Moving away from Griffey

If you haven’t already, let’s get away from any belief that Ken Griffey Jr.’s decision to sign with the Mariners was solely based on the fact that he was upset about the fact that The Atlanta-Journal Constitution provided indication on Tuesday afternoon that he’d already chosen to play for the Braves.

Can you truly believe that a Hall of Famer would alter his plans by choosing to move three time zones away from his family just because he was upset about a report?

Because he’s always been fond of the Mariners organization and the fans of Seattle, I understand why Griffey was upset with this report, which was based on information provided by a source who regards himself as one of the outfielder’s closest friends.

While trying to evaluate every angle, I guess I can buy that the report at least played a small part in Griffey’s decision.  But if this is true (and it certainly might be), then you have to realize the fact that, beyond the nostalgic return and the reality that that the Mariners were providing more from a financial standpoint, there were a number of factors weighing against the Braves.

Over the past week, there was always a sense that Griffey’s agent, Brian Goldberg wanted his client to return to Seattle.  I think this belief was verified when it was Griffey who personally took the initiative to reach out to the Braves to start negotiating with them.

With this in mind, there’s certainly a chance that Goldberg used the  AJC  report as ammunition while trying to persuade Griffey to return to the greater riches awaiting him in Seattle.   But once again, this seems to only further prove that the Braves might have never had better than a 50/50 chance to land the outfielder.

Regardless of what Goldberg wanted, ultimately the decision was Griffey’s and I can’t blame him for returning to a place where he’ll be beloved, regardless of what he does on the field. 

If he’d chosen the Braves and struggled this season, Griffey would have certainly encountered more ridicule from the Atlanta fans, who would have been more apt to view him simply as a washed-up legend. 

There aren’t any guarantees that Griffey’s surgically-repaired right knee will allow him to encounter success this season.  But in Seattle, he’ll deservedly be loved whether he hits .300 or .220. 

This provides the makings for a  nice story.  But it certainly would have been nice if he wouldn’t have pulled the Braves into the mix while creating this next chapter of his storied career.

-Mark Bowman

14 Comments

It would have been nice. But we must move on. I don’t know about you but I’m ready for this offseason to be over! I would guess you are as well… considering 1/2 the stories you have posted seem to fall through at the last minute, leaving you to follow up with a “That was perception/ this is reality” type article. No fault of your own. You’re just doing your job… and a hell of a job at that… I’m just ready for the pop of the glove and the crack of the bat and the smell of that ball field. The one thing that is sticking in my crawl right now is that this has played out in a way that eludes Jr. using our battered offseason as a bartering/negotiating ploy. I’m not convinced that is the case… but the perception leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and I guess we’ll never really know. LET’S PLAY BALL FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! I’m actually looking forward to what Schaffer will bring to the table because of your reporting… that’s why you’re good at what you do! Schafer for rookie of the year in ’09?

how does the prospect of your looming unemployment soud?

Mark,

If you get bored, go talk to Peter Moylan and ask him how he is going to balance having the same agent as Furcal and wanting to be a Brave long term. Based on all that Mr. Schuerholz said that week about dealing in the future with that agency. That should either be an interesting talk or get you swung at. Either way it will make for good Blogging.

rother, it’s possible to talk to a player without agents being there. Just look at A-Fraud.

I don’t think Mark has anything to worry about as far as unemployment, chemist, but you definitely might consider some spelling lessons and/or a spell checker.

True, but it will be interesting to get Peter’s take on the whole thing. The spin the agents fed him would be fun to listen to.

I guess we will have to dance with the partner we have instead of trying to team up with the prettiest girl at the party. We have some very good pieces but I am not so sure they fit together nicely. A no power first baseman along with a powerless left fielder does not fit very well. Then you add no power in center field or third base and you have more troubles. It would be very nice to have a power bat but we don’t. Now we either depend on speed or high OBP. I forgot, we don’t have that either. We do have a solid pitching staff, not great but solid. I guess we can lose 30 more one run games this year. Oh well I love the Braves in spite of Wren.

69 Braves- That “partner” we have is not as dreadful as your making it out to be. We have a starting rotation consisting of 5 pitchers who could all very easily win 15 + games each. With Moylan, Sorriano, and Gonzalez, we have an incredibly solid bullpen. I expect Boyer to have a better year too. Our defense is will be solid. And although we don’t seem to have a lot of pop from one player, we have average pop from several players. Chipper, Frenchy, McCann will give you 25 + hr and make a push for 100 rbis each. Kotchman, Kelly, and the Diaz – _____ platoon will give you 15-20 hrs each. Anderson and Escobar will give you the speed and consistency at the plate. Just because we didn’t overpay for some injury prone free agents this year doesn’t mean we can’t compete. If everyone stays healthy and keeps that fire that seems to be there to win… we will compete in the division. It’s time to move on and stop blaming Wren.

bravomania Put a lineup together and you will see that offensively the pieces just do not fit well together. You end up with every player hitting in their least productive position. We have an entire lineup of question marks. I can project numbers all day long but look at tendencies and you will see what we could have with the addition of 1 solid power bat. I am and will always be a Braves fan but I also know baseball. We need a little help to make a big difference. Look at the lineups in the east and compare. We don’t look very good in comparison!!!!!!!!!!

69 – Look no further than last season in the American League East to prove that one dominant offensive bat to mash 35 hrs and drive in 120 is not essential to competing. The Rays had only two players hit more than 25 homeruns and only one player drive in more than 100 rbis. They wont the pennant with timely hitting, solid pitching, and a reliable bullpen… not to mention great defense. I want to make it clear that I agree with you to a certain extent. If you read my previous responses on this blog you will notice that I think we need a solid cleanup hitter to protect Chipper – ala Fred McGriff, Andres Gallaraga, and Mark Texiera. That is definitely a piece of the puzzle we are missing. However, I still believe we have the other necessary pieces in place to compete.

If there was speed on the team then I wouldn’t worry about the lack of power. Hopefully that’ll change if Josh Anderson can get it together.

Josh Anderson was second on the team last year in stolen bases… he played in 40 games.

Yeah, but look who he was second behind. Not much competition. And what I meant about “getting it together” is learning to take pitches, get walks, and not strike out. His BB to K ratio last year was not good.

Why does Junior have no culpability? He had an offer from Seattle all along! Why didn’t he ask Aaron and Mays about legacy then? HE contacted the Braves and that was reported….did he get upset about THAT press? I agree with Chipper…he should have handled the questions about LEGACY long before seducing another team just days before Spring Training. He certainly had enough time to think about it over the winter!!!

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