Did anyone outside of Seattle know that Ichiro Suzuki is still in the MLB?
Did anyone in Seattle know for that matter?
Has Ichiro-mania ended?
The man is 35 years old. He hits over .300. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in history. He is still stealing 40+ bases a season.
And yet, nobody seems to care anymore.
Yesterday, Ichiro won his eighth Gold Glove in his eight seasons. And nobody seemed to blink or even notice.
In eight seasons, Ichiro has amassed 1,805 hits! That is 225 a year!
If we are to compare him to Ken Griffey Jr., who was 35 during the 2004 season, Ichiro appears to be a better baseball player:
Ichiro - .310 BA, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 43 SB, 213 hits, and .361 OPS (in 162 games)
Griffey (2004) - .253 BA, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 1 SB, 76 hits, and .351 OPS (in 83 games)
If I am a general manager, I am looking to trade for Ichiro before Griffey.
If Ichiro plays for another five seasons and continues to put up the same numbers, he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
So, what has happened to Ichiro-mania? Why haven't I heard his name in the last 12 months?
Why doesn't Ichiro receive the respect a future Hall of Famer deserves?