I am about to lay down a take that, in baseball circles, would be considered nuclear hot. It is bold and could be described as presumptive, but it is one in which I firmly believe. You may believe that Major League Baseball is the best hardball on the planet. You would be correct, but I dare you to open your mind and dive down this particular rabbit hole.
Of course, I can already hear the chorus of, "ICHIRO'S HITS IN JAPAN DON'T COUNT!!" I will immediately say that MLB should not recognize Suzuki as the record holder for career hits. That would be ridiculous; it is an MLB-specific record, and Suzuki does not have the requisite number of hits to hold it.
Despite this obvious fact, why should we pass on an opportunity to celebrate an accomplishment by one of the greatest hitters of all-time, even if you want to ignore what he did in Japan? Suzuki sits just 40 hits away from 3,000 as an MLB player and would be just the 30th player to reach that milestone. He is also only in his 16th season in America. He ended season #15 with 2,935 hits. You want to know how many hits Rose had through season #15? You do -- it was 2,966. If you're math-deficient, that's a difference of only 31.
Need more? Suzuki's .314 career batting average is in the top 75 all-time and among the top 25 of the last 50 years. His 500 stolen bases are among the top 40 all-time. He will soon crack the top 100 in career runs scored and has over 500 career extra-base hits to his name. Given all Suzuki has accomplished in his 16 seasons since joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001, should we really discount the 1,278 hits he accumulated in Japan? Would any of you like to make the argument that he would not have approached those numbers had those nine seasons been played in the United States?
I don't really care that it will never be considered an MLB record; I just adore the game and what players like Suzuki represent. Any player amassing 4,257 hits on any level is something to be celebrated, but even more so when the great majority of those hits actually occurred as an MLB player. He has cemented a legacy as one of the game's all-time greatest hitters, and when he passes Pete, I'll be pumping my fist, even if no one else does.
Now, on to the links...
Speaking of baseball, the MAC Tournament begins it's second day this morning. Top seed Kent State won yesterday, but #2 seed Ball State is in danger of going home early.
The WCHA has adopted a new playoff format.
The WCHA's Final Five was a grand tradition, but it is no more. Now, the league will go with a 3-3-1 playoff format in which all games will be on campus sites. This includes the championship game. Could it be BGSU's destiny to finally return to the NCAA Tournament by winning the WCHA at the Madhouse on Mercer?
In more hockey news, BGSU, Western Michigan and Miami have all released their hockey schedules for next season. The Falcons play the Broncos and Redhawks twice each, while the Broncos and Redhawks will play each other four times.
Transgender Student-Athlete Breaks Barriers at BGSU
WTOL-TV's Jordan Strack highlights a former member of the Bowling Green women's cross country team who has identified himself as transgender. It's an uplifting story of a troubled young person who found himself, as well as acceptance.
11 States Sue United States Government Over Transgender Directive
In a related story, several states have filed suit to block a directive from President Obama which requires schools to allow students to use facilities according to the gender by which they identify, under threat of withholding of federal funds.
University of Akron Opts Out of Renewing Contract With TrustNavigator
The University of Akron spent $840,000 to hire success coaches for struggling freshmen in order to help retain students. The results were not good, as only seven students were retained. The cost for each was $120,000.
Former Toledo Baseball Player Jared Hoying Called Up By Texas Rangers
Hoying was brought up to the Major League club on Monday when Shin-Soo Choo was placed on the disabled list. He has played in two of the team's three games since his call-up and has gone 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk.
Central Michigan's Dick Enberg Retiring
BGSU has Doc Emrick, CMU has Enberg. Enberg was a television mainstay for several decades and was NBC's lead play-by-play announcer for NFL games during the 1980s and 1990s. He called eight Super Bowls, so his voice is attached to some of football's greatest moments. In recent years, he has been play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres. He celebrated his retirement season last Saturday by calling a Detroit Tigers' game.
NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Regionals Begin Today
There are a lot of MAC athletes participating in the East and West regionals, which take place over the next three days. Some of them will end up at the national championship meet in Eugene, Ore. next month. Keep track of 'em, will ya?