I’m here at Safeco Field at the Mariners’ workout, and had a chance to be part of a group interview with Ichiro.
He looked very fit — see the quote in the headline — and was in a great mood. He even got in a couple of good-natured shots at the media (at least they sounded good-natured), saying that doctors told him the best way to prevent a recurrence of his bleeding ulcer was to stay away from the media.
He has one more blood test to take before being officially cleared to come off the DL Wednesday, but he said, “In my mind I’m playing on Wednesday.”
He was flattered the team hung his jersey in the dugout during the road trip.
“It made me very happy, but at the same time, I’m not dead yet. I’ll make sure to get that jersey back,” he said.
Other quotes from Ichiro:
On what may have caused his ulcer: ” It’s something I don’t mind talking about, but I don’t really understand what was going on. It made me feel, I guess I’m human.”
On how the team played on the road trip: ” I couldn’t watch the games on TV, because I was in Arizona, so it was very annoying I didn’t get to watch. Of course, I got to see the results, and it made me very happy. I guess I’m a little upset we lost two games.”
In retrospect, was going on the DL the right decision: “I don’t feel that way at all. I wish I would have played. Now the team owes me. Now I can get a favor in the future from the team.
What might it be: “I’m still thinking about it.”
On what he’s learned from this: “Up to this point, I’ve been able to play baseball with health. I kind of took it for granted, but now I clearly understand the joy of being healthy and being able to play baseball.”
On whether the stress of the WBC contributed to the ulcer: “I don’t know, but that’s just a guess. At the end, it’s a guess. When you think about it, I could get an ulcer from the stress of talking to you guys.”.
On whether his appearances in extended spring games appearances kept him sharp: “The hitting in Peoria was very good for me, but at the same time, the first time you play in a season, you can never be completely prepared for that, in any circumstances.”