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Griffey returning for another season in Seattle

Nov 11, 2009, 12:16 PM EDT

Ken Griffey Jr.’s return to Seattle was a success in so much as Mariners fans seemed to enjoy having him back and the team made major strides following a horrible 2008, but his actual performance was awful.
Griffey showed that he still has plenty of power and patience with 19 homers and 63 walks in 454 plate appearances, but he batted just .214/.324/.411 for a career-worst .735 OPS and was almost exclusively limited to designated hitter duties.
When he started dropping hints about wanting to return for a 22nd season at the age of 40 it seemed obvious that the Mariners wouldn’t–or at least shouldn’t–be interested in a second go-around. While the reunion was nice in a rebuilding season, the team seemingly has bigger plans for 2010 that should involve an upgrade at DH.
All of which is why this report from Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is surprising: Griffey and the Mariners have agreed to a one-year deal for 2010. Certainly getting sub par production from a part-time designated hitter is far from disastrous and won’t make or break the team in 2010, but it looks like nostalgia, loyalty, and perhaps some extra ticket sales will keep the Mariners from what would be a pretty easy upgrade.
Of course, that’s easier said than done with an incredibly popular future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but this isn’t exactly a Brett Favre and the Packers situation. Griffey has hit just .234/.340/.418 in 1,029 plate appearances spread over the past two seasons, is no longer capable of playing the outfield regularly, and the Mariners’ lineup needs all the help it can get after ranking dead last in scoring this year.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    I guess that when his playing days are finally over, what with that classy Seattle loyalty thing, Griffey can be used to replace the Lenin statue in Fremont – which, having presided for a decade over a good old fashioned capitalist real estate boom and bust cycle, I understand is now being taken down because someone finally got the bright idea that it was a left-wing icon. Or perhaps his return will take some of the sting out of losing the 787 production line to Charleston.
    Really, Seattle fans, let’s face it. Ballplayers come and go, but the original Crapper flush commode in the basement of Doc Maynard’s will be there forever. Save your loyalty for them what earned it.

  2. PMac - Nov 11, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    It’s days like these when I am PROUD to be a Mariners fan.
    Junior is the best player of this generation. He is the only player I’ve seen that is constantly cheered for in every ballpark in America.
    A true class act. I’m glad his swan song lasts for 1 more year.

  3. Steven C - Nov 11, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    This is absolutely assinine. Ken Griffey is crap, and has been crap for a long time. I don’t care who is dad was, who is godfather is, I don’t give a damn about an over rated has been.
    Get over the jungle fever. Matsui is ripe for picking, and if he hasn’t proven his current worth, then all of you bone heads have been hiding your heads in dark places, which explains why some of you want to see Griffey on the Mariners.
    I’m so tired of great players, who work hard to win, being crapped on by lazy, egotistical players, and by a management team who apparently has no desire to win.
    Maybe the Seattle fans are also to blame, since they are the ones who seem to be blowing Griffey’s horn. If that’s the case, please take a couple years off of your insane crusade, and let the team shine. Let Ichiro, and the rest of the hard working players, get to the world series.
    Go Home Griffey !!!

  4. mick-7-1961 - Nov 11, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    I wonder if he’s on the ‘list’

  5. mick-7-1961 - Nov 11, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    Tell us how you really feel, Steve…don’t hold back.
    Ken Griffey Jr. will be in the Hall. ‘Over rated” gives me
    an idea of just how much you know about the game.
    There’s no doubt about his current playing ability and maybe he
    should retire, but if he wants to stay in Seattle and feels he
    can contribute, that’s fine by me.
    It’s in the cards that Matsui will probably be dealt to Seattle (Series MVP notwithstanding)…the Yanks aren’t going to trade Damon and Matsui would be the logical move.
    But as far as saying that Jr. is crap…you need to tap your head and rething that statement, Paisan.

  6. Jsmith12 - Nov 12, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    quote: Steven C “Go Home Griffey !!!”
    He is home.

  7. m'sfan - Nov 12, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    There is a difference between the east coast and the west coast fan. NY fans are over bearing and rude, they can’t relate to real people who enjoy the game for the games sake and not only the win. Just watching a game played in Seattle vs. one in NY anyone can tell there is a vast difference in the fan base. We are proud of the Mariners and don’t ever give up on them weather they win a record number of games or have a loosing season.
    Steve, if you noticed the news about the Mariners resigning Griffey was posted on the actual news sites, not just the sports sections….they don’t do that for “crap” players. Let’s see where we learn about Matsui’s trade. I am sure we will need to turn to the sports section.
    Yes, I am proud to take my kids and grandkids to a Mariner game. They prove it’s about the fans as well as the game.

  8. Steven C - Nov 12, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    Check mr. Griffey’s stats and contributions for the last 3-4 years, if you aren’t convinced his performance is crap. Check the salary he’s getting paid, if you think he isn’t over rated.
    I’ve been a Mariner’s fan ever since Ichiro joined the team, and I enjoy watching the M’s play, whether they win or lose. But I’m so tired of teams paying has been’s enough money to get 2-3 GOOD, young players, who have to work their asses off just to hold a spot on the team. And, I’m so tired of fans who are infected with jungle fever, and completely blind to the realities of another one who doesn’t perform.
    If I remember correctly, mr. Griffey didn’t really come through for the Reds, when he jumped ship the first time.
    But, given the response to his signing, which I’ve read above, I’m guessing the next news story, which will undoubtedly be on the front page, will be mr. Griffey’s winning the next Nobel prize for something else he didn’t do.

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