“J.J. in Staten Island, what’s up J.J.?”
“I want to talk about a couple of things. I love Ichiro Suzuki. What he did was a very very unbelievable accomplishment, you know?”
“No I don’t know. I disagree completely.”
And so it began this morning on Mike Francesca’s Dozy-Time Radio Sleep Train, as our host lambasted a rather startled caller who was commenting on the Yankees’ celebration of Ichiro Suzuki reaching 4,000 hits on Wednesday. As you know, the Yankees stopped the game as players came out and congratulated Ichiro after his single in the first gave him a combined 4,000 hits in the Japanese Pacific Coast League (1,278) and Major League Baseball (2,722).
(Full audio below).
The hype surrounding this did not sit well with Francesa, who fiercely attacked this straw man of a controversy with everything he had:
“Who decided that he has 4,000 hits? That’s ridiculous. That’s creating something that doesn’t exist! Who decided that we’re now mingling Japanese statistics with American statistics?”
He basically repeated that paragraph for 15 minutes. Poor J.J. from Staten Island.
Of course Francesca’s argument is fatuous, the only real surprise there being that he stayed awake long enough to make it. No one is saying that Ichiro has 4,000 Major League hits. The Yankees honored him for being the third person in the history of professional baseball to reach the 4,000-hit plateau.
If the Yankees want to do that, that’s their business. And if the Yankees want to add three more hits onto that total because Brian Cashman saw them in a dream, that’s up to them as well. It’s all in-house, non-binding and perfectly harmless — they don’t need a desk-bound radio arbiter to decide for them.
Francesca acts like Nate Silver and Bill James hatched a scheme to insert Ichrio into third place in the Baseball Almanac hit list. Calm down, Mike, and take another call from Vinny from Elmhurst on Justin Tuck’s mild hamstring strain.