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Mariners blackballing reporter who wrote story about Griffey sleeping during game

May 12, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

As if Mike Sweeney accusing a reporter of lying and challenging teammates to fight him didn’t add enough drama to the ongoing Ken Griffey Jr. saga, after last night’s game Cliff Lee refused to speak to the media until Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune left the room.
LaRue has covered the Mariners for 28 years and reported earlier this week that Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse during a game, quoting unnamed players. According to LaRue several Mariners asked him to reveal the identity of his sources Tuesday and, when he refused like any reporter in his situation would, declined to speak to him.
Meanwhile, denials have focused on his not being asleep during a specific inning of a specific game and seem to indicate he has used the clubhouse for naps during other games. And of course Sweeney saying the story is “a makeshift article made up of lies” because “no one stood up” and revealed themselves as LaRue’s source when challenged to “stand up and fight me” is absurd. Who’s crazy enough to actually do that?
The beauty of it all is that Griffey is hitting .200 with a .489 OPS and Sweeney is hitting .176 with a .469 OPS, so their sleep patterns aren’t nearly as damaging to the Mariners as their inept hitting and the two washed-up former stars taking on teammates and media members in the final days of their careers is kind of sad.

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. walk - May 12, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    As i asked earlier why were the two alleged witnesses in the clubhouse during the game? If some one was sent to look for griffey during the game you can bet their team mates know who they are, so why are they not named? Were they in fact sneaking away for a nap in THE KID’S chair and got disappointed that it was already occupied? Seriously though the players seem not to know and that coupled with the fact that the reporter refuses to name them leads me to believe sofa gate is an exaggeration at best and worst case is just someone with an axe to grind. Ugly buisness all around.

  2. mtwain - May 12, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    He should take more power naps. Looks like they have a two-game win streak going.

  3. Michael - May 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Kudos to everyone who sees through this story.
    It’s fun laughing at the people taking it seriously.

  4. The Babe - May 12, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    I remember reading a story about Babe Ruth. On the train heading from one city to another, a totally nude Babe Ruth suddenly burst through the door of the car carrying the reporters. The Babe was shortly followed by a totally naked woman bearing a knife. The reporters all observed the incident, but not one of the reporters wrote a story about it. Whether this is a true story or not I cannot determine, but the point is clear.

  5. Hernan - May 12, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    That’s a good excuse used by reporters to “cover” their news.
    If he have proof, show it. If not it’s only gossip, and I support the players for refusing to talk with gossipers.
    If you are not a reporter and you say something against me, I can sue you, the reporter is covered by the 1st ammendment, so they can say whatever they want to say in the name of “journalism”.
    There are thousands, millions of reporters that doesn’t need to publish this kind of crap about somebdoy, but also there are some that don’t dive a damn if they destroy a person or a family with the things that they publish.

  6. Den Peters - May 13, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    Once again, a haze of mystery surrounding Junior. This stems from an unbelievably immature kid, with maybe the best pure talent the game has seen. Instead, in his last year, we get a mystery. With a simple explantation of what really happened from Junior himself, the case would be closed. Not this guy..he never grew up. Very sad.

  7. Buzzerj - May 13, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    I guess my take on this is if the Mariners organization, the front office, doesn’t mind their players blackballing someone in the media even if he wrote something damaging about their star, their icon, Junior himself, then that says something cowardly about the Mariners organization. It’s the organization that gets our money even though we come to see the team. If the players can dictate they’re off limits to specific people in the media and the organization doesn’t take action, then the Mariners organization is saying their losing team is more important than the fans. This is really ridiculous. If the players can single out and boycott someone who’s upset them, with the tacit approval or acquiescence of the organization, the fans can and should choose to start boycotting the team itself. No one is holding a gun to our head to make us watch this anemic Mariner baseball team. Griffey got an RBI tonight in Baltimore – that should be the headline. He’s got 5 RBIs so far this year and no home runs. You know no one in their right mind would add Griffey to their fantasy roster this year but the Mariners did it for real. And we the fans get to watch it. Now I fully understand Ken Griffey made this town and has been a true Mariner hero. He excited us last year but we’re not really talking about Griffey here. We’re talking about the Mariners, they’re the team. They are the reason Sweeney called out his teammates and wanted to punch them out, for the sake of the team. He might have killed someone for the sake of the team. For the sake of a team that’s 13-20 at the bottom of the American League West who lost in Baltimore tonight because they can’t score any runs. The organization calls up guys from that dreaded town Tacoma to at least hit the ball because their front line players, everyone except Gutierrez and maybe Lopez aren’t hitting at all. Maybe Griffey and Sweeney can take their act to the Raniers for awhile and practice their hitting stroke, y’know get some work in. This platoon DH stuff doesn’t appear to be working very well. So it’s really up to the organization, do you fish or cut bait on some of these guys? This smallball stuff you’re playing Wak, is really wearing a bit thin in the American League parks. I think the Mariners organization needs to figure out if they want Sweeney’s punch in the locker room or at the plate. And that goes for the rest of the players too. Maybe the fans should start rooting for the Rangers or A’s or a team that’s trying to play some serious baseball. The organization better stand up, because it’s you who are letting the fans down. Jack Z. you better get busy and give the fans a reason to come to Safeco next time you guys come to town. By the way, Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, but you better trade him soon because his value is there to other teams and you are only really rented him anyway. Build for the future because this team will not be a contender. Griffey and Sweeney are not the future and they know it too.

  8. paul hoynes - May 13, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    MLB players are required to talk/cooperate with the media. The rules are posted in every big league clubhouse. That doesn’t mean they do, but they are required to do so.
    paul hoynes.

  9. willmose - May 13, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    This simply proves what I have been saying along. Sportswriters/blogger crossed the line from journalists to gossip reporters several years ago. It is always easier to dish the dirty than provide a framework for the facts. Poor LaRue, but maybe he will take up a higher calling like street walking for living.

  10. litenin - May 19, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    Let Griffey, Sweeney, and Wakamatsu all go, and let the pitchers bat; to at least give them a better chance of winning ball games; even poor hitting pitchers can duplicate the current DH hitter’s performances.

  11. mad dog - May 27, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    and now 2 weeks after your article, the man with the slow bat is hitting .308 with an HR every 10 ABs and an RBI every 4 ABs. You are a moron Gleeman. You must work for CBS Sportsline

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