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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. Alan - May 12, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    The problem is that the report was published without being verified. This alone is a major sin and I will side with the ballplayers in this instance. Reporters have become to hungry to ruin a persons reputation and this should stop. I am proud that the Mariner ballplayers took a stand and I hope they bond from this experience and start to catch fire.
    As far as Ken Griffey’s performance it is not based upon one month in April of 2010. He has shown that he is a leader and has awesome numbers that confirm this. The Players would not circle the wagon unless this reporter is getting out of hand. The Tacoma news should let this reporter go or let him write for the National Enquirer.

  2. gregory Rapkoch - May 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    The players are his livelihood….thus, the old saying applies to Larry: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

  3. Luke Saxet - May 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Has it occurred to anyone that he could be ill? Give me a break. Leave the man alone when you don’t even have the facts.

  4. Missy Miss - May 12, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Come on BOYS grow up! We all know who’s dishing out the negative
    comments. If it were anyone else, would we be having this conversation? Figure it out and read between the lines . . . .

  5. Montana Red - May 12, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    This team is 13-19, lousier than their record and going nowhere. The Mariners did this writer a favor by banning him….at least he doesn’t have to watch these overpaid whiners under perform and listen to babble afterwards.
    Go back to sleep Junior.

  6. Len - May 12, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Yeah..media seems to be ok. But you see many stories are paparazzi hourdes, doing anything to get dirt on anyone.
    You wonder what school of journalism people are taking.
    They drum up stories if they can’t get a comment they are looking for. They try to fill their qouta and instigate any time of NEWS, that will get 5 seconds of fame. Its like “virul news is contagious”.
    Many articles rip on players, teams, and management of many local teams. I don’t blame players for not talking to media. They will take your words and use what they want. They take general conversations and use them out of context to suit their needs. Their next “story”.

  7. Rationality - May 12, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    I suppose I find it curious that LaRue chose to take issue with Griffey (naming names) supposedly sleeping in the clubhouse during a game, but then protecting his on-team sources in order to… what? Prevent friction on the team? Preserve his pipeline of insider scoop material? Because it was the right thing to do to protect anonymity of sources (always a guaranteed winner for authenticity of content).
    He was willing to take a shot at Griffey, but unwilling to name two players who provided the info. I’m no rocket surgeon, but it really appears that the only real thing we can guarantee here is that LaRue has been reporting on the M’s for 28 years. That’s it. No word on whether or not he’s been doing a good job, but this little deal reads a lot like a way to get a byline more than any effort to call into question the player or team.
    Lastly, c’mon, if Wakamatsu would have needed Griffey to pinch-hit, do you think he’d have been that confused as to where to find the player if he wasn’t sitting on the bench? Would there be any doubt at all that even if he WAS asleep, that would be remedied for the good of that particular game?

  8. Fred Talmadge - May 12, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Everyone on this thread is missing the OBVIOUS!!… And the obvious fact is that the source for Larry LaRue’s article is none other than KEN GRIFFEY JR. himself….
    Just consider the facts:
    Who is the most outrageous architect of the best locker room antics, practical jokes, shaving cream pies, and is the leading clubhouse rabble rouser ?? – Ken Griffey Jr.
    Who on this ball club has spent 20 some years in major league locker rooms, has seen pretty much everything that can happen on a team, and has developed the genius to think of something so outrageous to turn a team around ?? – Ken Griffey Jr.
    Who on this ball club knows each player so well that they would bet the season on the fact that the best way to get the team distracted from their hitting woes is to create an unending soap opera ?? – Ken Griffey Jr.
    Who on this ball club was on the team when the Kingdome tiles fell.. And the M’s had to play four weeks on the road.. and saw the team band together in the greatest camraderie of all time.. Unifying themselves against the world… !! Who is this person??
    – Ken Griffey Jr.
    I submit to Mariner fans everywhere that the source for Larry LaRue’s article is none other than Ken Griffey Jr himself.. He created this controversy to turn the team around… get them focused on a soap opera… and not on their hitting problems.. He created this controversy to foster a new togetherness in the clubhouse…. And he created this controversy to get the team to realize their ultimate goal… 2010 World Series Champions…!!
    Enjoy the sweep over Baltimore the next 2 days.

  9. Makaden - May 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    It isn’t hearsay if there were witnesses, dipwad.

  10. the kid hartford - May 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    good for the Mariner’s!!!!! protect your players!!!!!

  11. AVIEWFROMAFAR - May 12, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    And where in the standing are the Mariners? We have to have something interesting to read about when they play like crap.

  12. cccckid - May 12, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    its interesting that a nap is causing such uproar while we keep celebrating the drug junkies and keep letting them play with their steroid enhanced bodies.

  13. walk - May 12, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Did the two players see griffey asleep during the game or after? If it was during why were they not in the dugout or bullpen?

  14. play - May 12, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    dunk kill da wabbit*

  15. Ger - May 12, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Hey, Guys, this article is written by a REPORTER…get it?

  16. Mick - May 12, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Geez guys.. it’s not like he was going around to night clubs and raping drunk women.

  17. play - May 12, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    wanna play hopps?

  18. play - May 12, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    yeah, u-all r-wabbits…………

  19. JAWS - May 12, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    “And any other newspaperperson that stays in the interviewing room while LaRue is excorted out is gutless.”
    then they are all gutless…. I bet you they all stay.. The players who told on Griff like some 4 year old kids are to blame…. I’d like to think LaRue is lying but why would he, and why would he not report it. The “young” players who started this are to blame in my opinion. Griffey and edgar are the reason baseball is in Seattle… He could sleep between every at bat if i care…

  20. Jason - May 12, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    So the Mariners are going to try and punish a guy for doing his job, while their own multi-million dollar athelete sleeps through HIS job, which is to play a game. Nice.

  21. Rick in Seattle - May 12, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    As a resident in the area for 40 years I have watched the Mariners and the Seahawks and the former Sonics (and now the Sounders) win and lose. Seattle supports their teams regardless of the record for a season. Yes it is wonderful when a team takes it to the top like the Seahawks and the Sonics and soon the Sounders. Everyone suddenly becomes a fan. Ken Griffey deserves better than this. He broke 600 without using steroids – the honest way – not like the other bulked-up losers on the other teams. Wehther he took a nap or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether teammates dropped the dime with a loser reporter and if they did why don’t they have the courage to identify themselves. I really don’t care if Griffey is taking a nap. He has brought so much to baseball and even more to Seattle I am willing to ignore/forgive/forget any such minor transgression. He deserves better treatment than he is receiving from this idiot reporter in Tacome who’s only agenda is to sell archane newspapers. The reporter has unclean hands himself.

  22. brad - May 12, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    do people actually read newspaper coverage of sports teams? who watches Sportscenter to hear a reporter’s opinion? i check the the paper for scores and stats. i watch ESPN for highlights. i have never cared what any reporter has thought about any team. i laugh at people who spend all day listening to sports talk radio. we are talking about grown men playing games. when did sports and sports reporting reach the level of covering lawmakers and national and international events and crisis. i have been inside a MLB clubhouse during a game. the teams high-priced closer was throwing knives at a wall, there was a catcher reading a newspaper and watching tv, and another starting pitcher on a treadmill. none of them were paying attention to the game, and honestly, i didn’t care.

  23. brad - May 12, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    do people actually read newspaper coverage of sports teams? who watches Sportscenter to hear a reporter’s opinion? i check the the paper for scores and stats. i watch ESPN for highlights. i have never cared what any reporter has thought about any team. i laugh at people who spend all day listening to sports talk radio. we are talking about grown men playing games. when did sports and sports reporting reach the level of covering lawmakers and national and international events and crisis. i have been inside a MLB clubhouse during a game. the teams high-priced closer was throwing knives at a wall, there was a catcher reading a newspaper and watching tv, and another starting pitcher on a treadmill. none of them were paying attention to the game, and honestly, i didn’t care. if there were no reporters asking players questions after games, i wouldn’t notice or care.

  24. Rick in Seattle - May 12, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Be careful as the facts have not come out yet. We only have LaRue’s word that he got this from multiple sources allegedly in the clubhouse. His failure to reveal those “multiple” sources casts a pall on his veracity. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? When you have facts to back your hyperbole up then maybe you won’t get challenges to your veracity like mine.

  25. phishphace - May 12, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    So, you have a problem with the truth. The fact that these guys get paid millions to perform and are caught sleeping on the job is less important than respect. What about respect for the hard working everyday fan who pays good, hard-earned money to see his team at least try to win – are they less worthy of respect than overpaid hacks making a mockery of the sport. Reporters are the only advocates the fans have, and if they ever end up in the pocket of lazy fat cat players and their inept team owners, then the fans are the ones who will lose.

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