With each passing day the events surrounding Ken Griffey Jrs. alleged mid-game snooze are becoming less and less clear in the eyes of many within the sport.
Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said that Ken Griffey Jr. was not asleep in the clubhouse in the eighth inning last Saturday night, he was indeed on the bench and available to pinch-hit, contradicting parts of a story that appeared in The Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune on Monday.
In case you yourself were napping and missed it The News Tribune story quoted two young players, who spoke off the record, saying that Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse during the game Saturday night.
When asked whether he was asleep in the clubhouse, Griffey was vague. He didn’t answer the specific question but said, “I wish they [the unnamed players] had been man enough to talk to me.”
Upon being asked if Griffey had been asleep in the clubhouse during the game Saturday night, Wakamatsu said Tuesday, “He wasn’t asleep. He was available to pinch hit and I chose not to use him as the manager.”
Before Tuesday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Mariners held a players-only meeting. A club source said the meeting was organized by Mike Sweeney and “was 100 percent about Griffey” and was designed to support Griffey.
The source said that Griffey was upset and hurt by the story and cried briefly during the meeting. Sweeney chastised the anonymous young players for speaking about something that had happened in the clubhouse, in essence challenging the clubhouse Deep Throats to a fight, according to the source.
And therein lies the rub.
If Griffey was indeed NOT asleep and available then where was the need to chastise these younger players? What clubhouse incident were they relaying to the world that justified this admonishment?
There is absolutely nothing that makes sense in the teams statements and the whole thing smells fishier than the Pike Place Fish Market.
The incident continues to make waves as each day goes by.
After the Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, winning pitcher Cliff Lee started to address the media, then stopped and said he could not continue until the reporter from The Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune left.
Other Mariners players followed suit with the newspaper at their lockers, according to Seattle-area media reports.
Look, I don’t want to admonish anyone for being a good team mate and looking out for one of their guys.
The sanctity of the clubhouse is one of the values held most dear across Major League Baseball and the Mariners can’t be happy that two of their teammates allegedly violated that trust while creating a big media controversy in the process.
But from all appearances the events outlined in the initial report seem to be in all likelihood fairly accurate, meaning the Mariners are doing nothing more than killing the messenger here.
So Seattle’s management keep giving your contradictory statements. Cliff Lee Go on blackballing the reporter who wrote the piece. Mike Sweeney keep offering up “stitches for the snitches”. All y’all just keep doin’ your thing.
But if your trying to sell me that their is little or no truth to the initial story just know that I’m not buying it.
Are the winds of change about to blow through the greater northwest sometime soon?
According to reports surfacing out of Seattle today that “the Kid” has been behaving a whole lot more like a tired old man lately, possibly lending some truth to the some rumblings in the Emerald City.
Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. missed a chance to enter an unspecified game last week as a pinch hitter because he was asleep in the clubhouse, according to a report from the Tacoma News Tribune .
When pressed following the game as to why he had not used the left-handed slugger as a pinch hitter, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was more than just a little bit evasive.
But according to two unnamed younger Seattle players who are both fond of Griffey, the future Hall of Famer had fallen asleep.
“He was asleep in the clubhouse,” one player told the Tribune. “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 second player, who is reported to know Griffey better, added that the scuffling slugger has had difficulty sleeping at home.
“He doesn’t sleep well at night, he’s away from his family, he’s comfortable in the clubhouse,” he told the Tribune. “They could have awakened him.”
Maybe the fact that they didn’t is indicative of his current standing with the team.
Griffey is batting .208 with just five RBIs for a last-place Mariners club that has struggled mightily in trying to get runs across the plate this season.
Additionally, it’s also been noted by some that Griffey just doesn’t seem to care anymore. During games he’s known to go into the clubhouse, text friends, and watch the game on television.
Larry Larue of the Tacoma News Tribune speculates that Ken Griffey, Jr. will probably lose his DH spot in the lineup by the end of the week and his roster spot by the end of the month.
While it’s all speculation, when you are sniffing the Mendoza Line with no home runs and an impossibly low .234 slugging percentage the clock is ticking. When you compound the problem with a perceived apathy for the game, your time on said clock is further limited.
The Mariners have no offense whatsoever and just fired their hitting coach because of it. Milton Bradley is taking a leave of absence, further hampering the offense.
While it wouldn’t be entirely shocking, an outright release of Junior would be sad in the sense that the Seattle Mariners would be letting go of their best player of all time (sorry, Jay Buhner).
It’s certainly not hard to believe this will happen, but most baseball fans will say it’s a bit hard to stomach—not because the Mariners are mistreating Griffey, but simply because retirement or release will close the book on what once looked to be the most promising career of the past 20 years.
Sadly, all things indeed do come to an end. It appears the days of admiring “the Kid” can now be counted amongst them.
So far this season has been, shall we say, “uncomfortable” for the Boston Red Sox and their fans.
The pitchers being paid tens of millions of dollars to get people out aren’t getting people out. The hitters making tens of millions of dollars aren’t hitting, and the fielders on this team supposedly built to prevent runs are seemingly providing Boston’s opponents with 30 outs a game.
Simply put, this team has been terrible.
So far this team has already gone 6-11 versus the A.L. East, 1-8 versus the Yankees and Rays (all of the games having been at home) and lost 4 of 5 games on their own field to the rival Yankees by a combined score of of 40-20. As bad as that sounds, when you consider that 9 of those 20 runs came in the very first game of the season it actually gets WORSE.
What should be absolutely frightening to Red Sox Nation is that one glance on the calender for the month of May shows it won’t get any better anytime soon.
After completion of this weekends series with the Yankees, Toronto brings one of the leagues best pitching staffs into Fenway for a 3 game set. That will be followed by a five game road trip to Detroit and New York (May 14-18), a quick two game set back in Fenway vs. the A.L. Central leading Twins, 3 games on the road in Philadelphia (May 21-23) as Inter-league play kicks off, 3 games versus Tampa @ Tropicana Field and finally closing the month with a 4 game series against the Royals back home at Fenway.
In fact, it’s not like the rest of the season gets much better for the team in terms of schedule relief. The simple fact of the matter is the Red Sox had an early schedule that put the team in the perfect position to get off to a good start, possibly even building somewhat of a little lead in the division. They played a disproportionate number of games at home, many of them against their biggest rivals.
Now, because of this squandered opportunity, they face the prospect of overcoming sizable deficits in the standings, and doing all of that work on the road. That is not good news.
This team struggled mightily on the road last season, posting a losing record. It is a team that doesn’t exactly play it’s finest baseball away from the friendly confines of Fenway Park.
They need to look no further than last season’s Tampa Bay Rays for a glimpse of what thier future may have in store for them.
A year ago, the Rays got off to the same type of bad start as the Red Sox, stumbling to a 23-27 start. From May 29 through Aug. 5, the Rays went 37-21, the third-best record in the majors, pulling within three games of the Sox and 5 1/2 of the Yankees. But then they faded, going 24-30 the rest of the way.
The Sox, a much older club, are even more unlikely to sustain such a taxing charge. This year’s Rays & Yankees do not figure to maintain their 120 win pace, but even when they come back to earth a bit it will still require the Sox to play at that kind of pace just to make up the lost ground.
The Red Sox have to get hot and they have to get hot now.
One can no longer get away with saying it’s too early for Red Sox fans to panic about their team’s struggles — and “struggles” is an understatement — at this point in the 2010 campaign.
The clock is ticking – in more ways than one.