When it came to Ichiro, who got off to a typically slow start in April and part of May, the internal turmoil nearly hit its boiling point.
"I just can't believe the number of guys who really dislike him," 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.
There was talk of an unnamed player going after Ichiro Suzuki and you having to call a team meeting.
JM: "I never called a team meeting. I never saw any of that. A lot of stuff comes out that was really overblown. We just didn't play well. I thought there were a few jealousies in there that had to be resolved before the team could jell and move forward, but that's all I ever said."
It was a good story, though. Really got people focused on what's important.