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  • Griffey seeing teal @ thought of Reds departure


    http://www.tribnet.com/sports/story/...-4836093c.html

    Griffey seeing teal at thought of trade back to Mariners

    JOHN MCGRATH; The News Tribune

    PEORIA, Ariz. - I came here thinking there was a pretty good baseball team preparing to compete for its third playoff berth in five seasons. Shows what I know.

    After a few days, I've got this uneasy feeling I'm trapped in an elevator that's piping in a dusty collection of Kenny G's greatest hits. It's 2004, and yet every casual conversation dwells on somebody who moaned and groaned his way out of Seattle in 1999.

    Welcome to spring camp with the Mariners, where the world turns around an injury-prone, past-his-prime, ex-All-Star due to make $66.5 million over the next five years.

    Ken Griffey Jr., of course, remains a Red, which is to say he's been banished to the big-league version of a Gulag labor camp. But while Griffey is technically stuck in Cincinnati, his presence is tangible here, there, and everywhere.

    He's the talk of the town, a 6-foot-4 center fielder capable of drawing a long, indelible shadow upon America's most sunsplashed diamond.

    Part of the fascination with Griffey has to do with Griffey himself, a self-taught sleuth who is not beyond putting one and one together and coming up with three.

    For instance, he recently recognized Mariners vice president Roger Jongewaard in the lunch room before a Grapefruit League game between the Reds and the Yankees. Had to be on account of me, Griffey reasoned.

    Furthermore, he determined that the seven consecutive exhibition-game starts he made in center field was an attempt by Reds' management to showcase him.

    Uh, maybe.

    And maybe it was an attempt to reintroduce Griffey to the exotic rhythms of playing every day.

    "I've seen scouts from Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles," he told the Dayton Daily News' Hal McCoy last week. "I'll be traded within two weeks. Why do I feel that way? Gut feeling."

    Anything else, Sherlock?

    "All of my shoes have been red and black since I came to the Reds," said Griffey, who was traded from Seattle in 2000. "This year, Nike is putting out a pair of my shoes in teal. You know who wears teal? Seattle wears teal."

    You'd think such nonsense would be swallowed with a grain of salt and a couple of industrial-strength pain killers, but when Griffey talks, people listen. He sees a familiar face in a dining room, he starts a week's worth of games, he notes a pair of shoes that are teal instead of red. He's outta there!

    Meanwhile, the silly obsession with Griffey has been no less intense here in Peoria. When his agent, Brian Goldberg, was seen with Mariners president Chuck Armstrong a few weeks ago, the old acquaintances couldn't have been engaging in casual conversation. No way. It had to be a superpower summit meeting, with detente on the agenda.

    Fortunately, the Mariners' players don't take offense that the focus of their spring camp has been dominated by somebody who hasn't worn a Seattle uniform since 1999. Then again, the last Mariners player

    who took offense at rumor-driven headlines was, well, Ken Griffey, Jr.

    Besides, what can they say? Griffey is a legend, an icon, a statue-in-front-of-the-park waiting to be unveiled. What are the odds somebody will go on record with a comment that translates into, "Enough, already"?

    Manager Bob Melvin has a particular problem with the Griffey-to-Seattle rumors, as he tends to deal with baseball issues rooted in reality. He's handcuffed, too.

    "I know nothing," Melvin said Sunday. He shrugged and sighed. He knew nothing.

    "But you'll notice," the manager offered with a straight face, referring to the player always mentioned in trade scenarios involving the Reds, "that we're not starting Randy Winn in center field."

    This relentless obsession with Griffey would make more sense if the Mariners had some empty-seat issues. But the team is drawing sellout crowds for its home games in the Cactus League, and with the Sonics virtually eliminated from the NBA playoffs, the Mariners figure to own the Puget Sound sports market until the Seahawks reconvene in early September.

    More than clever commercials are at work here, for the Mariners are loaded with pitching, play fundamentally sound defense, and can figure to score more often than they're scored upon.

    Griffey? As one who is privileged to own a Hall-of-Fame ballot, I will not think twice about voting for him the first year he is eligible. He was the American League's dominant player of the 1990s.

    But we're not in the 1990's anymore. Griffey's string of ailments in Cincinnati - elbow, knees, groin, shoulder - suggests he's a 34-year old pushing 40.

    And he's available for $66.5 million?

    Stop it.

    Let the 2004 Mariners breathe a little, live a little. Let them develop an identity that's all their own, for they're not kids anymore, groping for a superstar's guiding light.

    By the way, the Mariners haven't worn teal in five years.

    John McGrath: 253-597-8742, ext. 6154
    [email protected]

    (Published 12:25AM, March 29th, 2004)

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Why would Seattle take hm back?
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    • #3
      Griffey? As one who is privileged to own a Hall-of-Fame ballot, I will not think twice about voting for him the first year he is eligible. He was the American League's dominant player of the 1990s.
      Is he really a HOFer at this juncture? I mean he needs to do more, no?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by lazydaze@Mar 29 2004, 11:48 AM
        Griffey? As one who is privileged to own a Hall-of-Fame ballot, I will not think twice about voting for him the first year he is eligible. He was the American League's dominant player of the 1990s.
        Is he really a HOFer at this juncture? I mean he needs to do more, no?
        I would think he is. The usual criteria for making the Hall is to be a dominant player at your position for a decent length of time. Junior was THE premier cflder in the AL throughout the 90's.
        "As I said much earlier in this thread, I'm not sure there's a better poster here than Mr. Telecaster."

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        • #5
          Baseball-reference.com's stats(and they're really Billy James stats) claims that he's pretty much in.

          Black Ink: Batting - 26 (68) (Average HOFer ~ 27)
          Gray Ink: Batting - 153 (79) (Average HOFer ~ 144)
          HOF Standards: Batting - 49.3 (71) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
          HOF Monitor: Batting - 191.5 (40) (Likely HOFer > 100)

          Furthermore, it's not like he's actually going to PLAY much more and hurt his chances...

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          • #6
            Griffey Jr. being a past-his-prime CF kinda makes me feel old. How long's he been in the league now?

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            • #7
              I think Griffey and Frank Thomas are both HOFers, despite both falling off the table.


              They were both dominating forces....with Griffey being the better overall and a 1st ballot HOFer based on his fielding prowess.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluenotebacker@Mar 29 2004, 12:15 PM
                Griffey Jr. being a past-his-prime CF kinda makes me feel old. How long's he been in the league now?
                Well, he's 34 this year...he's still considered 'in his prime'...

                "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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                • #9
                  Teal? That is Florida my friend. Just like the Sharkes colors. Seattle is more of a aqua marine.

                  Could care less where he goes though.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Guppy@Mar 29 2004, 12:23 PM
                    Teal? That is Florida my friend. Just like the Sharkes colors. Seattle is more of a aqua marine.

                    Could care less where he goes though.
                    Read the last part of the article

                    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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                    • #11
                      If only Griffey would use his gift of investigation for something worthwhile, like fighting crime.
                      If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 007+Mar 29 2004, 11:21 AM-->
                        QUOTE (007 @ Mar 29 2004, 11:21 AM)
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