Ichiro Suzuki Joins Mariners Front Office, but Don't Call It Retirement

Ichiro transitioning to role of 'Special Assistant to the Chairman,' effective immediately

Officially, the Mariners released Suzuki to clear a spot on the 40-man and 25-man rosters.

Effective immediately, Ichiro will become a special assistant to the chairman and will have an active presence with the team and assist with outfield play, base running and hitting.

Ichiro's agent, John Boggs, told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, "He is not retiring". "As his role evolves over the 2018 season, it will inform the team and Ichiro on his best fit with us in 2019 and beyond". He is one of the few major league players to amass 3,000 career hits and steal at least 500 bases. He also has another 1,278 hits from the start of his career in Japan. He has accumulated 3,089 hits, been named to 10 All-Star teams and won 10 Gold Glove awards.

The 2001 AL Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year was as influential as any position player in the game's vast history.

His batting stance will forever remain as iconic as any. The guy in front of him is leaning back in his seat. From there he would hop his front foot up and down in preparation for the pitch, always ready to sprint to first at superhuman speeds. Even if there is an injury, there's not much playing time available for Ichiro. He hit.205 in 44 at-bats, and all nine of his hits this season were singles. Everyone wanted to be Ichiro, and for a second it felt like I was.

Ichiro transitioning to role of 'Special Assistant to the Chairman,' effective immediately
Ichiro Will Retire, Or At Least Not Play Any More Baseball This Season

It's a unique circumstance for a unique player. Unfortunately, time caught up to him, like it always does.

Japanese Major League baseball player Ichiro Suzuki says he will take his new role at the Seattle Mariners with pleasure if that is what the team wants him to do. On March 31, he robbed 2017 MVP finalist Jose Ramirez of a home run in left field and went 2-for-4 on the day. However, he's struggled to get going offensively while playing intermittently this year. Twenty-first all-time in hits, it's as though both parties knew he was set to retire imminently.

The plan is for Ichiro to serve as a mentor to the players and coaching staff during the rest of the season.

In his each of first 10 seasons with the Mariners, Ichiro surpassed the 200-hit mark, including the 2004 season, where he racked up 262 hits in 161 games, surpassing the then 84-year-old record of 257 hits in a season held by George Sisler. It's picture ideal, much like the entirety of Ichiro Suzuki's 26-year pro baseball career.

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