Ken Griffey Jr. Takes Up New Position As Designated Sleeper

Ken Griffey, Jr.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

When the Mariners included a jersey blanket with Griffey's latest contract they didn't think he'd be using it while a game was in session.

Ken Griffey Jr. has been a clubhouse napper throughout his entire playing career. However, last week's in-game siesta (an action that's caused the 21-year veteran to miss a DH stint), has rankled pundits and fans across the country. Apparently some people feel that an athlete who's getting paid millions without having to field should be required to stay awake long enough to get through a James Cameron movie. Factor in a batting average just north of the Mendoza Line in a lineup that has less pop than Safeway's dairy section and you have the makings of a media firestorm.

"He was asleep in the clubhouse," said one of two unidentified players who reported the incident. "He'd gone back about the fifth inning to get a jacket and didn't come back. I went back in about the seventh inning -- and he was in his chair, sound asleep." Or perhaps it was a trap to catch a pair of clubhouse snitches, in which case, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Meanwhile, beat reporters and local bloggers are ushering the end of the slugger's storied career. It's the saddest time in Northwest sports since Seattle's most beloved designated hitter put his bats into cold storage. In fact, maybe "The Kid" could have postponed his career deathwatch if he had followed Number 11's classic manual:

Edgar Martinez's Guide to Designated Hitting

1. Like they say in A Nightmare on Elm Street, don't fall asleep, because your bad dreams will come to haunt you in the real world. At least that's what Paul Molitor told me, and The Eye of Paul Molitor is always watching.

2. Whatever happens, you must never let your batting average fall anywhere below second place on the team. Why do you think I'm on such good terms with Jay Buhner?

3. Maintain your cardiovascular endurance in the event of an extra base hit. Nothing deflates a pitcher's confidence more than proving you can still move faster than a brisk trot.

4. When buying bat donuts for the on-deck circle, don't forget the real donuts. Designated hitters cannot survive on sunflower seeds alone.

5. In the event of extra innings, your fielder's glove will also double as a funny hat.

6. Use your down time to pick up secondary skills. Mine include carpentry and electrical work.

7. Brush up on your National League pitchers, because you never kn -- oh, who am I kidding. The Mariners will never make the World Series.