Ichiro may have reached the 4,000 hits plateau, but the all-time hit king isn't particularly impressed. Pete Rose spoke out in defense of his record and questioned the legitimacy of Suzuki’s accomplishment.
"He's still 600 hits away from catching [teammate] Derek Jeter,'' Rose told USA TODAY Sports, "so how can he catch me?'
"Hey, if we're counting professional hits,'' says Rose, the major-league hit leader at 4,256, "then add on my 427 career hits in the minors. I was a professional then, too.
Rose makes a good point, but he seems a bit salty. At age 39, Ichiro is in the twilight of his career and will need about three or four more seasons to surpass Pete’s mark, so the record isn’t in any immediate danger.
However, the competition around the world has improved drastically in recent years. Take for an example, the World Baseball Classic. Japan is routinely competitive and has won in 2006 and 2009. The US has never placed better than fourth. Wake up Pete.