Tuesday, May 13, 2008
If Griffey's 600th HR was the main reason he's been kept in a Reds uniform for the past few years, well, allow me a moment to swallow my tongue. Nobody cares. It doesn't mean anything to any of us. It won't put butts in the seats. We crave a winner more than seeing an old man pursuing a milestone, killing his team in the process.
But Seattle, they apparently care.
It's understandable, too, being that they have nothing to root for. I'm guessing their desire to see Griffey play again for the M's goes something like this: We'd probably still stink, but at least we'd get to watch Junior again.
And really, who could blame them? Do you think 4192 would mean as much to us had Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb as a member of the freaking Montreal Expos? Of course not.
Ken Griffey Jr is not a Red. He's simply a guy who played for the organization for eight years. Really, that's all. And I don't mean to sound bitter, because really, I always have and always will defend Griffey's performance as a Red. But that doesn't change the fact that history will remember one of the game's twenty greatest players as a Mariner.
Griffey was shipped to the Reds as he sat on 398 HRs. We acted like No. 400 meant something to us, but it really didn't; we had nothing invested...we were merely happy he added a run for the good guys that particular day. Ditto for No. 500. But Nos. 400 and 500 would have meant everything (relatively speaking) to the city of Seattle. They watched Griffey sweep through town like a comet--becoming the best player in baseball for the majority of the 90's--and it would have been rewarding to watch their guy hit his 400th (at the Kingdome) and 500th (Safeco) in Seattle.
But he didn't. Griffey hit Nos. 400 and 500 as a Cincinnati Red. We rejoiced. Or something.
Which brings me to my point.
I can't say a Reds/Mariners, Griffey-for-prospects trade is imminent (how could I?), but all parties involved are way past flirting, and I'd bet a lot of money that Griffey ends the season in Seattle.
So what's the hold up?
Please tell me it's not No. 600.
I sincerely hope that Reds ownership doesn't think we give a damn. Because, as previously stated, nobody does. But Seattle ownership--and more importantly, their fans--they most definitely give a damn. Their boy, all grown up, could return home and give them a reason to (a.) get drunk, and (b.) cheer like a maniac for someone who they were once obsessed with. As sad as it sounds, I'm a bit jealous of the potential for happiness that Mariner fans now possess.
Think I'm crazy? Think back a decade...
If Griffey were to have a decent couple of months in Seattle, it would have the same effect Boomer Esiason had on us in '97. Remember Boomer's run? Who doesn't? Those were two of the best months of my life. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
So please, Mr. Castellini, don't wait out No. 600 with false hopes of increased attendance. Give Griffey back to the Mariners before he joins the 600 Club. Seattle needs Junior to bring them unadulterated joy, and Cincinnati needs to see Jay Bruce become Ken Griffey Jr.
In this scenario, everybody wins.
-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
Posted by Twin Killing dot Com at 8:02 AM