By In Baseball

Pete and Ichiro

From NBC SportsWorld:

Pete Rose in 2009 (to me): “And Ichiro … he can have the hits he got in Japan and he’s still not breaking the record.”

Pete Rose in 2013 (to USA Today): “Hey, if we’re counting professional hits then add my 427 in the minors. I was a professional then too!”

Pete Rose in 2016 (to USA Today): “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he’s had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know you’ll be counting his high school hits.”

* * *

Well, OK, magnanimity isn’t exactly Pete Rose’s strong suit …

For Pete’s Sake

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15 Responses to Pete and Ichiro

  1. Bob says:

    Another example of why he should never be allowed into the Hall…even as a visitor. He ruined Fosse in an All-Star game, whined like a baby when Horner stopped his streak, stays in the gambling game, and now can’t keep his ridiculous mouth shut.

  2. invitro says:

    People love to hate Pete Rose on moral grounds. Here’s an honest question: which is more morally wrong: the total of all the things Pete has done, or one instance of an MLB/NBA/NFL player beating up his wife or girlfriend?

    • SDG says:

      I think we can set the bar a bit higher than “didn’t beat up his wife”, don’t you? It’s like saying that Cuba respects people’s human rights because it isn’t Saudi Arabia.

      If Pete Rose should be in the Hall, it’s not because he didn’t beat his wife. Either way, he needs to stop speaking in public. And someone really should tell him that the only reason he even is the Hit King is because he put himself in the lineup long after he stopped being a good player, thereby selfishly costing his team wins in order to feed his own gigantic ego. Tony Gwynn had a one-time shot at achieving something no one had since before WW2, lost that chance because of the strike, and never publicly complained.

  3. Dr. Baseball says:

    Instead of trying to determine who the “hit king” is, let’s celebrate Ichiro for the unique and wonderful player he is.

    The MLB hit leader is Pete Rose. That doesn’t detract from Ichiro’s accomplishments. Ichiro is an amazing Hall-of-Fame baseball player. he is one of the very best of his generation. He has done things that Pete Rose never did.

    Ichiro Suzuki is a singular player. He’s the only player to achieve his level of success in Japan and the USA.

    There is no “box” to put Ichiro in. He is a singular talent; the type of player that comes along only once. The only comparison for Ichiro Suzuki is himself. It has been amazing to watch him.

    Hideki Matsui, in his own right, was the only power hitter to achieve high levels of success in Japan and the USA. He, too, was a unique and special player.

    Sometimes we spend too much time saying “He’s not _____” rather than just appreciating the players for their talents and abilities.

    • Rob Smith says:

      It was pretty silly of Rose to say otherwise. Ichiro will be a first ballot HOFer. I mean, who starts in the league in their late 20s and gets 3,000 hits (as Ichiro will be seasons end)? Usually the big compilers start very young & put in 20 years (Rose played 24 years). This is Ichiro’s 16th season at age 42. It just shows what a talent he is, and along with his largely injury free career, and really leaves no doubt that Ichiro would have more hits than Rose had he started in the league at age 20. Yeah, it doesn’t count, but Ichiro’s career has been amazing.

  4. Jeff says:

    I’m consistently amazed by how badly the MLB blows events like this. They openly let the narrative be Pete v. Ichiro when the correct way to do it was obvious. Make it a pregame event. Invite the five living hit leaders from MLB to the game (Rose, Aaron, Jeter, Yaz, Molitor). Invite the five living hit leaders from the NPBO to the game. Announce all of them and celebrate baseball as a sport bigger than just in the US. Then announce Ichiro as what he is: The man with the most hits combined between both great leagues.

    This is the type of media event football and basketball can’t currently touch. I would have enjoyed seeing the older players and the Japanese legends on one field together. They’d have gotten positive media coverage in the US and Japan. How is that so hard? Instead it was a procession of arguments about whether Ichiro’s hit record was as good as Rose’s. That’s stupid. Both were great players. Celebrate both and celebrate your sport.

    • invitro says:

      Don’t forget the American Association, the Mexican League, and the Puerto Rican Winter League. We can bring their all-time hit kings too!

  5. Cuban X Senators says:

    Count what you will, but I’ll wager this (and I suspect Joe may find out if he’s still perusing comments on this article):

    The last 1,100-1,200 hits Pete Rose had are certainly the record for most hits during a period of one’s career during which one posted a negative WAR.

    I hope Ichiro hangs around to get more professional hits in the Carolina League just to shut Pete up again.

  6. MisterMJ says:

    I saw a couple articles floating around with Pete Rose “angry” about being relegated to Hit Queen (his words). Who’s saying this? He seems convinced that folks are starting to call him this with Ichiro’s “totals” closing in fast. A lot of controversy coming from Pete these days are self-inflicted – the guy is so insecure and a loose cannon. Makes for easy headlines though.

    • SDG says:

      Did Pete Rose say something obnoxious? It must be a day ending in “y”. The truly sad part is no one cares about the hit record half as much as he does.

  7. Brent says:

    Every time Pete opens his mouth about this, it makes me wish Ty Cobb had lived into the mid 80s when Pete broke Cobb’s record. I can just imagine Cobb saying in a similar sneeringly way to Pete that had he known that someone would be willing to put up seasons of .245/.316/.286 just to break his record, he would have played until he was 50 to get 5000 hits and put the record out of reach (in Cobb’s last season, his numbers were .323/.389/.431)

    • SDG says:

      Mickey Mantle was alive. He said something like “If I hit that many singles I’d wear a dress.” The phrasing is unfortunate to a modern audience but the point is made. Pete Rose was a very good player at a few things who stuck around.

      No one ever talks about what Barry’s HR total would be if some team had the sense to let him DH after the Giants let him go. Imagine if HE got to stay around long after his skills went just to up a counting stat.

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