Ichiro Plays His Final MLB Game
Ichiro Suzuki has said “sayonara.”
The 45-year-old Seattle Mariners star announced his retirement Thursday night, shortly after waving goodbye at the Tokyo Dome during a 5-4 win over Oakland in 12 innings.
Ichiro went 0 for 4 and was pulled from right field in the eighth, saluting his adoring fans in the packed crowd. He drew hugs from teammates in a three-minute walk that signaled to all his great career had ended.
The outfielder said in a statement after the game that he had “achieved so many of my dreams in baseball, both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball.”
Ichiro was a 10-time All-Star in the majors. He got 3,089 hits over a 19-year career in the big leagues after getting 1,278 while starring in Japan. His combined total of 4,367 is a professional record.
Dustin Pedroia feels ready for opening day. Considering what it took to get to that point, the Boston Red Sox are erring on the side of caution.
Pedroia will miss Boston’s opener for the second straight season, staying in extended spring training to rehab his left knee, on which he had surgeries each of the past two offseasons. Pedroia, a key figure for the Red Sox during most of his 13-year career, believes he’s ready to go but understands why the reigning World Series champions are hesitant. ... AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a $50 million, five-year contract that covers three seasons of arbitration eligibility plus one year after he could have become a free agent. The 26-year-old went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA last year, setting franchise records for wins and ERA.
Houston joins Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent defensive end Justin Houston.
It’s the first big splash the Colts have made this offseason. Until now, Colts general manager Chris Ballard had focused primarily on re-signing his own players. The 6-foot-3, 258-pound Houston has made 96 career starts, recording 377 tackles and 781/2 sacks and was a first-team All-Pro in 2014, when he led the NFL with 22 sacks.
Dahmen grabs share of lead
The PGA Tour event that doesn’t have Tiger Woods this year instead has the Leaping Cougar.
That’s a childhood nickname for Joel Dahmen, who took advantage of gentle conditions on a tough Copperhead course for a 5-under 66 to share the early lead with Austrian-born Sepp Straka in the Valspar Championship.
Na Yeon Choi had an unexpected share of the Founders Cup lead halfway through the first round in her return from a back injury. Choi shot a 7-under 65 at Desert Ridge in her first tournament round in 11 months. ... Three-time tournament champion Venus Williams won her opening match at the new site of the Miami Open by beating Dalila Jakupovic 7-5, 6-3. ... Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for forcefully shoving Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid to the floor. Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, noted Smart’s repeated acts of unsportsmanlike conduct during games this season in handing down the penalty Thursday. Smart has been fined for two prior incidents in 2018-19. Smart shoved Embiid from behind with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter of the 76ers’ 118-115 victory on Wednesday. He received a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected.