Quick Question

DMZ · September 25, 2008 at 11:16 am · Filed Under Mariners 

If clubhouse access allows reporters with press passes advanced insight and a perspective unavailable to the masses, why weren’t issues like the clubhouse-versus-Ichiro reported at the time, when they happened?
ZG asks the same thing in comments in Dave’s longer post below:

This really makes me mad. And by the way, if this was going on in April, how come they’re reporting it now? I would have liked to hear this back then. Why sit on a story like that?

I hadn’t thought of that — it is possible that the story was available but not reported, but then if that’s the case, and it’s running now with anonymous sourcing, what prevented it from running then?

Comments

104 Responses to “Quick Question”

  1. msb on September 25th, 2008 11:19 am

    ummmm. ummmmmm.

  2. joser on September 25th, 2008 11:21 am

    Because “access” is not the same thing as “competence”?

  3. smb on September 25th, 2008 11:30 am

    Yeah, where were our local Woodwards and Bernsteins in this Burgergate fiasco? We, the ticket-buying public, demand answers!

  4. Gomez on September 25th, 2008 11:35 am

    Could the reporting have been cribbed from inside sources who didn’t spill the beans on this until well after the fact?

  5. nickwest1976 on September 25th, 2008 11:39 am

    I am sick of Ichiro being the easy blame for reporters.

    If this story is true, then I think it is more of a commentary on how selfish and immature a lot of the players are on this current team. What in the world are they so mad at Ichiro about? Getting 200 plus hits a year, stealing 40 bases, hitting .330 and playing gold glove defense?

    All this tells me is we have players that are immature and need to look in the mirror at their own performance.

    We sure didn’t hear these complaints in 2001 and 2002 when the team was winning. We also had great leadership with Edgar, Boone, Olerud, Moyer…guys that understand what it takes to win and that Ichiro is part of the solution.

    I am sick of Baker trying to stir the pot on the Ichiro/chemistry thing and for once I would like a reporter to call out teammates for giving Ichiro such a hard time.

    It really gets my blood boiling to see Ichiro so under appreciated and to see teammates blame him for the problems with this team. It’s a joke!

  6. nuin on September 25th, 2008 11:47 am

    I will officially follow Ichiro if he gets traded. This type of rumours need to stop.

  7. PostCreatedAboveAverage on September 25th, 2008 11:48 am

    I’ve been in the reporting job before though not at the pro level; the thing is, many times the guys (the “anonymous inside sources”) who share these kind of info with reporters, do not want those reports to be out. Sometimes never and sometimes not until the season is over. Happens all the time (unless you are Jose Guillen and you dont care).

    Reporters (like Baker) got to respect this; otherwise they wont get any inside info in the future.

    This is the way it works.

  8. Tek Jansen on September 25th, 2008 11:54 am

    Yeah, I mean you have to keep your inside Silvas, I mean inside sources, happy.

  9. Grizz on September 25th, 2008 12:33 pm

    It is the end of the season, so at this point, Baker may be willing to spill the beans because he only has to go into the locker room a few more times this year, or the players involved may no longer be on the team, or will not be on the team next year, or will forget about it over the offseason.

  10. Evan on September 25th, 2008 12:36 pm

    I will officially follow Ichiro if he gets traded. This type of rumours need to stop.

    I’m with you. I love Ichiro more than I love the Mariners, especially if this behaviour is indicative of the Mariners.

  11. dnc on September 25th, 2008 12:52 pm

    Seriously? You love Ichiro more than you love the M’s?

    Well, goodbye, I guess. I love Ichiro too, and I hope he retires an M. But I won’t be following him anymore than I followed Griffey, Randy or Arod, all superior players to Ichiro.

    Of course, I don’t think Ichiro’s going anywhere (which is good). If he does, I’ll wish him well. But my Mariner allegiance isn’t going to change based on him or any other player (including Beltre and Felix, who I like far more than Ichiro).

  12. TomTuttle on September 25th, 2008 1:02 pm

    THIS is why Ichiro needs to go, or at least make more of an effort to reach out to his teammates instead of sitting in his own bubble.

    Do you need any more proof than this?

    It’s not that Ichiro is a rule-breaker, and it’s not that he’s such a “bad teammate” either, it’s just that for some reason or another, he comes across as something that represents arrogance to his teammates.

    Now, whether you believe it’s Ichiro’s fault or not that he started all this anamocity or whether or not the players should be angry at Ichiro, that’s another debate.

    Right now though, it is what it is, and the fact is, Ichiro isn’t welcome in the Seattle clubhouse right now and that problem needs to be taken care of one way or another before this team gets worse.

  13. WTF_Ms on September 25th, 2008 1:11 pm

    The fact that Ichiro is NOT asking for a trade, or not saying anything, is a testament to his “professionalism”.

    I agree with the person who said he is well liked, and appreciated by the All Star teammates, but not his own.

    I’m sure that the RedSox would LOVE to have a right fielder like Ichiro…or the Yanks…that new stadium could be configured to benefit both he AND A-Rod….and the AL East would be screwed.

  14. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Do you need any more proof than this?

    Yes.

    I would further argue that a story about something that happened in April is not necessarily valid now.

  15. greymstreet on September 25th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Maybe some of the players Baker referred to are now gone and he no longer has to worry about their reactions.

  16. bakomariner on September 25th, 2008 1:15 pm

    The Ms should be gutting the FO and the roster anyway. Anyone on the Anti-ICHIRO! side should be the first ones out the door…

  17. Tuomas on September 25th, 2008 1:18 pm

    @TomTuttle:

    If Ichiro is the best player on the team, and he’s outside the “clubhouse” which consists of unknown players from the worst team in baseball, why should we get rid of him instead of them?

  18. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 1:31 pm

    In defense of the writers, I would guess that it’s harder to sell your editor on this kind of story early in the season when all you have are anonymous sources.

    That having been said, as Dave points out in the post below these murmurs have been out for awhile. And I find it interesting that a lot of the defense of Ichiro here boils down to “He’s really good and the rest of the team is crappy, and ergo he is right and the rest of the team has to adjust to him.”

  19. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 1:32 pm

    It does?

  20. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 1:39 pm

    Doesn’t it?

  21. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 1:44 pm

    No, it does not. Thanks for asking.

  22. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 1:46 pm

    Huh. Sure seems that way based on the conversation thus far.

  23. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 1:52 pm

    You’re free to interpret our views, and the world in general, in whatever way you see fit.

    But that’s a pretty dramatic re-interpretation of a complicated story that we’ve written about in depth quite a few times, and I’d argue it doesn’t do it justice at least and is in the larger sense wrong since we’ve never said that.

  24. Bender on September 25th, 2008 1:52 pm

    Geoff Baker is phenomenally lazy and this is a long boring season with not much good to write about, so he’s picking over his old notes and thought this was marginally more interesting than whatever crap he could write about.

    Not to mention people hating our best player is sensationalist and sensationalism drives readership.

    Also, it’s not like anyone can fact check him here…he’s quoting guys off the record and using his super secret reporter powers to get this info.

  25. JerBear on September 25th, 2008 1:55 pm

    Yeah, I’m not sure what’s so hard about this concept.

    Let’s say you’re assigned to a project at work with a team of co-workers. You take an immense pride in your work,perform at a high level, and consistently bust your ass every day to get it done. Your co-workers might work kind of hard too, but frankly, they’re not that bright or talented, and the project starts slipping. You have to understand that they don’t like you because performance makes them all look bad. When you miss the deadline and your boss is pissed, they’re going to blame you for not being a team player. Now does it make sense for your boss to fire you – the best worker – because the other slackers don’t like you?

    Oh yeah, that’s right. Ichiro just cares about getting hits and stealing bases and scoring runs -like that stuff helps the team. What a selfish bastard.

  26. JAG on September 25th, 2008 1:55 pm

    Even if Ichiro is selfish, arrogant, or both, who cares? The whole argument that selfish or arrogant players are detrimental to a team’s performance is ludicrous. I mean, how many Giants were complaining when Barry Bonds (and his 11.76 WPA/LI), arguably the most polarizing clubhouse figure in baseball, carried them to the World Series in 2002? Oh that’s right… just Jeff Kent, the entitled “veteran presence” in the clubhouse, “leading” the Dodgers to the playoffs this year. Or what about Manny Ramirez? It was just “Manny being Manny” over the past 7 years in Boston, which included 2 WS trophies, but as soon as the Sox faced the possibility of missing the playoffs this year they couldn’t get him out of town fast enough. Nevermind that he has the highest WPA in all of baseball to date.

    Even look outside of baseball – Shaq and Kobe, two extraordinary athletes with monumental egos, managed to win 3 NBA titles playing together. How many Chicagoans were complaining about Jordan’s ego or ball-hogging on the way to 6 NBA titles? Baseball depends on teamwork much less than basketball and yet teamwork and chemistry, or the lack thereof, become players’ (and the media’s) favorite culprit for losing.

    Really it just comes down to how much players and the media like Ichiro, not whether or not he is hurting the team. Whether or not you would go out for drinks with a coworker after work is no grounds for criticizing his job performance. Happy hour friends and good interviews do not a good baseball team make.

  27. MKT on September 25th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Waitaminnit. If “chemistry” is as unimportant as most people hear claim, then that’s a reason for not reporting on the Ichiro hatred: it’s a non-issue. Might as well report on whether he prefers Biden or Palin. There’s no story there.

    Granted, most sportswriters and fans actually do think that chemistry is important, but why are we on this blog getting so exercised about it? According to the dominant belief here, the question of whether the players get along with each other or not is of little importance. It’s their performance that matters, and this other stuff is just gossip.

  28. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 2:24 pm

    JerBear-

    That would be more accurate if you added the variable “You have a strong relationship with the business owner, who treats you like a son. Your teammates feel that whenever there is a problem, you are treated differently than they are, and bear little of the blame.”

  29. terry on September 25th, 2008 2:26 pm

    Even the Seattle Times doesn’t think access allows reporters with press passes advanced insight and a perspective unavailable to the masses.

    If the Times did, they wouldn’t contract out beat writing duties.

  30. metz123 on September 25th, 2008 2:32 pm

    Maybe you actually do bear little of the blame?

    Maybe your performance is easily calculated based on available data?

    Maybe your favorite son status will have some bearing, someday, when your on field performance slips and you are still treated “differently” than the other players, but that day isn’t today.

  31. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 2:37 pm

    That would be more accurate if you added the variable “You have a strong relationship with the business owner, who treats you like a son. Your teammates feel that whenever there is a problem, you are treated differently than they are, and bear little of the blame.”

    No, it wouldn’t.

    It’s a true statement, but kinda irrelevant when you’re the best player and contribute more to helping the team win than anyone else; you are NOT the problem in that case.

  32. Mike Snow on September 25th, 2008 2:38 pm

    Geoff Baker is phenomenally lazy and this is a long boring season with not much good to write about, so he’s picking over his old notes and thought this was marginally more interesting than whatever crap he could write about.

    Whatever anyone may think of Baker’s writing and analysis, it defies credulity to call him “phenomenally lazy.” The question is not why he dredged up this old stuff that’s only marginally interesting, it’s why he didn’t share it earlier when it’s so explosive.

  33. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 2:40 pm

    Your favorite son status has a lot of bearing, deserved or not, especially when your less-talented cousin K is also perceived to be treated differently (and even you secretly admit that he deserves his share of the blame for the company’s poor performance). Your co-workers surely look at that example and know that the stakes are lower for you than they are for them — that if the company has a bad year or three, you are not going to suffer anything more than a slight status reduction, while they might get cut at a moment’s notice.

    And you also know that you can’t do it by yourself — you need to be a strong 25-person company, and there are 30 or 31 other companies in your industry who are currently ahead of you in the rankings. And so maybe instead of saying “Hey, I made MY sales numbers,” you look outside of your comfort zone and see if there’s anything else you can do to make the company as a hole better.

    Maybe one of those things is making sure that any wall between you and the rest of your co-workers is knocked down before the next year begins. Wouldn’t that be a good thing for everyone?

  34. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 2:43 pm

    It’s a true statement, but kinda irrelevant when you’re the best player and contribute more to helping the team win than anyone else; you are NOT the problem in that case.

    So gwangung is your argument that Ichiro must be in the right because his stats say so?

  35. Bender on September 25th, 2008 2:53 pm

    It doesn’t defy anything to call Baker lazy. He constantly takes the easy route in his reporting. If someone is always taking the easy way out, they’re lazy.

    Now I don’t really blame him that much, especially in such a horrible season, but he is constantly beating the chemistry drum and relying on quotes from the same couple of guys and talking about how awful Ichiro is for the team.

    What makes it doubly disappointing are his huge public forum and how good he can be when not being lazy.

  36. JerBear on September 25th, 2008 2:54 pm

    JerBear-

    That would be more accurate if you added the variable “You have a strong relationship with the business owner, who treats you like a son. Your teammates feel that whenever there is a problem, you are treated differently than they are, and bear little of the blame.”

    How is Ichiro treated differently when there is a problem? He has his own routine, and certain perks which he negotiated into his contract – good for him. That doesn’t equate into being treated like the bosses son with no accountability. And again, if he’s performing well and is one of the best players on the team, why should he share in the blame?

    The bottom line is, the players who are blaming Ichiro for the team’s problems don’t have a leg to stand on. Not because I – or the good folks of USSM – like him, but because the reasoning they give makes absolutely no sense. It defies logic. Therefore, you can ascribe their dislike to whatever you want – jealousy, resentment, racism,
    a bad ass rash, whatever – it doesn’t matter. Until there’s a valid reason given, you should continue to blame the obvious ones such as sucky pitching, horrible defense, and no hitting. If Ichiro fell into one of those categories, I would blame him. Since he doesn’t, I won’t.

    Good Players = Not The Problem
    Bad Players = The Problem

  37. smb on September 25th, 2008 2:54 pm

    Or you say to yourself, “Good God, I’m surrounded by grossly overpaid malcontents with a penchant for airing dirty laundry anonymously through the press. My CEO and GM are certified incompetents, and the pilot of the ship is blind. I am going to just do my thing, keep my mouth shut, and make sure my performance speaks for itself.”

    I hire/retain that guy and dump the rest, especially the ones who seem to think he’s the problem but don’t ever manage to address their own performance failures before shifting blame off of themselves. But hey, that’s just me.

  38. certaindoom on September 25th, 2008 2:55 pm

    Maybe if the rest of the team had 1/10 the talent that Ichiro has, they would be able to play the game on the same level.

    But by all means people, get rid of the best player here. Run out the Betancourts, the Lopez’s, the he can catch or cant he Clement (funny how he went from a cant miss prospect to an oft injured enigma in only 120 at bats!)

    Ichiro is the only major league star on the team, well Beltre is pretty good, and Ibanez could play for a champion as a platoon LF / DH .

    THATS IT for the position players.

  39. JerBear on September 25th, 2008 3:01 pm

    Berm – In your continued workplace analogy, I would say your coworkers need to get their shit together and focus on their own performance, rather than putting up walls that they expect you to come knock down.

  40. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 3:02 pm

    Mr. Silva, I hate you so much.

    How can a guy like Silva, or anyone else on this team for that mater, criticize the performance of the best guy on the team?

    I think what the players need is more Ichiro All-star game type speaches maybe…

  41. Bender on September 25th, 2008 3:12 pm

    Baker said it wasn’t just one guy.

    However, I’d bet Silva was the ringleader.

  42. Mariner Melee on September 25th, 2008 3:13 pm

    Season is a mess.

  43. Mike Snow on September 25th, 2008 3:18 pm

    It doesn’t defy anything to call Baker lazy. He constantly takes the easy route in his reporting.

    How so? Have you forgotten what the Times beat reporting was like before he arrived? Stenography of management’s public relations spin is a pretty good description.

  44. metz123 on September 25th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Pocket lint..urgh…..

    Baker is a god compared to Finnigan….

  45. TumwaterMike on September 25th, 2008 3:44 pm

    You can’t change who Ichiro is. He’s one of the best lead-off hitters in baseball. Ian Furness quoted that he has a .350ish BA when he’s leading off an inning. How can that be bad for the team? The guys behind him need to do their job and knock him in.

    My guess is that even when the team is doing crappy, Ichiro still puts up cosistent numbers and that gets the goat of those who can’t.

    The M’s need to let Ichiro be Ichiro and go out and get the team leaders that they desperately lack. I might hire Jay Buhner just to sit in the club house and kick the butts of the constant complainers. He could be the coach of attitude adjusting.

  46. Karen on September 25th, 2008 3:53 pm

    I had to laugh when I saw this comparison-to-Ichiro example: “Or what about Manny Ramirez? It was just “Manny being Manny” over the past 7 years in Boston, which included 2 WS trophies, but as soon as the Sox faced the possibility of missing the playoffs this year they couldn’t get him out of town fast enough. Nevermind that he has the highest WPA in all of baseball to date.”

    Somehow I can’t envision Ichiro ducking through a small door in RF to take a leak under the bleachers, like Manny routinely did in Fenway’s LF (a door into the interior of the Wall);

    or running nearly into the infield to cut off a long throw from the CF instead of letting the throw go through, like it should have;

    or frequently letting balls fall in his zone in road games instead of bustin’ his hump to get to them (proving how awful an OF he was except in very-short-LF Fenway);

    or not running out ground-outs; or admiring his HRs, some of which turned out to be not-quite-HRs, costing him a base or two;

    or thumbing his nose at the organization by complaining to the media about his contract status and coincidentally taking himself out of games without communicating with his manager, citing a “sore knee” that couldn’t be verified by any medical means.

    Or worst, not being clear which knee was “sore”; seems the “soreness” changed from day to day, so the organization had both examined…

    I’d rather have Ichiro-being-Ichiro any day.

  47. Mike G. on September 25th, 2008 4:08 pm

    Ichiro’s job: Be the best ball player he can be.

    Bakers job: Sell newspapers/ attract readers.

    Neither one is the bad guy here. Heck even the anonymous sources aren’t bad guys.

    The only way this is a story is if upper mgmt. takes junk like this to heart. The team already has someone on payroll to be a leader. He’s called a manager. To pay players for “intangibles” is antiquated. If the higher ups trade Ichiro or continue to bring in other players just for their club house leadership then you have a true villain in this story.

  48. TumwaterMike on September 25th, 2008 4:17 pm

    I wonder if someone were to interview different writers at the Times I bet they would probably find one that no one liked. Why not report that?

  49. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 4:22 pm

    So Ichiro is right because he’s good.

    Got it.

  50. Milendriel on September 25th, 2008 4:39 pm
  51. SlavaD on September 25th, 2008 4:46 pm

    I wish this story was reported maybe 2 weeks ago or something like that. It would be interesting to see how this team in its current state would play without the “selfish” Ichiro on the lineup card everyday.

  52. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 4:48 pm

    So Ichiro is right because he’s good.

    Got it

    No, Ichiro is good, so he is not the problem.

  53. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 4:52 pm


    No, Ichiro is good, so he is not the problem.

    Man, it will crack me up if one of the people complaining about Ichiro is Felix.

    What will people do then?

  54. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 4:56 pm

    Our heads will explode, but in the moment of clarity from the pain, we’ll all cry out “bermanator was right!”

  55. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 4:58 pm

    Why wouldn’t you just save yourself the agony and say that now?

  56. jephdood on September 25th, 2008 5:04 pm

    Ichiro could get to more balls than Ibanez with both hamstrings tied behind his back.

  57. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:06 pm

    I don’t see Felix complaining about others, did you watch last night? He was very upset…. at himself. Thats what mature people do, they try to make themselves better, not point fingers.

  58. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 5:10 pm

    I was unaware that the winners in clubhouse disputes were decided by defensive range.

    It’s really interesting to see what’s going on here. The assumption is that Ichiro is being criticized, and it must be by the players who are bad, so Ichiro must be right. The only thing we really now is the first point.

  59. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:15 pm

    The goal of the team is to win. So if guy A doesn’t get along with guy B, and guy B’s production is much lower and doesn’t help the team win (guy B also steals your lunch when you arn’t looking), who do you side with?

  60. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:18 pm

    I think all of this nonsense is steaming from the fact that Ichiro doesn’t seem to be a very personable person. He usually gives quotes in code, and probably doesn’t laugh at others farts. I can see how those who have spent the majority of their lives killing their brain with beer and burgers may take offense to that. Codes require thinking.

  61. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 5:21 pm

    It depends on if the problems are caused by Guy A or not. Because Guy A is better doesn’t give Guy A a blank check to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

    Besides, if I were Guy A, and I was putting up big numbers for an organization that ranked 31 or 32 in a 32-company industry, and I wanted to stay with the company I was with, I would hope that I would be able to look in the mirror and decide that I would do what I could to help the organization. Perhaps that would mean working with Guys B-Y to get on the same page and smooth over whatever problems existed between us in the clubhouse.

  62. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 5:27 pm

    It depends on if the problems are caused by Guy A or not. Because Guy A is better doesn’t give Guy A a blank check to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

    Who says that’s happening here? What blank check is Ichiro getting to cash that no one else i?

    You use stupid arguments, you’re gonna get called on them.

  63. mln on September 25th, 2008 5:28 pm

    The “problem” with Ichiro is that he’s not one of the boys.

    He needs to hang out with the guys more at strip clubs, play poker in the clubhouse, chew tobaccy, and adjust himself in public.

    No more of this weird metrosexual, finicky Felix Unger behavior from Ichiro.

    That’s not manly.

  64. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 5:28 pm

    vI think all of this nonsense is steaming from the fact that Ichiro doesn’t seem to be a very personable person.

    More like that he has contempt for other players who he sees as not working half as hard as he does in being a good ballplayer.

  65. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 5:35 pm

    Who says that’s happening here? What blank check is Ichiro getting to cash that no one else i?

    I submit the body of posts on this and the previous thread and rest my case.

    With no indication of who is making the comments, the overwhelming consensus here has framed this in the way that works out the best for Ichiro — it must be someone crappy, like Silva, or one of the other players we don’t much cotton to on USSMariner, and therefore Ichiro must have been wronged.

    We’ll see if that turns out to be the case.

    Unless the argument is that because Ichiro is the best player on the team, the other players need to suck it up and accept whatever Ichiro is doing that annoys them so. In which case, I guess it doesn’t matter who the players are. Unless one is Felix, in which case DMZ’s head would explode, as he said earlier, and Dave would be on his own.

  66. itea on September 25th, 2008 5:37 pm

    Nassim Taleb

    “Narrative fallacy: creating a story post-hoc so that an event will seem to have an identifiable cause. ”

    That’s all this is.

  67. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 5:38 pm

    No. It’s not. It’s that the criticisms of Ichiro leveled there are unjustified by anyone. If Felix came forward tomorrow and said “now that I don’t have to pitch again this year I want to say it was me, I think Ichiro’s a wimp and he shouldn’t have played injured” I would say that they were unjustified.

  68. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 5:40 pm

    OH MY GOD WAIT I ALMOST PASSED UP

    I submit the body of posts on this and the previous thread and rest my case.

    Case dismissed for lack of evidence.

  69. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 5:45 pm

    DMZ, what if Felix comes forward tomorrow and says “You know, if this team is going to move forward, there can’t be one set of rules and standards for Ichiro and Joh, and another set of rules and standards for the other 23 guys on the roster. It’s tearing the clubhouse apart.”

    Because isn’t that what we all think a big part of the resentment is — that perception?

  70. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:49 pm

    Case dismissed for lack of evidence

    We really are arguing about a rumor here.

    Unless Ichiro is coming into the clubhouse and urinating on his teammates (he isn’t) I don’t care what he does. He helps the chances of the team winning and brings in a tonn of fans and money. mln gets it.

  71. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:51 pm

    and another set of rules and standards for the other 23 guys on the roster

    Maybe they should all get the same paychecks too… right?

  72. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 5:56 pm

    Besides, if I were Guy A, and I was putting up big numbers for an organization that ranked 31 or 32 in a 32-company industry, and I wanted to stay with the company I was with, I would hope that I would be able to look in the mirror and decide that I would do what I could to help the organization. Perhaps that would mean working with Guys B-Y to get on the same page and smooth over whatever problems existed between us in the clubhouse

    Or I could just lead the team in hits, runs, batting average, stolen bases, and so on and so on and hope that everone else tries as hard as I do every day.

  73. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 6:05 pm

    I submit the body of posts on this and the previous thread and rest my case.

    God. I hope you are NEVER my lawyer.

    One of the most piss-poor arguments I have EVER seen.

  74. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 6:07 pm

    Sorry, the case has been rested. No re-opening now.

  75. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:13 pm

    mariners2009

    Unless Ichiro is coming into the clubhouse and urinating on his teammates (he isn’t) I don’t care what he does. He helps the chances of the team winning and brings in a tonn of fans and money. mln gets it.

    Well, you’ve actually stated something that I think is a problem if it’s true.

    If Ichiro and Johjima are getting paid more money and/or are held to a different set of standards because of their specific appeal to the Japanese market, that’s a problem. You understand that, right? Because other players in the locker room think to themselves “Hmm, he gets more money because he’s Japanese? That’s fucked up.”

    And in fact, Baker said just about that on KJR the other day.

    No, they shouldn’t all get the same paychecks – but there shouldn’t be a “race bonus” either. I’m not denying that they are the two most popular Mariners in Japan, but when you start down that road you’re going to have a lot of resentment. It happened (and still happens, though not as often) in the NBA for decades with the “white player bonus”. It’s fucked up.

  76. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 6:18 pm

    Really? It’s not okay to be Japanese and paid ridiculous amounts of money if you’re really good (Ichiro) or bad (Johjima) but it’s okay if you’re paid as much for being horrible if you’re not Japanese (Silva, Washburn, Batista…)?

    If that’s true my faith in humanity just went down a notch.

  77. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 6:18 pm

    One of the most piss-poor arguments I have EVER seen.

    I’m so sad you don’t like it.

  78. bermanator on September 25th, 2008 6:24 pm

    Really? It’s not okay to be Japanese and paid ridiculous amounts of money if you’re really good (Ichiro) or bad (Johjima) but it’s okay if you’re paid as much for being horrible if you’re not Japanese (Silva, Washburn, Batista…)?

    Now you’re being deliberately dense.

    The issue isn’t pay-for-performance, else this team would have a $10 million payroll. It’s whether a Japanese ownership group is giving preferential treatment to Japanese players. And if that’s the perception in the clubhouse, and in the rest of the MLB organizations, it’s a big deal that can’t be dismissed by saying “Ichiro’s stats are great, so who cares!”

  79. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:25 pm

    If Ichiro and Johjima are getting paid more money and/or are held to a different set of standards because of their specific appeal to the Japanese market, that’s a problem. You understand that, right? Because other players in the locker room think to themselves “Hmm, he gets more money because he’s Japanese? That’s fucked up.”

    I can only argue the Joh statement by the fact that his stats the last two years are pretty good and only this year have they been down. He is getting paid about what a catcher with his skills over the 2007 and 2006 season should get. His contract is only outrageous because of the decline this year. He will be better next year.

    I don’t think there is any “race bonus”, but if you could invest in something that was going to bring in more money for you from a market that you where not doing well in, would you? Thats just good business.

  80. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 6:26 pm

    And if that’s the perception in the clubhouse, and in the rest of the MLB organizations, it’s a big deal that can’t be dismissed by saying “Ichiro’s stats are great, so who cares!”

    Yes, it can, because you sure as hell haven’t proven that it’s preferential treatment because they are Japanese. You haven’t even pointed to a specific of preferential treatment.

    THAT’S what I mean by piss poor argument.

  81. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:27 pm

    Ichiro’s stats are great, so who cares!

  82. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Please, please note that my statement was a conditional, with the most important part in italics.

    _I_ personally am not saying that there is preferential treatment. Bavasi gave out a ton of shitty contracts, so why think Johjima’s is anything special? Me, I don’t pretend to be an insider, and I wasn’t at the negotiations, so I really just don’t know.

    However, it’s clear many people in the local sports media believe it. Geoff Baker said it on the radio quite plainly.

    My point is that _IF_ it is true, that’s something that causes resentment among coworkers. It’s not restricted to baseball players.

    Does anyone disagree?

  83. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 6:30 pm

    If Ichiro and Johjima are getting paid more money and/or are held to a different set of standards because of their specific appeal to the Japanese market, that’s a problem. You understand that, right? Because other players in the locker room think to themselves “Hmm, he gets more money because he’s Japanese? That’s fucked up.”

    That’s kinda hard to argue in Ichiro’s case, you know?

    It’s an easier case with Johjima, but….small sample size, hm?

    (And there have been other Japanese players on the Ms, but I don’t think you can point to contracts that were out of line)

  84. DMZ on September 25th, 2008 6:32 pm

    Now you’re being deliberately dense.

    This from someone who repeatedly pretended in this very thread that any point someone else tried to be made was “Ichiro is good and therefore right.”

    Bye.

  85. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:33 pm

    I don’t think there is any “race bonus”, but if you could invest in something that was going to bring in more money for you from a market that you where not doing well in, would you? Thats just good business.

    That’s right. It’s “good business”. Except it’s shitty morals, and it ends up pissing enough people off that maybe it’s not such good business after all.

    Maybe you should go sell redundant insurance policies door-to-door in a senior citizen community? You could probably get some suckers to fall for it. Hey, it’s “good business”, right?

  86. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:34 pm

    All of the guys are getting paid by what someone thought they would be worth over the term of the contract. It’s just an expensive guess.

    Many things need to be factored in,.. Offense, Defense, and fan draw/mercandise sales. I hear guys talking about bringing Griffey back, fan draw/merchandise sales are the only reason to bring him back. Ichiro and Joh all get paid accordingly to these standards.

    And lots of players get special treatments. They are entertainers. Silva just got time off for his new baby. Isn’t that special treatment?

    We have all heard green M&M stories…

  87. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:37 pm

    gwangung –

    Please, please what I’ve written carefully. I am not saying the Mariners are doing it, at all. I have no idea. I know that people in the media say it, but I don’t give that too much creedence. Did you hear Baker on KJR? It was a very long bit; he talked about the Japanese ownership, and how he wanted a legacy here in Seattle, and how it was very specific to Johjima because he’s popular in Japan.

    I am not saying that the Mariners pay a “Japanese bonus”. What I’m saying is that if the other Mariners think that there is preferential treatment based on race, they are going to be pissed off about it. They could be completely wrong, but if that’s what they think, it’ll piss them off.

  88. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:39 pm

    Maybe you should go sell redundant insurance policies door-to-door in a senior citizen community? You could probably get some suckers to fall for it. Hey, it’s “good business”, right?

    You make it sound like someone is being taken advantage of. Who is that? Thats just dumb.

  89. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 6:40 pm

    That’s right. It’s “good business”. Except it’s shitty morals, and it ends up pissing enough people off that maybe it’s not such good business after all.

    Except I don’t think it is shitty morals because they’re NOT getting paid more because of their race.

    You cannot say that about Ichiro. You can’t say that about Mac Suzuki, or Hasegawa. You MIGHT say that about Johjima…but given that he was seen to have a pretty much above average bat in 2006 and 2007, it could be argued that he’s being rewarded for those years (and it’s not like it hasn’t happened before in baseball).

    No, what’s shitty is leaping to the race argument when there’s no evidence for it. And THAT IS a problem…..but not where you were placing it.

  90. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:41 pm

    Getting time off for a new baby is not preferential treatment unless other players wouldn’t get that time off.

    Yes, they are more popular in Japan. No, I don’t think they should be paid more for it. There are principles involved.

    And no, I don’t think they should bring back Griffey or do anything like that. As far as business goes, the best way for a baseball team to draw big is to be very successful on the playing field.

  91. Mothy on September 25th, 2008 6:41 pm

    The people who are complaining about Ichiro are so clearly in the wrong here I don’t see why people are even trying to argue. Ichiro is a great player, Ichiro is the face of the franchise, Ichiro helps the team win. He’s on base nearly every game. How is that not a player you would want on your team if you want to win? Even if you personally don’t like him and wouldn’t invite him over for a cup of tea, if you want to win you want him on the team.
    So the only reason you might not want him on the team would be if he was so outright horrible to you that you could not continue performing in such a workplace. But what is it that the complaints consist of? He played when hurt. What? Is that so bad? Certainly not enough to threaten with physcal violence. Most players when they play hurt get the admiration of their teammates, but not Ichiro. He has people want to knock him out? I call BS on that excuse and Baker should have also.
    So I think most likely it’s because of preferential treatment. Yes, as the face of the franchise and the longest tenured Mariner, he’s gonna get some preferential treatment. This happens on every team. If they didn’t know that was going to be the case when they came in they were idiots. So if that’s the problem they need to buck up and deal with it.
    Now I suppose there could be something that Ichiro is doing that is truly awful but they are too shamed to tell the truth about what the problem really is. Like maybe he’s raping them in the shower. But I doubt it. So they don’t have a legitimate excuse to whine (especially to the media) about Ichiro. If people come to Ichiro’s defense here, it’s not because of Ichiro bias it’s because THEY ARE WRONG!
    Also it doesn’t matter if it’s bad players or good (although since 90% or more of the Mariners are bad, statistically speaking it’s probably bad players complaining). No matter who it is they are wrong. It could be the ghosts of Griffey, ARod, Randy, and Edgar in their prime and I would still say they’re wrong because they so obviously are.

  92. gwangung on September 25th, 2008 6:42 pm

    I am not saying that the Mariners pay a “Japanese bonus”. What I’m saying is that if the other Mariners think that there is preferential treatment based on race, they are going to be pissed off about it. They could be completely wrong, but if that’s what they think, it’ll piss them off.

    OK….but, again, that says something more about them than about the team’s treatment of Ichiro and Johjima. And I do think that’s pretty ugly…

  93. itea on September 25th, 2008 6:45 pm

    gwangung – You need to read better. I didn’t say that anyone is being paid more becuase of their race.

    I said that IF it’s happening, that’s a problem.

    And the statistics are completely irrelevant, because I’m not arguing that anyone is getting paid more. In fact, I’ve said repeatedly that I personally don’t know.

    Seriously. Is it impossible to have an abstract argument about a conditional here?

  94. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:46 pm

    Like Florida and Tampa Bay? Florida has 2 world series in the last 10-12 years, and they draw about 1200 a night?

    The way to sell tickets is to create a combination of winning with players that people want to see. People want to see Ichiro, Ibanez, Joh, Felix, ect and they sell 20,000 plus tickets a night even with a 100 loss team. I admit, it’s not the 35,000 a night when they had a winning team, but its a lot better than what K.C., Minnisota, Tampa Bay, Florida, and I am sure many more bring in with better records.

  95. msb on September 25th, 2008 6:49 pm

    Did you hear Baker on KJR?

    Baker was careful to say he did not know the reason for Joh’s contract, and that no one had specifically told him why (Lincoln said that Nero came to them with the extension request, and that Armstrong did the negotiations, not Bavasi) and that he would be writing about it in a later installment in the series.

    He said that his belief is that Mr Yamauchi may be getting ready to sell his share in the team, and that perhaps by giving Joh his extension, he was making sure that he would be taken care of.

  96. mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:51 pm

    Seriously. Is it impossible to have an abstract argument about a conditional here?

    OOOO!!!!! I want to make something up to argue about now!

    Can you just please come up with anything factual about how Ichiro has hurt the team this year? I am getting tired of this. It’s just silly now. In fact, I am realizing that I am being silly by even continuing this arguement. Your wrong, and you are making yourself look dumb to everyone that is reading your coments. To you I say good day.

  97. msb on September 25th, 2008 6:58 pm

    What I’m saying is that if the other Mariners think that there is preferential treatment based on race, they are going to be pissed off about it.

    so someone just needs to smack them upside the head and say, it’s because he is The Star

  98. J.L. White on September 25th, 2008 7:41 pm

    Okay, I really, REALLY tried to read every comment on this post, but gave up 2/3rds of the way through. In any case, it seems obvious that there are some people here who have been dying to play the “this is validation of my preconceived notions that Ichiro is a selfish jerk” card. This whole issue has NOTHING to do with Ichiro’s real or imagined character flaws, or equality inside the Mariner clubhouse. What this is all about — if we are to believe what Baker has reported to be true — is that some unnamed player wanted to fight Ichiro because he’s selfish, played hurt and played hard at meaningless times.

    Until said player identifies himself and gives a coherent, detailed explanation for his beliefs then what evidence we do have (if true) points to a childish, pathetic and insane human being. That’s it.

  99. itea on September 25th, 2008 7:47 pm

    mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:51 pm Seriously. Is it impossible to have an abstract argument about a conditional here?

    OOOO!!!!! I want to make something up to argue about now!

    Can you just please come up with anything factual about how Ichiro has hurt the team this year? I am getting tired of this. It’s just silly now. In fact, I am realizing that I am being silly by even continuing this arguement. Your wrong, and you are making yourself look dumb to everyone that is reading your coments. To you I say good day.

    What the hell are you talking about? I never said Ichiro was hurting the team.

    I didn’t “make something up” to talk about. Read the original post – it’s about a potential “clubhouse-versus-Ichiro” situation.

    I’ve also said repeatedly that I’m not taking sides on whether the Mariners are treating anyone differently. Because I don’t know. I have no idea. I’m not an insider.

    mariners2009 on September 25th, 2008 6:39 pm Maybe you should go sell redundant insurance policies door-to-door in a senior citizen community? You could probably get some suckers to fall for it. Hey, it’s “good business”, right?

    You make it sound like someone is being taken advantage of. Who is that? Thats just dumb.

    Don’t be obtuse. You suggested that (hypothetically) paying Ichiro more money would be “good business” because it would have a positive ROI. My counterpoint is that just because something has a good ROI doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

    msb on September 25th, 2008 6:49 pm Did you hear Baker on KJR?

    Baker was careful to say he did not know the reason for Joh’s contract, and that no one had specifically told him why (Lincoln said that Nero came to them with the extension request, and that Armstrong did the negotiations, not Bavasi) and that he would be writing about it in a later installment in the series.

    He said that his belief is that Mr Yamauchi may be getting ready to sell his share in the team, and that perhaps by giving Joh his extension, he was making sure that he would be taken care of.

    Do you have an audio link to that? If not, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. I heard something a hell of a lot different than you did. In fact, there was a whole side discussion about “Why Johjima, and not any of the Japanese players that didn’t start out on the Mariners like Nomo/Irabu/etc.” Did you listen to the whole thing? IMO, Baker clearly believes that the ownership would do extra to keep Johjima and Ichiro around.

    NOTE: THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT _I_ BELIEVE OWNERSHIP WOULD DO IT. IT IS _BAKER_ THAT BELIEVES THIS.

    Seriously, how do you interpret “taking care of”? Why “take care of” Johjima and not other Mariners? That’s special treatment, if it’s true.

  100. Tuomas on September 25th, 2008 9:40 pm

    Hasn’t Ibanez been taken care of? He’s gotten to keep his job in LF despite his awful fielding and at times awful bat. Joh was replaced at one point by the hot new prospect; Ibanez had his traded.

    Wasn’t Richie taken care of all last year? What about Willie Boom-Boom and Miguel Cairo? Can you honestly say they haven’t been favored by ownership and management above and beyond the call? Vidro? Julio Mateo? Didn’t they get their fare share?

    Really, the only guy on the team who can say that he wasn’t really adequately handled, I think, is Bedard.

  101. scraps on September 25th, 2008 9:42 pm

    bermanator, I can give you a good reason why the anonymous complainers are more likely to be bad players: because they’re afraid to go on the record. A good player isn’t worried about his job. A good player is likely to be viewed as a leader and spokesman. Even if the good player is a horse’s ass, like Jeff Kent, if he speaks up, he’s going to be taken seriously, and he’ll still be playing tomorrow and next year.

    A bad player has to worry about his job security. A bad player will get second-guessed. Who cares what a .220 hitter or a guy with a 6-plus ERA thinks about the team’s best player?

    I’m not saying, mind you, that the anonymous source can’t be a good player. Just that it’s more likely to be a bad player.

  102. scraps on September 25th, 2008 9:49 pm

    I think it’s arguable that ownership does pay relatively more to Japanese players but are not racist (or, more accurately, nationalist). I think it’s at least as likely that it’s a smart investment decision for them. Keeping the highest profile in Japan of any American baseball team may be worth a lot more to them than the extra amount they’re paying for the contracts.

  103. msb on September 25th, 2008 11:28 pm

    Do you have an audio link to that?

    it should be this. I haven’t listened to what is linked here, as I have a feeble machine at home. we can also see how he phrases it when he gets round to that subject in the series.

    I heard something a hell of a lot different than you did. In fact, there was a whole side discussion about “Why Johjima, and not any of the Japanese players that didn’t start out on the Mariners like Nomo/Irabu/etc.”

    Mitch asked that (citing Matsusaka and Igawa) and Baker pointed out that you could only address the players that the Ms had under contract

    Did you listen to the whole thing? IMO, Baker clearly believes that the ownership would do extra to keep Johjima and Ichiro around.

    which is what I paraphrased — that Baker believes that Yamauchi wanted Joh to have a contract that would ‘take care of him’ if Yamauchi was to sell the team.

  104. pinball1973 on September 26th, 2008 1:32 am

    [metacommentary, inflammatory]

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