Was Junior sleeping on the job?

Greg Johns on a juicy report:

For those wondering how much longer Ken Griffey Jr.'s run will last with the Seattle Mariners, Tacoma News Tribune beat writer Larry LaRue has an answer.

LaRue wrote a blog post this morning speculating the end is near for Junior and not just because he's struggling to produce at the plate.

LaRue, who has been covering the Mariners since 1988, says two different players told him Griffey wasn't called on to pinch hit late in a game last week because he'd gone back into the clubhouse and fallen asleep.

You can read LaRue's blog post here.

LaRue feels the story is an example of how Griffey isn't as engaged with this year's team as he was last year and speculates his time with the Mariners will be done before the end of this month, either with the veteran retiring or being released.

Unfortunately, when I tried to access LaRue's blog post, it was gone. Probably just a glitch, but whenever something disappears from the Web, our minds do leap to the possibility that something was pulled because someone's in trouble; certainly the Mariners, organizationally speaking, would not be thrilled with such a story, true or not.

As Johns points out, "The problem, of course, is not just that Griffey was tired the other night in the clubhouse. It's that his bat is tired as well."

I wish I'd been wrong about Griffey and Mike Sweeney and the Mariners. They're my closest team, and a spirited competition between them and the Angels, or them and the Angels and the Rangers, or them and the Angels and the Rangers and the Athletics would have been interesting.

Hey, maybe one of those things will still happen. But the Mariners began the season in a hole they dug for themselves. And to this point they still haven't stopped digging.