View Full Version : Great article on Griffey
06-07-2006, 07:06 AM
Just a reminder of who he is and how lucky we are as Reds fans to have him on our team to cheer for and enjoy.
I found this article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch...
The thing with Jr is that he still has the passion for the game. You can see it.
No one denies that Jr, or any ballplayer, when they reach age 36, has lost a step. He's not the Jr of several years ago - that's obvious.
But IMO, a "lost a step" Jr still plays the game alot smarter then alot of OFers I've seen.
And I thoroughly love watching players like Jr, who due to the injuries and the list of doubters, play the game, not to go after records, but to prove his doubters wrong.
To me, that is what drives/motivates Jr the most any more.
He already has the records and HOF birth with nothing else to prove.
06-07-2006, 09:21 AM
But what about the $$$$$$ surely we can rid ourselves of the first ballot HOFer for some 10% chance AAA pitcher that may or may not help up 3 yrs down the road, right?!?!
Im sorry, but you dont get rid of one of the best the game has ever seen for some off chance we may or may not get a Jason Schmidt clone. No way in heck...im fed up with the talk surrounding it.
Seriously, one of baseball's best it has ever seen ...
06-07-2006, 10:23 AM
Whenever people talk about the Reds not getting enough respect, I want to point to Griffey. I truly can't think of a better-loved player across the board at this point. Even the boos that Narron mentions in the article come, I think, from a bizarre place of respect -- I only hear him booed at Wrigley when he makes a great catch or hits a home run. Apart from that, I don't know a soul who doesn't adore him, to the point where all non-Reds fans I know are even far more blind to his shortcomings than we are.
Everybody remembers what he looked like in the 90s and what a joy it was to watch him play. The quintessential ballplayer in every way. The injuries are sad and he's definitely lost some speed and defense, but there is a part of almost every game when he still looks exactly like the player he was. Throw in the consistency of his character and and you've got a player who is going to keep the love and respect of the public for a long time. I'd rather not trade Griffey, but I'm not 100% averse to it if it comes to that. But I do think we are very lucky to have him while we do.
06-07-2006, 10:55 AM
By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The life cycle of modern public celebrity can sometimes last about as long as an infant's attention span. In this short-term world of ours, Taylor Hicks is an American Idol on the top CD shelf, while Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits collect dust in the sale bin. We forget way too easily. Our minds wander off the greatest and only zero in on the latest.
So it might come as somewhat of a jolt to our memory-challenged sports culture to find that Ken Griffey Jr. - a genuine baseball golden oldie - is no longer gathering dust in the sports discard file. Inside noisy Busch Stadium on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds slugger hit all the high notes on his sensational baseball revival tour. He launched two home runs into the right-field seats, the second one a stunning three-run blast that won the game for the Reds off Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen in the ninth inning.
We almost forgot how sweet he could be. We almost forgot how cool he looked standing so tall at the plate, waggling his black bat like some lighter-than-air magic wand. We almost forgot how someone with such an effortless, elegant swing could generate so much instant long-ball power. If Albert Pujols' home-run swing is a frightening explosion of raw thunder, than Griffey's is more like a cracking buggy whip.
And we almost forgot that wherever Pujols ultimately travels on his rising journey as the best player in baseball, Griffey's already walked that road with distinction. He's a former American League MVP; he owns 10 Golden Glove awards; he's been voted an All-Star starter 12 times; he's the youngest member of MLB's All-Century team. And while he might not be ready to reclaim his title as baseball's best player, but he's more than anxious to at least stimulate our memories with the way things used to be.
"I can't believe it, but when we go on the road sometimes, you actually hear people boo him," said Reds manager Jerry Naron. "I think people really have forgotten who he is and what he's done and how he did it. But if there ever was a guy who should be cheered everywhere he goes, it's gotta be him."
If case you've forgotten, with 546 career home runs, Griffey is only three homers shy of passing Mike Schmidt (548) for 11th place on the career list. He's done all of this in spite of missing the equivalent of roughly 2 1/2 seasons due to a long list of torn muscles and broken bones. Yet the oft-injured 36-year-old center fielder is healthy again, held together by more metal rivets than the girders holding up the Busch Stadium light towers. "I got three titanium screws in my backside and a few more in my ankle," he chuckled as he stood in front of his locker stall in the visitors clubhouse late Monday night. "That's what's holding me all together now."
In the so-called post-steroid era of baseball, it's important to remember that Griffey collected all his power numbers without even the slightest hint of performance-enhancing drugs hovering over him. They used to call him "The Natural" as a tribute to his wondrous athletic gifts. Yet in these troubled and suspicious times in the majors, the moniker takes on an entirely new - and decidedly significant - meaning.
"It's a shame there's a cloud over so many people in baseball," Naron said, "but there's not a single cloud in the sky over him. He's the Natural in every sense of the word. He's done it the right way, the natural way, the good old fashioned way."
So while Barry Bonds goes about his joyless pursuit of Henry Aaron's all-time home run record of 755, Griffey lingers in the distance, within reasonable striking distance of 600 home runs and maybe more. They teach us in the sports writing business not to cheer. Yet sometimes you find yourself compelled to root for good guys and sneer at genuine villains. Ken Griffey's one of the good guys, which is why he will be universally celebrated if he can stay healthy and keep hitting them deep.
06-07-2006, 11:45 AM
Very nice article. I love Jr. Griffey.
06-07-2006, 12:57 PM
Great article about my alltime favorite player. Thank you for putting it here.
06-07-2006, 01:00 PM
This is my favorite line of the column...
"We almost forgot how cool he looked standing so tall at the plate, waggling his black bat like some lighter-than-air magic wand."
06-07-2006, 08:28 PM
I didn't know about the screws in the ankle. Judging by that he is on his way to becoming the bionic man.
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