Yeah, I don’t think the headline makes much sense either, but it does fully capture what is going on with Ichiro.
From what’s being reported, it seems like he’s still playing for the Mariners, but somehow contributing to the organization in another way:
Great so he’s going to continue to play for the Mariners pretty much like he always has. Oh and do stuff for the front office. Good idea, add more to the 44-year-old’s plate.
I sincerely hope he retires soon. He’ll go down one of the best of the first decade of the 2000’s, no doubt, and he should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
But his numbers have been on a fairly steep downward trend over the past few years. That’s not going to effect his Hall of Fame status, but I’d hate to see one of the greatest contact hitters of all time retire with an average under .300, which becomes more of a reality each year he keeps playing.
Sidenote, it’s amazing that the 2001 AL and NL rookies of the year are still relevant (though I guess in different ways this year). Ichiro and Albert Pujols have two be among the best to earn title. Good chance they’re the best tandem to win it in the same season.
Would love to see them get in on the first ballot together, but I don’t think that’s realistic at this point.