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Ichiro Press Conference

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007
Here’s the highlights of what Ichiro said, through an interpreter, in a 1:30 press conference to announce he’s re-signing with the M’s. I’ve paraphrased the questions, but did my best to capture Ichiro’s responses exactly as translated:

Was there a particular day when you decided to stay in Seattle?
I can’t say there was a particular day. During the season I go to different places—and there the fans say please stay here and I was moved by that. And the Japanese people wanted me to come back there. But when I came back to Seattle and the fans asked me to stay here, that’s the moment that moved me the most.

Did any one person influence you to stay in Seattle?
Yes, my dog. He said “ruff, ruff, ruff.” That means “stay, stay, stay.”

Did Hargrove leaving make any impact on your decision?
It was not an influence at all.

Did existing relationships with your current teammates on the Mariners make any impact on your decision?
It’s hard for my teammates to understand how I think and understand how I feel about baseball. But there are players on this team that understand me and I am grateful for that.

Will you take on more of a leadership role in the clubhouse?
No it’s going to be exactly the way it has been. What I’ve been doing is the best I can do, and it will continue the way it’s been.

Will the fact that you’ve signed here make it more likely that high-profile free agents will sign in Seattle?
I don’t know. Please ask a fortune teller.