Report: Ken Griffey Jr. to retire or be released sometime this month

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Ken Griffey Jr. swing.jpgA 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.

Dodgers trade A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.

Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:

Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.

Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.

Jose Bautista returns from the disabled list

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jayshits a two-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.

Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.

Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.