It’s probably important not to read too deeply into this given that everything Ichiro says to U.S. reporters is through a translator and there are nuances — especially when it comes to potentially controversial things about which Ichiro has always been careful about — that may not translate particularly well. But this is still interesting.
First, Ichiro certainly sounds like a guy who wants to continue playing:
Ichiro said he feels great and indicated he has no plans to retire, despite turning 41 next month.
— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) September 28, 2014
But, also, there may have been some behind the scenes stuff that make him unsure if he wants to go back to the Yankees:
When asked whether he’d return to New York, Ichiro wasn’t exactly forthcoming. “That might be a question you shouldn’t ask right now,” he said . . . Ichiro said, there was more happening behind the scenes than it appeared, though he didn’t go into specifics.
“”Obviously there’s a lot of things that go on that the fans and the media can’t see, that goes on inside (the club),” he said.
It was a veteran team that, because of injuries, relied on Ichiro more than it probably thought it needed to. And of course the season was ultimately less successful than everyone hoped, so it’s understandable if he’s got some disappointment. But one also wonders if there something unusual and/or unpleasant was going on behind the scenes. Obviously not a question that can be answered right now, but perhaps we’ll hear over the course of the offseason.
As for Ichiro, he hit .284/.324/.340 in 385 plate appearances.