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