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View Full Version : Norm Charlton on Junior's pre-game training



gm
06-03-2008, 01:51 PM
(I saw this article in the Seattle Times, if anyone else has posted it already, my apologies)


By now, the litany of Griffey injuries is familiar, from hamstring to knee to shoulder to ankle to groin. The 13 stays on the disabled list, eight of them since the Mariners traded him to Cincinnati after the 1999 season. Hundreds of games lost that could have had him approaching 800 by now instead of 600.

As Mariners' coach Norm Charlton said Monday of his former Seattle teammate, it is "almost tragic."

He added, "I think Junior was the one guy we really felt had a chance to catch Barry or Hank at the time. ...

"Is he a first ballot Hall of Famer? Yes. But his numbers could be unbelievably more than they are without the injuries."

...

There have been whispers over the years that Junior is paying the price for lax preparation in the Seattle years. It was all so easy for him in his Mariners' days, when he was The Natural, that he never felt the need to tune his body. Or so goes the pervasive school of thought.

Charlton scoffs at that notion.

"I think the thing that a lot of people didn't realize is that Junior has always had a gym at his house," he said. "Junior has always gotten his work in. Junior liked to come to the ballpark and really have fun. It always gave off the appearance he wasn't doing anything, but Junior got his work in in the morning before he came to the ballpark.

"He'll probably hate me for saying this: He got in his work, but he came to the stadium and it was almost like he wanted everyone to think it was so easy for him, and he was just that talented.

"I think he gets labeled as someone who never really worked hard, but he never let anyone see him work hard."

That viewpoint is seconded by Mariners' trainer Rick Griffin, who knows Griffey's behind-the-scenes work habits better than anyone.

"He was a natural, but Junior knew his body when he was young as well as anyone, and when he needed to do things," Griffin said.

"And he did do things. He'd come into the training room all the time. ... He'd do exercises sitting by his locker, or find a place by himself. He didn't do things in front of everyone, because he didn't want people seeing him doing it.

"He'd stretch all the time. They'd say, 'He doesn't stretch with the team.' Well, he'd stretch for 30 minutes before we even went out there. He was already loose."

Said Griffin, wistfully: "Being selfish, I wish he could have stayed here, and I wish I could have had the chance to take care of him and help him. ... I'm going to say I think I could have helped him."



http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/larrystone/2004453862_stone03.html

Johnny Footstool
06-03-2008, 01:54 PM
Good article.

It would have been nice for Charlton to speak up about this 5 or 6 years ago, when every Griffey hater was berating Junior for not taking care of himself.

RedsManRick
06-03-2008, 01:55 PM
Interesting, I haven't heard that side of the story before. The Seattle press seems to be foaming at the mouth for a return. Though I imagine that's been somewhat of a ritual this time of year.

BCubb2003
06-03-2008, 02:03 PM
"... I wish I could have had the chance to take care of him and help him. ... I'm going to say I think I could have helped him."

:luvu: :griffey:

MrCinatit
06-03-2008, 02:52 PM
A man does not get and keep a body like that without working for it.


I feel dirty for writing that - but it is true. Griffey and I are near the same age - and I have a ton of respect for him to be able to keep in that type of shape. Trust me, ain't easy after a few years (especially on astroturf).

MartyFan
06-03-2008, 07:41 PM
No way Junior ever would have come back from the first of the injuries here in Cincy without having a history and KNOWING HOW to WORK...If Junior doesn't wonder "what if" then I am one person who is thinking it for him...just scary...without the injuries, Junior would have passed Aaron a year or so ago and Barry would have stayed second fiddle as he should have.

Now, we can look forward to A-Rod breaking Bonds record.

jojo
06-03-2008, 07:50 PM
Interesting, I haven't heard that side of the story before. The Seattle press seems to be foaming at the mouth for a return. Though I imagine that's been somewhat of a ritual this time of year.

When the team you've been covering hasn't won a game in about a year and half (alright it was really just a very bad month), it's easy to get nostalgic....

I think it's less foaming for his return than it's foaming for something positive to write about.

Blitz Dorsey
06-03-2008, 09:22 PM
Yes, Griffey might work hard compared to RedsZone posters. However, I am still not buying that he works as hard as your average Major League Baseball player. Charlton is not going to trash Griffey in public and the trainer sounds like a fan.

IMO, Griffey should stretch with the team if for no other reason than to show team unity. Even if you don't mean it that way, it comes across like you are too good for the rest of the team and the rules don't apply to you.

Nugget
06-04-2008, 11:36 AM
You will think whatever you want about Junior no matter who says it.

The fact that Junior didn't stretch as much with the team is that he was loose already - if you see team drills at the park many of the guys have already done their stretching in the clubhouse anyway. So you must conform with everyone to make sure your part of the team - Stalin says hello. If Junior goes over to sign autographs while the team is huddled by the bench does that mean his not part of the team?