Aki says thanks to Rays and fans in ad
Former Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura took out a full-page ad in Sunday's Times thanking Tampa Bay fans, specifically "for the kindness you have shown me."
Iwamura was traded to the Pirates after the season as the Rays decided to not pick up his $4.85-million option. In the ad, Iwamura, who is wearing his Rays 2008 AL Championship ring, says he will never forget the opportunity the Rays gave him to come to the major leagues from Japan, and to be part of their team.
"I hope you'll remember me with good thoughts for my efforts on the field and even for my "Rayhawk" haircut during our run to the World Series,'' he says.