Author should be ashamed. Written 8/16. Does this guy even follow the Reds???
Notes: Griffey's parents ailing
08/16/2006 9:22 PM ET
By Conor Nicholl / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Ken Griffey, Jr. has endured a very difficult week. Over the last few days, Griffey found out his dad has an early form of prostate cancer and his mom will need colon cancer surgery.
Alternating short, quiet sentences with long pauses, Griffey discussed his family's situation before Wednesday's game against the Cardinals.
"When it's not one of your parents, it's both of your parents ..." Griffey said. "It's been tough."
Griffey's dad, former Reds star Ken Griffey Sr., showed up Sunday in Philadelphia and told his son the news. Junior saw his mother the next day.
His mother, Alberta, has asked Griffey to continue playing baseball. He was in the starting lineup both Tuesday and Wednesday night against the Cardinals.
Manager Jerry Narron, though, wouldn't have a problem if Griffey wanted to spend time with his family.
"He wouldn't be human if it didn't affect him. If he wanted to take tomorrow off, I don't think anyone would have a problem," Narron said.
Griffey, batting .242 with 23 homers and 64 RBIs, said he doesn't know what he will do the next couple days.
"It would be up to her," Griffey said. "There is still a possibility. I am her oldest son."
He also is uncertain about his father's -- a member of the Reds' famed Big Red Machine -- next steps.
"I don't know," he said. "He has to see another doctor."
Griffey also understands his role on a team in the middle of the pennant race.
"I have a responsibility to guys in the clubhouse," Griffey said. "Some situations are tougher than others. I am just trying to deal with it the best way I know how."
Bullpen updates: Left-handers Rheal Cormier and Eddie Guardado are still being treated cautiously by the Reds' staff. Cormier, acquired from the Phillies, has a tweaked hip and Guardado, a former Mariner, has some forearm pain.
Guardado is very critical to the Cincy relief corps. The closer has pitched well, saving his first eight games in a Reds uniform before blowing two contests in the past week.
"He sets up the bullpen," Narron said.
Guardado is listed as day-to-day. If Narron cannot use the left-hander in the ninth inning, he could use David Weathers or Todd Coffey in that position.
"We will probably go with the matchups and whoever is throwing well," Narron said.
Aurilia sees start at short: For just the fourth time this season, Rich Aurilia started at shortstop Wednesday. Mainly seeing action at first and third, Aurilia has been squeezed with the solid play of Scott Hatteberg at first and Edwin Encarnacion at third.
"I am just doing everything I can do to get him starts," Narron said. "Those other guys are playing well, so it is tough."
Aurilia mainly starts against left-handed pitching. He scorches left-handers, batting .349, while Encarnacion hits .282 and Hatteberg .262. Against righties, the split is virtually reversed as Aurilia (.242), trails Encarnacion (.305) and Hatteberg (.338).
"We just have seen a lot of right-handers," Narron said.
Narron will likely start Aurilia on Saturday against Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm.
Down on the farm: Several Cincy prospects are delivering outstanding seasons. For Triple-A Louisville, outfielder Norris Hopper is hitting .350. At Double-A Chattanooga, first baseman Joey Votto is crushing opposing pitching, batting .314 with 21 homers. Top prospect Homer Bailey has yet to lose in nine starts at two levels, compiling a 5-0 record and a 1.03 ERA. For Class A Dayton, Zach Ward is 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA.
Coming up: The Reds close out their three-game series against the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Left-hander Kyle Lohse (0-0, 2.92 ERA) will face off against right-hander Jeff Weaver (2-3, 4.60 ERA). Weaver allowed one run in six innings in his last start against the Reds lineup. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET.