Ichiro was asked after the Mariners' final game if he would ever consider asking for a trade.
His answer, through interpreter Allen Turner, was quick: "No."
When told he seemed somehow isolated from this group of teammates as he had never been before, Ichiro said:
"I have had a lot of fun here. I like a lot of things about Seattle and our team, although I know the team is not perfect. There are things to improve on.
"This team definitely has possibilities and some teams that have not done well as we have not in recent years can't say that."
When asked if he felt more alone, distant from the rest of the team, Ichiro said: "It is tough to be on those teams not doing well, but this team is capable of doing better.
"However, I do feel that this year was worse than last year. I may be worried if we had been like this last year. There are lots of things, tons and tons of big things to do."
Does loyalty keep him a Mariner, or is it a personal belief one does not jump teams?
"I think Seattle is a special place," Ichiro said. "It is not that I have to stay here ... it is just a special place."
Attanasio said, "Asking for a trade doesn't come into it. That is not something Japanese players do. But it's incorrect for anyone to say he hasn't been through it before. He was with Orix. He spent three years in misery, and that was in his hometown, Kobe."
Via The Seattle Times
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The Seattle Mariners have made pitching a priority and will pursue A.J. Burnett, the best available, despite the fact he was sent packing -- told to go home -- by the Florida Marlins the final week of the season.
Teams predict that Burnett will shy away from signing with the large market Yankees or Red Sox, as long as a contract offer is comparable.
The Mariners are guessing the asking price for Burnett will be $65 million US for five years. That's $13 million up from early September when the guessing was he would get $10-to-$11 million for four years.
Via Toronto Sun
Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays
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Mariners Oct 2005 Archive