Baker's got his piece today on some of the winter moves staring the M's in the face.
He discusses Ibanez' future and talks a lot about the clubhouse issues that the M's have. He also notes that he still has some weird disdain for Ichiro
And it was a clubhouse in need of some direction, given the problems engulfing it as the season came undone. 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.
Ichiro didn't have a slow May.
May 1-12: 18-48, three walks, four doubles, eight runs, 10 SB, .375 / .400 / .458
May total: 36-113, 12 walks, six doubles, HR, 18 runs, 18 SB, .319 / .384 / .398
But others point out that Ichiro, along with Ibanez, is one of the few Mariners to put up consistently high numbers during a season in which the team has all but collapsed. They also suggest that Ichiro, being Japanese and not a vocal clubhouse presence, is somewhat vulnerable to scapegoating in a clubhouse that at times appeared divided along linguistic and cultural lines.
Geoffry, you're the one who's been doing the scapegoating.
However, if you take away the ribbing Geoff does against Ichiro, it's a relatively good article on decisions facing the M's brass this winter.