A player who at one team seemed destined to challenge for Hank Aaron’s all-time HR mark, Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement earlier today in Seattle, his once glittering career hampered by frequent injuries and of late, claims he wasn’t fully conscious during a ballgame. A 13 time All-Star — on ten occasions with the Mariners, 3 with the Reds, Griffey’s exploits in the 1990′s with Seattle made him the game’s most popular figure for a lengthy spell, one without whom big league baseball in the Emerald City might’ve ceased to be. Obviously saddened, Lookout Landing’s Jeff Sullivan considers whether there’s any way Junior’s exit could’ve been handled differently.
I would have preferred it if the fans, especially the ones who stuck behind Griffey, have gotten some chance to officially say goodbye. That never seemed Griffey’s way, but I was hoping that he would put those feelings aside and do something for the fans. Alas, that is not to be.
Also, I have no problem with Griffey being part of the team in some role. Given his stated influence on certain players, and the local media and crowds still, I would be happy if he (had) stuck around. Just not on the 25-man roster. That was why I was such a big advocate of a 60-day disabled list stint. He could have hung around the clubhouse still and come back off the list in September when the rosters expanded and his spot wouldn’t be at the expense of anyone. Alas, that is not to be either.