It’s Griffey’s team

DMZ · April 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s official. Here’s the Pravda lead story:

Help Griffey and Co. head to St. Louis for ASG
All-Star Game ballots were released on Wednesday and former Seattle All-Star standout, Ken Griffey Jr., tops the list of Mariners nominated for the Midsummer Classic

Now, I don’t want to be a dick about this — scratch that, I kind of do. Yay Griffey’s back, yay. That said, what the hell? This is exactly the kind of all-Griffey, all-the-time nonsense I dreaded.

Griffey is hitting a Vidro-esque .184/.326/.342 (yes, I said it). He hasn’t gone to an All-Star game since 2007 and only two in the last five (four in the last ten).

What about the rest of the team? Just in terms of general acclaim, Ichiro’s gone every year since 2001 (and won a Gold Glove every year and only one year (2005) has Griffey beat him in share of MVP votes. In contribution over the last few years, Beltre’s a legitimate All-Star. And that’s not even counting Felix!

But this is what they’re pushing? Griffey as All-Star? Come on. His clubhouse influence can’t possibly be so great that the massive contributions the other players have made to this team should be reduced to “& Co.”


22 Responses to “It’s Griffey’s team”

  1. Breadbaker on April 22nd, 2009 5:27 pm

    Even worse, ASG in St. Louis means no DH voting, so that means Griffey is on the ballot for OF and that means Endy is not on the ballot. Yes, we’re just two weeks in, but Endy has played like an All-Star for those two weeks and is an actual outfielder.

  2. Luc on April 22nd, 2009 5:29 pm

    From a marketing standpoint it makes sense. The educated fan who actually cares year round about the team is going to vote regardless of Griffey’s presence. It’s the people who normally wouldn’t vote they’re trying to get off the couch. Forthrightness is a luxury of those in the stands.

  3. DMZ on April 22nd, 2009 5:36 pm

    Breadbaker: Yes!

  4. monty1077 on April 22nd, 2009 5:42 pm

    Its like you say in regards to anything from


  5. TomTuttle on April 22nd, 2009 5:44 pm

    I’d vote him in if I knew FOR SURE it would be his last year in the big leagues this year like it was for Ripken in 2001.

    But obviously I wouldn’t vote him in based on the on-field numbers.

  6. angrybeltre on April 22nd, 2009 5:52 pm

    Not sure there’s a way around this. Fans are lazy…Albert Pujols would still rack up a ridiculous number of votes if he broke his tibia tomorrow and didn’t play until August. People who promote the league know this, so they put the names people expect down, not those who necessarily deserve the recognition.

  7. skjes on April 22nd, 2009 5:56 pm

    With Griffey in the outfield, it would certainly help give the NL a shot at winning.

  8. Go Felix on April 22nd, 2009 5:58 pm

    He’ll probably be voted in by the casual brain-less fan. He will get all the credit if the M’s do anything this year that’s worthwhile even if his numbers blow. That’s exactly what was bound to happen with Griffey coming back.

    I really like this team and the way they’re playing right now is a bonus. I do not and never did like the “Griffey’s team” label.

  9. dougman on April 22nd, 2009 6:06 pm

    totally agree breadbaker.

  10. themedia on April 22nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    I think you guys are thinking about this the wrong way.

    As long as the mainstream media looks at this team as “Griffey & Co.,” that puts almost no pressure on the rest of the players. I know that’s not quantifiable, but it really seems like these guys are playing a lot looser than they have in the wake of the huge signings over the last few years. I think it’s hard to say that pressure didn’t have some effect with Richie Sexson, who looked like he was going to have a panic attack every time he struck out (and, as we all know, he struck out A LOT). Maybe it’s just the winning, but these guys seem to be having fun and enjoying the game. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that, and I don’t think you can discount Griffey’s role; he always keeps it light in the dugout.

    Obviously Griffey is not close to the best player on the M’s. But if the rest of the country wants to think this team is terrible, why not let them?

  11. kenshabby on April 22nd, 2009 6:15 pm

    Milking every last drop of sentimentality. Pretty shameful. Funny thing about Pravda is that it means “truth” in Russian.

    Maybe a 2nd All-Star Game should be started, one in which only the sentimental favorites play.

  12. hub on April 22nd, 2009 6:22 pm

    I’m voting for all of them.

  13. naviomelo on April 22nd, 2009 6:36 pm

    Why exactly are we voting for all-stars when we don’t even know who deserves to be there yet?

  14. Utis on April 22nd, 2009 6:43 pm

    Each league should have one or two ASG lifetime award representatives. Griffey would certainl be deserving under such a rule.

  15. Axtell on April 22nd, 2009 6:57 pm

    I’m kind of upset Endy didn’t make the ballot…actually more than kind of.

    Griffey…bleh. I know he’s a good boost to the casual fan’s interest, but…

  16. earinc on April 22nd, 2009 7:14 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments and suspect this has been pointed out, but as much as I share Derek’s annoyance over this kind of b.s., it’s pure marketing 101 and has nothing to do with baseball, it has to do with Q ratings (not a baseball stat), and we shouldn’t sweat it. The p.r. dept. is just doing its job. They’re not out to attract or speak to us die-hards, they’re out to reach as many M’s fans as possible, knowledgeable ones or not (and let’s face it, there are many more unknowledgeable ones than knowledgeable ones). There’s probably a press release being sent to Japanese media/fans (or at least there should be) encouraging online fan voting for “Ichiro and the M’s”. I just hope Ichiro doesn’t read some of the semi-insulting hyperbole coming out of the home office locally that insults him by omission. On the other hand, for all of our crying about how Endy is robbed in this situation, from everything I read about him, he’s probably someone who completely understands what’s up and is cool with it. Which makes him even more awesome (as is Ichiro!). I think all of us who care enough to read this blog know how suspect the populist All-Star voting can be in any objective, sabermetric sense, and the marketers pushing Griffey are less guilty of fueling this than being merely symptomatic of it. But hey, baseball is as much a mass media entertainment industry as a competitive sport, no matter how smart we think we all are. Which is of course why Junior’s back this year in the first place.

  17. diderot on April 22nd, 2009 8:15 pm

    Obviously Griffey is not close to the best player on the M’s. But if the rest of the country wants to think this team is terrible, why not let them?

    a) it’s wrong
    b) it’s stupid
    c) on this point, the casual fan elsewhere is a lot smarter than the casual fan in Seattle. It would be interesting to see how many ‘home town’ votes he gets from his former ‘fans’ in Cincinnati and Chicago.

  18. mark s on April 22nd, 2009 8:19 pm

    I would love to see a day by day graph of Vidro ’08, Griffey ’09 and maybe Griffey of 199? whatever year the casual fan thinks Griffey is still able to do.

  19. Hernandez on April 22nd, 2009 8:29 pm

    Marketing gimmick. “Griffey Returns to Mariners, Makes All-Star Team” is a total PR coup if it can be pulled off.

  20. daveblev on April 22nd, 2009 11:05 pm

    It’s not even May yet and MLB is already doing All Star voitng. wtf?

    Not to sound like a fanboy, but I’d take Griffey at DH over Vidro any day..even though he is struggling now.

    The FSN promos leading up to this series mentioned something along the lines of “Ichiro and the Mariners take on Evan Longoria and the Rays”.

  21. scott19 on April 23rd, 2009 12:54 am

    I’ve got an idea…how about a write-in campaign for Endy? Hey, it worked for Luis Gonzalez that one year when they didn’t get around to putting his name on the ballot, so why not…

  22. Noonan on April 23rd, 2009 7:34 am

    I may be mistaken but there doesn’t seem to be any official criteria for voting for an all-star. The fans are free to choose whom they wish based on their own reasons. Calling fans morons for voting for Griffey is pointless. The all-star game in not necessarily merit based. That’s the way it is.

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