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Ichiro Suzuki wants to play until he’s 50

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at Ichiro’s dream of living ’til he dies, bad news for Steven Matz, and a curious Yankees decision.

Miami Marlins Photo Day Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

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Ichiro Suzuki is 43 years old. He's the oldest position player in Major League Baseball, and the second-oldest among active players, behind only the Braves' Bartolo Colon. That's not nearly old enough for Ichiro to be impressed with: He recently said that he wants to play until he's 50 years old, and he assured his interviewer that he wasn't joking about that.

As is, Ichiro has already somehow played for 16 years in MLB despite not even joining a team there until he was already 27 years old. He began his professional career in Nippon Professional Baseball at 18, amassed 1,278 hits, then headed to the Mariners to begin one of the greatest careers in MLB history. And the fact that that’s not nearly enough for Ichiro is either sad or inspiring, depending on how you approach things.

The sad part is Ichiro not being able to even fathom what retirement is like, and suggesting "I'll just die" once he's done playing baseball. Like, it's a great line and a better headline, but also, hey wait a second, Ichiro, life isn't all work, you know. We need to find Ichiro some extracurricular activities. He doesnt' want to be on the couch, so they need to be active, probably outdoorsy. We've got seven years, everyone: He's not planning on retiring until 50. We can figure this out for the sake of one of our favorites.

  • The Yankees rejected trade offers for Zack Cozart and Jose Iglesias, and they probably had the right idea.
  • Steven Matz will not make the Mets' Opening Day roster thanks to elbow soreness.
  • The Pirates optioned Drew Hutchison rather than make him their fifth starter, so that competition suddenly opened up days before the season begins.
  • Tim Anderson recently signed a pre-arbitration deal slash extension with the White Sox, and he went out and bought his mom a new car with his new money.
  • The Astros did more in center than just remove Tal's Hill: They built a brand new concourse, too.
  • Aaron Judge might start the season in the minors because the Yankees still think Aaron Hicks can be good. Sure, it's possible, but Aaron Judge could also be good, and is probably a better bet.