Tuesday, February 17, 2009
posted by James - 3:03 PM
Ugh... As a Cubs fan living in Seattle, I just want this all over with. Yes, I grew up in Seattle watching Griffey in his first 11 years as THE BEST baseball player I've ever seen in my lifetime.
I hated seeing the Mariners trade him to the Cincinnati Reds for pennies on the dollar, really... but I didn't realize just how much I would hate it until I saw him play at Wrigley Field. And boy, can he surely hit the ball at the Friendly Confines... and out of it too, onto both Sheffield and Waveland. Yeah, he killed the Cubs at GAB too, but everyone can hit there.
Yes, he's a flawed baseball player at this point in his career - can't do much with the glove and lefties murder him, but he still can bring it against right-handed pitchers. Last I checked, that's pretty much all the Cubs have (yes, I know... Ted Lilly says hi to you, too).
He's probably going to choose a team this week, and I really wouldn't mind him going to a team the Cubs don't have to compete against next year. Today's reports have him signing with the Atlanta Braves, after this weekend's reports had him signing with his original club, the Seattle Mariners.
This would not be a smart move for the Braves, who are trying to figure out their young talent in the outfield and have no dh to keep his legs from failing him. I can't blame him for wanting to play there. He has some ties to the Atlanta area through his son, and he could hit a baseball from his home to the Braves' spring training complex (probably not that far from it, actually).
I also heard someone mention the St. Louis Cardinals as still being an option... and I sure as hell would hate that. Talk about a complete nightmare. I would sure hate if he became their Jim Edmonds, because they could actually use a left-handed hitting outfielder to go with Ankiel, Ludwick and Schumaker, maybe Duncan if he's healthy. It would also allow them to move Schumaker to 2b occasionally, since they have a hole left from losing Miles to us and letting Kennedy walk.
I'm not sure Junior's heart is telling him anything right now, I started to question whether he had one long before he bullied his way out of Seattle before the 2000 season. Signing with anyone other than the Mariners would sure drive a stake through it, especially after the emotion of his last return to SafeCo Field where he said he wanted to end his career as a Mariner.
As we Cubs fans know from the Heilman fleecing, the Mariners have hired a shrewd and capable GM out of the Milwaukee system, so for all we know, he's not actually going as hard after this many think. It might take an "Out of Left Field" book to figure that out after several years down the road, but he's probably not offering the money Atlanta is or the security Atlanta is. The Mariners new GM seems like the kind of guy who is offering Junior very little base salary, with a ton of incentives and not guaranteeing he'll get off the bench if he's hobbling or not hitting.
Either way, I personally know a lot of people who are holding their breath and hoping they get up in the morning to hear he's coming "home". He won't get that in Atlanta. They wouldn't care if it's him or Garrett Anderson playing the outfield next year.
I just want him out of the National League. I wouldn't mind not having to root against him.