Ichiro Suzuki press conference:
Opening statement from Daily Sports -
First, I would like to tell the fans how grateful I am of their support. Thank you for the last eleven-and-a-half years.
Since 2001, during times the team won, and during time the team lost, during times I played well, and during times I played poorly. When I think of all the times and moments we shared, I feel deeply emotional. And the fans provided me with a lot of support. Although I find it difficult to express my thoughts in such a brief amount of time when I think of all the time [I spent here], the eleven-and-a-half years, when I look back at the times and moments I shared with the fans, I became extremely sad when I thought about taking off the Mariners uniform. This decision was very difficult to make.
I thought about things during the All-Star break. My decision: when I thought about the future of this team past this year, with so many players in their early twenties, I felt this was not a place for me to be. I also started thinking about how a chance of scenery could be just what I needed to get things going again. And I made the decision because I thought the sooner I left the team, the better it would be, for both the team and for myself. I am extremely grateful to the Mariners for accepting this decision. I want to thank former Nintendo CEO Fusajiro Yamauchi, current Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, and Nintendo America CEO Tatsumi Kimishima for giving me an opportunity to play as a Mariner for eleven-and-a-half years. I also want to thank everyone with the Mariners for all the support they provided over the years.
I am proud of my eleven-and-a-half years of experience with the Mariners and I will lock these memories away inside my heart as I move on. Thank you very much.
From Sanspo #1 -
What are you thoughts?
In looking back at memories and times I have shared with fans over the last eleven-and-a-half years, and when I imagine taking the Seattle uniform off, I feel extremely sad. This decision was very difficult for me.
The reason behind your decision.
In thinking about the future of this team, with many players in their early twenties, I thought I should not be here after this year. I also thought a change in scenery would be good for me.
Was there a team you wanted to go to?
There was, but not one I absolutely had to go to. My only requirement was to go to a team that needed me.
You were traded to a very strong team.
I am not exactly sure how I am to act because I will be going from a team that has not won a lot to a team that has.
What will you do if you make it to the World Series.
That question is a little premature. I have played baseball for a long time and made it to the playoffs just once in 2001. I am not qualified to talk about that at this time. I do hope that kind of thinking will grow inside of me as I spend time playing for the Yankees.
What will be one of the new challenges awaiting you in New York?
The manager, sitting right next to me, is really great at interviews. I think I need to think about how I will handle [the media now].
From Sanspo #2 (duplicate questions skipped over) -
How did your family respond?
My family will follow my decision. They were clear in their thoughts so they became a strong support for me.
The fans cheered for you during the game.
When I consider the [fan] reaction my head goes white. I was grateful at that moment.
One the number thirty-one.
It was a feeling. I wanted to involve the number one because I like the sound and the balance.
Any concerns about playing in a new environment?
A new environment is a little scary. I am nervous. But I made the decision so I need to get over it and I want to do what I can to get over it. I am prepared for that.
How was the new locker room?
It had a very relaxed feel. I have only experienced it one day, but it was nice.
Your thoughts on the pinstripe uniform.
You can not really see if when you are wearing it. But I can not imagine not looking good in it. I want to do my best to make it fit me.
Munenori Kawasaki (SEA) did not appear happy about the news of Ichiro's trade to the Yankees.
Ichiro on Kawasaki: "This was one of the things that made my decision difficult. ... [but] being in the same place does not necessarily mean being able to play together. I felt that we could still do things together despite being in different places."
Source: Sanspo 7/24/2012
The Mariners' shop ran out of Ichiro uniforms. The Yankees are slated to get Ichiro t-shirts in late August and Ichiro uniforms in September. Source: Sanspo 7/24/2012