CHICAGO -- In a short stint with the White Sox last season, Ken Griffey Jr. made a strong impression on fans in Chicago.
Griffey, a rent-a-Hall-of-Famer for a little more than two months last season with the AL Central champions, visited his former teammates Monday, hours before the scheduled game between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago was postponed because of rain. It will be made up Tuesday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m.The Mariners opted to pitch Monday's starter, Chris Jakubauskas, in the first game against Bartolo Colon. The White Sox pushed John Danks back to the night game against Felix Hernandez.Not long after the game was called -- just minutes after it was supposed to have started -- Griffey pulled up to the White Sox clubhouse in a golf cart driven down the tunnel by a security guard. He told reporters that he was waiting for Chicago outfielder Jermaine Dye, who he claimed was paying for his dinner. Griffey joked that he won't play Tuesday, calling it a "spa day.""I'm trying to get the whole day off," he said, laughing.As the two walked away, Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and fellow Orlando resident, called out, "Hey, old man!""He must be talking to you," Griffey said to Dye.Griffey, who was not in the starting lineup Monday, is hitting .192 with two homers and three RBIs in 15 games in his ballyhooed return to Seattle, which has been a surprise team this season with a 12-7 record and a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West going into Monday."One thing about Junior, people thought he was a different way when he got here, like he's going to run the show, he's going to go his own way," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It was the opposite. This guy was unbelievable, great. His teammates respected him, loved him. You don't see too many people that played for us in the past come to the office, come to my office, and say hi to everyone."Griffey is hitting .286 (6-for-21) with two homers against Colon lifetime, and has never faced Danks.The White Sox could use the extra day to rest two injured players. Second baseman Chris Getz is day to day with a fractured tip of his right middle finger. He injured himself during fielding drills before Saturday's game against Toronto."I thought he was going to play today, unfortunately he can't," Guillen said. "He said he can do a couple things, unfortunately it was raining again today, and he can't do much activities. Hopefully he can play tomorrow."Sox DH Jim Thome was out of the lineup as well, with a sore left heel, but he was available to hit. He went 1-for-4 Sunday."He hit the bag I don't know when," Guillen said. "He hit the bag with his heel, and today he was sore. They went to check with the doctors, they said maybe take one day, two days. He's going to start taking some medicine to calm it a little bit. If I need a pinch hitter, I can use him. He can't run, but he can't run anyway."Danks, 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA, was fine with the extra time off."It doesn't matter to me one bit," he said. "It doesn't really change anything. I'll take the ball whenever they give it to me."Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said the day off helps infielder Ronny Cedeno, who has been out with a sore right hamstring since April 23, and the bullpen."Everybody should be available tomorrow," he said.Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima, on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, is supposed to play in an extended spring training game Tuesday and could be activated by Friday, Wakamatsu said.Wakamatsu said he's throwing Jakubauskas first to help Hernandez, 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, stay in his routine."We felt it was better to keep Felix in the same spot that he was going to pitch in," he said.The first-year skipper also said that Griffey will play one game tomorrow, ending his dreams of another day off.