Mariners Players Supposedly Wanted to Beat Up Ichiro Suzuki

Dude, I know things got pretty bad for the Mariners this year, so much so that Richie Sexson had to do some mound charging to help everyone forget how much he sucked, but infighting? Ganging up on a teammate? Seriously? This tid-bit from the Seattle Times via the wealth of news that is Rotoworld has me extremely concerned:

“I just can’t believe the number of guys who really dislike [Ichiro],” said one clubhouse insider. “It got to a point early on when I thought they were going to get together and go after him.”

The coaching staff and then-manager John McLaren intervened when one player was overheard talking — in reference to Ichiro — about wanting to “knock him out.” A team meeting was called to clear the air.

It was a repeat of May 2007, when Mike Hargrove was in charge and a team meeting had to be called during a series at Tampa Bay because of clubhouse bickering over Ichiro being a “selfish” player.

Now I might not be in that clubhouse, but as far as I can tell, Ichiro’s done a pretty consistent job of performing at a high level ever since he came to the U.S. Raul Ibanez is pretty much the only other Mariner about whom you can say the same. So if there are any concerns about guys not being “team players,” maybe those doing the bullying should have focused on picking up their offensive and defensive games to Ichiro’s level. If they did, I’m guessing the Mariners would be doing just fine. By the way, it’s not to say I couldn’t see where Ichiro would rub people as a selfish player, because I could, but still.

UPDATE: J.J. Putz calls the anonymous source a coward

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  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I forgot to mention that my money is on Sexson as the instigator in all this. The guy sure had a lot of frustration and reasons to blame everyone but himself for his struggles this year. Additionally, true baseball fans will appreciate Ichiro’s Japanese stats that are accessible at The Baseball Cube. The guy’s been tearing it up in pro ball since he was 20!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000224553819 Michi Sun

    Hey somehow I found your article after you posted it 3 years. Just want to say that now Ichiro is in New York. Maybe the bully is the real reason why he asked to be traded?