Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

If you are a baseball fan, you know that there is a great baseball record that is about to be broken. This great player is only a couple of hits away from making history. Now, as a Met fan, I have to give credit where credit is due, even if it kills me.

This player is a leadoff hitter, who from the minute he came to the big leagues, played the game the right way. He exhibits great sportsmanship, and has never appeared on any steroid list. He is the ultimate teammate and never gets the full credit he deserves.

Although the guy is in his mid-thirties now, you would not know it as there has been no decline in his game.

So here is a shout -out from the stoop to you....... Ichiro Suzuki.

You see, Ichiro needs five more hits to become the first major leaguer to get 200 hits in 9 consecutive seasons. Guess how many years Ichiro has been in the majors? Nine! The guy has gotten at least 200 hits every freakin year he has been in the big leagues!

Isn't that accomplishment, a major league record, more meaningful than some individual team hitting record?

All you hear around here is Jeter is about to break the Yankee all time hit record, and yet a much bigger record, and a far greater achievement, by a far better player gets the silent treatment.

And I only say Ichiro is a far better player because .. he is.

Here is some stuff they won't tell you on Yankeeography:

Ichiro's lifetime batting average is .333. Jeter has hit .333 or better only 3 out of 15 years.

Ichiro steals more bases and gets thrown out less often than Jeter.

Jeter has struck out 100 or more times in 8 different seasons. Ichiro has never struck out 100 times in a season. In fact the most Ichiro ever struck out in a season was 77 times. That is a figure that Jeter has exceeded every year he has been in the big leagues. Pretty relevant data for lead off hitters where contact is crucial, no?

While all the talk is about a Jeter revival, Ichiro is quietly going about his business .... hitting .362 this year.

And let's not even talk about defense where Ichiro has received a Gold Glove every year he has been in the majors because he deserves it, while Jeter has less range than a guy with one leg whose foot is nailed into the ground.

Two days ago, Ichiro became the 2nd fastest player in major league history to get to 2,000 hits. Nary a peep of praise was heard. And no, the guy who got there the fastest does not have a name that rhymes with "cheater."

Yankee fans think everything revolves around the dopey pinstripes.

Sorry it doesn't.

Sorry, Ichiro is breaking a major league record. That means he is about to do something that everyone who ever played the game never accomplished. Jeter is merely breaking a single team record.

Got that?

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