View Full Version : Junior's Parents Battle Cancer..Grab A Tissue

08-17-2006, 07:55 AM

ST. LOUIS - Ken Griffey Jr. may or may not be in the lineup today when the Reds wrap up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

His mother, Birdie, will make the call.

"It's up to her," Griffey said. "If she wants me there, I'll be there."

Birdie is undergoing surgery for colon cancer today in Orlando, Fla.

Griffey is going through one of the more trying periods of his life. He found out about his mother's condition shortly after learning his father, Ken Sr., was suffering from prostate cancer.

"Not one parent but both your parents," he said. "It's been tough."

Griffey has known about his father's cancer for about a week and a half. He found out about his mother's a few days later. Ken Sr., 57, and Birdie are divorced.

Junior said not being with them has made it harder.

"You want to be able to look into their eyes and see if they're bending the truth," Griffey said.

He was able to do that briefly.

Griffey Sr. showed up in Philadelphia for the final game of the Reds' series with the Phillies last Sunday.

Senior and Junior then flew to Orlando on Monday's off day. Junior was able to see Birdie while in Orlando.

Reds manager Jerry Narron said Griffey is free to leave the club at any time.

"I talked to him about taking Monday and Tuesday," Narron said. "He didn't want to do it. I think his mother doesn't want him to."

Ken Sr. and Birdie are getting treated in the Orlando area, where Junior makes his off-season home.

The course of Ken Sr.'s treatment hasn't been determined yet.

"He might not have to have surgery," Ken Jr. said.

Griffey is struggling this year at the plate as much as he ever has in his career. How much this has to do with his parents is hard to say.

"He wouldn't be human if it didn't affect him," Narron said.

Griffey's batting average through Tuesday's game was .242, 51 points below his career average entering this season.

He said he was unconcerned whether fans think talking about his family concerns looks like an excuse for his struggles on the field.

"Who cares?" he said. "People are going to assume what they want to assume. I can't control what people say."

Griffey remains his usual upbeat self around his teammates, laughing and joking.

"But it's tough," he said. "But I can't compare what I went through with what Barry (Bonds) went through."

Bonds, a friend of Griffey's, watched his father, Bobby, succumb to cancer last year.

"He knew what was going to happen," Griffey said.

Uncertainty is difficult as well.

"They're seeing this doctor, that doctor," Griffey said.

Concentrating on his game obviously is not easy in times like this.

"I go out there and try to do the best job I can," he said. "I've got a responsibility to the guys in this locker room. We deal with it the best we can."

Junior my thoughts and prayers are with you and your friends and family!

08-17-2006, 11:29 AM
yes i have many prayers sent his way as well.. so please if you can understand what he is going thru and gone thru it yourself, it WILL efect him.. so dont judge him on his play.. i think it helped getting it out to his teammates last night he was smiling and homered..

08-17-2006, 11:36 AM
another reason why the reds should play there butts off his for junior get this man a ring after all he's been threw

08-17-2006, 12:08 PM
My wife's dad died of cancer last year, and it really takes a toll on who you are as a professional and a person seeing a loved one get sick.