Exactly what this team needs

DMZ · January 4, 2009 at 6:34 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Heyman, at CNNSI:

Five teams have shown interest in future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., his longtime agent Brian Goldberg said.

…another gimpy, injury-hiding player

Griffey’s performance was compromised last season due to a knee injury he hid for most of the year. Griffey had his left knee drained three times, according to Goldberg, and it was finally repaired surgically three days after the season. He hit only three home runs in 41 games after going to the White Sox, but his power may have been affected by his knee issue.

Griffey suffered the injury early in the season with the Reds when he tripped over a misplaced foot locker in the Reds’ clubhouse.

I cannot fathom why Goldberg thinks that revealing that Griffey destroyed his knee tripping on something — which he then apparently concealed for the rest of the season, badly hurting his team — helps demand. Though maybe it’s a bid to take over the mantle of leadership shown by our own gimpy, injury-hiding left-fielder and clubhouse leader Ibanez.


25 Responses to “Exactly what this team needs”

  1. JI on January 4th, 2009 6:43 pm

    It’s almost like you’re being sarcastic.

  2. diderot on January 4th, 2009 6:45 pm

    I think I remember Goldberg admitting that he called the M’s, not the other way around. His voluntarily disclosing the knee injury is just another sign of desperation. Griffey was a Hall of Fame player. But he’s done. Any comparison to Ibanez at this point is really unfair to Ibanez.
    If it’s true that Z doesn’t care about hurt feelings, hopefully he can tell Chuck Armstrong that there simply is no place for Griffey in the Mariners organization (unless he wants to ride around the track on the Moose’s ATV).

  3. coasty141 on January 4th, 2009 7:04 pm

    Injury hiding is very interesting to me.

    If a player tries to play through an injury and can’t perform, his choice is harmful to his team.

    If a player doesn’t try to play through an injury, he’s isn’t thought of as a durable player and is selfish.

  4. Sports on a Schtick on January 4th, 2009 7:26 pm

    Do not want. Return to sender. Void where prohibited.

  5. Slurve on January 4th, 2009 7:36 pm

    But he is HOF talent and has great experience and is a great club house leader!

  6. et_blankenship on January 4th, 2009 8:40 pm

    Goldberg (as played by W.C. Fields): “Why-uh, the kid would have played better but he had this knee injury, you see . . .”

  7. SonOfZavaras on January 4th, 2009 8:44 pm

    Why Griffey even lives in any kind of house with like, right angles is beyond me.

    Dude must own the ML-record for “career off-field and household accidents”.

    As far as him playing for us in 2009?

    Pass. Pass. No. No, infinity. Pass.

  8. Mere Tantalisers on January 4th, 2009 8:49 pm

    For once I’m pretty confident the Mariners aren’t one of the five teams. At least not beyond a phone call and a media campaign by the agent to generate buzz.

  9. msb on January 4th, 2009 8:54 pm

    fwiw, the tripping was reported in May, and the knee being drained was reported mid-season–

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 10, 2008:

    “Since he got to Cincinnati, Griffey, 38, has been disabled with the following injuries: left hamstring, torn tendon in right hamstring, right hamstring, dislocated right shoulder, torn tendon in right ankle, torn right hamstring, torn left hamstring, strained right knee. Just the other day, he had his left knee drained and took cortisone shots on either side of the knee.”

  10. DMZ on January 4th, 2009 8:57 pm

    I’d have to go back through a lot of info to figure out a coherent timeline, but Goldberg seems to be implying that Griffey concealed it (well, he’s clearly saying that), and that it had a much larger effect on his performance all year than anyone thought at the time.

  11. msb on January 4th, 2009 9:34 pm

    ok, that’s odd. Heyman’s quote is: “Griffey’s performance was compromised last season due to a knee injury he hid for most of the year”

    if you just go searching, here on May 30th, from the Dayton Daily News:

    “Ken Griffey Jr. has a sore left knee, but that’s not the reason he wasn’t in the lineup Thursday against Pittsburgh. The knee has bothered Griffey for nearly a month, but he hasn’t complained. “You know the Griffey family can be clumsy,” he said.”

    and several papers reported the Memorial Day knee drain– and Goldberg mentioned it again when Jr got the knee scoped in October, even pointing out in the Chicago Tribune: “the knee bothered Griffey during his two months with the White Sox and that [Goldberg] told general manager Ken Williams of the injury before the Sox acquired Griffey from the Reds at the trading deadline. “

  12. egreenlaw9 on January 4th, 2009 9:35 pm

    Injury hiding is very interesting to me.

    If a player tries to play through an injury and can’t perform, his choice is harmful to his team.

    If a player doesn’t try to play through an injury, he’s isn’t thought of as a durable player and is selfish.

    I think what teams would like to see is a player being honest about their injuries, and then offering to play through them but being smart enough to shut it down if advised by the club to do so.

    It’s kinda like when a player is at 120 pitches in the eighth inning of a low-scoring tie game and they take a foul off their shin. You want to see them irritated at being taken out, but ultimately you still hope they come out of the game and realize afterward it was for the good of the team.

    Kinda reminds of Ichiro a few seasons back defending why he doesn’t dive for balls… He knows he’s more valuable to the team healthy than risking a good portion of his season for a single out.

  13. Breadbaker on January 4th, 2009 9:45 pm

    Any way we can get the A’s, Rangers or Angels to sign him? Billy Beane has had a soft spot for over-the-hill DH types.

  14. joser on January 4th, 2009 9:50 pm

    Yeah, the question is really — how much does the injury impair performance? There are situations where an injury is really, really painful, but if you get past that you still have your full range of motion and strength. That turf toe that Edgar needed a special shoe for, for example, or getting a fingernail ripped out of your hand (as happened to Clement). If you can just ignore the pain, you can still do your job. That’s the kind of “playing through it” that you hope to see. Not the “well, I can’t really bend my knee or bring my arm up to shoulder height or twist my back enough to swing a bat, but I’ll go out and give it my best” — that doesn’t help anyone, and if it prevents the player from healing asap it’s twice as bad. That’s what Ibanez was doing, and that’s why Derek made that reference.

    “He had an injury out of Spring Training, and he didn’t tell anybody,” Pentland said. “There were a lot of things that weren’t right [with his swing], but it was the result of a shoulder injury more than anything else. There was no sock, and that’s not like Raul.”

  15. coasty141 on January 4th, 2009 10:48 pm

    “Yeah, the question is really — how much does the injury impair performance?”

    No one here like results based analysis, right? So wouldn’t the determining factor in a player playing through injury be the coaching staff or manager seeing something that makes them make the decision to shut it down (thus telling a vet to take a seat)? Or the player saying “I can’t go” (being a wimp)?

    Like I said, I fing playing through injuries to be very interesting.

  16. DMZ on January 4th, 2009 10:54 pm

    I don’t understand.

  17. joser on January 4th, 2009 11:03 pm

    I don’t either.

  18. wsm on January 5th, 2009 6:38 am

    I’m sure the M’s are one of the five teams interested in Griffey. But he’s a Plan B.

    There’s no way Zdurenciek is going into 2009 with his current DHsituation. He knows he needs a lefty bat there. He’s kicked the tires on Adam Dunn and Dunn’s price tag could fall into his budget. While that’s still an option, I don’t think Z’s going to look anywhere else. Once Dunn is gone though, he’s going to look for the next best thing.

    Griffey may be Plan B or he may be Plan C or D behind Abreu and Giambi. Who knows. But the team is going to land that DH stick, and if it ends up being Griffey, it’ll be because Griffey was the best option available to Zdurienciek that didn’t require him doing something stupid.

    Griffey’s not pure crap yet. He would make this lineup better if we added him to it today. He’s not the ideal candidate, but he is an improvement.

  19. DMZ on January 5th, 2009 7:12 am

    What’s pure crap then? Vidro?

  20. Tek Jansen on January 5th, 2009 7:46 am

    Vidro’s actual crap is the “pure crap.”

  21. Paul B on January 5th, 2009 7:49 am

    What’s pure crap then? Vidro?


  22. coasty141 on January 5th, 2009 9:50 am

    “I don’t understand.”

    “I don’t either”

    Sorry for the lack of clarity in my post. I was just trying to communicate how hard it can be to decide to shut a player down or not. And who’s decision it is. But yeah, as far as blatantly hiding an injury as Griffs agent suggest. Thats totally stupid.

  23. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 5th, 2009 9:51 am

    Comparing Griffey to Vidro? Even at Griff’s injury-related worst he’s never stooped THAT low. My take on Griff is if he’s a DH, worth a look, or at least a thought. If it’s in the outfield, then pass. I don’t see why, given the opportuntiy to bat and bat alone (thus significantly reducing his chances of getting injured), he couldn’t make a significant offensive contribution (say a potential line of .275/.350/.475 or so coupled with 20 or so homers and 75 RBI). I think Dunn would be the best Option A, but there’s worse fall-back options than Griffey out there.

  24. joser on January 5th, 2009 12:17 pm

    2009 Griffey projections:
    Bill James: .255 / .351 / .451 (.354 wOBA)
    Marcel: .288 / . 336 / .434 (.330 wOBA)

    There’s no way Zdurenciek is going into 2009 with his current DHsituation. He knows he needs a lefty bat there.

    DH does not have to be a full time position. There’s not necessarily a “there” there. We got used to the idea of a full-time DH with Edgar, but a lot of smart teams use the DH as a way to get one more bat into the lineup from a player who has other value. Maybe you’re half-resting somebody who has an injury that might limit his fielding; maybe you’ve got one or more guys on your bench that deserve more ABs than they’d otherwise get. In the M’s case, they need to find more ABs for Clement, especially if his surgery recovery limits in how many games he can catch; and there are other players that could rotate through that spot as well.

    It’s one thing to pull a Frank Thomas off the scrap heap on a cheap one-year incentive-laden deal to see if he surprises with some upside (was he hurt/unlucky, or has he fallen off a cliff?) But going out and spending real money on a bat-only DH is not a particularly efficient way to use your salary. And if you are going to do that, there are better options than Griffey.

    That said, I could live with the M’s giving him a one-year deal for 2009 if for no other reason than to get the nostalgiaholics to STFU.

  25. msb on January 5th, 2009 3:21 pm

    speaking of things we need…. from Kirby Arnold:

    “Does it seem like the snow, slush and dark skies will never give way to decent weather? Is baseball a season you just can’t imagine right now? Well, here’s a tidbit to help warm your cockles.

    The Mariners’ pitchers and catchers will report to the team’s spring training facility in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 13 and their first on-field workout will be the next day. Position players must report by Feb. 16 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 17.”

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