A pretty major story from Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News-Tribune in which it is reported that the Seattle Mariners will soon urge Ken Griffey, Jr. to retire, and if he doesn’t they’ll release him, most likely this month.
LaRue says “the end is near” for Griffey. The reasons: For one thing, obvious lack of performance. He’s at .205/.265/.234 in 77 at-bats this season with only two extra-base hits
and zero home runs. The man simply can’t hit anymore, as it’s plain to anyone who can read a stat sheet or watch a baseball game. This, of course, is not shocking. More shocking:
Last week, when some members of the press corps asked
manager Don Wakamatsu why he hadn’t used Griffey as a pinch hitter for
Rob Johnson late in a game, Waskamatsu was vague.
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.”
For a man whose value at this point in his career was supposed to be his veteran presence and stability, that’s shockingly poor behavior.
The Mariners just fired their hitting coach. If they insist on keeping Griffey around they could offer him that job. If not, they should make him an ultimatum: quit or be fired. Because there is no place on a Major League roster for someone who pulls crap like that.
Even a Hall of Famer.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.