Yesterday, it was announced that Ichiro would no longer be taking swings for the Seattle Mariners, but would rather move to a new and unique role with the organization. I’ll let the experts do the explaining:
#Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is transitioning to the role of Special Assistant to the Chairman, effective today.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) May 3, 2018
Read: https://t.co/HlZyrGdcVz pic.twitter.com/Gn4O2UB1Ee
Jerry Dipoto on Ichiro's transition to the role of Special Assistant to the Chairman. pic.twitter.com/O7nEaDGy9R— Mariners (@Mariners) May 3, 2018
Dipoto was clear that Ichiro has NOT been placed on the voluntary retirement list.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 3, 2018
It still seems a little fuzzy. Apparently Ichiro will partake in pregame routines but won’t be allowed to be in the dugout during games, nor will he appear in contests. But he will still be a major part of the clubhouse and serve as a mentor to the players. There’s also a possibility he’ll play next year, as his agent hinted he might play in the opening series in 2019 when the team travels to Japan.
Let’s take a look at what various people around the interwebs said about the news.
First, some heartwarming quotes from Ichiro himself.
Ichiro not ruling out a return next year: “When I start using a cane, that’s when I’ll know I’m ready to retire.”— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) May 3, 2018
Ichiro: "The last two months are the happiest I've been in my career."— Brent Stecker (@BrentStecker) May 3, 2018
Ichiro also said he’s not ruling out showing up with fake beard and sneaking his way into the lineup every once in a while.— TJ Cotterill (@TJCotterill) May 3, 2018
Some were quick to recount their favorite Ichiro memories.
I'll always be thankful that Ichiro's time with the Yankees produced this gif. pic.twitter.com/BPBGJKIt7n— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 3, 2018
The only swing & miss of Ichiro's career pic.twitter.com/R9ZHLETlz2— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 3, 2018
Thank you, Ichiro. pic.twitter.com/Lpla1hqzrJ— Mariners (@Mariners) May 3, 2018
What a career. Thank you for all you brought to the game, Ichiro. @ATTPark | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/4o5237xuJ2— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 3, 2018
Players from around the league chimed in on what it was like to play alongside or against him.
Such a privilege to play against Ichiro. One of the most uniquely cool players we’ve ever seen. Ridiculous barrel control, speed, arm strength, and instincts. I’ll always believe that if he started here, 4,256 would be good for 2nd place.— Michael Young (@MikeyY626) May 3, 2018
Now I don’t feel as bad about walking Ichiro last night— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson3737) May 3, 2018
But mostly, fans were happy for the memories that Ichiro provided, and yesterday was bittersweet.
if anyone says something negative about Ichiro today I will fight them because Ichiro is the best and can do no wrong and today is for appreciating him— Josh ☭ (@josh__kuh) May 3, 2018
Ichiro Suzuki came to the majors in the times there were so many question marks on Asian positional players and he absolutely crushed it. Not only he's been a sure HOF'er, but also a valuable ambassador between the two continents that helped advance the globalization of the game.— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) May 3, 2018
Thanks Ichiro #IchiroForever pic.twitter.com/Wq70BNfOEj— Amy Franz (@ichimeterlady) May 3, 2018
Still processing the Ichiro news, but Ichiro’s emergence & the fanfare surrounding him in 2001 is what caused me to ask what baseball was and begin to watch it. Ichiro is responsible for one of my life’s greatest joys and I will be forever grateful. Thank you, Ichi— Hillary Kirby (@hillarynkirby) May 4, 2018
Thank you, Ichiro.— Reporter Joe Veyera (@JoeVeyera) May 3, 2018
Now that you’ve seen what others have said, how do you feel?