Cleat Geeks

What Pete Says About His Crown

Ichiro Suzuki is a great MLB baseball player, when compared to most baseball players. He is a Hall of Famer in both Japan and in the United States when it comes to playing baseball. But, is he the “Hit King” if you but his career hit totals together from both leagues?

Given that his record is on the line, Rose is not a big fan of including Ichiro’s NPB hits with his major-league accomplishments, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

TheHitKing“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.

“I don’t think you’re going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to major-league baseball. There are too many guys that fail here, and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here, and hit (a record-tying) 55 home runs (in 2001) over there?

“It has something to do with the caliber of personnel.’’

Aside from the whole “Hit Queen” comment, Rose does make a few decent points. It’s true that the level of competition over in the NPB is considered worse than in Major League Baseball, though it’s though to be stronger than the caliber of play in the minor leagues.

It’s also true that some players who can’t succeed in The States are able to go over to Japan and experience tremendous success. Chicago Cubs outfielder Matt Murton broke the single season hit record in Japan after limited success in the majors, and outfielder Wily Mo Pena has hit 71 home runs in just four seasons in the NPB.

MLB is unlikely to combine Ichiro’s hits, it’s up to fans to decide how to figure out the situation for themselves. Some may choose to consider all Ichiro’s hits, others may give him some credit for those numbers and some will completely disregard.

What do you, as our fans think? Comment below.

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