Seattle Mariners release Ichiro Suzuki for office role with the team

Ichiro Suzuki transitioning to front office with Seattle Mariners but keeps option open to play ball

Ichiro: I can't say I won't put on a disguise in dugout 'like Bobby Valentine'

If that's the case, he'll finish his major league career with 3,089 hits.

He not only became the first player to attain his 3,000 hit in a Marlins uniform, his pursuit of the milestone in 2016 was one of the compelling and uplifting stories around the team during a long drought of losing seasons. "I knew one day that the day would come when I would have to walk away".

But this new role won't allow him to return to Seattle's active roster in 2018.

Seattle is looking to lock Ichiro up with a long-term contract agreement.

Seattle's staff and players have raved about Suzuki's presence in the clubhouse.

Of course, it's possible that Ichiro has played his last game in the big leagues.

Suzuki hit.205 in 44 at-bats and all nine of his hits this season were singles.

While Suzuki struggled at the plate, he did have a few defensive gems, including robbing Cleveland's Jose Ramirez of a homer on the opening weekend of the season and reminding everyone of his greatness as an all-around player.

"He's kind of like the Dalai Lama in the clubhouse", Dipoto said. A man of great discipline and routine, Ichiro would stand with his legs bowed inward, his front foot about half a shoe length behind his back foot, swinging his bat like a pendulum twice before sweeping it over his shoulder and holding it straight up, parallel to the pitcher, and adjusting his right sleeve.

Gordon had "Thanks 51" on his cap Thursday night, and in his first at-bat, he held his bat out in front of him and paused, just like Suzuki. Here is a look at the five best players in Seattle Mariners history. He's also played for Miami and the New York Yankees.

"Me and Ichi have a good relationship", Gordon said. Everyone wanted to be Ichiro, and for a second it felt like I was.

Suzuki was the American League's rookie of the year and MVP when he moved to the majors in 2001 as a 27-year-old.

In his Japanese career, spent with the then-Orix BlueWave of the Japan Pacific League from 1992-2000, he registered 1,278 hits, giving him an all-time professional record of 4,367 hits.

It wouldn't be surprising to somehow see Ichiro return to the Mariners in 2019 and play in Japan for the two exhibition games and two regular season games in Tokyo vs. the A's, considering how the team has handled Ichiro this season.

He said he does not feel a sense of loss, as he will continue practicing with his teammates.

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