We didn't get a chance to talk with Ichiro pre-game. He was going through extensive pregame ritual and putting some time in the indoor batting cages. It's well known that he and McLaren were very close. So we obviously wanted to get his thoughts on Mac getting fired, along with Mac's accusation of jealousy in the clubhouse. As usual, he was quite interesting.
What were your thoughts when you found out Mac was fired?
There's really no words to express how I was feeling. My relationship with Mac started in 1999 when I came to visit spring training with the Mariners. Since then he's been really good to me. I came here in 2001 to play in the big leuages and we spent some amazing seasons together, and even after he left for Tampa Bay, he still treated me the same way he always has.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
He's a special person to me. Before each game up till now this season, I would always see his face and then go into the game, for me to not see that face today it made me very sad. It was a odd feeling to not have him around. I have to face reality. We still have more than a half season left. I know because of that we still need to look ahead and look forward. But even with that, when I first heard, I couldn't be normal self.
Does McLaren deserve a chance to manage somewhere else again?
I definitely want to see him manage again. the reason the way this team is the way it is, is our fault, not the manager's fault. In a way, he kind of became a martyr for the situation. Our record expresses not the managerial skill of him, but the skill of us as players. It's our fault. For him to prove his managerial skills it was probably going to start showing from now on, for him to not have a chance to show that is disappointing to me.
Some people that have watched the team would say that it's the skippers fault but I disagree with that outlook. I would definitely like to seem him manage again someday, not only in the United States, but with his personality he's the kind of guy who would be a good manager in Japan also.
What are your thoughts on McLaren's comments about friction and jealousy in the clubhouse?
If Mac said so I would believe it to be true. Because up to now, his job was to protect the players and maybe he wouldn't say some things that were on his mind. Now given the opportunity to speak his mind, he gave his honest opinion, so I believe it to be true.
So does he see any of it himself?
There's many things that I feel and there's many things that I notice. I'm not going to go in to detail what those things are. But I enjoy observing, and I enjoy feeling things from those observations. That's just who I am. That's my personality. And I see a lot of things being who I am.
I'm not going to give specific answers to your question. I'm saying, I do see many things. I have noticed many things. I feel many things.
Do you think other players are jealous of you?
I don't know, but I would like to be the kind of player that other people would be jealous of. What i can also tell you is that jealous are men are the worst things out there. Jealous guys are worse than jealous women.
Also Erik Bedard was fairly engaging after the game discussing his back spasms. Some people joked it was due to the medication. He said he hurt it on the 3-2 pitch that Ruben Gotay singled on. He then threw five more pitches and a couple pick-off moves to get out of the inning.
Here's an excerpt from my game story ...
"The closer he got to the dugout you could tell the more pain he was in," Riggleman said. "By the time we brought him in here it wasn't good at all."
It didn't get much better once he tried to leave the dugout to the clubhouse.
"Oh man, I couldn't even make it up the ramp by myself," Bedard said. "They had to help me up it."
This is something new for Bedard, who joins reliever Brandon Morrow as someone afflicted with the same problem.
"When people told me they had back spasms, I had no idea what they were talking about, now I do," he said.
Bedard said he felt okay as long he was standing, but sitting down wasn't even an option.
"It's going to feel great (today) I'm sure," he said.
And that's the biggest concern is how he feels today. That will play largely into whether he can make his next start or not. Because he has never dealt with the injury before, Bedard had no idea about a timetable.
"Some guys it's three or four days, and some guys it's a week," he said. "I don't know."