Jay Buhner says he would ‘vomit’ if the Mariners give Ichiro a big contract

Ichiro Suzuki has been the face of the Mariners for several years, but he’s turning 39 years old in October and in the final year of his contract. As would be the case with most players in their late-30s, Suzuki’s numbers are rapidly declining. The Mariners outfielder finished the season last year with a .272 average — the first time he failed to hit over .300 in his 11-year MLB career. This season, he is hitting just .259 with only 13 stolen bases. Now, Seattle has to figure out what to do with him.

Mariners legend Jay Buhner is hoping his former team doesn’t make an emotional decision when Suzuki’s contract expires at the end of the season. When asked what he would say if the Mariners offered Ichiro a three-year deal worth around $35 million, Buhner expressed disgust.

“I’d vomit,” Buhner told ESPN 710’s “Brock and Salk Show” according to The Seattle Times. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.

“But at the same time, they need help desperately. They need some veteran leadership in the clubhouse. Wedgie (manager Eric Wedge) can’t keep growing the beard, growing the mustache, shaving it off, that’s not the answer.”

Jay is right. A veteran presence would be nice — for the right amount of years and dollars. The problem the Mariners have is that Ichiro is a franchise icon and fan inspiration. Seattle ranks 26th in the league in average attendance this season, so the last thing they need to do is give more fans a reason to stop showing up. That being said, they also can’t afford to be dedicating a large chunk of their payroll to players who are going to fall off the map very shortly. If Ichiro is not willing to take a one or two-year deal for little money, Seattle needs to let him walk. Otherwise they’ll have this problem on their hands.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel, US PRESSWIRE

Around The Web

  • deacon007

    “The problem the Mariners have is that Ichiro has become the face of
    their franchise. Fans go to the ballpark to see him play and even dress like him on occasion. Seattle ranks 26th in the league in average attendance this season….”

    That makes no sense.

  • OffTheLows

    I don’t think many come to Safeco anymore to see Ichiro aside from a diminishing group of Japanese tourists. Attendance shouldn’t be a surprise for a team batting sub .200 at home (yet lead the majors in scoring on the road!) and that has lost 95+ games 3 of 4 seasons and appear destined to do it again this year.

  • lepasc

    Jay Buhner is weird dude;
    “I’d vomit…no offense,no offense!”  What? No offence? Loll

    Yeah…Nice try…

  • Steve Sheets

    I agree with the writer.  Ichiro is overrated and over paid.  If he stays, he needs to take less money.

  • Kibosh

    Back to Japan and “tell em the Bone sent ya!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/xenatikkanen Jennifer B Jacobs

    They come for King Felix now. Plus, veteran leadership? Ichiro has NEVER provided leadership and has never been a great clubhouse guy. I wouldn’t care what team it is – you don’t spend that kind of cash on a 39 year old unless perhaps his name is Derek Jeter, and most of that is for sentimental reasons and you have the cash to waste and publicity galore to rack up as the records continue to be broken…WITHOUT steroids.

  • RQJ

    The old “legend” envious of the new “face of the franchise”? Hmm!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.standridge Dennis Standridge

    Buhner is an idiot and should have never quit his bartending job at Cheers. Ichiro is not the Mariner’s main problem. He is still leading the team in most of the offensive stats. How did you do those last couple of years? STFU! I remember thinking they need to get the catcher and umpire a coat from all the wind you stirred up on those whiffs of yours. What would Edger do/say in this situation? Make this your mantra before you open your mouth again boner! Is this the same radio show that got Mora fired from the Falcons. What are they drinking before and after going on the air? Tell your sponsers I am muting your commercials from now on, No more “Tell them the bone sent you.”

  • Chukkal

     Please explain to me why he’s needed 2 translators for 11 years and still won’t give an interview?????    Ichiro may be the “face” of the franchise but he’s never been the heart!

  • Chukkal

    And fire the two translastors!  He’s never given a pubic interview in 11 years!   Why?  Send him back to Japan!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OF23QPKBJZBW5WBDLE7S5YEFH4 Annomous

    it’s always we will do better next year and none of them can win 
    what’s up with that also  the teams get good players and then leave …
    …. when the sonic’s won in 78 it was a blast … good riddance…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L6TNFC64YPDYOVNBXELVI6F3JQ Dick Nuggets

    Think you just won the ‘Dumbest Comment Award’.  Congrats RQJ…….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L6TNFC64YPDYOVNBXELVI6F3JQ Dick Nuggets

    Seattle sports fans have already moved on to Sark and the Dawgs.  Go HUSKIES!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QSE66EV3VRZM6RCBM4HSK5NSXU lie s

    I went to a game just to see him. I am neither Japanese nor a tourist…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JOKUJM63ZWT2CNXCIQIHBD6XH4 jfhaha

    And what EXACTLY has Seattle done to help Ichro win a title. NOTHING. He should be able to take what he can get. I hope he takes it, I’d love to see you vomit, umm no offense

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/B6PLHSAAZZGF55XNKCV3UNFYBU Rebecca

    In case you haven’t noticed, Ichiro is somewhat of a perfectionist.  Part of that is just him, but part of it is also due to Japanese culture.  Yes, he speaks English, but he has a thick accent and isn’t particularly eloquent.  Thus, he is more comfortable being able to say exactly what he means in Japanese with a translator than struggling to find words in English.  As for interviews, again – he’s Japanese.  They are not famous for wearing their hearts on their sleeves.  Ichiro’s more reserved persona is exemplary of that.  He guards his privacy carefully, and I for one respect that.

  • cupchamp88

    Jay Buhner is a turd!!  Look at his stats compared to Ichiro’s!!  I think he is just a jealous man looking for another 15 minutes of fame!!

    Ichiro Suzuki                                                           

    10× All-Star (2001–2010)10× Gold Glove Award (2001–2010)3× Silver Slugger Award (2001, 2007, 2009)2× AL Batting Champion (2001, 2004)2001 AL MVP2001 AL Rookie of the Year2001 AL Stolen Base Champion2005 Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award2005 Fastest to 1,000 hits2007 All-Star Game MVP2009 Second-fasted to 2,000 hitsSingle-season MLB record with 262 hits (2004)AL Record Consecutive Stolen Bases (45)Jay Buhner

    All-Star selection (1996)Gold Glove Award winner (1996)Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame inductee (2004)Let the stats speak for themselves!!!  1 good year doesn’t make a career!!!

  • Jeff C

    All good things eventually must come to an end.  Unfortunately, human nature is to avoid change.  At least Buhner is thinking logically about the long-term.  Ichiro’s past performance has no bearing on the ability for the Mariners to be successful going forward.

  • Denis Dooley

    I agree with Jay. I was enthusiastic about the last deal Ichiro was signed to, but now his numbers have fallen way off. I think Ichiro needs to go back to Japan and play his last couple of years, his swan song, then retire.

    Given the business he brought to the Mariners, especially the Japanese tourists, I think they’d be better served by acquiring new talent from Japan that can produce, contribute and help rebuild the team. I was at the game on Sunday and 44% of the starting fielders finished the bames below the Mendoza line. I definitely didn’t feel like we got our money’s worth.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4RKIZWNDAZALUEGXJUL4Y2MCA4 MEL

    jay is right, he’s 39 and they need at least  3 new starters, and pitching. which every team does, but they need to strenghen the minor league teams. they tried the money thing and look what happened.

  • Denis Dooley

    I don’t think that’s what it’s about. I think we’d all rank Ichiro as a better player and more important to the history of the Mariners, maybe even Buhner. It’s just clear that Ichiro’s skills are declining quickly.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4RKIZWNDAZALUEGXJUL4Y2MCA4 MEL

    ichiro is an old legend. ichiro was the new face 10 years ago. what have you been drinking or smokeing?

  • Denis Dooley

    It is a shame that they didn’t do more for him a couple of years ago to build a team around him. There would have been some divisional titles, at least. But, then, why my Ichiro suffer more? This team is awful.

    Perhaps they could make it up to him by trading him to a contender for the balance of the season.

  • turkey_fingers

    no pubic interview!!?! how dare he!!! i am outraged!! this is outrageous!!!  i demand he give a pubic interview!! deport him!!!  if only he would give one pubic interview!! what a jerk!!!

  • RQJ

    My mistake, I mean newer than the other guy. I guess some people cannot help but denigrate other people. I don’t drink or smoke, used to but not anymore. Raul Q. Javier
    email: rqjavier@yahoo.com

  • RQJ

    Thanks for the nice comment. Gives an insight on how you think.
    Raul Q. Javier
    email: rqjavier@yahoo.com

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/62TBJBR62ZTR5CL2H5AESHZWVY SoDoMoJo

    A-Rod? The difference between A-Rod and Ichiro is that the former has been doing fine. A slight drop in homers… but still hitting and scoring runs, and he can still steal bases. I’d love to have A-Rod instead of Ichiro right now.

  • Longdin

    Ichiro isn’t the face of the franchise in Seattle – he’s the face of the franchise in Japan.  The Mariners are owned by the head of Nintendo, and they receive more ad money in Tokyo than Seattle by far.  Ichiro will go when Nintendo says he will go – and not sooner. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LVKK3XDDKP4YPOBDO6KDHV4TQM Ecurb

    (“Buehner is a wierd dude.” Ha, ha… well, actually he’s just uncouth – he is an uneducated hillbilly with an intrucive personality, and quite frankly I am tired of seeing his idiot overbearing face around the stadium – he ads nothing positive to that organization. But I digress, this is NOT supposed to be about Jay Bonehead… but perhaps it could be a start! Yes, start getting rid of some of these negative attitudes who get to “hang around” the clubhouse – starting with Mr. Negativity himself.)

    The Mariners should not renew Suzuki’s contract. To say he is needed as a veteran presence in the dugout is just not accurate. The man has very much, too much, kept to himself over the years due to his own personality, inability to speak english, whatever… he has NOT been a leader in the clubhouse, so chunk the notion.

    And, you simply can not pay the kind of money mentioned for the numbers he puts up now. 

    As long as Jay and Ichy get to hang around these guys have no chance of developing their OWN club personality. It is TIME to let go of the past.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LVKK3XDDKP4YPOBDO6KDHV4TQM Ecurb

    But yes, as so many here have really noticed… Ichiro has meant a lot to this club, and he put up his numbers in a time when he was not surrounded by; Edgar, Junior, Alex, Dan – Mr Negativity WAS surrounded by those guys. I mean, come on – who would you rather pitch to?

    So Mr Negativity got a lot of stuff to hit – we all understand that.

    So Mr Negativity is just blowing smoke so he has a paycheck. Talk about someone needing to move on – Jay… heed your own words and move on if you think things are so bad you need to be ugly about it.

    Move on, Jay… get away… you bring nothing to the table. Nobody cares what you think – especially when you have to say it in such an ugly manner.

    You epitomize so much of what is wrong with our society – it has simply become soooo easy for people to be openly ugly to each other.

  • Spot09

    totally agree with Jay…and he had the guts to say it!

    Love it!

  • Spot09

    Agree Steve….oh, and he has a huge ego.

  • Spot09

    If you don’t even talk to your teammates, do not help the team in certain situations (i.e. bunting, hitting the ball to the r/l side), and make 18M/year and hit .259/4/20 what Leadership/mentoring are you providing???  Ichiro…

  • Spot09

    oh, now he is gone he is talking to the media, smiling and stading in the dugout??!  WTF??  Glad to see you go Ichiro…

  • Spot09

    it’s part of making the 18M and being a MLB player turkey…

  • Spot09

    Ichi needs to smoak some weed to relate to anyone and chill out his enormous ego

  • Spot09

    Love you RQJ!!   :)

  • Spot09

    I respectfully disagree…and so do the Mariners as of 7/23 huh..

    Like the Buhner has the guts to say how he and 80% of Mariner fans feel,  Rock on JAY!!

  • Spot09

    Someone always stand up for Ichiro not speaking any English…this is just dumb.  Making 18M/year and playing on a TEAM sport should make anyone (Ichiro ) want to learn English for many reasons…

    People should try to “fit in” rather then “stand out” in sports like baseball.  It’s an ego thing w/ Ichiro and always has been.  Image and being the face of many Japanse products are what Ichiro seems to strive for…and this also might provide some insight that Ichiro isn’t this “…reserved, quiet persona…”  While in Japan Ichiro seems pretty comfortable…

    Glad the mariners teammates do not have to deal with someone making $$$ and acting selfish on a daily basis…in a team sport.

    Time to move on, and these 2 moves (Smoak to minors, getting rid of what is…was a dead weight)

    When you sign a contract

  • Spot09

    2001, 116 wins….crappy f/o, and talent scouts.  Look at what the M’s once had…

  • Spot09

    Buhner had the guts to say what 80% of Mariner fans and prob. teammates think…

  • Spot09

    nice comment…well-said

  • Spot09

    Both A-Rod and Ichiro have more in common then people think…

  • Spot09

    @ least the M’s f/o (for some reason) got rid of Ichi

  • Spot09

    Agree with Ichiro…he is/was not goood for the current Mariner team.

    Buhner had the balls to state what most M’s fans and teammates thought…I think he had to make some waves so logical people, media, and the f/o to take notice that signing Ichi to ANY contract is bad in many ways for the M’s.

    Glad Ichiro is gone and keep up speaking up Jay!!

    Go M’s

  • RQJ

    Nice of you, that’s the kind of language we should use.
    Raul Q. Javier
    email: rqjavier@yahoo.com

  • Spot09

    Jay Buhner was correct…many people here are so sensitive to the fact that now
    Ichiro is gone b/c he was a detriment to the team and team chemistry.  Anyone who watches all the little things that goes on during M’s games knows Ichiro was not only not helping the team…but hurting it.

    He wouldn’t sac ever, how about bunting w/ all your speed Ichiro??  How about hitting the ball to the right side when the sit. called for it??  How about not batting 1st/3rd this year to help the team??  Serious, batting 3rd?!  Ichi??  What, he is going to hit the ball softly to 2b to get 120RBI? 

    Buhner, like many hard-core watchers of M’s games saw Ichiro not caring or even trying on most of the time…not speaking a word, sitting on the bench all of the time while others are into the games, never smiling….could go on and on.

    Love Jay’s, although not shy, words to help nudge this Mariner franchise in the right direction.  Thank you Ichiro for the 8 years when you tore-it-up (admit being on these teams would be so tough), but good-bye and fairwell…knowing your better days have long-past.  

    Older age might actually humble Ichiro, soften that shell that you put around yourself…not letting anyone in.  Now you can’t even think to yourself…”your the face of the franchise” (being a yankee).

    …but people call me “overly positive”

  • Spot09

    So many people are angry and misdirect their own insecurities towards others.

    People should spread love and kindness

  • RQJ

    Kindness, yes and use polite language. Easier to understand.
    Raul Q. Javier
    email: rqjavier@yahoo.com