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Unassisted
05-06-2008, 01:35 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/reds/2008-05-05-griffey_N.htm


Griffey's days in Cincinnati may be numbered
By Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY

Ken Griffey Jr. (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1533), playfully yelling moments earlier from his corner of the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse, suddenly is talking in almost a whisper before a game last weekend in Atlanta.

It is flat and unemotional, reflecting no remorse or bitterness about a nine-year-old decision that dramatically altered his career.

"I wouldn't change anything," says Griffey, who was traded to the Reds on Feb. 10, 2000. "I had to leave Seattle when I did. I just had to. They know the real reason why I left."

More than eight years after departing Seattle, it might be time to leave again, perhaps returning to the Northwest.

"It's everybody's dream to go back where they started," the 38-year-old right fielder says. "Everybody who plays the game would love to go out the way they see fit."

Griffey, raised in Cincinnati and a direct descendant of the Big Red Machine, has 597 home runs, three shy of becoming the sixth player in history to hit 600. Three players — Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays — are in the Hall of Fame. The other two, Barry Bonds (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1448) and Sammy Sosa (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1538), have been linked to illegal performance-enhancing drug use and will await their fate when eligible.

"You're talking about one of the greatest achievements in baseball history," says Atlanta Braves starter Tom Glavine (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1488), who got his 300th win last season. "I have such a great appreciation for who (Griffey) is, what he's done, and that he's done it the right way."

If Griffey reaches the milestone during the Reds' three-game homestand that started Monday against the Chicago Cubs, instead of a citywide celebration, Griffey's 600th home run might result in little more than a farewell present.

"We're in a tough situation here," says Griffey, whose team improved to 13-20 with Monday's 5-3 win against the Cubs. "We either turn things around or they start getting rid of everybody around here.

"My situation is different only because I can tell them where I want to go. I want to be in position to win a championship. I'm not strong-arming anybody, but that's the way it is."

Griffey, who enters today hitting .229 with four home runs and 15 RBI, says he expects the Reds to approach him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline seeking his approval for a trade.

He is eligible to hit the market as a free agent for the first time in his 20-year career after the season if the Reds don't pick up his $16 million option for 2009.

There have been no negotiations, much less any discussion. If the Reds, with one winning season in the last decade, aren't in contention, Griffey could be jettisoned for newer and younger faces.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty says it's too early to discuss plans of retooling the team.

The Mariners, who watched the love-fest between their fans and Griffey last year when he returned to Seattle for interleague play for the first time, say they want Griffey back.

"I think everybody in Seattle would like to see him retire in a Mariners uniform," Mariners President Chuck Armstrong says. "He was born a Mariner. And I'd like to see him finish up as a Mariner.

"I can't say much because he is property of the Cincinnati Reds, but he always will have a special place in my heart, and everyone here in Seattle."

'Who should we trade?'

Griffey broke into the major leagues in 1989 at 19 and spent the next decade putting the Mariners on the baseball map. He was selected for 10 consecutive years to the All-Star Game, won 10 Gold Gloves and was named the 1997 American League MVP. The Mariners, who reached the playoffs for the first time in 1995, were transformed from a laughingstock to one of baseball's premier franchises.

Griffey says he could still be in Seattle if not for a simple question.
When it became clear the Mariners were going to have difficulty re-signing both Griffey and Alex Rodriguez (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1981), a team official approached Griffey and asked, "Who should we trade?"

"I refused to answer," says Griffey, who declined to name the official. "That was not my job. So they went and asked the next person.

"I got traded. He stayed one year. Then he left too."

Griffey never mentioned Rodriguez by name, but it was A-Rod who left a year later in December 2000, signing a record 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and then-GM Pat Gillick met with Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras after talking with Griffey and released a statement that Rodriguez "expressed his keen desire to play the 2000 season as a Mariner and explore his free agent options at the end of the season."

"Money had nothing to do with me" leaving, says Griffey, adding he was offered an eight-year, $138 million extension from the Mariners.
He wound up signing a nine-year, $116.5 million deal with Cincinnati, deferring $57.5 million in hope that the Reds would be able to build a championship club around him. It never happened.

Griffey helped lead the Reds to an 85-77 record in 2000, but it turned out to be their last winning season. Griffey has struggled with injuries, going on the disabled list eight times and missing 436 games since 2001. And the Reds, with attendance plummeting by a half-million since Griffey's first year, have gone through six managers, four general managers, two ownership groups and two ballparks.

"I know there's been frustration, but as much time as I've spent over the years with Kenny, never once have I heard him complain about the number of injuries he had," says Brian Goldberg, Griffey's agent. "Never once has he said, 'If I hadn't gotten hurt, I could have done this or done that.' "
Despite the injuries, Griffey leads active major leaguers in career homers, RBI, runs and total bases.

"To get to 600 home runs, and for him to have all of these accomplishments, are great," Ken Griffey Sr. says, "but I'd rather see him get a ring. … I've got three. I want to see him get at least one.

"That would mean more to him than anything else."

Going his own way
Even though Griffey has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, he still suffers the consequences.

The names of Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens (http://fantasybaseball.usatoday.com/content/player.asp?sport=MLB&id=1417), two of the game's biggest stars, appeared in former senator George Mitchell's investigative report on performance-enhancing drugs. It's as if the public, Goldberg says, has been "desensitized because of all of the allegations out there."

"I remember when Pete (Rose) broke Ty Cobb's record, and there were all of these fireworks and celebration," Griffey says. "They stopped the game for 20 minutes. Cal (Ripken) broke the (consecutive games played) record and did a lap around the ballpark.

"These days, you tip your cap, and that's about it."

Griffey says he suspected widespread doping in the game but was never tempted to talk about it publicly. He knew he could look himself in the mirror each day, and he wasn't about to risk his principles, much less his health.

"They made their decisions, I made mine," Griffey says. "You can't worry about what people do and don't do. You have to do what's best for you.
"You can't just go around accusing people of things. You can see somebody buy it. You can see them put it in their car, transport it and see them put it on the table. But that doesn't mean he used it. You don't know unless you actually see a person do it."

The game itself, Griffey says, remains as beautiful as ever. It has afforded him all of the luxuries he ever could have dreamed and a close-knit family life he always wanted. He and his wife, Melissa, and their three children live in a 33,000-square-foot home in the Orlando area, with 11 acres of land, and a bowling alley in the basement. He rides go-karts, plays basketball and wrestles with the kids, Trey (14), Taryn (12) and Tevin (6).
Trey, 5-11½, has grown 7 inches and gained 50 pounds in the last year and shares all of his dad's characteristics. He prefers basketball and football to baseball, but Griffey — believing that one day Trey could be the third generation of the family to reach the big leagues — refuses to let him play football unless he plays baseball, too.

Taryn is the star of her AAU basketball team, averaging 24 points and leading the team in rebounds and assists, Griffey says. Tevin is a middle linebacker in football, a "mini-Ray Lewis," Griffey says. And everyone wears No. 3, just like dad.

Griffey has a photographer who videotapes all of the kids' sporting events and school functions and sends them to Griffey to watch after returning home from games at night. Griffey shares in the discipline, too, taking away Trey's cellphone when he does wrong. And if it continues, the go-kart will be shut down, followed by his Xbox.

"I wish the go-kart would go first," Trey says, "because it doesn't work anyway. No spark plugs."

Family man first
Griffey will talk to reporters all day about his kids, but when it comes to his career, he becomes withdrawn. He is aware of the magnitude of his 600th home run but shuns the publicity.

"I don't get wrapped up in it," he says, "and the kids certainly aren't. When it's there, it's there."

One day, the home runs will stop. He'll be home for good. He's just not sure when.

"It'll come down to one of two things," Griffey says. "One, you can't do it no more. Or two, people stop calling. That's it.

"I don't want it to be like when I grew up, where my dad went from team to team and by the time he made his last move we were already grown. I want to be there for my family."

Griffey then looks at Trey, breaks into a smile and puts him in a headlock, shouting, "It's on!"

The home run pursuit, along with a potential trade, can wait. It's time to prove he still is king of the family, Griffey laughs, realizing those days might be numbered, too.

MartyFan
05-06-2008, 02:17 PM
Not because I don't like seeing him in a Reds uni, but only because it seems like something right in the universe for Junior to go play for the Mariners. The team is limping its way through the season. Junior is not the HR Machine he was so there is little momentum around this event.

Will the "publicity" of Junior hitting this milestone really help the Reds all that much? Wouldn't it be cool if the team could move him to Seattle prior to getting his 600th and because of the buzz that would create increase the value of the player returned to the Reds?

Matt700wlw
05-06-2008, 02:19 PM
There is very little if any buzz about Junior's 600th HR.

The fans are at the point now where they care more about watching a winning product than one man's latest milestone.

If this team were 20-13, and Junior was 3 away from 600, then there'd be a buzz about both.

Heath
05-06-2008, 02:19 PM
Nice to see that Bob Nightengale has interesting, new, and fresh ideas to which to write.

Kc61
05-06-2008, 02:26 PM
Griffey should move to a true contending team. But he will have to give some things up. Playing every day and hitting second or third. Facing left handed pitching. Playing the outfield frequently (he could be a DH someplace against righty pitching).

It doesn't seem like Griff has wanted to agree to these things so far. With most of the contending teams, he would have to.

danforsman
05-06-2008, 02:31 PM
Griffey's unquestionably a first ballot HOFer a, a legend of the sport and beloved by Cincinnati fans, but putting Jay Bruce in RF tonight and possibly changing the energy in the clubhouse and the prospects for the short-term future by winning more ballgames would be a welcome substitute for the Crawl for #600.

Best $/day advertising deal has to be for Waltz (sp?) countdown to 600. They may get three months of nightly ads - wonder what they paid?

WMR
05-06-2008, 02:34 PM
Griffey's unquestionably a first ballot HOFer a, a legend of the sport and beloved by Cincinnati fans, but putting Jay Bruce in RF tonight and possibly changing the energy in the clubhouse and the prospects for the short-term future by winning more ballgames would be a welcome substitute for the Crawl for #600.

Best $/day advertising deal has to be for Waltz (sp?) countdown to 600. They may get three months of nightly ads - wonder what they paid?

I'm sure it was negotiated on a per announcement basis for however long it takes Griff to reach 600. There's no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to buying advertising.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-06-2008, 02:34 PM
Nice to see that Bob Nightengale has interesting, new, and fresh ideas to which to write.

Same recycled article we've seen for years now.

Unassisted
05-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Same recycled article we've seen for years now.I disagree. Few of the previous incarnations have had so many direct quotes.

I think Griffey was just in a moribund, pensive state with the impending death of his best friend and Nightengale got him to open up more than usual about the past and a possible trade by discussing his kids.

MrCinatit
05-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Though I am a huge Griffey fan, I am resigned to the fact that he will be gone within a few months - and am one of those who believes it would be best for both parties.
Without Junior, perhaps Bruce finally gets his chance.
And, Junior really does deserve to play with a champion - and the Reds don't quite have what it takes to even make the playoffs (at least this year). The only thing is: Seattle isn't that team, either.

redsrule2500
05-06-2008, 02:42 PM
Tomorrows USA Today: Baseball has 9 innings!

:p:

Heath
05-06-2008, 02:44 PM
Well, after I slammed Nightengale's lack of new thought, my thing for Junior is to hit #600 here and trade him.

A team that could be interested is Detroit.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-06-2008, 02:45 PM
I disagree. Few of the previous incarnations have had so many direct quotes.

I think Griffey was just in a moribund, pensive state with the impending death of his best friend and Nightengale got him to open up more than usual about the past and a possible trade by discussing his kids.

Ok, same premise, newer quotes.

#600 can't come soon enough.

15fan
05-06-2008, 03:29 PM
When Junior gets going

(and he will)

the HRs come in bunches.

5/2007: 10 HRs in 111 ABs
6/2007: 10 HRs in 93 ABs.

That's 2 months of 1 HR per 10 ABs, starting exactly 1 year ago.

Look back at the last several Aprils. Junior hasn't been a fast starter:

April 2005: 1 HR in 82 ABs
April 2006: 2 HRs in 31 ABs
April 2007: 1 HR in 59 ABs
April 2008: 4 HRs in 98 ABs

He finished each season like this:

2005: 30 2Bs, 35 HRs in 128 games
2006: 19 2Bs, 27 HRs in 109 games
2007: 24 2Bs, 30 HRs in 144 games

Joseph
05-06-2008, 04:20 PM
I don't think any of us have exactly broken new ice in saying that we want whats best for the Reds and moving Junior is likely one of those things that needs to be done even if we all love having a superstar on our team.

I think its no revelation that moving him, and likely Dunn as well, will remove some of the old and give promise to the future. Yes both are productive in their own ways and no you can't just replace what they give, but sometimes things are addition by subtraction....again not a revelation.

Matt700wlw
05-06-2008, 04:22 PM
Tomorrows USA Today: Baseball has 9 innings!

:p:

Not always ;)

MartyFan
05-06-2008, 04:26 PM
I guess what I was asking or trying to get to was, does anyone think it would be a good move for the team to move Junior prior to #600?

Would it give the Mariners an extra incentive to trade a better quality prospect or MLB ready player for Junior because of the added publicity of Juniors chase for 600?

Just wondering.

Unassisted
05-06-2008, 04:30 PM
I guess what I was asking or trying to get to was, does anyone think it would be a good move for the team to move Junior prior to #600?
I do. Trading him prior to #600 enables the club that receives him to get an immediate and sustained splash out of the addition of Junior to the roster. It'll be like the attendance boost that the Reds received as he approached #500.

I doubt if the proximity to #600 increases the return on the trade. I think it merely opens the door to a trade and possibly means the Reds don't have to sweeten the deal so much. There may not be any interest if they wait until after #600.

Matt700wlw
05-06-2008, 04:31 PM
It's best for the organization to move him....

It doesn't matter when.

The return to me isn't as important as opening up a slot for Jay Bruce to play every day, since they felt Corey Patterson was a much better addition than giving Bruce the opportunity sooner.

KittyDuran
05-06-2008, 04:41 PM
Junior agent "chimes" in...
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080506/SPT04/305060062

Agent explains Jr. comments
BY SHANNON RUSSELL | SRUSSELL@ENQUIRER.COM

Ken Griffey Jr.’s recent comments to USA Today about potentially playing someday in Seattle have drawn national attention.

But the buzz is the product of an upcoming trade deadline and a poor Reds start – and nothing more, said his agent, Brian Goldberg.

The Reds’ foundering 13-20 record has many wondering what sort of lineup shakeups could happen.

Griffey also told USA Today in today’s editions that it’s “everybody’s dream to go back to where they started.”

The ninth-year Reds player is eligible to enter the market as a free agent after this season if the Reds don’t pick up his $16.5 million option for 2009, the paper said.

The USA Today story said he expects the Reds to approach him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline seeking his approval for a trade.

“We’re in a tough situation here. We either turn things around or they start getting rid of everybody around here,” Griffey told reporter Bob Nightengale.

“My situation is different only because I can tell them where I want to go. I want to be in position to win a championship. I’m not strong-arming anybody, but that’s the way it is.”

Goldberg said Tuesday that Griffey’s priority is to be part of a winning team – and he wants it to be in Cincinnati.

So does Griffey expect to be traded?

“I think 'expect’ is the wrong word,” Goldberg said. “I don’t think it will surprise him either way. It’s more of an unknown with the whole team.”

The Reds’ on-field struggles are the root of the recent speculations, he said.

“Because the team is playing so poorly, the natural inclination is to say the trade deadline is two months away. Not only Junior, but is (Adam) Dunn going to be gone?” Goldberg said. “I’m sure if the team was six or eight games over .500 right now, these would not be issues that are even talked about.”

As for Griffey’s comment about someday playing with the Mariners – which he also said when he returned to Seattle last June – well, they don’t necessarily mean any one thing.

“That’s a general comment,” Goldberg said. “That could mean anything from a ceremonial one-day contract to a final season or more.”

Griffey entered Tuesday’s game hitting .229 with five doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI. He’s three homers shy of becoming the sixth player in history to hit 600.

MartyFan
05-06-2008, 05:27 PM
I'd trade him prior to the mile stone, especially to the Mariners. I do think that it would help the return or lack of return on such a trade.

It would help us move Bruce into the OF and I DO BELIEVE that Bruce is a difference maker on this club...why?...because of the number of young players on this team, they have been team mates, competitors and friends before...it is their team, really.

fearofpopvol1
05-06-2008, 06:49 PM
Griffey's agent is a smart man. Those comments he made were very well stated.

Griffey leaving (which I do think is inevitable) is kind of one of those bittersweet things. Dunn and Griffey have been staples for the Reds for this decade so far. But, you do want to see Griffey have a shot at a ring and it's time for Bruce to take over so it's something that should happen.

I don't see any possible way though that Griffey gets traded before for 600. It's too big of a milestone, he's too big of a poster child for MLB, too much publicity (and probably money) involved. Not to mention, I don't think a trading partner would offer more to get Griffey before 600 either.

RedsManRick
05-06-2008, 06:57 PM
Imagine a Junior/Sheffield platoon in LF for the Tigers... keeps 'em both healthy. Most expensive platoon ever.

Spring~Fields
05-06-2008, 07:14 PM
I don't think any of us have exactly broken new ice in saying that we want whats best for the Reds and moving Junior is likely one of those things that needs to be done even if we all love having a superstar on our team.

I think its no revelation that moving him, and likely Dunn as well, will remove some of the old and give promise to the future. Yes both are productive in their own ways and no you can't just replace what they give, but sometimes things are addition by subtraction....again not a revelation.

:clap::clap::clap:

Deepred05
05-06-2008, 07:37 PM
Having lived in Seattle at the time of the Griffey trade, I did not realize how much he meant to that community till much later. He is the only sports legend they have ever had, with the exception of Rodriguez and Johnson who do not garner that much love from the locals. I think it would be fitting that Griffey end his career there.

gm
05-06-2008, 07:58 PM
Having lived in Seattle at the time of the Griffey trade, I did not realize how much he meant to that community till much later. He is the only sports legend they have ever had.

Steve Largent says :wave:

Highlifeman21
05-06-2008, 08:35 PM
Imagine a Junior/Sheffield platoon in LF for the Tigers... keeps 'em both healthy. Most expensive platoon ever.

Might be one of the most productive platoons ever.

Unassisted
05-06-2008, 08:59 PM
Walt says nay to trading Junior ATM.

http://www.sportsline.com/print/mlb/story/10815574

Reds GM says Griffey trade talks premature but doesn't rule it out
May 6, 2008
CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Suggestions that the struggling Cincinnati Reds might trade outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. during the season are premature, general manager Walt Jocketty said Tuesday without ruling out that it could happen.

The 38-year-old outfielder is in the final guaranteed year of his contract. The Reds have an option to keep him next year for $16.5 million, and could buy out the option for $4 million.

The club's poor start has sparked speculation that Griffey and others could be traded in July if things don't improve on the field. The Reds were 13-20, already eight games out of first place in the NL Central, heading into the second game of their series against the Cubs.

Griffey would have the right to block any trade. He said Tuesday that if the club comes to him at some point, he would listen.

"I think it's a little bit premature," Jocketty said in response. "I have had no trade discussions with him. I'm not saying that couldn't happen, but it just hasn't at this point."

Reds fans are wondering whether Jocketty will make major changes to a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2000, Griffey's first year in Cincinnati. Impatient owner Bob Castellini fired general manager Wayne Krivsky after the club started 9-12, replacing him with Jocketty.

Two of Jocketty's biggest decisions will involve Griffey and left fielder Adam Dunn, who gets paid $13 million in the final year on his deal. If the club is out of contention at midseason, both outfielders would be attractive in trade talks.

Griffey isn't lobbying for a trade, but would listen if the team asked him to approve one. As a player with 10 years of experience in the majors, including five with the same team, he would have the final say.

If the Reds get back into contention, the trade speculation would dry up.

"I'm here," Griffey said. "Yes, I have control over where I go. That's about it. That's pretty much all the control I have. But I can go out there and control how I play.

"If I go out and do my job, it will take care of itself. If I don't, then something may happen. But I'm not going to sit here and worry about anything else. So I'm going to go out there and play as hard as I can until they come in and say, 'We may want to do this."'

Former general manager Jim Bowden traded to get Griffey from Seattle before the 2000 season, then tried to trade him to San Diego in a deal involving Phil Nevin after the 2002 season. Nevin blocked that deal.

Bowden claimed he was working on a deal to trade Griffey to the Yankees shortly before the Reds fired him as general manager midway through the 2003 season.

When Griffey returned to Seattle for an interleague series last June, he suggested he would like to retire as a Mariner. He pointed out that when running back Emmitt Smith was done playing, he signed a deal with Dallas so he could officially retire as a member of the Cowboys.

He repeated the comment as part of a story in USA Today on Tuesday, but said no one should read anything into the timing of it.

"I said the exact same thing last year, so why is it such a big story now?" Griffey said. "If I would have changed anything from last year, it would be a story, but I said the same thing."

Griffey thinks the Reds could get back into contention by midseason. Dunn (.222, five homers) and Griffey (.229, four homers) are among those who have struggled.

"If we were 15 games above .500 and we hit this streak, would anybody say anything?" Griffey said. "Because it happened the first month, everybody hits the panic button. We've got five months of baseball left."

Jocketty agreed.

"I still think the season is salvageable," Jocketty said. "A lot of it (is) I think guys are pressing. The key to this is trying to run off a few wins and take a little bit of the pressure off."

flyer85
05-07-2008, 09:41 AM
from Paul Daugherty


The Junior Era in Cincinnati, such as it is, is coming to an end. Ken Griffey Jr. would like to win a championship here, he says, but that's not going to happen. His homecoming nine years ago that brought such expectation has been full of empty promises. Griffey's career here has been nine Christmas Eves, staring at boxes beneath the tree.

There's no blame. It's not Griffey's fault he got hurt. It's not his fault the Reds lied to him when he arrived. They said they'd build a team around him. He took less-than-market money to make it easier for them. He even deferred half of that, to make it easier still. Nobody does that in baseball. The Reds built nothing.

Griffey told USA Today he'd like to be traded to Seattle. OK, so he didn't say it quite that way. The quote was, "It's everybody's dream to go back where they started. Everybody who plays the game would love to go out the way they see fit."

He made similar statements last summer, when the Reds played the Mariners.

Maybe it's not the greatest time to revive the trade talk with a big story in a national newspaper, what with the team struggling and all. But, whatever. Junior is Junior. And he's going to be leaving soon, regardless.

The Reds will not pick up Griffey's $16.5 million option for next year. He's not going to agree to any "hometown discount," either. He already did that, nine years ago. Look what it got him.

The Reds will part with Griffey, maybe after the year is up, maybe sooner. There is still the matter of trying to profit on his "race" to 600 home runs. Any time after 600, all bets are off.

The club will deal Adam Dunn, too, because it can't afford not to. And then the "era," such as it is, will be over. The Reds will announce they are "going in a different direction" and give Griffey and Dunn copies of the home game. Sometimes, you have to burn the village to save it.

Or, as Griffey said Tuesday afternoon, "Everybody understands what's going on around here. The organization will do what it wants to do."

He sat, splayed, on a big couch in the home clubhouse, surrounded by media. He wondered what the big deal was. "(Media) are making more of an issue of it than I am," Griffey said. He was being disingenuous, of course. Griffey dictated this news. The evidence is right there on the cover of USA Today's sports section.

It's been a weird nine years. The Hometown Hero portion of the program faded after Griffey's first season here, as the Reds slid into mediocrity. Griffey, never one to ignore a slight, real or perceived, felt scapegoated. He once said to me of the fans here, "They want to see me fail."

Part of being a star is being the center of attention, good and bad. Griffey hates being the center of attention. Maybe you'd have warmed to him more if he'd warmed more to you.

It doesn't matter now. The only way the Reds get competitive for any length of time is to go young and cheap, keep a few stars such as Aaron Harang and Brandon Phillips and fill in with moderately priced veterans. Griffey doesn't fit any of those descriptions.

His time here is done, even as he still plays.

Watch him while you can. Admire the player that he was. Bring your impressionable kid to the park. Tell him, "That guy is one of the greatest ballplayers ever. And he did it the right way."

There always has been a lot to like about Ken Griffey Jr. He'd rather not share it. So be it. He should be sent to Seattle, if the Mariners want to take on his salary. They love him out there. He got a ballpark built. He was the centerpiece of the best teams the Mariners have ever had. They accepted him out there, unconditionally. We have not, for whatever reason.

And the Reds will begin the process of rebuilding, hopefully to last.

it's rather late for the rebuilding, the time to trade Dunn was a 1.5-2 years ago. Now they will get next to nothing, the same goes for Jr but that was almost always the case.

edabbs44
05-07-2008, 11:39 AM
it's rather late for the rebuilding, the time to trade Dunn was a 1.5-2 years ago. Now they will get next to nothing, the same goes for Jr but that was almost always the case.

Next to nothing for Dunn? I highly doubt that.

If that's the case, then get the draft picks.

BCubb2003
05-07-2008, 11:42 AM
It's going to be kind of a weird, flat vibe. Come watch the guy we want to trade hit three more home runs.

flyer85
05-07-2008, 11:51 AM
It's going to be kind of a weird, flat vibe. Come watch the guy we want to trade hit three more home runs.if they want to deal him strike while the iron is hot. Seattle is in last place and by June/July will likely have no reason to trade for Jr.

KronoRed
05-07-2008, 06:39 PM
The mariners really have no reason to trade for him now.

Unassisted
05-08-2008, 05:17 PM
Jayson Stark's take on why a Griffey trade will be difficult to accomplish.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3386182


The Griffey Watch: Junior Griffey told USA Today he expects the Reds to ask him to waive his no-trade clause after he hits his 600th homer. But an official of one club that would like to upgrade its outfield is skeptical that there's a real fit for Griffey -- even in Seattle -- because of contract issues.

"The option year [at $16.5 million for 2009] is going to be a big issue," he said. "You know he's going to want that option picked up if he's going to waive that clause. I would assume that if it's a team he wants to go to, he would waive it, if it's a team that puts him in a position to win. But I'm not sure there's a team out there, that fits all his criteria, that would pick up that option."

In the past, Griffey has expressed interest in going to only three cities: Atlanta, Seattle and Chicago. Seattle is the only place on that list where you could envision any level of interest in paying Griffey $16.5 million next year. But can the Mariners put him in a better position to win this year? Not unless they get on a big roll over the next two months.

The Griffey Watch, Part 2: Then there's one other pesky issue. If you trade for Junior Griffey at this point, what are you trading for?

"In 1999, that would have been a great trade," said one scout. "Does that answer your question? To me, the Carlos Delgado Theory applies. He hasn't slipped quite as much as Delgado, but he's slipped. He doesn't throw well anymore. He doesn't defend real well. And he's lost his 'pull' power at the plate. Guys are throwing fastballs right by him."

Unassisted
05-08-2008, 05:31 PM
http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/33001


Wouldn't Griffey's return to Mariners be senior jolt?


* By DAVE BOLING, Tacoma News Tribune

Fueled by rumors that have been either denied or called misinterpretations, the topic of the day is whether the Mariners should try to bring Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle.

Why not? With only 15,000 or so in the Safeco Field stands, who's left to object?

In fact, why stop at Griffey?

They should see what it would take to get Edgar Martinez back in uniform. I'll bet Jay Buhner is still fit enough to play. They could call Mike Blowers down from the booth, he's already traveling with the team anyway.

Then they could track down Matt "Guitar" Murphy and "Blue" Lou on the sax so they could get the whole band back together.

What do they have to lose?

If the Seattle Mariners were doing anything at all, discussions about adding the 38-year-old Griffey to the roster would be almost senseless.

It would be one of those shortsighted, publicity-motivated homecomings that so rarely works in sports; it would be stepping backward for a team that desperately needs to make positive yardage any way it can.

But the mute commentary made by 30,000 empty seats, and the mathematics of the standings that show a possibility of falling out of the race before Memorial Day, combine to suggest that the Mariners should consider every possible option.

Even Griffey. In fact, especially Griffey.

As the scuttlebutt stands, the nose-diving Reds want Griffey to hit his 600th dinger for them. After that ... let the bidding begin.

Surely they'd want a prospect, which might be taxing for the Mariners after the recent Erik Bedard deal. The other option is to wait until the end of this season and assume that Cincinnati will decline Griffey's $16.5 million option, and he will be a free agent.

All we have to do to be assured of the mutual attraction is to remember last summer's Griffey love-fest at Safeco when he returned with the Reds. Fans went daffy, and Mariners president Chuck Armstrong strongly reiterated his undying affection for Junior. I think I might have even seen the hints of little tiny tears sprouting from an emotional Griffey, as well.

Armstrong can't say anything now because Griffey is under contract with the Reds and to voice his desire to be reunited would be considered tampering.

Griffey is hitting .244 with four homers and 15 RBI. That RBI total would tie him for second on the Mariners, and the home run total would rank fourth on the team. So, he might supply a bit of pop from the left-hand side of the plate.

The Mariners are seemingly set for outfielders at the moment, so an option is to plug him in at DH in place of Jose Vidro.

Having him join the team next season might be an easier fit because they could dump Richie Sexson, bump Raul Ibanez to first, switch Wladimir Balentien to left and put Junior in right field.

(That's assuming they can't get Buhner and Edgar back, too, which would require more lineup shuffling).

Of course, nobody knows how many more trips to the warning track are left in Junior's hamstrings. But that's a chance with any player nearing 40.

And the name on the jersey still says "Griffey." Even in this economy, people will pay to see that.

In fact, since he's been gone for nine seasons, it might be the chance for a whole new group of dads to take their sons to see Junior, and to tell them the stories of 1995, of the days in the Kingdome, of the leaping catches, of the home runs flying over the fence every day.

As our incomparable colleague -- Mariners beat writer Larry LaRue -- always tells me, there's only two acceptable states for a baseball team: You're either winning now or you're building to win in the future.

Griffey probably doesn't really fit in either criteria.

So he's not a cure for what ails the Mariners. Not in the long run, at least. He might not even be a realistic Band-Aid.

But he just might be interesting enough to help people out there forget about all the other problems dogging this team for a while.

Redhook
05-08-2008, 08:20 PM
I'd be willing to bet that if and when JR. gets traded to Seattle his production will go up 10-15%. He'll get that extra pep in his step and have more to play for. He's bored in Cincinnati. He needs something fresh pronto.

Unassisted
05-10-2008, 03:59 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/sports/baseball/11score.html


For Griffey, the Roads Not Taken
By NATE SILVER

Any day now, perhaps this weekend at Shea Stadium, Ken Griffey Jr. will hit his 600th major league home run. It will have been a long time in coming. Griffey, when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in February 2000, had hit 398 homers, to that point the largest total ever for a player yet to reach his 30th birthday. (Alex Rodriguez has since broken his record.)

And Griffey was showing no sign of slowing down, having come off consecutive seasons of 49, 56, 56 and 48 home runs. It must have been tempting to extrapolate, and assume that Griffey would continue to hit home runs at a pace of 40 to 50 a year. At that rate, he would have surpassed 600 during the 2004 season, with plenty of time remaining for him to challenge Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

But it did not work out that way, and even in his first season in Cincinnati, there was some foreshadowing of the decline ahead.

Griffey’s batting average dipped to .271 in 2000, he stole just six bases and he failed to win a Gold Glove for the first time in 10 seasons. The season was universally regarded as a disappointment.

In fact, it turned out to be the best one he has had since; Griffey never again hit as many as 40 home runs, or had as many as 100 runs batted in. His opportunity to challenge Ruth and Aaron has come and gone.

Given Griffey’s head start, should this be regarded as the baseball equivalent of Secretariat’s tripping on his final furlong? Perhaps not. Baseball players are human beings, and they cannot often be counted on to maintain the same pace once they enter their 30s, and the ravages of age and tens of thousands of innings played begin to take their toll.

I have designed a projection system, nicknamed Pecota, which attempts to forecast the future performances of major league players based on comparisons with the past. The system works by scanning through a database of all major leaguers since World War II and identifying those who are most similar according to a series of 13 criteria. Conventional statistics like batting average and home run rate are considered, but so are things like a player’s height and weight, his position and the length of his major league career.

The Pecota system does not purport to know everything. Instead, it proposes a series of as many as 100 career paths, each of them represented by a different comparable player. When the career paths are averaged together, they can give the illusion of smoothness and certainty. But there is a lot of noise around that signal.

Consider the first 10 players that the system identifies when we wind the clock back to the spring of 2000, and ask it to project Griffey’s career forward from his first game in Cincinnati. Those players are Aaron, Don Baylor, Barry and Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson, Reggie Jackson, Ted Kluszewski, Ray Lankford, Eddie Mathews and Roger Maris.

These players, first and foremost, are power hitters. Griffey is sometimes regarded as being in the same vein as Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, but he was not quite the same type of athlete. Mays was much faster than Griffey and hit .300 10 times to Griffey’s 6, whereas Mantle distinguishes himself with his .421 career on-base percentage. (Griffey’s is .373.)

Although each of these players was broadly similar to Griffey through their age-29 seasons, accounting for the standards of their eras, their careers proceeded in vastly different ways. So there were many branches on Griffey’s tree of possibility.

¶His career could have ended like Dawson’s, with a long and somewhat graceful decline, his skills diminishing by a tiny fraction each year, but with a big season or two along the way. Our system estimates that had Griffey followed the Dawson path (but adjusting for the friendly conditions of Griffey’s home ballpark), he would have finished with 725 homers.

¶It could have ended like Maris’s — not just slowed, but completely undermined by injury. Maris, a far better-rounded player at his peak than is remembered today, hit just 35 home runs after turning 30. Had Griffey followed the Maris path, he would have finished with 448 home runs.

¶Or it could have ended like Aaron’s, with Griffey indeed maintaining a 40- or 50-homer pace into his late 30s, and shattering all records along the way. Our system estimates that, had he followed the Aaron path, Griffey would have ended his career with 904 home runs.

Instead, Griffey has staked out his own path, somewhere between the Dawson and Maris trajectories. Aaron he will not be, but precisely what made Aaron such a special player is that he sustained his core abilities past a point when nearly every other players’ decline.

When we ask Pecota to project what is left of Griffey’s career based on his current level of ability, we have him finishing with 660 homers — the same total as Mays.

That outcome could be regarded as a disappointment only by someone with no sense for baseball’s history.

Will M
05-10-2008, 04:30 PM
Griffey's days in Cincinnati may be numbered - :thumbup:

Time to jettison the old and get going with the rebuilding. The Reds 1/2 wanting to win now & 1/2 planning for the future ain't working.