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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 19, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Ichiro’s grand entrance

That sure was a long, cold day of sitting around waiting for Ichiro to appear for his physical. But we stuck it out just to make sure he did arrive — what, you expected a contract holdout? — and by the way, he did pass his physical. For the record, a small group of fans bravely waited in the rain and cold at the parking lot entrance to greet Ichiro upon arrival about 4 p.m. local time. Ichiro was at the wheel of a white Infinity sport utility vehicle, which was duly filmed by a fair-sized contingent of Japanese media. After greeting everyone and politely declining formal interviews until Tuesday morning, he headed inside and promptly aced the physical.
Ichiro, no doubt, was pleased that there were no stairs involved in his stress test.
Still awaiting word on Mark Lowe’s status. The team will have official word Tuesday morning but Lowe told me he fully expects to be cleared to start soft throwing.
And that’s it for today, as manager Mike Hargrove prepares the speech he’ll give to his full contingent of players before their first total team workout on Tuesday morning. Hargrove really does feel these talks can make a difference. “You really have to talk from the heart,” he said. “I don’t know that it translates into performance. I do think it translates into focus.”
And don’t count Hargrove among those who feel the Mariners waited until late August of last season to finally find that focus.
“We did a lot right all year except for 11 days,” he said, referring to an 11-game losing streak that sank Seattle’s hopes in August. “A lot of good things happened here last year that obviously were overshadowed by 11 days we spent on that road trip.
“But last year was a good season for us.”
I’ll let you all chew on that one overnight. Feel free to comment.

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