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.