Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki may be 40 years old but he wants to play baseball for a while longer. Via ESPN’s Wallace Matthews:
“Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said.
Asked how many more seasons he thought he could play, Ichiro laughed. “Not just a few,” he said. “Many. For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now.”
Ichiro’s production started slipping after the 2010 season. Over the past three seasons, he has hit .273 with a .305 on-base percentage compared to .331/.376 between 2001-10. Additionally, he finished each of the past two seasons with fewer than 30 steals, the only such occurrences in his career.
While Baseball Reference’s version of Wins Above Replacement has valued Ichiro somewhere between replacement level (0.0) and average (2.0) since the start of 2011, Ichiro might have trouble finding work since light-hitting outfielders aren’t exactly tough to come by.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.