"Well, it's clear that the Mariners are going to try to entice him to stay."
He brings in a ton of interest from Japan, and, thus, money. I wouldn't be surprised that, in the event we lose Ichiro, Seattle tries to find another big name over there to fill the void. Though whether they could find anybody over there as good as Ichiro is another story. Japanese position players have been a wide varying degree of hit and miss. For every Ichiro and Matsui you've got a Kaz (Matsui) and Fukudome (who actually hasn't been god awful, but definitely not as good as he should have been).
Plus we'd probably lose Munenori Kawasaki, and that means we'd lose our cute mascot.
"But that's the problem even trying to entertain him going for 3000 MLB hits is just not feasible."
Oh it's feasible. Just painful for everybody involved. As Ike pointed out, Ichiro's production will continue to taper off. He may not even ever get to 3,000, and that might be worse than leaving now (at the end of the season).
I'm not convinced Yamauchi-san ever cared about baseball to begin with. This was a business decision for him, and likely the decision to pursue Ichiro was a similar decision. Both have paid huge dividends for him. Japanese interest in the Mariners has flourished because of this. Then again, Yamauchi-san was also the person who flat out said we wouldn't pursue Hideki Matsui, so... who knows. Not all decisions are smart ones, I guess.
Some fans make a big deal out of Yamauchi-san never attending a Mariner game, even when it was in Japan. I don't. For some reason, it seems fans like the Jerry Jones or George Steinbrenner type of owner; the guy who's so passionate and cares that he constantly meddles in the goings on of the decision making. Frankly, I find this kind of fan-wank to be stupid. Jerry Jones doesn't know what he's doing, and while 'The Boss' has been successful with the Yankees lately (mostly due to him staying out of the front office and / or being dead), in his earlier meddling years he caused a bunch of headaches for the people involved. It's so bad that too many Yankee fans and sports media personalities desperately want either Hank or Hal to be "like their dad" so that they can continue milking this narrative of 'The Boss', but George's sons have wisely stayed mostly out of the limelight. I can cite numerous other examples over baseball's history of meddling owners screwing everything up, going all the way back to the "great" Chuck Comiskey.
The only thing I want in an owner is a guy who will allow money to be spent and stay out of the way. We've had varying degrees of either over the years, but not enough of both.
If the M's paid anything more than 6 million / year to Ichiro I would be upset.
I would also be upset if he is our primary fulltime RF'er next season. Hot streak aside, I'd really like Casper Wells to get the shot. He has some pop .... he is a good defender .... an excellent arm.
I still think Ichiro can be useful as someone who plays a couple games a week. I'd be perfectly content with him going back to Japan as well.
I'm just sick of seeing old, over the hump players in Seattle.
When KGRjr returned (he was 39 at the time, which is the age Ichiro will be later this year), he was given a one year deal, ~$2 mil + incentives. Incentives included bonuses for overall Mariner attendance, number of plate appearances, and not going on the DL. If bringing Ichiro back is about attendance, hits, etc, then write the contract to reflect it.
Let's not bid against ourselves. Ichiro is coddled in Sea, he has his dream mansion, etc, I don't see him wanting to go elsewhere. What's his leverage? Very little, if any. If there were any whispers of him saying, if you don't pay me $X, I'll just go back to Japan, I would question his level of desire, and I would NOT pay him. After all he's been paid to date, and the great way he's been treated, if it's nothing but a shakedown for one last oversized serving of greenbacks, we need to end it.
Jay Buhner would vomit. Most likely I would as well.
"They need some veteran leadership in the clubhouse"
JayB speaks the truth.
I say, "Vomit away, Buhner!", because Ichiro has been more of an icon for the Seattle than Buhner ever was.
The F.O. wasted Ichiro's stellar career by putting lousy batters behind Ichiro, year after year; the F.O. wasted Ichiro's time by constantly pursuing losers and losing records, year after year, but Ichiro was incredibly patient and stuck with the team, so the F.O. should owe Ichiro significant honors and grant Ichiro a solid/significant chance to acquire 3000 hits.
Ichiro should get a chance to reach 3000 hits, in Seattle, so Ichiro must get a multi-year contract, if Ichiro wants one.
"But at the same time, they need help desperately,'' Buhner said. "They need some veteran leadership in the clubhouse. Wedgie (manager Eric Wedge) can't keep growing the beard, growing the mustache, shaving it off, that's not the answer.''
LOL Bone is Funnybone.
So just what is Bone afraid of?I think of right field and I see Ichiro but I also see Jay.His legacy isn't being overshadowed what has he got to worry about?If he thinks we need leadership and accountability then why isn't he in the dugout being a motivational coach or something along that line.
When we resigned Junior I heard nothing about vomiting from anyone, much less Bone. Ichi's done as much for this team as Junior and Bone ever did. Give the man his due and respect and leave the vomiting to people with the flu.
What I'd like to see: Re-sign Ichiro just long enough to see hyim get his 3000th hit (and finish off the season) assuming the price isn't too high.
The only players i see as off limits: Felix, Seager, Montero, Franklin, Paxton, Walker, and Hultzen. Maybe Ackley as well but I'd throw him in a package if the return was good.