Ichiro Suzuki walked off the field Thursday for the last time as a player, ending a Hall-of-Fame career that began in 2001 -- including a stint with the Yankees and a period spent pestering the Mets as a member of the Marlins. And while he was one of the best hitters ever, he also gave some of the best and funniest quotes ever. Here is a sampling...
'Who the f*ck is Tom Brady?'
In 2017, Ichiro received a text message from a number he didn't know. The number belonged to Tom Brady, who had gotten it from Alex Rodriguez and wanted to talk to Ichiro about his stretching regimen. When one of the coaches asked Ichiro who had texted him, his response was perfect: 'Some guy named Tom Brady. Who the f- is Tom Brady?'
'If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face...'
Ichiro did not hide his disdain about playing in Cleveland, giving this gem of a quote to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times in 2007:
'To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying.'
'I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul.'
When asked in 2007 about facing Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ichiro gave what can only be described as a perfect response:
'I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger.'
'Chicks who dig home runs aren't the ones who appeal to me.'
The common sell in the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa/Barry Bonds era was that 'chicks dig the long ball.' Ichiro was having none of that, as relayed to Brad Lefton of the New York Times in 2009:
'Chicks who dig home runs aren't the ones who appeal to me. I think there's sexiness in infield hits because they require technique than with my brute strength. Then, every now and then, just to show I can do that, too, I might flirt a little by hitting one out.'
'I feel like a big dog at a pet shop that hasn't been sold.'
Free agency hasn't been kind to lots of players over the last few offseasons, and Ichiro discussed it with the Kyodo News in Japan in 2017:
'I feel like a big dog at a pet shop that hasn't been sold. Of course, I want to play baseball next year. I, too, will do my best.'
"He said, 'Woof, woof, woof,' which meant, 'Stay, stay, stay.'"
When Ichiro re-signed in Seattle before his age-33 season, he credited his dog, Ikky, for playing a big role.
"He said, 'Woof, woof, woof,' which meant, 'Stay, stay, stay.' Of course, I listened."
'I was kind of surprised at people being surprised by the year I had.'
Ichiro was insanely good during his rookie season in 2001, and clearly thought others should've been ready for him to be that insanely good.
'The year that I had in 2001, I wasn't surprised by it. I do remember that a lot of people were surprised by the kind of year that I had. So I was kind of surprised at people being surprised by the year that I had.'
'I think I'll just die.'
'When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest,' he said. When asked when the day comes that he retires, Ichiro said 'I think I'll just die.'
Congrats on your retirement, Ichiro, and please keep the quotes coming.