Greg Johns, writing for MLB.com
The two teams were allowed to carry three extra players for the two international games, but will need to cut to 25 players before resuming play in the United States next Thursday, so Ichiro’s position was understood to likely be short term.
Everyone basically figured Ichiro was on the roster only for this series in his home country of Japan. He was a shell of his former self, but there’s still evidence of how good of shape he kept himself in.
A couple days ago the Mariners played the Yomiuri Giants. With a runner on second a Yomiuri hitter hit a pop fly to right field. Ichiro caught the pop fly then threw a rocket of a throw to third base, holding the runner at second. I witnessed Ichiro do the same thing multiple times in a single game when the Mariners were in Kansas City. This is the same arm late Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus said was “something out of Star Wars”.
I could go on all day with the different ways Ichiro amazed me. With only Ken Griffey Jr. ahead of him, there was no more iconic player in Seattle Mariners history. From his signature batting stance, to the way he would run out routine plays to shortstop, to that cannon of an arm, Ichiro put on a show every night. It was an honor to witness it.