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Thread: Ken Griffey Jr

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Ken Griffey Jr

    It’s almost 5 years ago now that the Reds traded away Ken Griffey Jr. I don’t know about everybody else, but to me it seems like a lifetime ago. A lifetime ago the Reds had one of the best ever to play the game wanting desperately to play in Cincinnati the way many players today desperately wants to play in Los Angeles or New York City. After slugging 398 home runs and tallying 1742 hits in Seattle before reaching the age of 30, Junior was coming home to double those numbers (at least), and lead the proud franchise his father represented for years back to the promised land. The MVP trophies were going to start piling up, and the World Series rings would be inevitable with the 96 win Reds of 1999 building around Junior. If all went according to plan, his HOF plaque would see him sporting the iconic Reds cap. It would be perfect.

    Junior had already become iconic for his #24, fitting as I saw him the same way my father saw Willie Mays growing up: as both the best player and my favorite player. Living in Jersey, I rooted for the Yankees, but it was my mesh button-up Griffey jersey I wore proudly to school every week. I played Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball on Super Nintendo, and collected countless Ken Griffey Jr cards.

    Junior’s tenure with the Reds started off with the unpleasantness of Junior wanting his already iconic number #24 and Reds legend Tony Perez wanting his iconic to another generation #24 number retired. It’s not a big deal, but boy in retrospect, it was the perfect microcosm of Griffey and the Reds: Nothing just ever clicked. Both sides were never happy. And when you get right down to brass tacks, the whole thing seems snakebitten from the start. Jim Bowden crowed about the deal in a manner not seen before or after, seemingly trying to make himself the center of attention. Not even three years later, with a few leg injuries in between that limited him in 2001 and saw him most a majority of 2002, Bowden was fully prepared to send Griffey away for Phil Nevin. Phil. Freakin. Nevin. Perhaps the only more fitting nightmare scenario would have been Junior drinking too much of the brain & nerve tonic in real life.



    And it didn’t get any better. He played in only 153 games in 2003 and 2004 combined. Junior being helped off the field, unable to put weight on his legs, become an annual visual each more painful than the next. There were constant arguments over who was to blame for the injuries. The shine on the hometown hero was gone, all that stood was the highest paid player on a lousy team with fans who thought he should try harder or have a better attitude. He continued to play centerfield long after it was clear the various hamstring and leg injuries had sapped his once legendary ability in the outfield. In 2005 he was healthy and productive, and put together his best season as a Red long after the faithful had given up hope on a team going nowhere. 2006 was a step back, 2007 saw Junior play in over 140 games for the Reds for just the second time, the first being in the year 2000. Truth be told, I know I watched it, but I hardly remember anything about him in the 2008 season. It seems kind of bizarre to think of him on the field with Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, with Dusty Baker in the dugout. One day Griffey and Adam Dunn were Reds just as they had been since the start of the decade, the next they weren’t, and that was that. His career ended two years later not with a bang, but with a whimper.

    Everything that could have gone wrong with Ken Griffey Junior and the Reds, did. Bad ownership, bad front office, bad pitching, bad attitudes (if Danny Graves infamous quote about their being “no pressure to win” in Cincinnati was indeed the case). And unquestionably, bad luck. There were no MVP awards, no championships, and not even many cathartic victories.

    But when you look back on it, even through the heartache and misery, we had a little bit of fun, didn’t we?























    Last edited by Tom Servo; 07-16-2013 at 01:58 AM.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Makes me sad to think how things should have turned out. Great post/pics.

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    remdog (07-18-2013)

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    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Damn, those pictures from 2000 shouldn't look that old this early. I feel old as hell and I'm only 23.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    I echo Tom on this. I an remember following the soap drama that brought Griffey to the Reds. It looked like the successful 1999 season finally had the cog they needed to win it all. I was at a convenience store in Charleston, WV, and saw the cover of SI that was posted. I bought it. It was all happiness and unbelief. The Reds actually had their franchise player and all was good. Little did we know what was to come. After a good first year, injuries continued to mount. The anti-Griffey posters on this board were brutal. Remember those calling him Whiffey? I'll never forget when he tore the muscles from his hip and almost ruined his career. We were traveling back from a trip to Cincy to watch the Reds and there was WLW's Andy Fuhrman saying that Griffey should just quit and that he was a liability. Then, I remember the posts maligning Junior for not running hard and not being in condition. It was brutal. To say the least, I was relieved when they traded him. I remember posting that Boston didn't treat Carl Y that way nor did St. Louis treat Musial like that, but it is no wonder when his is elected to the Hall of Fame, and he will be, that he will wear a Marinier cap.

    I remember that the discussion back then was that Cincinnati couldn't handle a superstar like Junior. My only recollection is that it was a bad time. I only hope that this never happens again, especially to a native son. I'm bitter about it still today. Of course, I'm still about the Robinson for Pappas trade, so I'm just bitter.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    While some Reds "fans" probably would have turned against Junior no matter what, I think the negative reaction would have been softened if Junior had been a Red throughout his career and fans could have at least recalled the good times when he was in his prime. Instead, Junior's great seasons came as a Mariner while the Reds got his injury filled decline.
    I don't know what kind of reception Albert Pujols is getting from Angel fans but I have got to believe that Cardinal fans would have been kinder to him during his decline, having had the benefits of his prime years.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YkcW8kkRFU

    This brings back my childhood
    Last edited by coachpipe; 07-16-2013 at 08:43 AM.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    I literally cried during the press conference when he came to Cincinnati. I still have that issue of SI.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Joseph (07-17-2013)

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Griffey is the single reason I became a Reds fan. Everybody always asks me, how does somebody from Chicago become a Reds fan? My answer everytime: Ken Griffey Jr. His tenure didn't turn out as anyone hoped, but I couldn't be more happy with my decision to become a Reds fan.

    Without Griffey, I wouldn't be posted on here. Maybe that will make some of you like him a little less lol.

    It's funny you post this, last night I was on youtube and I came across his walkoff inside the park HR against the Cardinals as well as his slam in Detroit off of a 104 MPH Zumaya fastball.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Was it all a dream?

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    It still doesn't feel quite real. If you asked me to start naming Reds from the 2000s, Junior doesn't even come to mind. I've just blocked him out. In my head, Ken Griffey Jr. was a Mariner.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 07-16-2013 at 11:25 AM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Pete Rose, Eric "the Red" Davis and Ken Griffey Jr. are still my all time favorite players. They made baseball enjoyable for me. The injuries To Junior killed a lot of wins for the Reds but man that swing was sweet!

    Bum

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    WVRedsFan (07-18-2013)

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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Opening Day 2000 against Milwaukee was rained out. Pretty fitting for how things turned out. Nothing worked or broke right. You had Neagle and Harnisch at the top of the rotation, and Harnisch started having shoulder issues and was done. Casey got hurt in spring training and missed a month. Villone and Parris fell off the map.

    Just a mess, and it only got worse over the next 9 years.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    his slam in Detroit off of a 104 MPH Zumaya fastball.
    I was there!

    I asked Griffey about it one time and he said he couldn't remember hitting that ball in Detroit. "I've hit a lot of home runs," he replied...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    I remember being soooooo excited when I saw the Reds had acquired KGJ.

    Unfortunately, the Reds never really came close to putting a team capable of competing for a WS around him, and in hindsight never had any intention of doing so either.

    I wonder if Griffey wishes he had gone somewhere with a better chance to win a WS in retrospect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Re: Ken Griffey Jr

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Griffey is the single reason I became a Reds fan. Everybody always asks me, how does somebody from Chicago become a Reds fan? My answer everytime: Ken Griffey Jr. His tenure didn't turn out as anyone hoped, but I couldn't be more happy with my decision to become a Reds fan.

    Without Griffey, I wouldn't be posted on here. Maybe that will make some of you like him a little less lol.

    It's funny you post this, last night I was on youtube and I came across his walkoff inside the park HR against the Cardinals as well as his slam in Detroit off of a 104 MPH Zumaya fastball.
    I just watched that and I have to ask myself...WHAT THE F was Jim Edmonds doing? He didnt even look like he tried to put his glove up to catch it. It looked as if he just jumped and then curled up waiting for the impact of hitting the wall


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