Ichiro's position isn't the only thing that changed in the time he played for manager Mike Hargrove. Their relationship changed too. "When he first joined...
Ichiro’s position isn’t the only thing that changed in the time he played for manager Mike Hargrove.
Their relationship changed too.
“When he first joined the club, as you all know, there were some complications between us,” Ichiro said, according to interpreter Ken Barron. “But since then, I have honestly expressed my feelings, when I’ve had my feelings toward him, and he has listened to my feelings very honorably and very gentleman-like.
“That’s a very strong memory that I will have of him.”
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Ichiro recited a particular story in which he remembered asking Hargrove to wear a uniform jersey in the dugout for a game instead of a warmup jacket. Ichiro said Hargrove wore a jersey the next game.
“I was the leadoff batter for that day and I hit a home run to lead off the game,” he said.
Ichiro responded to plenty of other questions about Hargrove after the game Sunday. It’s just that he didn’t always answer those questions.
“He will be missed,” he said of Hargrove. “But I’m not sure in what fashion. I can definitely say that battling together with somebody for an extended period of time, when that person leaves, your emotions are moved.”
Ichiro was even less willing to look toward the future and potential free agency. He was asked if it changes how he feels about playing in Seattle now that he will have a new manager.
“Please don’t ask questions related to that right now,” said Ichiro, whose current contract expires after this season.
As for whether he will miss playing for Hargrove?
“That’s something that happens in the future,” he said. “So I can’t speak to what emotions I will have in the future.”