and players to make the game great once again.Baby steps at best, but that’s what baseball is. Keeping things like they have been in the past is part of its charm and a big part of the reason it has been around and is still relevant after more than a century and a half.And, really, were you expecting more?Maybe next year when Manfred is free to introduce rules requiring relievers face at least three batters. Maybe a few years from now after issues like the shift and the declining number of balls put in play are finally tackled.Hopefully never when it comes to the DH, which has no place in the National League despite the best efforts of the union to get it implemented.The agreement announced Thursday was unprecedented if only because both management and the union found enough common ground to make a deal. That it got made was groundbreaking in a way because the two sides rarely agree on anything Russell Wilson Jersey , but the reason it got made was largely because neither side was forced to give up muchThe owners got superficial changes that will make it look like they’re trying to speed up the game. The union got a chance to reopen contract negotiations, three years before the current collective bargaining agreement expires.That’s important for players because they took their eye off the ball in the last negotiations. While they asked for things like more days off and private chefs in every clubhouse, owners got increases in the luxury tax that prompted more teams to cut veterans who cost them money and chilled the free agent market.Beginning contract talks not even halfway through the current agreement doesn’t mean players will get the changes they want or that there will be labor peace beyond 2021. But it does mean both sides can begin exchanging ideas that might lead toward a longer agreement.“How things manifest themselves moving forward remains to be seen,” union chief Tony Clark said.Under the agreement, breaks between innings will be five seconds shorter this season and teams will be allowed only five visits to the mound each game without a pitching change instead of six. The union agreed not to fight new rules that make a reliever face at least three batters or end an inning next year, while owners agreed not to try and implement a pitching clock until 2022 at the earliest.Again, baby steps. But baseball fans should cheer the fact the two sides are at least talking so baseball doesn’t get sucked into the labor disputes that ruined the sport for many fans in the 1990s.What comes next will determine just how serious players and owners are in making desperately needed changes to the game itself.The bigger problems have little to do with the length of time between innings or how many conferences are held on the mound. They have everything to do with the way baseball is being played in the analytical age, which is the greatest threat facing the game.Starting pitching has been devalued, as has batting average. The front office doesn’t care if players strike out three times a game, as long as they can produce an occasional home run. There are long breaks between balls put into play, and the shift not only looks out of place but artificially limits hitting chances.Shaving five seconds off the break between innings doesn’t change that. Neither does taking away one trip to the mound.The good news is the conversation has officially been started. There seems to be a growing realization that baseball is in a funk and needs to find a way out.But save the cheering until someone hits a home run.____Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at email@example.com or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg