The brouhaha over whether Ken Griffey jr. was asleep in the clubhouse last Saturday is deflecting attention away from the critical question, which is: why are the Mariners bats asleep in Seattle and elsewhere? When the Mariners GM and owner lured Griffey back to Seattle with a reasonably generous one-year renewable contract, it wasn’t to perform miracles. The once stellar and youthful All-Star outfielder and slugger is a forty year-old injury-ridden DH; a shell of his former self. Griffey’s presence on the team is more of inspiration, not perspiration, and he is more of a legendary and living team mascot than the Mariner Moose could ever be.
It is more serious than playing jokes on Ichiro or be featured in a few commercials, but in a more practical sense, it is about increasing ticket sells and good PR with the “GRIFFEY” name brand and hometown recognition. So don’t point the finger at Ken Griffey jr. for the failure of the Mariners to win more games, despite having one of the best pitching rosters in Major League Baseball. Of course, when things are not going as expected, someone has to get the blame, and it appears that at this point, Ken Griffey jr. is the one. As far as his future with the team, Griffey is in the batter’s box with a full count, waiting for the next pitch. Griffey will walk before the season’s end or retire thereafter. Either way, “Thanks for the memories and we still love you Junior.”
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
May 12, 2010