By: Mike Carter
I tend to read pages and pages of baseball statistics every week. Some of it is in preparation for fantasy baseball games (I’m a geek), but most if it has to do with general interest in my favorite game.
As I was thumbing through my Who’s Who in Baseball 2016, I stared at the statistics of Ichiro Suzuki. Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player in his first season, 2001. Ten consecutive seasons with more than 200 hits. The all-time hit record for a season with 262. Over 500 stolen bases in his career.
Read the rest of Congrats Ichiro on 3,000 Hits via 9 Inning Know It All
Who will come after them?
And have you noticed how Adrian Beltre has quietly become a no doubt about it Hall of Famer?
That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): Follow @nross56
Follow MLB Reports On Twitter Follow @mlbreports
As with the first part of this piece, this article is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.
Once again, I would encourage everyone to visit Grantland.com as it is a one stop shop for some of the best internet based writers on the planet.
Those organizations are a huge reason for the increased understanding and intelligent discussion relating to baseball over the last decade, and they are used throughout as resources for all advanced statistics.
If you aren’t reading the content on those sites, I would strongly suggest you do.
We will start with our Point/Counter-Point structure with a discussion of the new Yankee line-up, and more so, the effect of the departure of Robinson Cano on that lineup.
For Part 1 Of Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal click here.
Alfonso 2013 Highlights as a Cub and a Yankee – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised
By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): Follow @nross56
Follow MLB Reports On Twitter Follow @mlbreports
Before we get started, I wanted to give credit where credit is absolutely due.
This piece is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.
If you haven’t been to Grantland.com for sports and entertainment news and opinions, you are missing out. Some of the best work in the business.
As always, we appreciate those sites making the information available to be able to debate the game we love. For ease to the reader, the response has been broken into two parts. This is part one of the response.
Part 2 of the Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees click here
New York Yankees 2013 Year Highlights – With Full Credit Going To The YES Network
Monday July 23rd, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Over the past few hours, a couple of big trades have gone down. Here’s my take on them:
Ichiro to the Yankees
Wow. What a day. At about seven p.m. EDT, the Mariners and Yankees announced a swap that involved Ichiro for two minor league pitchers and cash. Sure I expected some blockbuster trades, but this? Ichiro was an icon for the Mariners. He broke the all-time hits in a season record for the Mariners and helped them win 116 games in 2001. Ichiro was an excellent player to say the least. He hit .322 over his 12 seasons with the Mariners and will most likely enter the Hall of Fame. But, over the past two years, he’s lost a little bit of luster. He’s slowed down a bit due to his age, and has stopped hitting over .300. Last year he hit .272 and had less than 200 hits for the first time in his career. This season, he’s hit an even worse .261. The Mariners have struggled over the past years and were definitely in need of a move. They acquired Jesus Montero from the Yankees this offseason in a trade for Michael Pineda, but Montero hasn’t exactly caught fire. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My step-mom is a retired executive from Air Canada. Back when I was a teenager, Nancy taught me how to travel properly, by how to pack, schedule and always be able to adapt when things go awry. I am pleased to say that she had an incredible influence on me becoming a travel expert now. Her slogan was always; “You gotta learn how to shake, rattle and roll when traveling.” My dad (Tom Booth), helped teach a proper demeanor for my 3 brothers and me while on vacation that I also implement. He said to us “You guys are going to encounter several things when traveling. “If you break, lose or-your items are lost for you, just replace them immediately and don’t let it consume you. After all, why should you be miserable on vacation?” These are motto’s I live by while traveling. I perpetually move forward and don’t look back. While I am glad this trip has generated a lot interest, really the passion here is baseball and traveling. If by some chance I don’t best my own record, I will have fun watching a baseball game in every city again. “You have nothing to prove in this world other to anybody but yourself!”
I have encountered numerous ways of being delayed in chasing baseball parks. Last night was no different. I sat in the San Diego Airport ready to embark on my flight to Cleveland that was supposed to be part of a Progressive Field/Oriole Park at Camden Yards day-night doubleheader. Out of all the 10 doubleheaders that I placed to attempt during this World Record chase, this particular one I would rank the second toughest. The only doubleheader I thought was tougher was the Angel Stadium/Petco Park double header. Ironically enough, I converted that doubleheader. So when the flight was cancelled last night-(due to mechanical failure) I knew I had to think fast on my feet. The Airline was offering up help to fly on other flight, or destinations within reason. Much to my dismay, the airline was not even able to fly me into the second half of the double header n Baltimore, thus creating a plane flight domino. Adding to the severity of the pressure, was I had to think of something fast because the airline needed to help me book a morning flight out of San Diego.
Whenever I plan one of these trips, I have a depth chart for each team. I am lucky that after a few hours of placing this schedule together, I also come up with many different alternatives. Missing the game in Texas the other night for a small delay was nerve-wracking, but maybe it was all meant to be. When I expressed to the airline that I wanted to fly to Dallas, they quickly were on board with that option. The other dominoes came to me quickly. I moved Cleveland to the 25th as part of PNC Park and Progressive Field Ground Transportation doubleheader. As part of my original streak attempt when I first dreamt up another run at this, the schedule had this exact doubleheader. Cleveland was the last team in the Majors to post their start times. When the Indians scheduled a matinee for the 11th of April, it opened up another doubleheader attempt for me by placing the Orioles with Cleveland. All I had to do was bring Detroit into the doubleheader chance with Pittsburgh instead. Now that I am not going to Progressive Field today, I am able to re-schedule the easier to attain doubleheader. Baltimore was switched to the date left vacated by Texas on the 27th of April. This left Detroit. I knew the team played on the 22nd of April.
One of the reasons I went to Chase Field last Friday, was to protect myself against something like last night. That Chase Field game is now the 1st game of the streak. I moved Detroit into their slot on the 22nd. All the teams have a home in the streak again. What is more incredible about this: is that by shifting these cities around and shuffling transportation costs this little maneuver is going to save me $300. I was dreading having to schedule the Texas game after the streak ended, whether it was driving 17 hours or flying, it was going to be costly and time-consuming, I managed to switch out all my flights and actually have a surcharge in my favor. Since I am flying to Denver from Dallas tomorrow, it was a cheaper flight from almost anywhere when you near a travel day fare. Now I am flying to Dallas for a plane fare I spent $160 to originally go to Cleveland for. This day of plane for to Dallas would probably be in the $500-$600 area.
By re-scheduling the trip this way, it also frees up more availability should I have to make up another game or two. That Detroit game doubleheader was risky. If I was running the streak near perfect, I could have risked it and then shuffled the Tigers to the very next day and forego the Cincinnati/Chicago White Sox doubleheader on the 25th. This was not the case and I need that 26th doubleheader. If I kept that doubleheader and missed the Tigers, the next date they were home was April.30th (or the 24th day of the streak.)
Moving Detroit to Sunday the 22nd is pretty decent too, I have a doubleheader for Chicago and Milwaukee on the day before. This is about a 7 hour drive to Michigan. Ken Lee will now attend at least 8 of my games with me for this streak. The Pittsburgh/Cleveland double dip is very doable. The Pirates game should end around 3:30. It is only a couple of hours drive to Progressive Field from there. I would give us a 80-85% chance to hit this game. If for some reason we don’t, the Indians play on the 27th- through the 29th. Other doubleheaders remaining are the TOR-NYY (Yankees play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) ATL-STL (Cardinals play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) CIN/CWS (The White Sox play a series on the 27th-29th). CHI/MIL (The Brewers do not play so I will need the DH). I also give us a 80-85% of making this. Finally I have the Boston/Washington DH (If I miss WSH-I can move them into the Marlins slot of the 17th and then re-do the Marlins from the (27-29 series).
So far I have had 2 missed doubleheaders in this trip that were entirely out of my control. Now a 30-22 schedule hangs in the balance. Whatever happens throughout the rest of the trip is up in the air. The 2009 streak of 30-24 seems even more impressive now than before. In a night where I have already logged 17,000 Air Miles for this trip and running on all fumes, I was able to come up with the best viable solution I could. So whenever I have a chance, I will sleep comfortably about my performance on this trip thus far. I go into tonight’s game looking for my 8th Ball Park in 6 days. Its been a tough 20 hrs-fighting airlines-car rentals not having cars and several doubters and haters-i made it 2 the ballpark-suitcase/briefcase and all-scoreboard says 8 gms 6 days parks 30/22 days
NEW SCHEDULE UPDATED APR 11
With a flight cancellation last night, it has caused me to reschedule several games for the streak. The Arizona D’Backs game now becomes the official game #1. If the game was changed from the original, it will be highlighted in red. I also changed the PIT/DET doubleheader to now be a PIT/CLE Doubleheader on the 25th ave. I lost one of my doubleheader attempts today, but at least I am not taking an a zero.
Game#1 Day #1 Friday April.06 Chase Field in Arizona 4:10 PM (Completed: Arizona wins 5-4)
Game # 2 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Angels Stadium in Anaheim 1:05 PM (Completed LAA loses 6-3 to KC)
Game # 3 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Petco Park in San Diego 5:35 PM (I Have 2 doubleheader attempts with SD as Game 2 of the day)( Completed: San Diego loses 6-5 to the LAD in 11 innings)
Game # 4 Day # 3 Sunday April.08 Minute Maid Park in Houston 1:05 PM (Completed: Houston wins 3-2)
Game # 5 Day # 4 Monday April.09 Citizens Bank Ball Park in Philadelphia 1:05 PM (Citizens Bank Ball Park Season Opener) (Completed: Philly loses 6-2 to the Miami Marlins)
Game # 6 Day # 4 Monday April.09 Citi Field in New York (NYM win 3-2 over WSH)
Game # 7 Day # 5 Tuesday April.10 Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles 1:05 PM (Dodger Stadium Season Opener) Completed: LAD wins 2-1 over Pit)
Game # 8 Day # 6 Wednesday April.11 The Ballpark in Arlington 7:05 PM
Game # 9 Day #7 Thursday April.12 Coors Field 1:05 PM
Game #10 Day # 8 Friday April.13 AT&T Park in San Francisco 1:35 PM (AT & T Park Season Opener)
Game # 11 Day # 9 Saturday April.14 Target Field in Minnesota 12:10 PM
Game # 12 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Rogers Center in Toronto 1:07 PM
Game # 13 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Yankees Stadium in the Bronx 8:05 PM
Game # 14 Day #11 Monday April.16 Fenway Park in Boston 11:05 AM
Game # 15 Day #11 Monday April.16 Nationals Park in Washington 7:05 PM
Game # 16 Day #12 Tuesday April.17 New Marlins Ballpark 7:05 PM
Game # 17 Day #13 WED April.18 Turner Field in Atlanta 12:10 PM
Game # 18 Day #13 WED April.18 Busch Stadium in St. Louis 7:15 PM
Game # 19 Day #14 THUR April.19 Safeco Field in Seattle 7:10 PM
Game # 20 Day # 15 Friday April.20 Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 7:10 PM
Game # 21 Day # 16 SAT. April.21 Wrigley Field in Chicago 12:00 PM
Game # 22 Day # 16 SAT. April.21 Miller Park in Milwaukee 6:05 PM
Game # 23 Day # 17 SUN. April.22 Comerica Park in Detroit 1:05 PM
Game # 24 Day # 18 MON. April.23 O.co Coliseum in Oakland 7:05 PM
Game # 25 Day # 19 TUES April.24 Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay 7:05 PM
Game # 26 Day # 20 WED. April.25 PNC Park in Pittsburgh 12:35 PM
Game # 27 Day # 20 WED. April.25 Progressive Field in Cleveland 7:05 PM
Game # 28 Day # 21 THU. April.26 Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati 12:35 PM
Game # 29 Day # 21 THU. April.26 US Cellular Field in Chicago 7:11 PM
Game# 30 Day # 22 FRI April.27 Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 7:05 PM
***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Friday September 16, 2011
Sam Evans (Intern – MLB reports): When Ichiro Suzuki came into the league in 2001, people did not know what to expect from him. He exceeded any and all expectations, becoming the second MLB player all-time to win rookie of the year and MVP in the same season. The next eight years seemed easy for Ichiro; the highlight moment coming when he set the all-time hits record in a single season record in 2004 with 262. Not to mention, he became the first player in MLB history to have 200 hits in ten straight years.
Going into 2011, few analysts considered Ichiro’s production tailing off drastically. Sure, he was 37 years old, but he might be in better shape than any other player in the majors. In April of this year, Ichiro batted .328 and stole ten bases. However, in May and June he batted .210 and .282 respectively. This season has turned out to be Ichiro’s worst year in the majors by a large margin. From 2001 to 2010, he never hit below .303. In 2011, he’s hitting .272 with 5 HR and 72 RBI.
Ichiro’s production relies on his ability to get on base and create havoc on the base paths. Last year Ichiro had 53 infield hits, while this year he only has 32. Even though Ichiro’s 32 infield hits currently leads the majors, it is still the lowest total Ichiro has ever had in his career. It is not like these are cheap hits either, as former Detroit Third Basemen Brandon Inge commented to the New York Times on August 22,2009, “I wish you could put a camera at third base to see how he hits the ball and see the way it deceives you. You can call some guys’ infield hits cheap, but not his. He has an amazing technique.”
One of the arguments that has been set out in attempting to explain Ichiro’s decline this year has been that he is getting slower and slower. I disagree with this statement. He is on pace to steal 43 bases, which is right around his career average. In the field, Ichiro may have gotten a tad slower, but I think that is due to his taking bad angles to the ball, rather than a decline in his abilities. However, while not attempting to insult Ichiro as a player, it is apparent though that his intensity is a definitely a lot lower this year. This leads to the following conclusion in my opinion; Ichiro Suzuki is a human being. He is playing for a Mariners team that has not reached the playoffs since 2001. He has consistently been playing about 150 games a year, not including spring training. It seems like no matter how good of a season Ichiro has, the players and team around him are disappointing. After all, we are talking about the Mariners. A player can only take so much losing at a certain point, even the great Ichiro.
One factor explaining Ichiro’s off-year is bad luck. This is his first year with a BABIP under .300 (Ichiro’s career average is .352), and according to Baseball Info Solutions, he has lost more hits than any other big leaguer on “good fielding plays.” No matter how you read the stats, the bottom line is that Ichiro has had a pretty bad year by his standards. He has played below-average defense, and at times looked lazy in the field. His On-Base-Percentage is at a career low .312, and he would need an incredible 30 hits in his last 13 games to reach 200 again. To make everything worse, Ichiro turns 38 in October.
Next year, will be interesting one for Ichiro Suzuki. It is his contract year and the Mariners are starting to acquire some legitimate pieces around him. A playoff year is probably out of the question, but a .500 year is very possible. Personally, I think he will bounce back and hit over .300 with another 200 hit season. With a better surrounding cast, I see glimpses of the old Ichiro returning. I don’t think he’ll ever return to the level he was on in 2004, but as long as he stays interested in the game, I think he will be an above-average right fielder for the next five years.
Without a doubt, Ichiro is a first ballot Hall-of-famer. He is the only player to have ten straight seasons of 200 or more hits. He also holds the all time record for hits in a single season with 262. Ichiro’s contract runs out at the end of 2012. The main question I believe is whether he will want to keep playing in North America. His friends and family are back in Japan, where he is a fashion icon. If Ichiro does continue to play baseball, I would be shocked if it were for a team outside of Seattle. When his career is finally over, most people will remember Ichiro for helping break the barrier between professional baseball in Japan and MLB. Overall, I expect most will remember Ichiro as being the greatest Japanese baseball player of all time.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter.***
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