Griffey’s future is squarely in the Mariners’ crosshairs

Larry LaRue of the News Tribune of Tacoma has written that the end for Ken Griffey Jr. could be near. He writes that the Mariners will ask Griffey to retire gracefully but if he doesn’t, that the team will release him.

Here’s LaRue’s commentary on The News Tribune website.

In a perfect world, Griffey’s bat will heat up in better weather on the road this week than what it was during breezy and cold conditions at Safeco Field during the recent nine-game homestand. It’s supposed to be 80 on Wednesday in Baltimore, then there are three indoor games this weekend at Tampa.

Can it happen? Anything is possible.

Will it? Only at-bats will tell, but you now wonder how many chances Griffey will get.

It looks like the Mariners will face right-handed starting pitchers in every game on this road trip. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Mike Sweeney, the right-handed-hitting part of the DH platoon, will get a couple of games.

Does that mean Griffey will continue to get the at-bats? And, if so, will Wakamatsu move Griffey down from fifth in the batting order and put someone there who might add some life to the middle of the order (does that person exist on this team)?

Or have the Mariners already concluded that Griffey is done and that they’re ready to move on?

It’s a lot easier to do that with Eric Byrnes or hitting coach Alan Cockrell, both victims of the Mariners’ May malaise, than with a Hall of Fame-bound superstar who’s the main reason Seattle didn’t lose major league baseball in the mid-1990s.

A lot of people are making a huge deal out of the report that Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse during Saturday night’s game. Shannon Drayer, who covers the Mariners for 710 ESPN radio and is well-connected with the team, writes that it’s not unusual for Griffey to fall asleep.

A story today on , again quoting an anonymous team official, said nothing is imminent concerning Griffey’s future.

The key issue here is production from the DH spot, which the Mariners aren’t getting. Not from Griffey. Not from Sweeney.

Something must change and the team has reached the point when it can’t be patient much longer.

It doesn’t take a scout to tell you that Griffey’s bat speed has slowed. For anyone who has watched all the great things he has done since the Mariners drafted him in 1987, the decline has been difficult to watch.

There was hope that another offseason knee operation, this time to remove a bone spur that caused problems last year, would allow Griffey to use his legs more in his swing this season.

But it hasn’t happened, the ball looks dead off his bat, and now the end of Griffey’s career is squarely in the crosshairs.

My hope is that the end – whenever it happens – is amicable and that Griffey gets the send-off he deserves.

Until then, production from the DH spot must change, no matter who’s hitting there.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens quarterback Kolton Matson drops back to pass against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: QB Matson ‘had that dawg in him’ during Lake Stevens’ state title win

The sophomore quarterback’s growth since last year’s championship loss was the biggest difference for the Vikings on offense this time around.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Nov. 28-Dec. 4

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Nov. 28-Dec. 4. Voting closes… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State champs!: Lake Stevens captures 1st-ever 4A football title

The Vikings edge Kennedy Catholic 24-22 in the state title game to complete the elusive final step in their program’s ascent.

The Everett Silvertips acquired defenseman Niko Tsakumis from the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for two WHL draft picks. (Brian Liesse / Seattle Thunderbirds)
Tips boost defensive depth with trade for Thunderbirds’ Tsakumis

The 17-year-old defenseman, who was acquired for a pair of WHL draft picks, played in both of Everett’s games over the weekend.

Prep results for Monday, Dec. 5

Prep results for Monday, Dec. 5: BOYS BASKETBALL Wesco 3A/2A Stanwood 59,… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Grading the Seahawks in their 27-23 victory over the Rams

Quarterback Geno Smith leads the way as Seattle stays in the hunt in the NFC West

A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Xe'Ree Alexander against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Notebook: Defense shines in Lake Stevens’ championship game victory

The Vikings set the tone with an early interception and seal the game with key defensive stands.

Haji Wright of the United States is comforted after losing the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
U.S. falls to Netherlands, knocked out of World Cup

The Americans’ run ends with a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Dutch in the round of 16.

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read