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View Full Version : Baseball doesn't rule Griffey's life



savafan
03-19-2008, 08:14 PM
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080319/SPORTS/803190455/-1/newssitemap

By Doug Fernandes

SARASOTA You approach Ken Griffey Jr., sitting in front of his locker, and your inquisitive compass points in one direction.

Baseball. You ask the Reds' right fielder about his new manager, Dusty Baker. You ask about his assault on 600 career home runs.

You ask what continues to motivate a 38-year-old who's accomplished what few before him have, and if winning a World Series remains his one unrealized goal.

Griffey provides answers, but the responses are muted, often fragmented, as though he's bored with the line of questioning.

"Every time I go somewhere, what do people want to talk about?'' he asks. "Baseball.''

It's probably always been this way, ever since Griffey first starred at Cincinnati's Moeller High School.

Baseball and Griffey. Griffey and baseball. Inextricably linked, a marriage of superstar and sport.

You try again. Surely hitting 600 home runs will mean something, won't it?

"That's not important,'' he says. "It's more important for everyone else outside this locker room. I don't go home thinking, 'Oh, man, I'm this, I'm that.'

"I got other stuff I got to worry about.''

You have an idea what this other stuff is. So you change course, put down the baseball questions and pick up the ones assured to spark the discussion.

You ask about Griffey's children -- Trey, age 14; Taryn, age 12; Tevyn, age 5.

It works. Junior, often engaging, is now engaged.

"It ain't about me,'' he says. "It's about the relationship I have with my kids, that's the most important thing. Because there's not a whole lot of people who have that.

"Baseball is, yes, a small part of my life. But my kids are going to be with me through my whole life. As a dad, I owe it to them to be there as much as possible.''

Following that afternoon's game, Griffey will drive to Tampa. Taryn is playing there in an AAU basketball game.

"When I'm a fan, I sit away from everybody to watch my kid play. I'm like everybody else, my main focus is on them.''

The game before, the Reds played at night. Had it been a day game, Griffey would have showered afterward, dressed and driven to Orlando, his home, to watch Trey play a junior high basketball game.

"I would have watched the game,'' he says, "driven back and got back around 1:30.''

A superior baseball talent, Griffey might be a more exceptional father.

And not just with his own children. Several days ago, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an Ohio child suffering from cancer got to visit Sarasota, watch a Reds' game and spend some time with Griffey.

Ten or 15 minutes probably would have satisfied the child.

Griffey stayed two hours.

During the season, arranging family time can be tough. If Griffey is playing in a city with familial ties, he'll have his three children and wife, Melissa, join him.

It's during the offseason when these bonds are strengthened. On Saturdays, the kids play football or basketball, and a member of the Griffey clan -- either Junior, his wife, his mom, dad or brother -- will be on hand.

"There's going to be a section of Griffeys somewhere,'' he says.

But Sundays are for golf. Or paintball. Or bowling. Or tennis. Or go-karts.

All of it, all in the family.

"There's not a day when we're like, 'Aahhh,''' he says. "Usually I pick the event. They know I'm going to win. I always pick sports I know I'm going to win.''

Such as paintball. And why shouldn't Griffey win? He paid $2,000 for his gun.

Actually, his children all have the same gun. Melissa included.

"Just that her's is pink,'' he says.

The object of paintball is to capture the flag, usually hung in the middle of the course.

That's the usual objective. Just not Junior's objective. Or Taryn's.

"No, we try to eliminate everybody,'' he says. "We don't even go for the flag.''

Go-karts might be the children's favorite activity. That's because dad doesn't always take home the checkered flag.

"Only because their go-karts are lighter,'' he says. "My car is faster. I have my own car. We all do.''

If Junior paid $2,000 for a paintball gun, how much did he fork over for his go-kart, which is brought to the track on a trailer?

"Enough.''

So to Ken Griffey Jr.'s kids, he's dad. But when they're around Ken Griffey Jr., future Hall of Famer, at least two of them know the drill.

"The two older ones understand what I've done,'' he says, "but the youngest one, he's like, 'Why are they looking at you like that? Why are they having you sign that?

"'And why are you messing up my time?'"

Don't worry, Tevyn.

Guaranteed, daddy will make it up.

M2
03-19-2008, 09:36 PM
Jr.'s a well-adjusted guy. Sounds like he's a great father.

But if you want to win baseball games, I prefer win-obsessed egomaniacs like Pete Rose, dysfunctional guys who respond to losses with murderous rage.

MartyFan
03-19-2008, 09:46 PM
How many times can this story be written?

I think this has to be the 10th or maybe millionth time I've read about how Junior can come off this way when you talk baseball and this way when you talk about his kids...blah, blah, blah.

I am glad he loves his kids and is investing his time and life in them...but they will leave him one day too and then it'll be just him and the wife...hope he is investing as much time in her as he is the kids.

Just a thought.

WMR
03-19-2008, 09:51 PM
Jr.'s a well-adjusted guy. Sounds like he's a great father.

But if you want to win baseball games, I prefer win-obsessed egomaniacs like Pete Rose, dysfunctional guys who respond to losses with murderous rage.

No kidding!!!!

Give me the win obsessed ball player any day.

RANDY IN INDY
03-19-2008, 09:58 PM
I'll take Griffey's performance, any day, over the win obsessed player that doesn't have his abilities. Talent wins ballgames.

M2
03-19-2008, 10:07 PM
I'll take Griffey's performance, any day, over the win obsessed player that doesn't have his abilities. Talent wins ballgames.

I'm going to go on record saying Pete Rose also had talent.

cincrazy
03-19-2008, 10:12 PM
Sign me up for Pete Rose and Ken Griffey Jr., thank you very much :)

WMR
03-19-2008, 10:18 PM
I'll take Griffey's performance, any day, over the win obsessed player that doesn't have his abilities. Talent wins ballgames.

Well, duh.

The point is, all things being equal, give me the guy who gets pissed at the mere idea of losing baseball games and is obsessed with winning baseball games.

savafan
03-19-2008, 10:38 PM
I am glad he loves his kids and is investing his time and life in them...but they will leave him one day too and then it'll be just him and the wife...hope he is investing as much time in her as he is the kids.

Just a thought.

Really? I wouldn't say I ever left my parents. I wouldn't say that I ever will either. Just sayin'

gm
03-19-2008, 10:40 PM
It will be interesting to see where Junior winds up, if the Reds decide not to exercise his option in '09. As important as his family is to him, I expect he'll try to "engineer" a deal with a team that trains near Orlando. As long as Hhis kids are still young, I don't see him rejoining the Mariners, or packing for spring training out in Arizona. Not if he can help it, anyway. Next offseason could be a repeat of 2000.

RedlegJake
03-20-2008, 01:14 AM
Really? I wouldn't say I ever left my parents. I wouldn't say that I ever will either. Just sayin'

Amen. My kids are still a big part of my life -as are my grandkids. They may move to a home of their own but they never really leave you. And you might ask Griffey Senior about that, too. Junior's never really left him, he just got married and made Senior's family that much bigger...

might also remark I never get tired of these kind of stories -

and yes I'd like an egomaniacal force on the team to spark it but Rose and Griffey Sr. did pretty well together. Having the one doesn't mean you can't have the other. In fact, without Senior and Doggie's laid back styles to even the keel the egos of Bench and Rose might have been a problem rather than a force. The great thing about the BRM that gets overlooked isn't just the raw talent but the exceptional blend and balance of personalities and leadership they had as a team.

George Anderson
03-20-2008, 01:24 AM
and yes I'd like an egomaniacal force on the team to spark it but Rose and Griffey Sr. did pretty well together. Having the one doesn't mean you can't have the other. In fact, without Senior and Doggie's laid back styles to even the keel the egos of Bench and Rose might have been a problem rather than a force.


I remember one of Perez's sons saying that their dad never took the game home. You could never tell if he had a good day or a bad day at the park.

I think over the course of a 162 game season more often than not thats the way to go. Not that you should enjoy losing, but why sulk, gripe and moan day in and day out when alot of times you have little control of what happened.

paulrichjr
03-20-2008, 10:29 AM
OK I'm not trying to hijack this thread with a negative story but my son came to me a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I knew this about Griffey and I said that I didn't (I didn't believe it at first). I was shocked that this isn't mentioned everytime a story is made about him (glad it isn't). Again I am not trying to be negative but instead am amazed that this part of Griffey's life isn't discussed more... (My son found this on Wikipedia)


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DB163EF935A25750C0A9649582 60
Griffey Jr. Recalls Attempted Suicide



Published: March 16, 1992

As a teen-ager, Ken Griffey Jr. seemed to have it made. He was the eldest son of a baseball star, in a well-to-do family, and talented enough to be picked first in baseball's amateur draft.

But Griffey Jr., now an All-Star outfielder with the Seattle Mariners, said growing up wasn't easy. In fact, he said, life was so bad he tried to kill himself at age 17.

Griffey recounted the incident in a recent interview with The Seattle Times, which published the story Sunday.

"It seemed like everyone was yelling at me in baseball, then I came home and everyone was yelling at me there," he recalled. "I got depressed. I got angry. I didn't want to live."

In January 1988, Griffey said, he swallowed 277 aspirin by his own count and wound up in intensive care at Providence Hospital in Mount Airy, Ohio.

Griffey said he agreed to make the story public in the hope it might dissuade others from seeing suicide as a solution.

RANDY IN INDY
03-20-2008, 10:37 AM
Well, duh.

The point is, all things being equal, give me the guy who gets pissed at the mere idea of losing baseball games and is obsessed with winning baseball games.

There are all kinds of personalities in the game. I don't think the
"pissed at the mere idea of losing baseball games and is obsessed with winning baseball games," attitude necessarily makes a player produce any better. None of them like to lose. Heck, Griffey made that abundantly clear about his own personality when he was talking about paintball, go-carts and all the other off field activities that he participates in. Sounds to me like the guy wants to win at everything that he does, but I don't think he is going to jump off a bridge if he doesn't.

Roy Tucker
03-20-2008, 11:34 AM
"Baseball is, yes, a small part of my life.

I like Junior and think he's a great dad and a great guy.

However, all of his good fortune, wonderful homes, cushy lifestyle, never wanting for a thing, etc etc has all come from baseball.

If he couldn't hit a baseball, he'd be a working schlub just like all the rest of us, living from paycheck to paycheck, getting hit by the price of gas, worrying about the house payment, etc etc.

I understand what his point is, but I think baseball has been a little more than a smart part of Juniors life.

princeton
03-20-2008, 11:36 AM
I prefer win-obsessed egomaniacs like Pete Rose, dysfunctional guys who respond to losses with murderous rage.

Homer..?

M2
03-20-2008, 11:54 AM
Homer..?

Sounds like Cueto's the red ass among the prospect set, the guy who's driven to succeed in the game. Supposedly Homer can take or leave baseball.

OnBaseMachine
03-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Sounds like Cueto's the red ass among the prospect set, the guy who's driven to succeed in the game. Supposedly Homer can take or leave baseball.

Supposedly Edinson Volquez is considered to have a strong work ethic and fiery, hate to lose type attitude also.

princeton
03-20-2008, 12:16 PM
Sounds like Cueto's the red ass among the prospect set, the guy who's driven to succeed in the game. Supposedly Homer can take or leave baseball.


Cueto may not have Homer's dysfunctionality. Need to retarget that man's problems.

Pete would recommend sending him to the track.

Chip R
03-20-2008, 12:29 PM
Pete would recommend escorting him to the track.


Fixed that for you.

Highlifeman21
03-20-2008, 09:37 PM
Cueto may not have Homer's dysfunctionality. Need to retarget that man's problems.

Pete would recommend sending him to the track.

Nothing helps you gain finer clarity over your life than boxed exactas, trifectas, and superfectas.