Photo: Rich Schultz/AP

Marlins outfielder/baseball’s True Hit King Ichiro Suzuki is 43 years old, yet he’s not going to stop playing professional baseball anytime in the forseeable future. Last year, he appeared in 143 games and hit .291, and even though the Marlins don’t plan to use him as an every-day starter, Ichiro will once again get his cuts in. The man is a baseball machine.

The Miami Herald caught up with him this afternoon and got an inside look at his offseason preparation. Ichiro’s version of an offseason was “three or four days off” and the occasional pilgrimage to Cooperstown. The last time he took a vacation was either 12 or 13 years ago and it sounds like he hated it:

The last time he took one — 2004 or ’05, he doesn’t recall which — was a week-long trip to Milan, Italy. He worked out pretty much the entire time and said the excursion threw him out of sync for two or three weeks.

Never again, he vowed.

“That’s the last time I took a vacation,” he said.

Tomorrow, the Marlins have their last day off before the regular season starts, but Ichiro insisted that he’d be spending it practicing his swing and working out in a mysterious cargo container that he uses to store his personal workout equipment. Does this sound like a man ready to hang up his cleats at the end of the season? Let’s see what he thinks about retirement:

“When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest,” he said.

And when the day finally comes to retire?

“I think I’ll just die,” he said.