What readers are saying about Ichiro
Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor
He'll always be cheered at Safeco
Ichiro, with his humility, skill and talent, and consistent ethic of hard work, earned Mariner fans' respect from the start which never wavered. To the screams of admiring fans, Ichiro bowed low and tipped his cap to all of us at Safeco this week, showing his true gratitude to his supportive admirers over the past 11-plus years.
And now Ichiro leaves, bringing the genuine qualities of a true champion, to a team of veterans, a competitive, skilled team where he just may win a World Series ring. Ichiro deserves it; he's earned it.
He'll always be cheered at Safeco Field, no matter which team he's playing for.
All the best, Ichiro!
— Suzanne G. Beyer, Bothell
From the land of Ichiro
A player of firsts in a sport of records, Ichiro elicits exaltation. He was also, as it turns out, how I pinpointed my home. When people asked where I was from, a simple out stretched arm with a tug on the shoulder sleeve drew, "Ahhh, Ichiro, Washington, Seattle Mariner." In Japan or London, the iconic Ichiro action clearly distinguished my state from Washington, D.C.
— Patrice Pendell, Nagoya, Japan
Trade exposes M's management
The Ichiro trade only further exposes the ineptitude of Mariner management. Imagine the talent they could have obtained if traded two or three years ago. Take a poll: Who is more dysfunctional, Mariner management or Congress?
— Dave Sadick, Port Townsend
No. 2 on his greatest hits
Lost amid all the career defining moments regurgitated over the past week, one gets lost in the shuffle. Arguably second only to his record-breaking 258th hit in 2005 is Ichiro hitting the only inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history.
— Lew Witham, Seattle
Now let's say goodbye to Felix
Congratulations, Howard, Chuck, and Jack on trading Ichiro to the Yankees. Allowing a premier player to move on to a winning team in his later years is something Ichiro earned with his years with the Mariners. Now he has the chance to play in playoffs and World Series games. Something he would never see staying with the Mariners.
Now do the right thing for Felix and allow him to play on a contending team. He will never see playoff or World Series games with the lack of run support and lack of bullpen support he has in Seattle. Three of his losses this year are directly contributed to poor (no) hitting and no bullpen support. Let him move on, and you can keep looking for youth in the little leagues and maternity wards.
— Fred Riler, Issaquah
Embarrassing response to hits
Does anyone think that Yankee Stadium will flash a big scoreboard message to the fans whenever Ichiro gets a hit? Doing what you are paid very well to do does not really deserve a huge response every time you are successful. I can just imagine how embarrassed I would be if every time I did something right at work a large message was beamed to every other member of my workplace that Denny is "Denny the Man."
— Denny Birk, Edmonds
Win-win for team, Ichiro
My take on the Ichiro episode: It's a win-win for him and the team. However, the way his departure was handled is a punch in the stomach to anyone loyal to him and the team. They tell the fans at midday he's been traded and have him playing against us that same evening. I call that macabre.
Hey, he was our key player and favorite for most of his 11 ½ years and in a few hours we have to forget all that and accept him playing against us in our own stadium — a facility and team paid for, in part, by tickets that Mariners fans buy while they are expected to be loyal to their players.
— Nancy Callaghan Cleland, Seattle
Mariners got this one right
Of course it was tough seeing Ichiro with bat in hand stretching in a Yankees uniform. But, the M's got it right. When Ichiro ran off the field Monday night to high-five his new teammates, he had the biggest smile I've seen him wear for years.
— Terry Conover, Bothell
Team gave him away
The Seattle Mariners gave 10-time All-Star, former AL MVP and future Hall of Famer Ichiro away to the New York Yankees, getting only a pair of nondescript minor leaguers in return for him.
— Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Now are you finally happy?
I hope Steve Kelley, Jay Buhner and their minions are happy they've run Ichiro out of town. I don't understand the beef with the right fielder. I've lived here 32 years, and this is the first legitimate first round Hall of Famer that has stayed loyal to the team and fans and given us years of exciting baseball. Where's the love? He was a reason to go to the ballpark. Now we have Felix and that's it!
— Vicki Wahl, Kirkland
Where are our good fans?
It's really a shame the way Ichiro was treated by the fans this year. I guess all the good Seattle fans have joined the 12th man at CenturyLink.
— Jon Badeaux, Bellevue
Fans deserve better farewell
M's Fans deserve a better 'thank you' from Ichiro
I have never understood why Ichiro never took more of a leadership role in his 11 ½ seasons in Seattle. This includes speaking Japanese during his interviews and news conferences, even though he seems perfectly capable of speaking fluent English. As Ichiro bid farewell to Seattle on Monday, I was left scratching my head as to why he elected to, once again, speak entirely in Japanese. I am beyond disappointed that Ichiro chose not to thank Mariners fans in English. And I believe Mariners fans deserve way better from our franchise players and leaders.
— Eric Hansman, Bellevue
Team's reign of error
The height of the M's success came when Ichiro was acquired, and that success steadily turned to dust as Howard Lincoln/Chuck Armstrong have gone through GMs and managers like Charlie Sheen on a wife binge.
The M's were/are not poor. Their leaders are. Ichiro is now gone and he will be fondly remembered. I just wish Lincoln and Armstrong would be good soldiers for owner Hiroshi Yamauchi and leave, too. Then we can just remember Ichiro and forget them and their reign of error.
— Ben Low, Seattle
Great new era for M's
Monday was a day of incredible growth for the Mariners and the fan base. Gone are the days of yesteryear, when Seattle fans simply came to see the player. They came to greet Ken Griffey Jr., to eye Edgar Martinez and to look at Lou Piniella. Now, as we say good bye to Ichiro, we enter a new era, one in which fans are coming to see Kyle Seager play the game, follow Felix Hernandez as he pitches, watch Eric Wedge as he coaches the game. Those who walk away because of the Ichiro trade will be the ones who simply came to watch, who drained the energy out of Safeco Field due to their lack of understanding of the game.
The new era of fans are ones who understand the sport, they don't come to simply look at a player, but actually watch the game and enjoy it.
Good luck, Ichiro. Well done, Mariners.
— Kabir Jeddy, IssaquahSend us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or email to: email@example.com.