It’s Not The Fact That He Was Asleep

Dave · May 10, 2010 at 11:37 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Interesting day, especially for those with deep interests in the sleep patterns of sports stars. I can’t wait until someone declares it the “Nap Heard Round The World”. In a lot of ways, this whole story is funny. In other ways, it reveals what everyone knows deep down inside.

It’s not the fact that Junior was asleep on Saturday night that matters. If he was hitting .380, it would be the source of good natured jokes, and people would marvel at the greatness of a guy who could hit well while also apparently lacking the energy to watch his teammates play. If the team was winning, it would be written off as a non-story. In fact, I’d guess that if the team was winning, the two players who talked to LaRue never mention the incident, and it never sees the light of day. This is only a story because Griffey is not hitting and the team is not winning.

But he’s not hitting, and they’re not winning, and the fact that two teammates would talk to a reporter about Junior being asleep during a game is perhaps the more telling aspect of this story. If Griffey really commanded the respect of the entire clubhouse, and they loved having him around, no one talks about this to a member of the media. But they did, and that they were willing to bring this up to someone who they had to suspect would write about it suggests that perhaps Griffey’s influence in the clubhouse either isn’t as great as some would suggest, or perhaps more likely, that it only matters while a player is producing.

We’ve all played with that guy who tries really hard to be a leader because he likes to hear himself talk, but he doesn’t have the skills to back it up. In basketball, this guy always tries to run the offense and tell you where to go, but he ends up just jacking up an off-balance 18 foot fade away that barely catches rim. You know that guy – he’s at every gym, annoying the hell out of everyone. People hate that guy, because he doesn’t realize that he’s the reason the team is losing, even as he orders everyone else around. Everyone wants that guy to either show enough self-awareness to realize that he’s terrible or shut up.

That guy can’t be a leader, because he’s just not good enough, and no one respects anything he says because he can’t play. Junior is now that guy. While they may laugh at the pranks and the tickling, the other 24 guys on this roster are all extremely competitive players who badly want to win, and they’ve had a front row seat for the “Griffey Is Done 2010 Tour”. And when he’s constantly grounding out to second base or waving badly at change-ups in the dirt, he loses the credibility to tell anyone else what they’re doing wrong. His ability to lead the team is compromised by the fact that these guys realize he probably shouldn’t be on it. And that’s my guess for why a couple of guys were willing to talk to LaRue about the fact that he was sleeping during a game.

I don’t think the nap really matters. I don’t think the guys on the team are all that upset that he wasn’t available to pinch hit the other night. My guess is that most of them probably didn’t want him hitting in that situation anyway, so maybe deep down, they feel like he did them a favor. But I think there’s a reason that this became a story in the first place – it’s that everyone involved with this tragic experiment realizes it’s not working and it’s not going to work. The Mariners brought Griffey in to be an influence in the clubhouse, but you can only lead as long as you can back up your words on the field and play at a minimum level to where you’re not actively hurting the team.

Griffey can’t do that anymore. He’s a drain on the team’s chances of winning, and the guys on the team know it. They might like his personality, but I think that, deep down, they don’t really want him as their teammate. Not anymore. They might enjoy playing cards with him, but at the end of the day, they want a DH who can hit.

This story doesn’t get written about a clubhouse leader who really commands respect. That this story got written suggests to me that Junior is not that guy, and if that’s true, he has nothing left to offer this organization. It’s time. Hang them up, Junior.

Comments

131 Responses to “It’s Not The Fact That He Was Asleep”

  1. awestby51 on May 10th, 2010 11:41 pm

    Hey, now Baker has something to write about tomorrow! Seriously though, well said.

  2. spankystout on May 11th, 2010 12:01 am

    I would rather see Jr. flail away than Sweeney. That is, of course if I HAD to choose one. Jr still has promotional giveaways at Safeco. Although he can’t play, I think it would be a bad business decision. He is a bright revenue spot in a darkening season. If the team can’t contend the two best things to chase are (obviously) talent, and money. Even the perception that Griffey got ‘pushed’ out could impact the team financially. If he walks away in a selfless, classy manner it could avert a larger negative impact. Otherwise keep him as a money maker, and go to the 11 man bullpen, again……..oh yeah, release Mike Sweeney.

  3. Breadbaker on May 11th, 2010 12:03 am

    My grandmother was a remarkably articulate woman, funny and interesting with a clipped British colonial accent. She had, however, a stroke in her last year, and when I went to see her for what we both knew was the last time, she couldn’t talk very well. Her brain could process incoming sounds but speech came out as sort of a double-Dutch where I would guess what she was trying to say and when I finally got it (she was trying to tell me she would be 80 later that year, a birthday she didn’t quite make), a huge smile crossed her lips.

    It took me many years for that image of her to cease to eclipse all the memories of all the good times in the prior 23 years before her stroke.

    That’s kind of what I don’t want for Junior. I remember all his significant moments–I skipped work to watch his first game with the Reds on ESPN for Chrissakes and I saw him play for the US in the first WBC–and I don’t want to remember him more for how he hung on when he couldn’t find his stroke on a 80 mph change up right across the plate.

    Everyone who contributes to this blog knows how much Seattle baseball owes Ken Griffey, Jr. Right now we owe it to him to tell him how much better it will be for everybody if he walks away with the dignity he has left.

  4. kenshabby on May 11th, 2010 12:08 am

    Junior returning to the team this season as a player doesn’t make sense. Aught-nine should have been his swan song. All the pieces fit–one last season in an M’s uniform as an aged veteran; the tearful last game; the inevitable off-season transition into a coaching or front office position…

    *scratched record*

    Eh? Coming back for another pathetic season as a DH? Is it about the paycheck? The pride? There’s no logic in it. So sad it went this way.

  5. allenwu on May 11th, 2010 12:11 am

    It saddens me that things have gotten to this point, but you’re right – this is the end of the road. I think that, deep down, everyone wanted Junior to pull off some kind of magic – one last run for the World Series ring that has so eluded his glorious yet difficult career. Reality is cruel, especially in professional sports.

    Do the right thing Junior.

  6. Liam on May 11th, 2010 12:17 am

    I was right with you up until you described Junior as “that guy.”

    The way I can see it happening is one of the younger players LaRue describes lets it slip out and then the next guy he asks who played with Griffey last season does damage control because it’s already out there. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a rookie mistake from one guy.

    The pranks and jokes are defense mechanisms. When asked why he wasn’t hitting in Spring training, he said something along the lines of saving them for when the season started. Not taking anything too seriously can be his way of coping with a difficult situation.

  7. enazario on May 11th, 2010 12:27 am

    I don’t have a problem with the assessment that Junior is done. He is. I do have a problem that no one has taken LaRue to the task because most of his story is speculation.

    Did he bother to call the Mariners to confirm the story? No.

    Did he call Junior to get his side of the story? No.

    Why let the facts -or good reporting- get in the way of a good story. Regardless of whether Junior should go or not -and I believe he should- he didn’t deserve this kind of ridicule. It’s mean spirited and petty.

    My only consolation is that none of this will matter in the end. He is the greatest baseball player -and probably greatest athlete- ever to play in Seattle and I for one am happy to have enjoyed watching him play. Nothing will erase those memories.

  8. mark s on May 11th, 2010 12:29 am

    With tears in their eyes, the crowd stood, raised their hands in the air and sang one last time: HEY HO! HEY HO!

  9. Jeff Nye on May 11th, 2010 12:44 am

    Larry LaRue is a class act and doesn’t deserve to have people trying to turn this back on him.

    But, hey, anything to avoid having to admit that Saint Griffey is fallible.

  10. seatownfan22 on May 11th, 2010 12:49 am

    love it, but i think the “Snore Heard Round the World” is catchier.

  11. LongDistance on May 11th, 2010 1:01 am

    Well… before the day’s out, everyone’s going to weigh in on this one, and my feeling is that even the most die-hard Griffey fan has to admit the contribution vs. liability equation isn’t working this year.

    Me, I could never quite understand the “chemistry” argument for bringing Griffey back on board. I’ve always considered it, at best, a good PR move and a fan-friendly decision designed to bring a bit of sunshine back into what’s been quite a long stretch of struggling and rebuilding. I couldn’t really believe that his presence would mean winning an additional +x games across the season.

    I would wish, but highly doubt, outside of a serious pull or tear, that we’ll see Griffey bow out mid-season. He may be aging, and in decline, but that’s not how the man works. He’s an athlete, a great competitor, and has the pride that goes with those qualities.

    It was a management decision that brought him here. It will have to be a management decision to ask him to hang it up.

  12. greentunic on May 11th, 2010 1:05 am

    If this sounds overly optomistic, then so be it but I honestly believe it.

    This team has been through so much adversity. About six .200 hitters, injury to one of our Cy Young type pitchers, Mr. Bradley having personal troubles, and this Griffey story which makes me just plain sad more than anything else.

    It will end, somehow, these freak happenings will stop and the Mariners will at least hit somewhat like they’re supposed to. Figgins will hit better, Lopez should hit better, catchers will hit better (than .170), and the Mariners will pull away from single player home run totals. All that will happen. We may not explode into the best team, but we will get better. No doubt at all.

  13. Breadbaker on May 11th, 2010 1:05 am

    Griffey can be Elgin Baylor, 1972, retiring rather than hanging on with a Lakers team that won a title. Or he can be Elgin Baylor, 2008, forced out by the Clippers owner and not sure if he was fired, retired or resigned.

  14. johnfree63 on May 11th, 2010 1:19 am

    In my opinion some of the blame has to fall on Don Wakamatsu. Not the Griffey sleeping part but the fact that these two players went to the media. Baltimore, and Kansas City suck but none of their players are Calling anyone out in the media. It seems like the players felt Wak wasn’t going to do anything about the situation and had to play it out in the media. This is also the 2nd time in one week that sources came out about what was going on in the M’s clubhouse. All we hear from Wak is Belief System, accountability, Belief System but it doesn’t appear that he was going to do anything about Griffey sleeping on the job since Jr was in the lineup the next day. Wheres the Accountability?

    Just to make it clear. Im not sticking up for Griffey. He should retire, he cant play anymore. I just would like to see Wak Practice what he preaches and be more accountable

  15. Liam on May 11th, 2010 1:21 am

    Griffey obviously has the respect of the player who made excuses as to why he was sleeping during the game. Sweeney would never turn on him either, so that makes two. RRS would do him a solid. You go down the roster list and it becomes harder to buy the narrative that the other 24 guys don’t want him on the team. It makes more sense that the player who offered up the information is one of those rats Jim Riggleman talked about in 2008. (I don’t think that’s the case in this situation, but it’s certainly more plausible than the given alternative)

  16. Jack.Hartsock on May 11th, 2010 1:47 am

    God, I just want to win baseball games. This whole story makes me sad. Don’t know what for, but my dad told me LaRue once offended Randy Johnson so much that the man will not speak to LaRue. It’s not LaRue’s fault, it is not Alan Cockrell’s fault –we just are not winning. Sigh.

  17. The_Waco_Kid on May 11th, 2010 2:31 am

    It seems pointless to argue over whether Griffey is at fault for initially trying to play. Anyone would want to keep playing. That’s not the issue. Dave’s post is a bit harsh, but let’s be honest, Grandpa Griffey falling asleep is the perfect metaphor for a guy who is too old to play. I don’t care if he has sleep problems, as Shannon Drayer suggested. I care about his plummeting bat speed. He can keep his roster spot for a little while, but at the very least bench him. Let him get some more shut-eye in the clubhouse.

  18. NWMsFan on May 11th, 2010 2:33 am

    I have been reading posts from various sites and the general consensus is Griffey should just quietly fade away into the sunset.

    Why is Griffey being singled out as the one who must go? The majority of the hitters on the team right now are struggling–hitting well below their average or potential. How about if we cut these guys some slack…including Griffey? It was mentioned on Sunday’s post game show that some of the veterans have been putting quite a bit of pressure on themselves to rise above the struggles.

    There’s a new hitting coach and the team finally appeared to relax and have some fun on their way to Sunday’s win. How about if we send some positive vibs & well wishes to the team and see what happens the rest of this month?

    Odds are that this subject will fade into the sunset..not the player.

  19. PackBob on May 11th, 2010 2:58 am

    Well, that’s pretty much it. And the real problem with Griffey is that he’s not going to hit, either. You look at the other guys who are struggling, and they have the potential to work out of it. Jr just looks old and tired.

    The other players can surely see it. You hear Mike and Jay in the broadcast booth, and you know the players pay attention and assess each other’s ABs. It’s got to make them think that Griffey’s retirement tour and the slight possibility that the Ms with him could get into the playoffs is more important to management than the team winning. That’s got to be disheartening. It must feel like playing with no spikes on.

    Griffey has been given a chance to produce, a good, long chance. The longer he stays now, the more the other players are going to think it’s not about winning, and it’s hard to win like that.

  20. Utis on May 11th, 2010 2:59 am

    Two Mariners players, however, weren’t. Both are younger players, fond of Griffey. Neither had an ax to grind.

    The other player, who knows Griffey a little better, tried to ratonalize.

    “He doesn’t sleep well at night, he’s away from his family, he’s comfortable in the clubhouse,” he said. “They could have awakened him …”

    Lack of respect is not how LaRue presented the young players’ story. It sounds more like inexperienced young players dealing with the media. If Griffey were hitting 300 the story doesn’t get written because Larue never asks the question. If he does ask the question he would still write it up and the same set of people would be outraged. It is only if the team were winning that the story would lose interest.

    The gym guy analogy is faulty. The gym guy was never any good. If you were playing basketball with a 60 year old Magic Johnson, you would be well advised to listen. Griffey should have credibility and respect from his teammates based on what he has accomplished in the game. Furthermore, I have not seen any reports of Griffey telling players how to do things. These days the best thing he can do is to show them how to handle failure with grace. That is a valuable lesson indeed.

    The real story in LaRue’s piece is that he hints that the team is close to letting Griffey go. Of course, we know that by itself will only be marginally more effective in fixing this team than firing the hitting coach. Replacing Griffey with Bradley/Sweeney at DH will not be enough to turn the Mariners into contenders. For one thing, Bradley might implode again. For another, Bradley’s performance isn’t guaranteed to be sufficiently better than Griffey’s (his swing has some holes too).

    Larry Stone, as usual, has the most reasonable perspective.

  21. Gomez on May 11th, 2010 3:03 am

    Griffey obviously has the respect of the player who made excuses as to why he was sleeping during the game. Sweeney would never turn on him either, so that makes two. RRS would do him a solid. You go down the roster list and it becomes harder to buy the narrative that the other 24 guys don’t want him on the team.

    I don’t think the point was so much that anyone dislikes him and ‘turned on him’ as much as two player were willing to discuss the matter because Griffey doesn’t command respect as a leader.

    I think looking for a “rat” among the 25 man roster overlooks the main point.

  22. PackBob on May 11th, 2010 3:17 am

    Concerning whoever “ratted” on Griffey, I don’t think it is necessarily even that. If Griffey was known to take a snooze here and there, and from Shannon’s blog, it would seem it was no secret; if the manager knew, the players knew, the popcorn guy knew, then what’s the big deal about a player thinking nothing of saying Jr was asleep? Everyone knew it anyway. A seasoned player likely wouldn’t have said anything, but I can see a young guy doing it.

    What made this a story was that Wak was asked why Griffey didn’t pinch hit and Wak’s reply was vague. Finding out later that he was sleeping makes it feel a little like hiding it. I think this was more an “oops” moment for a couple of young guys than a player out to get the old fart.

    The other thing that makes the story is that it also says that Griffey is out the door within the month, and that makes it seem like it was because of the catnap, not the production.

  23. 1955RainiersFan on May 11th, 2010 5:15 am

    Junior, man up, take one for the team, walk in and announce your retirement. You will be respected for it.

  24. pinball1973 on May 11th, 2010 5:18 am

    What sucks about this story being published now (and no blame to the unnamed or the reporter [notice I do not demean him by calling him a "sportswriter"]) is that now Junior really can’t leave except under a cloud. And that sucks, absolutely. It’s as sad as anything other than a career-ending injury.
    Griffey (and while I’ve greatly admire him from a distance, I am by no means a Griffey-worshiper) deserved to end on the very highest note. That he didn’t do that last season risked what has now happened: he (seems to) ends his brilliant career as a wash-out, and everyone loses.

    To repeat myself again: this sucks, but I can no longer see a nice way out for him or Sweeney, though the FO shares a good share, or more, of the blame.

  25. bermanator on May 11th, 2010 5:19 am

    I almost think this makes it harder to cut him in the short-term (as in, by Friday), because it becomes more of a headache for the Front Office. Instead of cutting him because he is not producing, it looks like you’re cutting him because he fell asleep in the clubhouse (and also because he’s not producing). Which would be fine if it were any other player on the roster, but Seattle has already established that Griffey gets treated differently than anyone else and I bet the thought of sending him out to pasture on that note is an uncomfortable one for management.

    I agree with whoever wrote that the ideal would be a Mike Schmidt situation, where it is Griffey’s decision (or made to seem like his decision). Maybe he could come up with a hamstring or back injury, go on the DL, and then retire in a month or so saying that it wasn’t healing quickly and that the time off made him realize he would rather spend time with the family.

  26. pinball1973 on May 11th, 2010 5:27 am

    Just to comment on some other comments: the talk about “rats” and the attacks on LaRue would get me looking for an opening to embarrass the hell out of you.

    Also, the comparison with the “Gym Guy” really is the weakest, and rather distracting, part of Dave’s post. It sounds like he’s written it after thinking things over just a bit too quickly (compared with the stellar quality of his usual stuff – this is still preferable to anything in SI or some other rag).

  27. certaindoom on May 11th, 2010 5:31 am

    Sure is funny how a bunch of .200 hitters would turn and rat on a legend. Kids these days.

  28. wsm on May 11th, 2010 5:34 am

    The gym guy analogy is faulty. The gym guy was never any good. If you were playing basketball with a 60 year old Magic Johnson, you would be well advised to listen. Griffey should have credibility and respect from his teammates based on what he has accomplished in the game. Furthermore, I have not seen any reports of Griffey telling players how to do things. These days the best thing he can do is to show them how to handle failure with grace. That is a valuable lesson indeed.

    I agree here. Griffey’s personality is not obnoxious or grating, and he’s not overtly forcing his leadership on his teammates. He is a leader because they respect him. He can sleep in the clubhouse every chance he gets and that won’t change.

  29. Dennisss on May 11th, 2010 6:23 am

    I think that this article has allowed all of us to openly confront the fact that Griffey is really the worst player on this team. He is a no-tools guy who is terrible in every facet of the game, no matter what he once was. Even Sweeney earned his way onto the team with a good spring and probably has a bit more potential going forward. LaRue’s article may be the catalyst that ends Griffey’s career, and if so, well, it’s time.

  30. ivan on May 11th, 2010 6:52 am

    My only consolation is that none of this will matter in the end. He is the greatest baseball player -and probably greatest athlete- ever to play in Seattle and I for one am happy to have enjoyed watching him play. Nothing will erase those memories.

    The greatest baseball player ever to play for Seattle is Alex Rodriguez, and don’t you forget it.

    For another, Bradley’s performance isn’t guaranteed to be sufficiently better than Griffey’s (his swing has some holes too).

    I personally guarantee that Bradley’s performance will be sufficiently better than Griffey’s. It already has been.

    Griffey has been given a chance to produce, a good, long chance. The longer he stays now, the more the other players are going to think it’s not about winning, and it’s hard to win like that.

    Bingo! Best comment on the thread. Sums up the whole situation. Either they want to win, or they don’t. If they want to win, Griffey and Sweeney must go, and they should take the PR-obsessed Chuck Armstrong with them. None of them are helping this team win.

  31. Paul B on May 11th, 2010 6:57 am

    At the age of 36(!), Joe Dimaggio hit .264-.365-.422.

    He retired.

    When asked why, he said something like “because I can’t be Joe Dimaggio anymore.”

    Compare that to the final years of Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Rickey Henderson, or KGJr.

  32. Jim_H on May 11th, 2010 7:27 am

    Bad analogies are bad..mkay?

  33. msb on May 11th, 2010 7:31 am

    Note from Drayer on the clubhouse

  34. Carson on May 11th, 2010 7:36 am

    And in all of this, our media still can’t connect the dots between winning and chemistry.

    I don’t know what they can be shown to prove it, I guess.

  35. IHaveALittleProject on May 11th, 2010 7:51 am

    My comment, also on Drayer’s post:

    The tickle-fest and hugging was a result of winning, not the cause. The team isn’t hitting, which makes for a lousy atmosphere before and after the game. For the people who want to saddle Milton Bradley with the responsibility of no one hitting: give me a break. What ever happened to individual accountability?

  36. Paul B on May 11th, 2010 7:52 am

    Bad analogies are bad..mkay?

    What are you referring to?

    And what is an m kay?

  37. Paul B on May 11th, 2010 7:55 am

    And in all of this, our media still can’t connect the dots between winning and chemistry.

    I was thinking that very thing when reading Drayer’s blog post.

  38. luckyscrubs on May 11th, 2010 7:57 am

    This team is 5.5 games out of first and trailing three teams. If the Mariners are serious about competing this season then enough is enough. It’s time to retire, Griffey. Let the team move on.

  39. illdonk on May 11th, 2010 8:08 am

    I’m not a big fan of the guy, want him off the team, wish he left after last year…and I’d still find it a little sad if he left under these circumstances, out of town, after these stories.

    And doesn’t the article’s naming “younger” players really narrow it down to only three or four players?

  40. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 8:22 am

    I would rather see Jr. flail away than Sweeney.

    I’d rather see the M’s use a competent DH, rather than rely on players who are past their pull date, whose value to the team is in hugs and babysitting. You know what’s veteran leadership? RBIs instead of 6-4-3 double plays.

    He is a bright revenue spot in a darkening season. If the team can’t contend the two best things to chase are (obviously) talent, and money.

    There’s no reason that the Mariners need to give up on the season on May 11th by playing the animated corpse of Junior’s career, simply to sell tickets. Keep in mind that attendance is a LAGGING indicator of team quality, so if the M’s tank 2010, this will affect 2011 attendance, even if they sign shiny new free agents.

  41. Tek Jansen on May 11th, 2010 8:23 am

    Well, if “younger” means younger than Griffey, it narrows it down to 24 players.

  42. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 8:26 am

    I’m not a big fan of the guy, want him off the team, wish he left after last year…and I’d still find it a little sad if he left under these circumstances, out of town, after these stories.

    Not everyone gets to leave town as John Elway (Super Bowl MVP in the last game he played), or even Ted Williams (subject of a John Updike piece, HR in last MLB at bat). For instance, Michael Jordan left as an MVP… and then came back to be basically mortal as a Washington Wizard on a bad team. Willie Mays looked pretty bad as a Met. Henry Aaron wasn’t very good as a Brewer. Babe Ruth ended up being terrible as a Boston Brave…

  43. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on May 11th, 2010 8:26 am

    I have always maintained (and often commented to this effect) that chemistry is largely a function of success.

    Chemistry is really mostly about how we feel. It is about how we feel about one another in the context of a shared enterprise. When we win, we feel good about the enterprise, and can better tolerate one another’s faults or even admire others’ quirks. When we are constantly losing or falling short, we seek outlets for frustration and anger. We lash out at one another. Those who contribute the least are often the first targets. It’s human nature, and it is often a healthy sign that the spirit recognizes the need for change before the mind does.

    The idea that chemistry is something that exists apart from any context is pure tripe. Good people who can’t get the job done, or hold others back, will not last long in any setting where success matters to people’s jobs and the bottom line. These folks can go along for the ride when the enterprise does well despite them, but, even then, others realize on some level that the person is not contributing adequately. They just don’t have a reason to focus on that since it doesn’t seem to slow the momentum. You have all the time in the world to think about it when things start going poorly, however.

    It’s time for Griffey to be the gentleman he is, and step aside for the good of the end goal.

  44. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 8:30 am

    Also, there’s one other option- Griffey goes on the DL for acute suckitis and does his swan song once the rosters expand to 40 come September, similar to what Buhner did in 2001.

  45. Paul B on May 11th, 2010 8:33 am

    Babe Ruth ended up being terrible as a Boston Brave

    Although, he did hit 6 homers and had an OPS+ of over 100. At the end, though, all he could do was hit homers.

  46. djw on May 11th, 2010 8:34 am

    I think it would be a bad business decision. He is a bright revenue spot in a darkening season.

    This claim has been repeated so many times over the last year and a half that it’s very easy to forget there’s virtually no evidence for it. (Besides, as a fan, I don’t really care. I’d rather see the team win and draw 2.2 million than see them lose and draw 2.4. Wouldn’t you?)

    I’m always astonished by kind of confidence exhibited throughout this thread that we have reliable, good, meaningful access to what’s going on in the clubhouse. Honestly, none of us have any idea whether most of the team respects, reveres, and looks up to Griffey, or thinks he’s a dinosaur and a joke. Their public statements, and the hopelessly unreliable narratives of journalists, are woefully insufficient to have any meaningful knowledge. I don’t understand how and why people think they can know what they know.

  47. Utis on May 11th, 2010 8:37 am

    I personally guarantee that Bradley’s performance will be sufficiently better than Griffey’s. It already has been

    Do you really think a 684 OPS is sufficiently better? For refernce, Sexson posted a 703 OPS in 2008 (696 with Seattle). Bret Boone also posted a 684 OPS in his last year with the Ms (74 games).

  48. tres_arboles on May 11th, 2010 8:41 am

    I was present for the fight in which a brilliant young Terry Norris sent the beloved Sugar Ray Leonard into a retirement that should have happened a fight or two sooner. The parallels here are painfully present. Junior is Sugar Ray. The season is Terry Norris. It doesn’t end well.

  49. downwarddog on May 11th, 2010 8:42 am

    The Gym Guy analogy is, as others have aptly pointed out, completely off-base … but does indeed stick with Cameron’s tired narrative of blaming players for the sins of the front office.

  50. toughguy5128 on May 11th, 2010 8:43 am

    Yeah Junior isn’t hitting well, but he is definitely not the only one to blame. How is that great free agent signing of Chone Figgins going? I believe his batting average is just about the same as Griffey’s. Jose Lopez, what a stellar year he is having! 1hr?? This issue goes way beyond Jr. and to put the brunt of the blame on him is just a cop out. On paper this team should be giving the opposite pitchers fits with their on-base ability and free run of the base paths. But since there is absolutely no one to be feared in our lineup for the home run and the likeliness of getting the bases loaded with no outs and not getting a run, pitchers must salivate when it’s their turn to mow down our batters. If Josh Wilson and Michael Saunders have more combined home runs than Jose Lopez and our DH crew there is something terribly wrong! Z, you have your vision and I respect it, but for the love of god get us someone that can empty those loaded bases!!

  51. argh on May 11th, 2010 8:48 am

    .684 OPS puts you square in the middle of American League DH’s this year — with hopes of improvement. .469 puts you 3rd from the bottom with no hope. So, yeah, I’d say ‘sufficiently better’.

  52. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on May 11th, 2010 9:00 am

    but does indeed stick with Cameron’s tired narrative of blaming players for the sins of the front office.

    I suppose you are saying that poor play can’t be blamed on the players themselves.

    You are right in one sense, though, it is understandable that Griffey wants to play and get paid for it. Same story with Sweeney. Hell, I’d take a contract to suck, if they’d pay me. And you are right that the front office and manager should have rearranged things much sooner, and even realized that Griffey and Sweeney on this team creates all kinds of problems. But you see Dave mentioned all of that before the season even started, and has held the front office and manager to account for it in nearly every case that it has predictably turned out badly. So I think you have no reasoned basis for your assertion.

  53. Taylor H on May 11th, 2010 9:05 am

    From a Fangraphs commenter on Jose Guillen potentially being traded to the M’s: “The best part is Jack Z is so conceited that he probably believes he can make this a good deal somehow, and Cameron’s Disciples will applaud until they see Jose’s 6.7 second time to first base for the first time.”

    Can we please call ourselves Cameron’s Disciples from now on?

  54. argh on May 11th, 2010 9:09 am

    Obviously this guy hasn’t watched Jr. leg one out recently. Although now that I mention it, neither have I.

  55. Thievery on May 11th, 2010 9:13 am

    I, too, fail to see the validity of Dave’s baseketball gym-rat analogy. I don’t think any of Griffey’s teammates would describe him as an overbearing, grating personality, but rather an amiable, fun teammate whose exuberance has helped whisk away the dark cloud that permeated the clubhouse just a short two years ago. But I think Dave is spot-on with his remark that it’s not only outsiders who realize that Griffey is done – his teammates do, too. And with all the losing that has gone on here over the past several years, there are no sacred cows, no matter the heritage…

  56. Utis on May 11th, 2010 9:20 am

    .684 OPS puts you square in the middle of American League DH’s this year — with hopes of improvement. .469 puts you 3rd from the bottom with no hope. So, yeah, I’d say ’sufficiently better’.

    It is a rather slim hope as the league average OPS is 734 and most of the rest of regular line up is under that.

  57. downwarddog on May 11th, 2010 9:23 am

    Yes, CO Exile, I understand that Dave has expressed his displeasure before the season began with the doubling down on both Griffey and Sweeney. And I certainly couldn’t agree more. Both decisions were painful from day one and have clearly set this team back. That said, Dave’s vitriol directed at the players since then has been completely out of proportion with his criticism towards the man who put Sweeney and Griffey in positions where they would most likely fail. The fact is, players will always want to come back and it’s hard to blame them for that. It’s the GM’s job to tell them when their time is done. In this case, all it would have required would have been not offering Griffey and Sweeney contracts. So no, I guess I don’t blame them for their poor play. I blame the man who put them in a position where it was rather obvious that they would play poorly.

  58. Statsfreak on May 11th, 2010 9:29 am

    This years M’s exemplify the addage that in professional sports winning is everything. Have a few of those one run losses go the other way, have a couple of Griffey’s balls get through a shifted infield, have Lopez come through a couple of times in the clutch or have one of our catchers either catch or hit somewhat consistently then we are back to contending and cream pies. A fine line with overreacting a caution. I certainly do not get the feeling that Jack and Wak are ones to sit idly as the losses mount. Painful to watch but I remain optimistic. Hey, so what Griffey caught a few z’s. I am more concerned about Felix getting dialed back in.

  59. zmic11 on May 11th, 2010 9:33 am

    2 potential problems with this:

    1. Its a possibility that since Griffey has had a habit of sleeping a lot, the younger players thought nothing of telling a long time reporter he was asleep in the clubhouse. It could have been innocent, and LaRue acted on it trying to get Griffey to retire.

    2. I feel this story has really turned the negative attention from Sweeney to Griffey. I’d much rather see Griffey around than Sweeney IF either of them are going to stay.

    That being said, I don’t believe either of them belong on the team any longer, but if one is to remain in a diminished PH once a week DH role, Griffey should be the man.

  60. diderot on May 11th, 2010 9:42 am

    Please don’t triangulate.
    This isn’t about Sweeney or Bradley or the catchers or LaRue or the two player sources or the people who sit in the front office.
    This is about a professional baseball player who is paid solely to hit (and for whatever reason in the #5 hole) and how well he’s performing that role.
    We’re approaching the year and a half mark for the reunion tour, and it’s time to just face the fact that the singer has lost his voice.
    Let’s fix the problem and get better.

  61. TumwaterMike on May 11th, 2010 10:08 am

    As soon a Bradley can return to the active roster, encourge Junior to retire. I would also send Adam Moore to Tacoma as he is competely lost up here. I would release Colome and take his place on the 40 man roster with Alfonzo. He may not hit but at least he’s a better defensive catcher.

    I would take Colome’s place on the 25 man roster with Hanahan. You would then have Sweeney (he will eventually go as well when jack makes a deal), Langerhans and Hanahan on the bench to pinch hit and Alfonzo and either Wilson as defensive replacements.

  62. Red Apple on May 11th, 2010 10:25 am

    Zombie Griffey, drinking up to 12 cans of carbonated brain fluid each day. This is not a pretty sight.

  63. Dave in Palo Alto on May 11th, 2010 10:30 am

    To me, it’s not so much that the Mariners are putting Griffey to sleep. They are baseball’s equivalent of a sleeping pill. What puzzles me is why Griffey wants to show up and fail every night when he must have so much else to do in the world, along with the money to do it. Why does he, in essence, wait to be fired instead of leaving on his own terms?

  64. sambclark on May 11th, 2010 10:37 am

    Pride.

  65. Utis on May 11th, 2010 10:40 am

    One overlooked aspect of this caper is the fact that Fuentes is a lefty and it made some sense to have Johnsosn hit against him instead of Griffey. I would note, however, that in his time back in Seattle Griffey has been hitting lefties better than right handers (relatively small sample). I am not sure what to make of that.

  66. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 11:07 am

    have a couple of Griffey’s balls get through a shifted infield

    … he’d still be a terrible player, with 2 XBH and no HRs in a month and a half of play.

  67. TiltedMug on May 11th, 2010 11:17 am

    What most have missed on the subject is, “that it is what it is.” So Griffey gets a little humiliated by this, assuming he does, because most would. This in the end will never undo what Griffey did as a Mariner specifically and a MLB player as a whole. He’ll go down as one of the best and deservedly so.

  68. hoot2 on May 11th, 2010 11:27 am

    I like what TiltedMug had to say; “it is what it is”. Look Griffey is not the only person falling asleep watching the Mariners these days. I wish he had retired after last year, it was the perfect situation to do it, but he didn’t and I still get excited every at bat. He isn’t the player he was, but he is still the best athlete that has EVER played in Seattle and one of the best to ever play the game. The problem isn’t a 41-year-old Griffey, it’s the rest of the underachieving lineup (Gutierrez & Ichiro aside) that is the issue. Baltimore has more runs than we do!!! That’s sad.

  69. ima-zeliever on May 11th, 2010 11:31 am

    Utis makes a good point and that is the real story is the “hint” that the team is close to letting Junior go.

    This hint suggests inside information that was leaked. He chose to couple that info with the sleeping information give by the 2 unnamed players. This was obviously done purposefully and very effectively.

    The question I want to know is… was he working alone to try to bring Griffey down or is this part of a anti-Griffey conspiracy??? If it is the latter, how far up does it go within the organization. And finally, what did Jack know and when did he know it?

  70. illdonk on May 11th, 2010 11:39 am

    When a team is 12-19, terrible offensively and the DH is 40 years old with a .234 slugging percentage and 6 RBI, I don’t think Jack Zduriencik needs to put on a trenchcoat and meet reporters in parking garages for people to assume he’s looking for a change.

  71. currcoug on May 11th, 2010 11:50 am

    As Baker stated this morning, the question really boils down to whether Wak actually had Junior in mind to pinch hit for Johnson. However, I agree with those who say Junior should have made himself available in the dugout that late in the game, regardless.

    Please pardon me if I missed it, but I don’t remember anyone actually discussing the matchups in question:

    * The Angels had reliever Kevin Jepsen (throws right) on the mound in the top of the 8th. In 2010, right-hand hitters are batting about 100 points better against Jepsen, than left-hand hitters.

    * Sweeney wasn’t available, because he was the DH that night.

    * Johnson had hit a sharp single in his prior AB.

    * In 2010, Junior is batting well over 100 points better against lefties (.333), than righties (.197). I know it is only 8 AB’s, but it is worth noting that Junior also hit lefties better than righties in 2009 (particularly in regards to SLG, and OPS).

    * If Wak had pinch hit Junior for Johnson, would the Angels have brought in Rodney, or even Fuentes to face Junior?

    * Moore was scheduled to catch Sunday afternoon.

  72. Marinersdude83 on May 11th, 2010 11:50 am

    If Griffey retires within the week all this anti Griffey stuff goes away an he goes down the Mariners all time hero with parade. An they can just have him show up to Safeco for his promo nights an wave to fans.

  73. z24lax on May 11th, 2010 12:01 pm

    Yea, remember when we traded super utility play every position guy Bill Hall for barely league average first baseman casey kotchman, when there were plenty of free agent first baseman who were just as good and likely better. We might as well go ahead and pin that one on griffey too lol.

  74. Red Apple on May 11th, 2010 12:04 pm

    This hint suggests inside information that was leaked. He chose to couple that info with the sleeping information give by the 2 unnamed players. This was obviously done purposefully and very effectively.

    The question I want to know is… was he working alone to try to bring Griffey down or is this part of a anti-Griffey conspiracy??? If it is the latter, how far up does it go within the organization. And finally, what did Jack know and when did he know it?

    I’m skeptical. If it actually came down to this, I’d imagine they’d only do so after being very direct with Griffey about retiring and him blowing them off. Otherwise, it would be a very passive aggressive action on their part, and I just don’t believe that for a second.

  75. Marinersdude83 on May 11th, 2010 12:11 pm

    Griffey is not just a baseball player for the Mariners he is a Seattle icon/hero. Z an Wak are clearly draging there feet with this. They are afraid to be the one to tell him he’s done. But Griff in return has to know he’s done an probably feels obligated to be there for the fan fair an team chemistry. Someone just needs to grow some balls here!

    Screw Sweeney he sucks, an nobody cares if he gets cut.

    These guys are not helping the team at all.

  76. Diehard on May 11th, 2010 12:13 pm

    Looks like everyone in the clubhouse is pissed that “info” was leaked by two of the guys. I just want this roster to get this resolved and start talking with their bats. Even if Griffey pinch hit for Johnson, he likely would’ve struck out or grounded out to the right side. If Wak actually had pinch hitting options, it wouldn’t of matted what Griffey was doing. His bat is slow and his body isn’t allowing him to perform at a high level anymore. I doubt he will be released so either he graciously retires or becomes the 25th man on the bench. When Bradley comes back, he needs to be the DH and let Saunders and Langerhans man left field until trade options come up. This issue is either going to sink this season or the team will get past it. They need to focus on beating a very crappy Orioles team three nights in a row and get back in this.

  77. Liam on May 11th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Shannon Drayer with an update:

    Update…I mention in the post below that players were concerned that two teammates would talk to a reporter about something that happened in the clubhouse during the game. I have talked to several players since and this is the overwhelming sentiment. They are angry, and they want to know names. There has been talk of a players only meeting before the game, we will see if that happens.

    Here’s what Larry LaRue said,

    Two Mariners players, however, weren’t. Both are younger players, fond of Griffey. Neither had an ax to grind.

    So why didn’t Wakamatsu go to Junior off the bench?

    “He was asleep in the clubhouse,” one player said. “He’d gone back about the fifth inning to get a jacket and didn’t come back. I went back in about the seventh inning – and he was in his chair, sound asleep.”

    The other player, who knows Griffey a little better, tried to ratonalize.

    1st player: Young, doesn’t know Griffey as well, had access to the clubhouse and knows that he left. Adam Moore, Casey Kotchman, Jason Vargas. Doug Fister was pitching in the game in question and went 7 innings. Not sure what LaRue’s cutoff would be for a “young” player given his age.

  78. jonw on May 11th, 2010 12:40 pm

    I suspected, as many did, that this attempt to continue the Jr. love fest would end poorly; but man, seeing this written down really hurts. I feel bad for my team, for the teams management, and obviously I feel bad for Griffey. One of the best players of all time and he did it honestly in an era of deceit and cheating. God’s speed Ken.

  79. illdonk on May 11th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Please don’t let it be Saunders.

  80. Diehard on May 11th, 2010 12:42 pm

    Shannon reporting that team is holding yet another meeting right now. Hope they can all resolve this crap and focus on beating the O’s.

  81. JMHawkins on May 11th, 2010 12:47 pm

    Z an Wak are clearly draging there feet with this. They are afraid to be the one to tell him he’s done.

    Drayer talking with Salk really summed up the bigger question – why is Junior a regular and why is he batting 5th? The team could “drag their feet” by making him the 25th man, pinch hitting occassionally. That would require releasing Sweeney at least, and probably Colome, so they can add everyday players to the roster. Right now, Griffey is getting lots of ABs because the roster is constructed so poorly that he needs to go out there. He doesn’t need to be batting 5th though, so Wak doesn’t get a pass.

    When Bradley is ready to come back, DFA Sweeney and Colome, activate Hannahan or Tui along with Bradley, Bradley to DH, Griffey to PC (Player Coach), Saunders and Langerhans in LF. If Bradley isn’t going to be back soon, eh, call up Carp and make him the DH until you have a better option. Then the whole napgate issue goes on the backburner.

  82. kinbote on May 11th, 2010 12:49 pm

    Congrats to Dave Cameron on becoming British Prime Minister.

  83. spankystout on May 11th, 2010 12:52 pm

    eponymous coward

    Did you finish reading what I wrote? I said I would choose Griffey over Sweeney if I HAD to. At this point that is also the same choice Wak faces. I would obviously love a productive DH. Hence me supporting the release of Sweeney when Bradley returns to be the DH.

    As for the money: Jack Z hasn’t made a move because ‘hunting season’ hasn’t started. If the M’s continue to lose up to the start of ‘hunting season’ they could be out of contention. So (hypothetically) if the M’s are out of contention, wouldn’t the team keep 1 useless player for revenue purposes. Griffey with no bat speed and no legs is worth more than Sweeney in merchandising, ticket sales, concessions, etc.

    Of course winning cures all.

  84. ima-zeliever on May 11th, 2010 12:57 pm

    I was kidding about the conspiracy theory… Honestly, I think we will find that LaRue acted alone. : )

  85. seattleslew on May 11th, 2010 12:58 pm

    Congrats to Dave Cameron on becoming British Prime Minister

    Given the state of affairs, it’s seemingly going to be a short ride.

  86. luckyscrubs on May 11th, 2010 1:01 pm

    Griffey has been moved down to 7th in today’s lineup. The end is near for him in the eyes of Wak (as an everyday player, anyway).

  87. seattleslew on May 11th, 2010 1:02 pm

    It would wise of him to keep his job at fangraphs.

  88. Dobbs on May 11th, 2010 1:10 pm

    The simple fact is that Griffey is taking away ABs from someone who is better than him and could use those ABs to potentially make more money in the future.

    So it can only be assumed someone might dislike the fact that they continue to trot out a DH minus the H in the clubhouse.

  89. ima-zeliever on May 11th, 2010 1:18 pm

    I wonder if this means Dave will embrace Cricket…

  90. spankystout on May 11th, 2010 1:34 pm

    Dobbs

    That is why Bradley should be the DH, Saunders/langerhans in LF. Griffey should be the 25th man. Limiting his ABs to a minimum, while maximizing his profitability for the team. Pushing Griffey into retirement is not just a roster decision.

  91. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 1:37 pm

    I said I would choose Griffey over Sweeney if I HAD to. At this point that is also the same choice Wak faces.

    False dilemma- this is like having to choose between two different kinds of bread for a shit sandwich. NEITHER of them belong on a MLB roster- especially not one where Milton Bradley and Jack Wilson aren’t going to stay in the lineup consistently.

  92. ima-zeliever on May 11th, 2010 1:39 pm

    You know, at the end of the day, this is a real wake up call for Griffey.

  93. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Also:

    Griffey with no bat speed and no legs is worth more than Sweeney in merchandising, ticket sales, concessions, etc.

    If the Mariners are going to elevate nostalgia over winning baseball games by playing a terrible player, why not bring Edgar back in September, too? I’m sure he could sell some bobbleheads.

    I think the argument is ridiculous (aside from the message it sends to your organization: performance is irrelevant as long as you used to be a HOF caliber player 10 years ago). Winning is MUCH more important to making money for a baseball team than selling merchandise, and the sooner the M’s put the best players on the field that they can, they sooner they fix that.

  94. Gomez on May 11th, 2010 1:53 pm

    I was kidding about the conspiracy theory… Honestly, I think we will find that LaRue acted alone. : )

    With a quote from a magic source!

  95. luckyscrubs on May 11th, 2010 1:59 pm

    I wonder if this means Dave will embrace Cricket…

    In an effort to do something different, I started watching Cricket (Indian Premier League) this year. The game is has a lot of similarities to baseball, but it is different enough to make it interesting. It’s a fun sport and all IPL matches are on Youtube for easy viewing.

  96. spankystout on May 11th, 2010 2:05 pm

    Jesus Colome/Sean White, and Mike Sweeney being released would make room for Bradley and another IF/OF.

    This is a shit sandwich. But if Jack Z has better bread he would have brought it to the picnic by now. But he doesn’t, and he hasn’t been able to trade for a superior turdwich.

  97. diderot on May 11th, 2010 2:17 pm
  98. fermorules on May 11th, 2010 2:19 pm

    Larry LaRue is taking a lot of heat from commenters on just about every Mariners website/blog. All he did was report what happened, for crying out loud.

    And Shannon Drayer, whom I generally admire, takes to task the anonymous players for violating the sanctity of the clubhouse. Yet in the same blog she quotes anonymous players who complain that the clubhouse just isn’t as fun this year.

    I’m confused…..

  99. spankystout on May 11th, 2010 2:20 pm

    eponymous coward

    Edgar retired. Griffey has not…. And yes they did ‘elevate’ nostalgia over winning when they signed Griffey. Its naive to think of Griffey as just a roster change.

  100. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 2:27 pm

    The differences and similarities between cricket and baseball are endlessly fascinating. They’re the only two sports where the defense controls the ball, for starters. A cricket ball is just a teensy bit smaller and a teensy bit heavier than a baseball, and the stitches go round the circumference, not the loopy baseball pattern.

    I still find baseball more interesting to watch for more than about a half-hour or so, but you have to like a sport where the shortstop-equivalent is called “silly mid-on” or “silly mid-off” and stands about ten feet away from a guy smacking a hard ball with a huge willow bat.

    One of my lifelong dreams is seeing some pro baseball players and cricketers get together and try out each other’s games a little. I’d love to see Ponting or Tendulkar take some cuts against King Felix, or Pujols trying to get wood on a googly.

  101. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 2:32 pm

    If it takes a shitstorm to get him off the damn team, then let’s have a shitstorm.

  102. seattleslew on May 11th, 2010 2:36 pm

    The differences and similarities between cricket and baseball are endlessly fascinating. They’re the only two sports where the defense controls the ball, for starters. A cricket ball is just a teensy bit smaller and a teensy bit heavier than a baseball, and the stitches go round the circumference, not the loopy baseball pattern.

    I still find baseball more interesting to watch for more than about a half-hour or so, but you have to like a sport where the shortstop-equivalent is called “silly mid-on” or “silly mid-off” and stands about ten feet away from a guy smacking a hard ball with a huge willow bat.

    One of my lifelong dreams is seeing some pro baseball players and cricketers get together and try out each other’s games a little. I’d love to see Ponting or Tendulkar take some cuts against King Felix, or Pujols trying to get wood on a googly.

    Except that an English girls game called Rounders is the root of modern American baseball.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rounders

  103. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 3:05 pm

    This is a shit sandwich. But if Jack Z has better bread he would have brought it to the picnic by now. But he doesn’t, and he hasn’t been able to trade for a superior turdwich.

    Bunk. Griffey doesn’t belong on a MLB team except by dint of the name that’s on his driver’s license. The M’s could replace him out of AAA and get a better player out of the deal.

    And yes, that means they have to be ruthless and tell him “OK, we can DL you for suckitis until September, and give you your farewell tour then, or we can give you your DFA now. Your call.” You know what? I’m fine with that. What, he’s going to say they weren’t being fair about this?

    Edgar retired. Griffey has not….

    I’m sure some other club will be racing to pick up a 40 year old DH who looks this bad if the M’s DFA him. Brian Goldberg better get extra minutes for his cell phone.

  104. Ben Zimmerman on May 11th, 2010 3:07 pm

    Interesting tweets from Ken Rosenthal, who is in Baltimore. He is quoting Sweeney:

    Sweeney called #Mariners’ meeting: “We will support and fight and take a bullet for Ken Griffey Jr. if we have to. He’s our teammate…”

    “Nothing is going to divide this clubhouse, especially a makeshift article made up of lies…”

    “We don’t think there are two players who said that (about Griffey sleeping). I challenged everyone in that room – if they said that to …

    “…stand up and fight me. No one stood up.”

  105. smb on May 11th, 2010 3:10 pm

    That’s a shame, if true. Had someone, anyone, stood up and kicked Sweeney’s ass, they would have had a fan for life right here.

  106. Paul L on May 11th, 2010 3:11 pm

    Joe Posnanski on Junior.

    People still love the guy.

  107. pgreyy on May 11th, 2010 3:16 pm

    …and the end result of all of this is that Sweeney and Griffey are now more entrenched than ever.

    Sigh.

  108. CCW on May 11th, 2010 3:20 pm

    I blame Junior for this. He ought to have hung them up when he had the chance to do so with dignity. Instead, he stayed and stayed until his luck ran out. He almost forced something bad to happen. The longer his absolute suckiness as a ballplayer persisted, the greater became the chance of the organization, or the media, or his teammates, or some combination of the above, saying or doing something negative. And it happened. Not surprising, really.

    I know that Wak and Jack Z bear some blame for letting it come to this, but they were in the tough position of inheriting Seattle’s relationship with its biggest sports icon. In a relationship like the that, the icon is the one with all the leverage. I think Griffey bears most of the blame.

  109. djw on May 11th, 2010 3:24 pm

    But if Jack Z has better bread he would have brought it to the picnic by now. But he doesn’t, and he hasn’t been able to trade for a superior turdwich.

    This is absurd. For one, we have no idea if he’s been trying to trade for a player to replace Sweeney/Griffey or not. But more importantly, we have better options currently in the organization. DHing Bradley and playing Saunders/Langerhans clearly improves the team. Making Carp a DH clearly improves the team. A smart trade for a real and productive DH would be better, of course, but there are already better options in-house.

  110. Paul L on May 11th, 2010 3:28 pm

    To all the people blaming Jr for not hanging it up: honestly, how often does that happen?

    Everyone keeps on bringing up Mike Schmidt. The fact that that was 40yrs might be an indication that it’s pretty rare.

    I’d love for him to do it on his own (and if he did, he’d be respected for it), but it’s unlikely.

    Best case, he waits until Memorial Day-ish to announce that the June 8th (or whatever day it is around that time) Jr Bobblehead Night will be his last night, at which point he’ll retire.

    Next “best” case, imo, is that he gets released around Memorial Day.

    Next, he stays the year and leaves with everyone grumbling about how he should have left earlier.

    Last, again just imo, is that he gets seriously injured and is forced into retirement, ala Nolan Ryan.

    I think the first or second possibilities are pretty likely.

  111. Griffin Cooper on May 11th, 2010 3:38 pm

    This is really well said.

  112. joser on May 11th, 2010 3:59 pm

    I predict our Right Honorable Mr Dave Cameron will have his job(s) longer than the British one.

    I was kidding about the conspiracy theory… Honestly, I think we will find that LaRue acted alone. : )

    With a quote from a magic source!

    So now we know where in the clubhouse Junior takes his naps: walk in the door, then go back and to the left.

  113. diderot on May 11th, 2010 4:02 pm

    I think I just heard Blowers say that Griffey had ‘agreed’ to be moved to the #7 hole.
    Once again, we’re seeing more evidence of who really runs the team.

  114. benthic on May 11th, 2010 4:13 pm

    What about the fact that video of the Rob Johnson at bat in question shows Griffey on the railing watching. For a guy supposedly sleeping in the clubhouse, he’s looking pretty awake and available. (And LaRue is looking like he didn’t check his facts before reporting.)

    I’m not saying Griffey is the right choice at DH, but this sleeping story appears to be demonstrably false.

  115. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Except that an English girls game called Rounders is the root of modern American baseball.

    Except that baseball is older than rounders, as that link you posted says. The origin of the various bat-and-ball games is complex, but it is safest to say that all of the ones that are currently played are derived from common ancestors.

    Saying “rounders is the root of baseball” is about as accurate as saying “humans evolved from chimpanzees”.

  116. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 5:27 pm

    I don’t give a crap who’s to blame. What does blame have to do with anything? I just want Junior to go away and not come back, that’s all. I don’t care if he was sleeping or not; I don’t care what Larry LaRue said, or Don Wak said, or Griffey said. I just want to see a semi-credible major league hitter come to bat in the spot that Griffey is now occupying.

    Mike Schmidt? He’s 60 years old. Maybe he can still hit; give him a call. He can’t be worse than Griffey. HE’S KILLING THIS TEAM.

    No, he’s not the only one, but you can start there.

  117. scott19 on May 11th, 2010 5:32 pm

    Mike Schmidt? He’s 60 years old. Maybe he can still hit; give him a call. He can’t be worse than Griffey.

    Or, while we’re on subject of guys who just turned 60, I wonder if Julio Franco’s still trying to make a comeback in the indy leagues somewhere?

  118. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 5:38 pm

    Ooh, if Franco comes back, I’m officially “not old” again, since you’re not old if there are any major leaguers older than you. Franco was the last one.

  119. G-Man on May 11th, 2010 5:45 pm

    On the day Griffey was traded to the Reds, Felix Hernandez was 13 years old.

    As of that date, these current teammates had played in MLB: Mike Sweeney.

    The point being, it is harder for Jr. to command the respect of players who weren’t there for his days of glory.

    I remember James Worthy’s last days in the NBA. He was playing little, and they said his young teammates were derisively calling him “Old Man”.

    IIRC, he retired midseason.

  120. Molasseshead on May 11th, 2010 6:09 pm

    On that day in 1995 when Griffey slid home to beat the Yankees in Game 5 of the Divisonal Playoffs I was 8 years old.

    You didn’t have to be playing in the MLB at that time to respect him. Anyone who has played or even enjoyed baseball over the last 2 decades knows and respects Griffey for what he was in his glory days.

    That’s an awful argument.

  121. Steve T on May 11th, 2010 8:17 pm

    SCA-rew nineteen ninety-five. I was sick of hearing about nineteen ninety-five TEN YEARS AGO. We didn’t win jack that year, or any year since. Two thousand one is the one I remember fondly. Yes, yes, the Yankees, that’s all very nice. But everyone who played then is GONE NOW. And so should be Griffey.

    He CAN’T PLAY BASEBALL. Watching him hit is like watching porn featuring an eighty-year-old woman.

  122. bhdollman on May 11th, 2010 10:26 pm

    I just wanna say that I support Griffey 100% and as a loyal Mariner fan have his back. I hate reading all this negative talk about Griffey. Hes an icon and the fans should not be singling him out. Griffey is an emotional player and I am sure reading all this “he sucks” stuff is probably tearing him up. Give the guy a break he deserves that. We are paying Figgins a hell of a lot more money and he is hitting worse than Jr. Maybe if we showed some more support for Griffey it would help him turns things around.

  123. eponymous coward on May 11th, 2010 11:16 pm

    Yes, fan support has been known to make a player who has been a bad player for 5 years better.

  124. PBS on May 11th, 2010 11:17 pm

    Man, the season is 6 weeks old and you guys want to run him out of town. He’s not hitting, but then again, neither is anyone else…

    Ken Griffey Jr is the greatest Mariner ever, bar none. Show a little respect, it’s really sad to see everybody turn their back on him. It’s not like he’s the first legend to go out with a whimper. Doesn’t say much about us as fans… I think even Yankees fans would have more respect for one of their greats.

    If you and Steve Kelley agree on something, you might want to re-think your position.

  125. PADJ on May 11th, 2010 11:20 pm

    Is Griffey an icon? Yes. Will it be a PR hassle if the team DFA’s him? Absolutely. But what he has accomplished in the past doesn’t help him nor the team in 2010. I would bet that if the team starts winning some games and generally performing better, then that makes the PR less of an issue.

    I think this sleeping story is more a symptom of a frustrated club. Whether Griffey should leave should not be debated because he may have been asleep during a game. It should be debated on the basis of what he brings to the on field performance of the team this year. Sad to say, but I think Dave is right and it’s time for Griffey to go…

    …right after Sweeney… :-)

  126. bhdollman on May 11th, 2010 11:34 pm

    Couldn’t agree more PBS.

  127. eponymous coward on May 12th, 2010 12:35 am

    Show a little respect

    I’d show respect if he, like Edgar, knew when it was time to hang ‘em up. Edgar decided to go out in 2004 when it was clear his skills were going downhill. Junior had a very similar year in 2009 as a DH (if anything, Edgar had a BETTER year), and decided not to, and now is helping cost the team wins.

    Unlike some people, my calendar goes past 1995.

  128. pinball1973 on May 12th, 2010 12:38 am

    So Sweeney really challenged the “rats” (e.g. dissatisfied, winning-driven young players who clearly have great respect for who KG was) to a fight?

    Well, any respect I had for Sweeney certainly just went straight to the compost heap. For good. Give him his well-earned ticket to baseball-Palookaville. And make sure the door is slammed hard enough to hit him square on his ass on the way out.

    If someone in my workplace said something like that, I would first attempt to humorously get them to cool it the #### down, even if I was on their side.
    If they insisted they were not only serious but determined to play the self-righteous avenging #######, I would have to stand up and ask him to try and swing away. Hopefully they wouldn’t be as powerfully built as Sweeney, though.

    #### this kind of “being a man”. And pardon my need for repeated obscenities in this case.

    P.s. The Junior defenders here, with one exception, make me sick. He was in the wrong, and it mattered only because he, as a team leader, has held back the team.
    Letting him go now, or him choosing to retire, stinks. But check out any chat about this: he’s made himself a laughing-stock.

  129. olof on May 12th, 2010 12:51 am

    Perhaps at least we can have fun with it: may be we can get folks to turn up for Ken Griffey Jr. Sleep Mask Night at Safeco Field:

  130. The Great Greg Pirkl on May 12th, 2010 1:38 am

    Just a thought, I think the M’s missed out on a great opportunity the other day when they fired the hitting coach. I think they should have introduced Griffey and Sweeney as co-hitting and hugging coaches. Its not like the hitting coach contributes that much to the team anyways. This way they could remain with the team and actually CONTRIBUTE something as opposed to “punting” every at bat they take. Seriously though it has been refreshing seeing Langerhans, Jo Wilson and Saunders contribute the last few games. I think it shows that they have a hunger to contribute and the M’s need to take note and give us more of that.

  131. Steve T on May 12th, 2010 11:08 am

    Turn things around? TURN THINGS AROUND? What planet are you on?

    Face facts: Ken Griffey sucks.

    He’s the worst player in baseball. He might be the worst player in the HISTORY OF BASEBALL. He hits worse than the average American League pitcher, but he can’t pitch. He can’t run. He can’t field. He can’t do ANYTHING. HE CAN’T PLAY BASEBALL.

    He hasn’t been a consistently good hitter for a decade. In Cincinnati, he had his ups and downs, and had some decent production once or twice, but never consistently. Since then, he has sucked donkey balls, and he’s sucking the whole donkey now.

    I seriously do not understand how anyone could not see that it’s time for him to go.

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