Griffey on shoulders

The Mariners have hired Ken Griffey Jr.


The Mariners have issued a release announcing that Ken Griffey Jr. has been hired as a special consultant to the club.  Griffey “will be involved in numerous areas of the Mariners franchise, including, but not limited to, Major League Baseball Operations, player development, our minor league system marketing, broadcasting and community relations.”

That seems like a lot of responsibilities for a dude who can’t make it through a game without napping.

Don’t look at me like that. You were thinking it too.

More seriously, I would love to see a study of “special assistant” jobs in Major League Baseball.  I bet the vast majority of them are kind of do-nothing jobs. Which is totally cool, because it’s more about maintaining the association with greats from the franchise, and it sounds way better than saying “we’re going to just have the old Hall of Famer hanging around at high profile functions.”  But I really am curious to see if any of the ex-greats who get special assistant jobs really attack them. Show up at the office, go to meetings, chip in to the coffee fund and all of that.

I bet Jim Thome will someday.  Really, if he’s ever a special assistant to the Twins or the White Sox or Indians or wherever I bet he’ll buy a business casual wardrobe and everything. Car pool. The whole bit.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.

Royals leave Jonny Gomes off playoff roster

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.

First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.

It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.

Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.