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Thread: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

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    Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Doesn't sound like he likes Cincy too much.

    He thinks more Reds fans cheer for him "because they've got a chance to see history" than because he's one of the players on their favorite team.

    "My home's in Florida. I work in Cincinnati," Griffey said.

    "But you grew up there," I said. "Cincinnati's your hometown."

    "My home's in Florida. I work in Cincinnati," Griffey repeated. "That 19-year-old kid who's now 37 has a whole different opinion of people. I work in Cincinnati. That's it."




    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseba...8_moore20.html

    Go 2 Guy: The Kid's all grown up
    Two decades have passed since Griffey's grand Seattle entrance

    By JIM MOORE
    P-I COLUMNIST

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- Twenty years have passed since Ken Griffey Jr. arrived in Seattle, and Monday afternoon he looked all of 17 again.

    The first man to wear his cap backward is wearing it backward as he pitches batting practice to his three kids while his wife helps shag balls.


    AP
    Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. tosses a ball to son Tevin, 4, on Monday at spring training in Sarasota, Fla.
    On a small field at the Cincinnati Reds' springtraining complex, a crowd of seven watches -- three photographers, two reporters, local resident Dick Vitale and Akeiba, Griffey's Rottweiler from the bed of his owner's jet black Ford F-150 pickup.

    The oldest, Trey, 13, and Taryn, 11, are good athletes, and if Vitale were asked, 4-year-old Tevin looks like a diaper dandy.

    Two decades ago Tevin's dad was "The Kid." Flying west as the first pick in the 1987 draft, the Cincinnati native knew nothing about Seattle, much less Bellingham, where his pro career would begin.

    He didn't even know the Mariners existed until his junior year at Moeller High School, and here he was, about to own the team and the town.

    For all that Edgar Martinez was to this franchise, Griffey was more, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, one of the best to ever play the game. And most memorably, the man under the pig-pile at home plate in '95.

    You could see that smile again Monday when he joked with teammates and played with his kids. But during an hour-long interview in the clubhouse, the smile was not as evident.

    The subject: Griffey's first return to Seattle after being traded to the Reds following the '99 season. Cincinnati plays a three-game series at Safeco Field on June 22-24.



    So, Ken, are you excited to go back? Are you looking forward to it? What kind of reception do you think you'll get? These questions yielded little, aside from a lack of emotion, which was notable in itself.

    "I haven't really thought about it," Griffey said. "I have no idea what to expect. I'm trying to get through the spring and get on with the season. It's a long ways away. I've got to do some things before I get there."

    Griffey is sitting on a trunk next to his locker, fooling around with a black bat, taking half-swings, giving short answers. He looks like he would rather be doing anything but this and to be honest, I would, too -- there must be a golf course or cocktail lounge right around the corner.

    But then he began to open up. It was almost as if you could hear the creaking of a door that had been slammed shut for a long time. Or maybe this is just the way Griffey is, I don't know. From most accounts, he's hard to figure out.

    Take a guess how many times he's been back to Seattle since he left? That's right, zip, zero, nada. His wife, Melissa, is from Gig Harbor.

    "Not even for a family function?" he's asked.

    "Nope," he says. "I haven't done anything in Seattle. The closest I've gotten is San Francisco."

    "Miss anything in Seattle?" he's asked.

    "Nah, other than seeing Jay (Buhner) and Edgar," he says.

    Griffey did appreciate the fan support and those in the Mariners organization.

    "The people there will always be close to me because they gave me an opportunity to play," he said.

    It can't be just another series on the schedule, though Junior makes it sound like it is. I'd bet, deep down, gun to his head, it will mean a lot to him.

    "Do you think you'll be cheered?" he's asked.

    "I have no idea," he says.

    Could you possibly boo him? A-Rod, yes. Randy Johnson, maybe. But Ken Griffey Jr., no matter why he left? The player who saved the franchise?

    He was said to be unhappy with Safeco Field's dimensions, limiting his chance to be the all-time home run leader. He was said to want to play for a team that had spring-training facilities in Florida, near his offseason home in Orlando.

    Whatever it was, new M's GM Pat Gillick realized he had to make a deal after a conversation with Griffey.

    "Ken, I just got here," Gillick told him. "Our goal is to go to the World Series. Do you want to be a part of that?"

    "No," Griffey said.

    Griffey's agent, Brian Goldberg, said that comment should not be misinterpreted, that Griffey's goal is always to win a championship.

    "It had nothing to do with the World Series, it had to do with Kenny physically, geographically being in Seattle," Goldberg said. "This was about him being miserable away from his family."

    That reason trumped all others.

    "Everybody in Seattle said, 'What do you have to leave for?' " Griffey said. "I wanted to be around my kids and see 'em grow up. Then they'd say, you could fly 'em in. But it's about being there, being a dad. If they need something, I want to be there.

    "Then I'd hear, 'There must be something else.' No. I want to be a dad. It's my job to make sure they turn out OK."

    If you want to talk about his kids, he'll talk all day and the smile reappears. Trey is a junior high football player who loves to hit.

    "I call him my miniature Ray Lewis," Griffey said.

    Taryn plays basketball. If baseball forces Griffey to miss one of her games or one of Trey's, he watches them on video, taped by a hired crew.

    And preschooler Tevin?

    "He might be the best athlete," Griffey said.

    Tevin plays flag football and is so quick and shifty, he has yet to have his flag pulled.

    Griffey's wife was adopted, and Tevin was, too. "He found us," is how Griffey puts it. "He acts like me all the time. He's got every bad habit."

    When the interview goes back to baseball, like they always do, Griffey becomes less animated. Playing in his hometown has not gone as well as he'd hoped.

    Six years and eight trips to the disabled list, each one further preventing Griffey from catching Hank Aaron and giving baseball a steroid-free home run king. He has hit 563 and could reach 600 this year, barring injury of course.

    It's a running joke, and he's not laughing. The three most used words in Cincinnati headlines: "Griffey's hurt again."

    That's why he was reluctant to initially reveal details of his most recent injury, a broken left hand suffered when he was rough housing with his kids on their family yacht in the Bahamas in December.

    He says nothing bothers him, but so much does. Other than the last one, his injuries have happened on the field.

    "How did I get hurt?" Griffey asks. "Trying to make a diving catch, taking an extra base, hitting the wall, all the things that people who win do. If I lollygagged, what would (people) say about it?"

    There has been a price -- Griffey has nine screws in his body, six in his shoulder, three in his tailbone.

    "When I put my hat down for good, I can always say I gave 100 percent," Griffey said. "There will not be a 'what if' in my speech."

    One presumes the speech will take place in Cooperstown. Griffey has not decided which uniform he will enter the Hall of Fame in. Based on his comments, make the Mariners a slight favorite.

    "I took some shots leaving Seattle the last year, and I took some shots the first year here," Griffey said.

    He played 11 years in Seattle, six years and counting in Cincinnati. He admits that, even now, people know him more as a Mariner than a Red.

    Critics in Cincinnati also give the M's an edge. When he separated his shoulder and was still down on the turf, Griffey heard someone in the stands ripping him for getting hurt.

    Trey's classmates say things, too, and then there was the one guy on sports-talk radio last summer. Griffey found out on a Monday that his mom had colon cancer and on the next day that his dad had prostate cancer.

    "I suppose he'll use that as an excuse now," the caller said.

    Said Goldberg: "I wish he would render a lot of those people as irrelevant as I do."

    Maybe they've forgotten that he doesn't drink, doesn't get in trouble, and they can't possibly know that he gives to many charities because Griffey doesn't want his benevolence publicized.

    Griffey can't let go of these things, nor does it help to tell him that those people have to be in the minority, that a majority of Reds fans must love him. He doesn't believe that either. Even when you're Ken Griffey Jr. you're not necessarily a hometown hero.

    He thinks more Reds fans cheer for him "because they've got a chance to see history" than because he's one of the players on their favorite team.

    "My home's in Florida. I work in Cincinnati," Griffey said.

    "But you grew up there," I said. "Cincinnati's your hometown."

    "My home's in Florida. I work in Cincinnati," Griffey repeated. "That 19-year-old kid who's now 37 has a whole different opinion of people. I work in Cincinnati. That's it."

    His newest home is being built near Orlando, and it's at least as big as the last one, which had 15,000 square feet. He doesn't think it's interesting that this one has a 10-car garage.

    "A 10-car garage!?" I ask.

    "The other one had 12," says Griffey, who owns eight cars, all of which are 450-horsepower-plus.

    He loves Florida and says that Seattle's weather was a minor factor in his decision to leave. But it should be nice when he returns in June, 20 years to the month of his original signing.

    Griffey can low-key it, downplay it, and say it's not a big deal, but his agent knows otherwise, saying: "I know for a fact he's very excited about going back."

    Further proof -- it bothered him when he watched the Kingdome's implosion.

    "I was thinking about all the good times I had in that stadium," he said.

    The Mariners are planning a ceremony for Griffey, one that should feature the retiring of his number.

    If they do or don't, there's a more important issue. The interview's over and his kids need a ride. It's time to be a dad again.

    Jim Moore is touring spring training camps in Florida, where some former Mariners are making news.

    Today: Ken Griffey Jr. on his family, a return to Seattle and the Hall of Fame.

    Wednesday: Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia are back together again -- in Philly.


    P-I columnist Jim Moore can be reached at 206-448-8013 or jimmoore@seattlepi.com.
    "Some of the guys who pitched well for us last year aren't going to make the ballclub," Narron said.

    Pete Rose, when asked by David Letterman who he likes in the MLB playoffs:

    "You sound like you're betting on baseball."

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    After reading the article, I must have missed the part where he said he did not like Cincy...
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Read it the way you want too, he said, I ONLY work in Cincy and that is it. He said the fans only come to see him break RECORDS and they do not like him as their favorite player on their favorite team. I don't know how more clearer that can be. I guess I am reading into his words, but then again maybe not.

    What else does he do in Cincy with the fans? I mean, please tell me, maybe I am missing something here. I would think the ones that go to the games would be a little upset with his comments, but I guess not.

    The Dawg Man had his view on the article too.

    http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs...out-junior.asp
    "Some of the guys who pitched well for us last year aren't going to make the ballclub," Narron said.

    Pete Rose, when asked by David Letterman who he likes in the MLB playoffs:

    "You sound like you're betting on baseball."

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Okay, well if the Dawg Man says so....
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    After some of the stories I have heard about the way his wife and children have been treated by some "fans" I can't say I blame him.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie View Post
    Okay, well if the Dawg Man says so....
    Crawling down the alley on your hands and knee,
    I'm sure you're not protected, for its plain to see
    Diamond Dogs are poachers, and they hide behind trees
    Hunt you to the ground they will,
    mannequins with kill appeal


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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    I am not sure I would like Cincinnati that much if some of the "fans" treated me the way they have treated him.

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    This article (from either the Post or the Enquirer) was posted on Reds Live a few days ago with a very lively discussion ensuing. You might want to take a look.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    After some of the stories I have heard about the way his wife and children have been treated by some "fans" I can't say I blame him.
    Was thinking the same thing.
    "And the fact that watching him pitch is like having someone poop on your soul." FCB on Gary Majewski

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    Quote Originally Posted by cReds1 View Post
    Read it the way you want too,
    That sounds exactly what you're doing..... reading into it what you want to.

    Where does it say he did not like Cincy?

    He never said the highlighted part below that you have inserted.

    he said, I ONLY work in Cincy and that is it. He said the fans only come to see him break RECORDS and they do not like him as their favorite player on their favorite team
    What else does he do in Cincy with the fans? I mean, please tell me, maybe I am missing something here. I would think the ones that go to the games would be a little upset with his comments, but I guess not.
    Maybe you should do a little more research as to what Jr does with the fans (especially kids) in Cincy. He doesn't seek publicity for all of it because that is not his motive in doing so.

    Harang's home is in San Diego. Ya gonna give him a hard time too if he were to say that SD was his home and he "works" in Cincy? Most ballplayers do not list as "home" the cities where they play. It's no big deal.

    I'm really getting tired of some fans giving Jr such a hard time because he doesn't fit or live up to THEIR expectations.

    He's a human being, a ballplayer (and darn good one), and more importantly, a family man and a good husband who seems to have a soft spot for kids.... he's not Jesus Christ.
    Last edited by GAC; 02-21-2007 at 09:18 PM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    "Everybody in Seattle said, 'What do you have to leave for?' " Griffey said. "I wanted to be around my kids and see 'em grow up. Then they'd say, you could fly 'em in. But it's about being there, being a dad. If they need something, I want to be there.

    "Then I'd hear, 'There must be something else.' No. I want to be a dad. It's my job to make sure they turn out OK."

    This is something that bothers me about professional in sports (so not just KGJ) in that if they wanted to be around their family more then do as nearly every other person does and move to the town where your job is. This is especially true if you have signed a long term contract in that city.

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    Re: Griffey article in Seattle PI.....The Kid's all grown up

    You know, if all The Boston Globe stories about Arroyo had been true, there is no way Arroyo would have signed that extension. Reporters sometimes take things out of context. Sometimes players say things that they believe are appropriate for the intended audience. Look at Bubba Crosby's comments from The Cincinnati Post:

    SARASOTA, Fla. - When Bubba Crosby walked into the Reds clubhouse at the City of Sarasota Sports Complex for the first time, he saw something he wasn't really used to, guys hugging each other and talking about dinner plans.

    Crosby, who spent the last three years with the New York Yankees, wasn't used to seeing such a level of camaraderie.

    Monday's drama in Tampa was that Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter aren't best friends. In Sarasota, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn were ganging up on Ryan Freel and busting up the entire clubhouse in laughter.

    "That's something we lacked in New York. It felt like everyone would go their own separate ways. Here guys go out and do things together," said Crosby, who was signed to a free agent contract in the off-season. "I think that's a huge part of the game. The Yankees have had $200 million-plus payrolls the last few years. Money doesn't mean championships all the time. You look at St. Louis, it looks like the guys love each other and hang out."
    This is only part of the story because I couldn't get the link to cut and paste. The point is, Crosby said what he thought the reporter wanted to hear and what the intended audience wanted to hear. If Crosby had been a star, this would have been a headline story in New York. As it is, few outside of Cincy will ever read this story. Griffey, on the otherhand, will probably lose a few dozen fans. That is really too bad, because out of context comments can be presented with whatever intention a reporter can use to sell papers.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton


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