The M's finished 40 games under .500 and were 40 games out of first place in the AL West. The club fired its manager in June and promoted bench coach Jim Riggleman (pictured here).
Anytime a team is losing, morale is an issue. As Coach Riggleman put it: "When you lose a lot of games, you're going to have some griping and finger-pointing."
But it got so bad in Seattle that players started turning on each other, with one allegedly threatening to "knock out" Ichiro Suzuki, an eight-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner, two-time batting champ, and former AL MVP.
To quote Riggleman:
"We've lost so many games, so these type of things surface. When the ship is sinking, the rats are the first ones off. They're the ones scavenging everything on the ship when it's going good, but when it's sinking they're the first ones off.
[Threatening Suzuki is] seventh-grade mentality. It's pettiness, jealousy, pointing fingers, deflecting responsibility, lack of accountability, lack of character. People takes shots at people in the paper. You get a feeling for who those people are and you try to eliminate those people."