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Jay Buhner thinks the Mariners should move on from Ichiro

Jul 17, 2012, 7:26 PM EDT

Bill Ayer, Jay Buhner AP

OK, the question was kind of loaded.

Former Mariners great Jay Buhner was asked on an ESPN 710 radio show today whether the Mariners should bring Ichiro Suzuki back for something like $35 million-$40 million over three years, and he decided to go all Carmelo Anthony on the subject. The Seattle Times has the quote:

“I’d vomit,” Buhner said. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.”

Nope, especially not when that one guy has been a liability two years running.

The Mariners are making noises about bringing back Ichiro for 2013 and beyond, but there’s a good chance it’s just talk, and even if it isn’t, they can’t possibly be thinking about giving him a three-year deal. Really, even if he plays a little better over the rest of this season, it’s hard to imagine another team giving him anything more than a one-year, $5 million deal.

  1. braddavery - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I’m sure they are thinking, “We can not let Ichiro get his 3,000th hit in anything other than a Mariners uniform.” 10+ million a season is too much, but maybe they can find a happy medium.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      At this rate I believe he would have to be a regular for 3 more full seasons. I can’t imagine anyone wanting him hitting .250 with 0 power and never taking a walk for 3 more full seasons, and I don’t know much about the man, but I don’t see how that wouldn’t be beneath his dignity.

  2. Liam - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for? He had 30 home runs, over 100 RBIs last year. He’s got a rocket arm. You don’t know what the hell you’re doing!

    • mcfierce24 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      “My people loved Ken Phelps bat”

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Ahh, you just KNEW someone would post this. Nice!

      It would simply be inexcusable for HBT poster not to reference Seinfeld whenever Buhner’s name comes up.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    personally i hope the M’s sign ichiro for another 10 years so i can watch them suffer year after year after year

    • simonfoster231171 - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Then we’d all have to suffer through him getting # 4257 …

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        yea if he played another 35 years maybe, hahahahaha

  4. spudatx - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    These are the words of a guy who was shown the door at just 36 and still hasn’t gotten over it. Ichiro will be back. He’s a moneymaker for the team and will be through his 3000th hit.

    • baseballisboring - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Winning is what makes money. I don’t know that Ichiro is gonna be a huge part of that going forward, not that he’s useless or anything…

      • spudatx - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        What? That’s not even close to true. Winning is a factor, but market size is by far the most important. Granted, winning has helped position the large-market teams amongst each other, but teams who struggle to win games like the Cubs have continued to gross only due to their market size. The mid- and small-market teams are making their profits through expanding their market exposure with signings of players from large foreign markets. Why else would there be such competition to sign guys like Dice-K, Darvish, and Ichiro who the teams constantly “overpay” for with such willingness? It’s the merch and broadcast rights that go with them. The Mariners were the 12th most profitable team last year… and it wasn’t because they were winners.

  5. Kevin Gillman - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Mariner fans, I want to ask you this question, why hasn’t Ichiro shown for more power in his career? For so many years we have heard that Ichiro puts on a show during batting practice, yet when the game is in play, he slaps the ball to all over the field. You think he’d have all of those hits if he showed a little bit more pop during his career?

    • jon623 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      Probably not, and that’s the point. Ichiro has been one of the greatest leadoff hitters the game has seen in ages, because he does what a leadoff man is supposed to do – get on base. That being said, I’m with the Bonehead on this one. Ichiro should be done.

      • ireportyoudecide - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM

        Ichiro has never really gotten on base, he’s not a good lead off hitter, and is about the 100th best outfielder in baseball at this point in his career.

      • Kevin Gillman - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

        If you guys don’t re-sign him, do you see another MLB team sign him, or go back to Japan?

      • dangle13x - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        never really gotten on base??? Well your credibility just went the route of Buhner’s hair.

  6. txnative61 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Nintendo owns the Mariners, and has been under pressure in Japan to produce a winning team. Having lost face the last several years for their abysmal record, they have used the excuse that management of the team is left to American Baseball people. Just how this will play out with a Japanese hero like Ichiro will be interesting. Local fans, like Buhner, are less enamored with him than Nintendo execs, particularly in the South Korean and Chinese communities with disparaging statements he made during international play. Enigmatic, somewhat abrasive personality, no longer at the top of his game.

    • jdillydawg - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Actually, the big stakeholder is Hiroshi Yamauchi, who used to run Nintendo but doesn’t anymore. He has never been to a baseball game here. I wonder if he even remembers that he bought the team in the 90s? The club isn’t bleeding money, but it certainly isn’t making much either, so like that old necklace of his grandma’s he put in a safe deposit box somewhere, I’m guessing he totally forgot he has a big stake in it.

      That said, Ichiro should go. If for no other reason than to go back to Japan to remind Hiroshi that there is still a team in Seattle. Not much of team, but a team nonetheless!

  7. IdahoMariner - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    The local Espn guys keep saying that Ichiro should just retire and salvage his dignity (because having a rough batting year after ten years of being an exceptional defender and a great hitter while surrounded by absolutely crappy teams is apparently intolerable, even though he is really the least of the worries on the team)…,but they can’t even let him do that, because they can’t help asking this question of every conceivable person, trying to humiliate him and taking the last vestige of fun out of a crappy season. We can’t seem to let anyone retire with dignity, because once they show decline we are all over them, relentlessly complaining and whining, when he isn’t even close to the worst on the team, is still a good to great defender and works harder than just about anyone on any team. The rooks ought to be out there taking bp as much as he does, and stretching and running …. Not just sitting on the couch before the game watching movies and playing cards.
    And, I recognize my bias (Ichiro is a great player who really ought to be left alone to figure out what’s going on with his hitting, and allowed some space to figure out whether he has it in him to come back, without the non-baseball guys on 710 making up stories to fill air time (they really are mostly football and basketball fans, they mostly just try to analogize stuff from football onto baseball))… But the quote from Buhner as posted here doesn’t s ay they should move on from Ichiro, but that they shouldn’t pay him that much over that long. Which isn’t all that provocative, so….I am done with my rant. Just let him finish the damn year. It’s not like we’ve got better options, and he is responsible for a huge chunk of the fan base throwing money at the team. Let’s move on from Ichiro as a topic, eh?

    • ireportyoudecide - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:14 AM

      The problem is Ichiro isn’t just bad this year, he was also really bad last year. He’s a low OBP guy with no power, that’s not a good combination.

  8. lostsok - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    At this point Ichiro is a solid #9 hitter (some speed in front of the top of the order when he gets a single), and he’s still a solid defensive player. Seattle needs BIG bats at the top so they can hide him at the bottom.

    It would be a shame if he got 3,000 in another uni.

  9. jayquintana - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    I like Ichiro, but it’s blatantly obvious that age has gotten the better of him.

  10. bravojawja - Jul 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    The question isn’t “Is Ichiro worth $10+ million on the field?” Clearly, he isn’t anymore. The question is “Will Ichiro bring the Mariners $10+ million worth of sales/marketing deals/broadcast rights/etc?” There is more to baseball than what happens between the lines or even in the clubhouse.

  11. offthelows - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    i would be sick to my stomach too, and I suspect the money being talked about could be true, because the Nintendo ownership would be competing for his services with Japanese ballclubs, who would pay him much more than MLB teams because of he’d put a ton of people in the seats.

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