Pete Rose is upset that some people are counting Ichiro’s hits from Japan

Associated Press
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In the recaps this morning I mentioned that Ichiro Suzuki is one hit away from catching Pete Rose in career hits. Now, to be fair, he will not be officially recognized as the all-time hit leader by Major League Baseball because 1,278 of his hits came in Japan, with 2,977 coming in the United States. Still, reaching 4,256 career hits — Rose’s number — is pretty impressive all the same.

As Bob Nightengale reports in USA Today, Ichiro matching Rose is a big, big deal in Japan. Reporters are following the chase and Marlins games are being broadcast in Japan as his fans from his home country watch his every swing. Nightengale likewise talks to some major leaguers like Mark Grace who are rightly impressed with Ichiro’s feat, official record or not. As I said in the recaps today, it is impressive, so yeah.

But one guy isn’t impressed. Charlie Hustle:

It sounds like in Japan,’’ Rose told USA TODAY Sports, “they’re trying to make me the Hit Queen. I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he’s had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high-school hits.

Rose goes on to say that the caliber of play and players in NPB is not as good as the bigs. Which, overall, is true. Still, you never heard Hank Aaron throwing shade at Sadaharu Oh, did you? Variations in overall level of play aside — and the variations aren’t as big as some think — it’s worth marveling at Ichiro’s career all the same, is it not?

Eh, it’s Pete Rose. He’s not the best person to go to if you’re looking for a perspective that isn’t filtered through “Everything Pete Rose says and does is right” glasses.

Salty

 

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.