Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner knows the Seattle Mariners better than anyone, and last night he completely nailed the whole Griffey sleeping in the clubhouse thing. It’s not the nap per se; it’s what it represents:
. . . the fact that two teammates would talk to a reporter about Junior being
asleep during a game is perhaps the more telling aspect of this story.
If Griffey really commanded the respect of the entire clubhouse, and
they loved having him around, no one talks about this to a member of the
media. But they did, and that they were willing to bring this up to
someone who they had to suspect would write about it suggests that
perhaps Griffey’s influence in the clubhouse either isn’t as great as
some would suggest, or perhaps more likely, that it only matters while a
player is producing.
The kicker: no one bothered to wake Griffey up. Cameron: “My guess is that most of them probably didn’t want him hitting in that
situation anyway, so maybe deep down, they feel like he did them a
My response to this story yesterday was that you need to cut Griffey or urge him to retire because you simply can’t be a Major League ballplayer and sleep on the job. Based on the comments to that post it’s quite obvious that many disagree with that sentiment and think that Griffey has earned the benefit of the doubt. Fair enough.
But he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt from his teammates. They’re totally fine with him sleeping on the job because it keeps him out of the batter’s box. And that’s far more damning for Griffey than the mere fact that he was snoozing during a ballgame.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.