Ichiro transitions to front office role

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Frank Thomas and Mark Sweeney react to the announcement of Ichiro Suzuki transitioning to a front office role.

- Wouldn't officially call it a retirement, as our Ken Rosenthal tweeted today. Ichiro's agent, John Boggs, he is not retiring. He's taking on a different role for 2018 and 2019 is yet to evolve. Might Ichiro return for the team's opening series next season in Japan? Always that possibility. Future has yet to be determined.

Well, if you look at his career, whether you say retired or not, he's in the front office now, so that gives you a pretty good idea. Look, comes over from Japan, and then is an All-Star the first 10 years. A Gold Glover the first 10 years he's in the states. , Obviously he is a member of the 3,000 hit club. Hey, pretty amazing, his accomplishments, when you consider all told of come to the stage, doing what he did, and just maybe giving us something that we hadn't seen before, Frank.

So you take all those things from Ichiro, what do you take away most from his game?

- I think just the biggest star we've ever seen from Japan. You know, he came over with a lot of hype. He fulfilled that hype. 3,000 hits, one of the best defenders I've ever seen, a cannon for an arm. I mean, there's nothing he can't do on the baseball field. Everyone says he could have hit for power more if he wanted to, but I just remember him getting bases, knifing you up, night in, and night out, Placing the ball where he wants to. Play and that's why he has 3,000 hits.

- Yeah, you think about it too, coming into Seattle with Griffey Jr, and then trying to take over that stardom-- that's a tough tale and tough order. Emerald City absolutely loves this man because of the hits, and what he did. He put pressure on the defense. , Obviously, known as a singles hitter, going the other way, but utilizing that speed. 509 stolen bases.

This guy was really the guy that created that buzz up in Seattle, which I thought was really important. Coming after Griffey, that's not an easy thing.

- But I'll be honest, watching him last night at bat, it's time. He's 44 years old, he's not getting any younger. The bat speed has slowed down. I mean, Father Time doesn't wait on anyone. It's time. He's had a tremendous career. He's going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. It's time to retire with dignity, because that guys was such a great player.

- And hey, if they find a way to put him on the active roster for the opening series--

- That would be great.

- It'd be cool.

- That would be great.

- Totally cool, right? You could see that. But for all intents and purposes, he's retired. He's retired. What an unbelievable career.