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Thread: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    9-30-2006

    Griffey: Center still best for me
    By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

    PITTSBURGH - If Ken Griffey Jr. is to move from center field to one of the corner outfield spots, he would prefer to do it on his own terms.

    "I think when I feel that I can't play that position, then I will be able to go into the office and tell them," he said Friday. "If I feel that I'm hurting the team being out there, then I'll do that. But I don't think that I'm hurting this team at all being at the position where I'm at."

    It's understandable that Griffey would be reluctant to vacate a position he once defined, winning 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1990-99, but he knows the chatter about whether he should do so probably has reached an all-time high.

    Griffey's range isn't what it once was, but he insists it doesn't need to be for him to do his job well. He says his ever-expanding knowledge of opposing players and his studies of their skills and tendencies allow him to position himself far better than he did in his more fleet-footed youth, and that makes a significant difference.

    "I mean, if they go out and get Carl Lewis to play the outfield, that's a different story," he said with a smile. "But we don't have that type of runner."

    Well, there is Ryan Freel, but most around the team are wary of plugging the utilityman into a single, everyday job. Particularly one as grueling as center field, where the potential would exist for Freel to wear himself out more quickly than normal.

    During the two stretches this season that Freel served as the regular center fielder, April 13-May 10 and Sept. 5-20, he hit just .194 (25-for-129) with seven extra-base hits while striking out 30 times.

    Barring the acquisition of a clearly superior defensive center fielder in the offseason, Griffey plans to be back where he always has been come spring training. Of course, he also expects more of himself next season.

    "I sometimes felt a little tired during parts of the season," he admitted.

    Part of the blame for that can be doled out to an unusual winter. After undergoing a pair of surgeries last September, Griffey wasn't fully recovered until December, and before he knew it he had to be ramped up to game speed a couple of weeks earlier than usual to play in the World Baseball Classic.

    Griffey excelled in that March event, but struggled to remain consistent at the plate once the season began. His run-production numbers are solid, with 27 homers and 72 RBIs in 109 games, but his .252 batting average is a disappointment.

    He's looking forward to a more conditioning-oriented workout regimen this offseason, under the watchful eye of Reds strength coach Matt Krause. The two live about 30 minutes apart in the Orlando area and get together often during the winter.

    "We're going to go back to some things that I was able to do when I was playing in Seattle," said Griffey. "(Like) being able to ride my bike a couple times a week, where the last couple years it was weight, weight, weight - everything was 'get stronger.' Now, it's trying to get the endurance up without taking all the pounding. We'll still do some weightlifting, but not as much."

    That approach may help Griffey regain a step or two in the outfield. Either way, Griffey pledged to evaluate himself honestly. Looking at it as objectively as he can, he does not believe his presence in center field is detrimental to the team.

    "I don't think it's at that point," he said. "We'll see how I feel at the beginning of the season and if I'm playing well. If not, we'll discuss it."
    http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs....609300389/1027
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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Griffey: Center still best for me
    Griffey's range isn't what it once was, but he insists it doesn't need to be for him to do his job well.

    Well insist away if you must, but the writing's on the wall.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    The Reds are in a world of trouble if Griffey is still in CF next year.

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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    The Reds are in a world of trouble if Griffey is still in CF next year.
    There are a disturbingly high number of things that look to remain the same for the Reds next year.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)



    I love ya Junior, but you need to move to one of the corners.

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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    During the two stretches this season that Freel served as the regular center fielder, April 13-May 10 and Sept. 5-20, he hit just .194 (25-for-129) with seven extra-base hits while striking out 30 times.
    Freel doesn't get tired though...ever.

    Seriously though, this is going to turn into a running joke if he continues to think he is what he was. Richie thinks he is a SS, and Jr. thinks he is a CF. Two TERRIBLE ranges at the two most important "range needed" positions. That is AWFUL and inexcusable that we have run lineups like that out there.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Ugh!!

    I still believe that the Kearns trade involved making RF available for JR and I believe the switch was to be made right after the deal. Not sure it would have made that deal look any better but at least it would have looked more logical.

    This is one of the primary reasons I had been on the Hunter/Cameron bandwagon as opposed to Deno. I think if the Reds brought in a top CF with an existing reputation then Griffey would be more willing.

    This is horrible news for 2007.

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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    This is one of the things I will be evaluating Krivsky on this winter.

    If he DOESN'T go out and get a player that can play CF, his grade will drop two slots for me (from an 'A' to a 'C') no matter his other aquisitions.

    That's what Krivsky needs to do. He needs to realize that Ken Griffey Jr is not going to change positions himself. He needs to realize that Ken Griffey Jr being in CF hurts this teams defense tremendously. He then needs to find a replacement and force Griffey to move. It's a tougher situation than many here think. He's basically has to directly go against what the "star player" wants. Being a GM is a tough job, but this is one thing that Krivsky has to step up on, face any criticisms he runs up again, and make the move.

    And FWIW, I do think Krivsky has to go outside the organization for a CFer. Denorfia and Freel are not options, IMO. Freel should remain in his super-sub role and Denorfia should be given a chance to compete for another OF position. If Griffey moves to RF, Denorfia moves to LF and Dunn moves to 1B. Hatteberg then becomes a backup. If Griffey goes to LF, Denorfia stays in RF and Dunn goes to 1B and Hatterberg becomes a backup. Either way, I believe Adam Dunn should also be "forced" into moving postions as well. If he doesn't like it, hey, you aren't far from free agency, big guy. Does Krivsky have the guts to make these moves? I'm not sure. I'll be very interested to find out, though.
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    You're soaking in it! MartyFan's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Junior may not be what he was when he was in Seattle and frankly it is a miracle the guy is even on the field...the one thing you have to give the guy is that when he came up he was such a natural in the position...then on top of that he hit well too...there has never been a time in his life when he wasn't heads and shoulders above anyone else who played against him...since the injuriesthat hasn't been the case and with him being on the field he probably has the intestinal fortitude to want to prove something before he goes away...the game owes him that.

    There are worse options in CF than Junior.

    Imagine a top performing pro athelete coming to terms with the radical change that Junior has had to endure over the last several years.

    I can't imagine anybody who performs at that level would just simply "move" after the injuries he has sustained...more than proveing it to anyone else he has something to prove to himself...if he has a great year next year look for him to move on from then.

    I have heard motivational speakers and leadership experts talking about change who believe it is important when you make a radical change that you make it on a "plus"...when things are going your way because it keeps your options open and puts the past to rest...I think that is what Junior is doing.
    "Sometimes, it's not the sexiest moves that put you over the top," Krivsky said. "It's a series of transactions that help you get there."

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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFan View Post

    There are worse options in CF than Junior.
    Yeah, me.

    (Sorry, it really was too easy.)

  12. #11
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Griffey doesn't own the team

    BC, WK & Narron need to TELL Griffey he is moving to LF.

    If he won't go then they can suspend him without pay.

    This is exactly what happened to Soriano this spring, after 1 day he went to LF

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Imagine a top performing pro athelete coming to terms with the radical change that Junior has had to endure over the last several years.
    Imagine an outfield anchored by a 38 year old CF, then imagine hits falling all year, then imagine another losing or .500 season.

    Griffey needs to imagine himself at a corner position and he needs someone to send him a tape of the 1973 World Series.

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    no.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    Hi Junior. I'd like you to meet this guy Chris. He was named the best defensive OF in AAA this year.... now go to RF and deal with it.
    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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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey: Center still best for me (9/30)

    It is nice to hear the concept of conditioning over weight lifting. It's downright frightening that weights have been the only offseason approach since he's been in Cincy.

    That said, if they can remove the 12 inches of gravy and soft cheese from centerfield, he might do ok next year.
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