The Seattle Mariners have a tough decision to make. The best player in the history of their franchise is nearing the end of his career. Ken Griffey Jr. is hitting .208 with no home runs and people are starting to speculate on whether or not the team will release the future hall-of-famer.
Many people thought 2009 would be his final season. He hit .213 with 19 home runs and 57 runs batted in.
He has yet to hit his first long ball of 2010.
Griffey is unable to play the field because of lingering knee problems. He mostly serves as the designated hitter against right-handed pitchers.
Larry LaRue, staff writer for The News Tribune, has been addressing the issue.
Griffey is 40 years old and is unable to do the same things he could when he was 20. Few can. For the last 15 years or so, the natural aging process has not affected some of the game’s “great” players. That is mostly because many of them had a needle stuck in their *** when they weren’t popping pills.
Griffey’s struggles with injuries and general decline in physical ability are hard to watch, especially for someone who remembers when “The Kid” first stepped onto a Major League Baseball field. However, this is the way it usually goes for athletes when you aren’t a cheater.
The article I linked to states there have been times this year when Griffey sends text messages and leaves the bench during games. It also sites an instance where manager Don Waskamatsu was questioned about not using Griffey as a pinch-hitter last week. Two unnamed players told the press that Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse at the time.
I have no idea if this is true or not. I won’t even go into the clubhouse etiquette that those players violated.
Regardless, Griffey needs to step away. My hope is that he does so sometime in the next couple of weeks and Major League Baseball plans some way to honor him at the All-Star Game.