The Filibuster

Griffey's catch.jpgKen Griffey, Jr. found his way back to Seattle last week despite his
obvious decline in market value.  What does it say about a team when
its best shot at putting fans in the seats is to sign a dilapidated
hero of old on the cheap?  Will this be a trend?  And ultimately, Is it
fair to the fans?

–Jeff

_________________________________

Dilapidated hero of old? I don’t remember you saying that when Griffey was playing for the White Sox last season. In fact, if I remember correctly, you were pretty excited about it. That statement is more than silly. It’s ignorant.

Here’s the deal, Mr. Lung. The Mariners are terrible. They lost more than 100 hundred games last year. But they’re also a proud franchise and a franchise that was built by that “dilapidated hero of old” that they just signed. This signing isn’t about turning the franchise around this season or building a playoff team around Junior. It’s about restoring some pride to the franchise and letting Griffey play his probable last season back where he began. It’s good for the team, it’s good for the fans and it’s good for Junior.

Now, if you want to look at the signing from a pragmatic standpoint, it still makes sense. After all the problems Griffey has had physically, he’s probably not going to be playing 162 games in the outfield. He’s also not the same player defensively that he was while playing with the Mariners back in the day. And that’s a liability in the National League. It’s the same problem the Giants ran into with Barry Bonds (along with, well, you know, that “other” problem). It didn’t make sense for Griffey to go to the Braves.

But Junior back in Seattle? That makes sense. When he’s healthy, he adds depth to their outfield and even when he’s not able to go at full speed, you can still include his bat in the DH spot. Yes, you’re right. Junior is not the same player that we grew up watching. But he’s still a formidable threat and it’s a win-win situation for the Mariners.

Now, as for your other question, about this being a trend for players to return to the teams they started off with, I don’t know if it is but I can think of worse things. It makes sense that Griffey should end his career in a Seattle uniform. It would make sense for Smoltz and Glavine to end their careers in Atlanta. It’s how we know them and it’s where they belong. I’m sure that if the Cards ever traded Pujols away, you’d still want him back, even if he wasn’t in MVP form. In many ways, free agency has gutted baseball but every once in awhile it works out in our favor. This is one of those times.

-A

12 Comments

I agree with you Allen (don’t throw anything at me Jeff!) that it makes sense for Griffey to retire in a Seattle uniform. While it would have been nice for Smoltz to retire from Atlanta, I am glad he is with us; if for no other reason then I think he feels he has something to prove. Now play nice boys!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Speaking of trading Pujols…You for or against the monster package you would receive?

http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

I have to say I’ve very happy to see the return of the filibuster. Everyday a little more baseball creeps back to life and I love it.

And I think Griffey should be in Seattle. Who knows? Maybe they’ll make a Cinderella run for the ole kid.

I doubt it, but it would be lovely. Not for me, because they’re American League, but for Junior’s sake.

~Katie
http://tigerfan22.mlblogs.com/

I hate these kind of deals that are about marketing as much as sport. They may as well field a team of Bobblehead Dolls. Actually…….

http://arizonaviaslough.blogspot.com/

I think it only works out well for fans of AL teams (assuming we’re talking about position players and not pitchers). Aging stars may still have some pop in their bat, but defensively may be a liability. In the AL there’s always the DH. Come to think of it, the DH is one of the reasons I’ve never liked the AL – it allows players past their prime to continue to try to play instead of bowing out gracefully. Just my opinion.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

100 hundred eh? Well lets see, multiply by three, add the denominator, subtract the quotient, divide by the remainder and feed the dog and you get… 10,000. That’s a lotta losing. Sorry, it’s the accountant in me. Anyhoo, nitpickery aside, I like the move, the tigers will never be able to make a move based purely on nostalgia since, well, they just haven’t had any really good long tenured players. Maybe one day we can have Bobby Higginson day at Comerica and relive the good ol days of losing 119 games and feeling good about it. You know you’re a tigers fan when…. The highlight of your season is winning 5 of 6 to avoid the all time losses mark, you think Mike Maroth had a solid season… with nine wins and Ugueth ‘Machetes and Gasoline’ Urbina is seen as a solid addition to your club.

As a Cardinals fan, I’d love to have Urbina on my team. And what’s with all the Pujols trade talk guys? Get real. AP ain’t never leavin’ the Lou. NEVER.
–Jeff

I like the symmetry of players going home again: Griffey, Glavine, Giambi. (Hey, they all start with “G.” Who knew?) I agree with Allen. It’s fun for the fans and brings potential marketing opportunities for the teams.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I am more than happy to see Junior again in the arms of the Safeco Field fan-dom. I love the fact that he has taken a page from Mark McGuire and put attendance situations in his contract. He was great for fans when he was in Seattle before, and he will reward them again real soon.

The guy is the generational guy we all have seen grow from a rookie to retirement age. People always wonder what it was like to see Rusty Staub or Stan Musial play in their primes. We have all seen Griffey Jr. at his best, and I think he still has some magic to show all of us in 2009.

I actually look forward to the first Seattle series at Tropicana Field in 2009. I will be over there trying to get a autograph from one of the greatest pure hitters of my generation.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I cannot find a single thing to disagree with you on this topic. Griffey going back to Seattle makes sense of so many levels. Aside from what he will bring to the team with his experience and his abilities (“dilapidated” or otherwise), Griffey Jr also brings in much needed cash revenue. The problem with so many teams right now is a lack of income to be able to dump into their players. That’s why 99% of you guys hate the Yankees. They make money, they spend money, they make MORE money on what they spent, and then spend MORE of it, etc. It’s a cycle.

Free agency has robbed up of the “franchise” players. You have guys that play for about a dozen teams in their careers who end up being “homeless” in a sense (see A-Rod).

I will use the Yankees as a point of reference. They have abused free agency more so than any other team. However, they have maintained a core of franchise players: Jeter, Posada, Mo, and to a lesser extent Pettitte (who left for Houston, and ended up coming home anyway).

These guys make the clubs revenue. They give the city identity.

When the As, or the Mariners, or the Pirates, etc are in a position to have to trade away young players who start to make decent numbers and require larger contracts, they are handing off their investments. They bring these guys up, teach them, train them, develop them, and then sell them. It’s like a major league farm system. It’s dumb.

George Steinbrenner said free agency would ruin baseball. He’s not too far from it.

I love seeing players establish themselves in a city, even if leaving briefly, only to return. Even Yogi Berra had to get away for a short while. He came back home in time. There was no debate what logo would be on his hall of fame cap.

Good on ya, Griffey! Wise move, Seattle.

http://roshkoch.mlblogs.com

Roshkoch — You make more sense than Allen. Nice.
–Jeff

I have always been a Griffey fan and hope he goes out with a bang in a M’s uniform.

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

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