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Thread: Griffey and the silent 600

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    Griffey and the silent 600

    Griffey and the silent 600

    By Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports May 22, 12:49 am EDT

    LOS ANGELES Ken Griffey Jr., the 38-year-old man sitting on the equipment trunk in the corner of the clubhouse this evening, will hit his 600th career home run one of these days, more than all but five players, three of whom are beyond reproach.

    Yet, there is no buzz.

    Griffey, still The Kid at heart if not in legs, is going to swing long and true and elegantly. The ball will jump and fall indelicately into history, arriving alongside those struck by men we know, or know of.

    Yet, he will have played his entire career in an era whose story was written by George Mitchell, and co-authored by Henry Waxman.

    I can only speak for this, Cincinnati Reds teammate Adam Dunn says. This is not a guy who is in any of those documents, who has been accused of taking steroids, a guy who everyone knows has taken something. What hes about to do should be celebrated.

    Yet, the panels in center field at Great American Ball Park will turn to 6-0-0 and the ovation might carry no further than the banks of the Ohio River. The appreciation for a career well spent will course the veins of the game but probably not reach the national consciousness, sodden as it is with suspicion.

    Oh well, Griffey said. I dont even worry about it. Go out there and win a game, go out there and hit a home run, dont hit a home run. Maybe itll change. Maybe it wont.

    We have seen Barry Bonds reach 600, 700, then Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Last summer, Sammy Sosa passed 600 and Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and Jim Thome arrived at 500. Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield are nearing 500, while Chipper Jones approaches 400. We sigh over what we once lauded, Mark McGwire at 65 and 70 in a season, Bonds beyond even that.

    First, there is the volume of players reaching grounds where only legends lie.

    Six hundred, Reds manager Dusty Baker says, now appears to be what 500 used to be.

    Then, in some cases, there is the matter of how many of those hundreds are bullet-proof. Based on the lukewarm response to Griffey nearing a place that for decades held only Aaron, Ruth and Willie Mays, even the presumed innocent such as Griffey will not be entirely spared the apathy of a confused, wary or disgusted public.

    Reds officials report that Griffeys approach on 600 has drawn less-than-expected attention even in Cincinnati, despite various promotions. Granted, Griffey went a month and more than 100 plate appearances without a home run, leaving him at 597. (Griffey hit No. 598 Thursday against the Padres.) And, also granted, Griffey hates to talk about it. (Im not a hype person, he says. So, its kind of tough to hype a guy who doesnt want to be hyped.) But, on April 24, the day after Griffey drew within three of 600, the paid attendance for a game against the Houston Astros was about 17,000. A week ago, a three-game series against the unsexy but first-place Florida Marlins averaged about 14,000 fans.

    Rodriguez undoubtedly will be the more celebrated story when he nears 600 in two or three years, because of the city in which he plays, the pinstripes he wears and the assumption that 600 will lead to 700 and eventually to Bonds. Conversely, Griffey does not have a guaranteed contract past this season (the Reds hold a $16.5-million option for 2009) and is an injury risk. He missed significant time in six of his past seven seasons.

    It is likely, then, that one of the three or four great players of his generation is bearing down on his final round-figure milestone to the sound of one city clapping. Mildly.

    Griffey shakes his head, refusing to address the response to him, his career, this number.

    Im not the guy who has to talk about it, he says. I just want to help this team win. If thats getting a guy over instead of hitting a home run, thats fine, too. Ive done pretty much everything as a professional athlete except one thing win a World Series.

    Rangers officials said there wasnt much to the Sosa run at 600 either, but Sosa has had to defend himself against accusations he took steroids. And Baker, who last season was an ESPN baseball analyst, even remembered that differently.

    I dont know why its different from last year or why its different for Junior, he says. I really dont know why. Everybody likes Junior. They like and respect him.

    Stadiums of fans remain emotionally connected to the home run, the moment of impact, its immediate influence on a game, the glory of 420 feet of bang and flight. They like the home run. But, perhaps, they have cooled on the notion of the amassment of home runs, no matter who holds the bat. We still appreciate the singular drama, but have turned on the gluttonous bulk, the process of sorting the real from the enhanced. Thats good, too, because at the current rate there will be almost 600 fewer home runs hit this season the summer after Mitchell than last season. Less sorting that way. But, also, less room in our baseball souls for Griffey, for what hes done, presumably above all of that.

    Thats a good question, Dunn says. Ive been wondering the same thing. Its a huge deal and its almost swept under the rug. I mean, 600. Six hundred! Its unbelievable. This is so disappointing. Hes a great guy, first and foremost. What hes done for the game of baseball, its sad. Its a shame. And its sad.

    This is the damage inflicted by the era. The numbers add up, but dont make sense. That is the broad harm done, perhaps irreparably. In person, however, the harm is held in a bemused grin, a what-am-I-supposed-to-say shrug, an uncomfortable shift from his seat on top of an equipment trunk.

    I cant worry about that, he says again. I just cant.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

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  3. #2
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    No buzz? Really?

    I follow this team religiously, and I hear talk about 600 every single day- and have for nearly a year now. Every time Junior is up to the plate, it is talked about and graphics of his place in history are shown.

    I'm not tired of hearing about Junior's feat, but I am tired of hearing about how there is no buzz. There is plenty of talk around here and around this team, every single day, about this accomplishment.

    If the national media (which is where we are reading these complaints of late) thinks there is not enough buzz, then they have no one to blame but themselves for not making more of this.

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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    There is not buzz. There is some promotion, in an obligatory sense, from our broadcasters/announcers.

    I love Junior as much as the next guy, but no one cares. It's a number. It could and should be celebrated much more than it is, but its not.

    Its not the national medias fault. Its not our fault as fans.

    Its the Reds fault for not winning more than they are.

    The old saying goes, winning fixes everything. Junior has hit at least half or more of his homers for teams that just plain weren't relevant to baseball. There was some excitement in mid-90s Seattle I guess, but his tenure here has been fairly below the radar.

    We don't win. Numbers don't matter when you don't win.

    Sorry for Griffey, he did it the right way, no question about it. He'll go to the HoF, he'll get his 600, he's made his millions, he's had his adoration, I'm not going to feel bad the national media isn't all over this one.

    This teams gotten me beyond the point of caring.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
    Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
    Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13
    University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
    Cincinnati Bengals - None
    Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Its a case that Junior is less appreciated in a REDS uniform than he should be. The fact that the REDS are losing is one thing. But Junior is being blamed by some to being a root of the REDS problems which contributes to the antipathy shown by the home town fans. That and the fact that there have been a contingent who believe that signing Junior has caused a number of problems, that he was an injury risk after all those years at the kingdome, his salary was unworkable at a small market club, etc. has culminated in the less than stellar status we are seeing for the milestone. Coupled with the national antipathy towards baseball Junior milestone may not be marked by many but it will be truly remembered by a few.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    It's a milestone, not a record. It deserves to be celebrated, but #600 is not more important than #599 or #601. It's a great thing and I'm very happy for Ken, but I think it's receiving an appropriate amount of attention.
    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: Griffey and the silent 600

    Griffey was expected to be much further along than 600 hit at this point in time. Yes, 600 is a great milestone, but to some, it probably seems a bit of a letdown (in terms of the potential they expected).

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Like I said last week, in 8 short years Griffey has gone from one of the greatest players of all time to "the old fart who's blocking Jay Bruce"

    "I’ve done pretty much everything as a professional athlete except one thing – win a World Series.”
    Usually, it's the sportswriters who will point this out ad nauseum (careers of Ernie Banks, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, etc) but for Junior to continue making this unsolicited remark speaks volumes
    Never overlook the obvious

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    There is not buzz. There is some promotion, in an obligatory sense, from our broadcasters/announcers.

    I love Junior as much as the next guy, but no one cares. It's a number. It could and should be celebrated much more than it is, but its not.

    Its not the national medias fault. Its not our fault as fans.

    Its the Reds fault for not winning more than they are.

    The old saying goes, winning fixes everything. Junior has hit at least half or more of his homers for teams that just plain weren't relevant to baseball. There was some excitement in mid-90s Seattle I guess, but his tenure here has been fairly below the radar.

    We don't win. Numbers don't matter when you don't win.

    Sorry for Griffey, he did it the right way, no question about it. He'll go to the HoF, he'll get his 600, he's made his millions, he's had his adoration, I'm not going to feel bad the national media isn't all over this one.

    This teams gotten me beyond the point of caring.
    I think this is pretty spot on. Nobody cares about the Reds. Jr is a Red. Nobody cares about Jr.
    "This isnt stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Maybe if Jr wasn't hitting 1 HR over the last 150 ABs or so, people would talk more about it. As it is, we'd better wait till he gets to 599 and even then, we might have a wait.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Quote Originally Posted by Nugget View Post
    Its a case that Junior is less appreciated in a REDS uniform than he should be. The fact that the REDS are losing is one thing. But Junior is being blamed by some to being a root of the REDS problems which contributes to the antipathy shown by the home town fans.
    He is not the source of their problems, and I haven't heard anyone put all the blame solely on Jr. Anyone who advocates that is delusional and obviously oblivious to the other problems contributing to this team's poor performance.

    But his poor production in the #3 spot, as well as his defense in RF, is one of the contributing problems. You sometimes have to address problems one at a time.

    It's funny - this FO, this year and last, had no problem DFAing and/or demoting guys for consistently poor performance that was proving detrimental to the team winning. We can all site many examples.

    Yet because we are dealing with the likes of a future first ballot HOFer, regardless that his performance on that field is not even coming close to living up to those past credentials due to age, injury, and declining skills, we have to tread lightly.
    Last edited by GAC; 05-24-2008 at 09:05 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    I really tried to examine why even I don't care about the milestone as much as I like Junior and the Reds.

    Could it be that this is sort of anticlimactic, given the pace he was on when he jpoined the Reds? I mean, truthfully, Junior should have reached 600 seasons ago.

    We were all talking about Griffey breaking Hank's record back in 2000 and here we are in the final days of his career and he is just now hitting number 600. It's more of a letdown than milestone for me. The mind cannot help but think about what could have been and fair or not, missing those 400 plus games in a Reds uniform has dampened the legend.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Roger Bannister ran a 4 minute mile and it was news. Since then, others have done it and nobody cares.

    Sir Edmund Hilary climbed Mt. Everest and it was news. Since then others have done it and nobody cares.

    Number 600 falls in that category.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyenut View Post
    Maybe if Jr wasn't hitting 1 HR over the last 150 ABs or so, people would talk more about it. As it is, we'd better wait till he gets to 599 and even then, we might have a wait.
    That's pretty much it for me.

    At his current pace, he will be ready to hit 600 hundred just after the all-star break.

    Baseball fever. Catch it.

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Great quote from Dunn about his 250th career homer on Hal McCoy's blog:

    "Right where I need to be -- not even halfway to Ken Griffey Jr. That’s unbelievable. Not my 250, his 598. I’m ticked that it isn’t being celebrated more.”

    http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/blog

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    Re: Griffey and the silent 600

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Great quote from Dunn about his 250th career homer on Hal McCoy's blog:

    "Right where I need to be -- not even halfway to Ken Griffey Jr. Thats unbelievable. Not my 250, his 598. Im ticked that it isnt being celebrated more.

    http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/blog
    I saw that. But at Griffey's pace, he'll hit it in mid July. Plenty of time to plan a grand retirement...er...celebration.
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand


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