You have to enjoy these stories that just keep on giving. From the suddenly famous Larry LaRue:
- After a players-only meeting to discuss the issue – and a pair of anonymous players who triggered the most controversial part of it – Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Ken Griffey Jr. was not asleep in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game in Seattle.
One player said he’d seen Junior asleep at his locker in the seventh inning of that game, an inning before catcher Rob Johnson came to bat, and a second player confirmed the account.
Since it was my blog that sparked all this, players approached me after their meeting to ask if I’d identify the two guys I’d interviewed. I wouldn’t – if there’s heat from all this, it’s on me, not two guys who answered my questions.
I was also told a number of players were angry and hurt by the blog, and that it would be best not trying to talk to them for a few days. Given my job, that’s not possible. I had to try and did, and many passed.
That’s part of my job, and maybe part of theirs, too.
Look, the problem isn't that Griffey was taking a nap in the seventh inning. I mean, that's a problem; for me, anyway, it takes a few minutes to really wake up after a nap. So even if Junior was sitting next to his manager in the eighth inning, that doesn't necessarily mean he was as alert as you'd like your pinch-hitter to be.
But again, that's just a problem rather than the problem. Or rather, the problems. One problem is that this has become a huge story. The other problem is that two Mariners don't have Junior's back.
Oh, and there's a third problem: At the moment, the two dominant personalities on the roster, Sleepy Junior and Angry Sweeney, can't hit.
Mike Sweeney's angry because there are a couple of snitches in the clubhouse. But you know, it's frustrating, when you're a young man and you're losing games because old men -- old men who shouldn't be on the roster at all -- are routinely failing.
Three problems, and two solutions: 1) Old guys start hitting, or 2) Old guys removed from roster.
Which of those do you find more likely?