Low-graphic news index |
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - Page updated at 09:00 p.m.
Jay Buhner says 'I'd vomit' if Ichiro was offered big contract extension
By Geoff Baker
Seattle Times staff reporter
Former Mariners outfielder Jay Buhner caused a stir Tuesday in a Seattle radio interview when he made pointed comments about the team and a possible Ichiro contract extension.
In an appearance on the Brock and Salk show on 710 ESPN Seattle, Buhner was asked what his reaction would be if Ichiro were given a three-year extension for between $35 million and $40 million.
"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."
Ichiro currently earns $18 million annually, including a prorated signing bonus, so the deal suggested to Buhner would be for 27 to 40 percent less per year. Buhner said he felt Ichiro takes too much blame for the team's woes, but "at the same time, they need help desperately. 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."
Buhner said Wedge is "exposed" many nights because he lacks the needed player matchups and gets too much inconsistency from his inexperienced personnel.
"He's trying to change the culture of the clubhouse," Buhner said. "He's trying to change the mentality and how basically the organization is looked upon. But the last 10 years, it's been tough.
"Look at the revolving door that's been going on around there," Buhner added. "What, seven managers in the last 10 years? GMs, what are you supposed to buy into?"
Buhner suggested the team needs to instill more accountability in the young players and that some hitters should have been sent to the minors by now.
"Hey, man, it is accountability," Buhner said. "I know when I came up, there was accountability. If you didn't do the job, guess where you were? You were back on the shuttle. But, again, at the same time, sometimes you're exposed. The bad thing is, I look at it and I go, 'If they're not sending them down, does that mean that what they've got is what they've got?' "
• Brendan Ryan was back on the field, looking no worse for wear after fouling a ball off his left knee Monday night. Ryan left that game with a contusion, but was in the lineup Tuesday and doubled his second time up.
• Franklin Gutierrez took batting practice with the Mariners on Tuesday, still recovering from his concussion. The team will re-evaluate him Thursday and see whether he's ready to head out on an injury-rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
Low-graphic news index
Graphic-enabled home page