“Ohhhhh, the sweetest swing.”

When we think of Ken Griffey Jr., I want us to associate his well-known “sweet swing” with U2’s song “The Sweetest Thing.”  So like the title says, “Ohhhh, the Sweetest swing.”  Except make it sound all Bono-ey. 

Who said “Bono-ey” anyway?  I recall someone coming up with that.  Maybe a show, or maybe a writer. 

Anyway, while I absolutely love the songs “One” and one of my all-time favorites “With or Without You.”  I am far from a U2 nut.  I have never purchased, nor have I ever even owned a U2 album/cd/downloaded studio album.  But I have at one time or another owned those two songs via “Kazaa” (when I used it roughly six years ago) or Itunes (which I currently use to purchase my music legally.  You know, to support the band!)  But I do like the fact that “The Sweetest Thing,” and “Sweetest Swing” ryhme, meaning that I can use it in my writing, at least for a few hundred words or so. 

But fans of Ken Griffey Jr, fans that reside in Seattle, may get to see “The Kid’s” return to the area.  Except, this time, he is half the player that he was.  But as Dave Cameron points out–“well,” if I might add–Griffey could be a decent acquisition.  But Cameron’s approach to the subject is with his head, not his heart, which I favor most of the time. 

Griffey is no longer what he used to be.  Griffey cannot field, and really, one cannot expect him to carry more than an average bat at this point either.  The “sweet swing” that everyone grew to love is still there, it is just slower and looks sweet less of the time. 

Dave makes a great point in saying that the organization needs to realize that if the team somehow finds themselves in contention, that Griffey’s role needs to be lessened if he is not producing enough.  That a player must take his spot if Griffey cannot play well enough to start, which is probably safe to assume that it will be tough for him to do so at this stage in his career. 

I agree with Dave, the signing itself isn’t bad.  Griffey is a fan favorite, and that goes for all fans, not just Mariners fans, but this will impact them most.  Griffey will show a few flashes of what he once had.  Griffey will put some smiles on faces, as they reminisce about what he used to be able to do.  Whether it was climbing a wall to take away a home run from an opposing player.  Or hitting those five famous home runs in a single ALDS (and crossing the plate for the game winner).  They will think about the six times that Griffey hit 40 or more home runs.  The time that Griffey Jr and his father hit back-to-back home runs, in what must have been remarkable to see live. 

Unfortunately, they will remember when Griffey requested a trade too.  When Griffey seemingly abandoned a franchise to be closer to his family–which is completely understandeable if that was the real case.  When the second best player in baseball (probably number one in the eyes of Mariner fans) left town. 

But what Griffey did well, and when he had success, is much more important to focus on when remembering his time in Seattle.  Sure, he left, and that stinks.  But he also provided a high-level of entertainment.  And for 11 seasons, Seattle fans saw one of the greatest players to ever step onto the diamond.  A center fielder with an ability to track down a lot of balls.  A left handed hitter with the ability to hit anything and everything hard.  And one of the most complete players anyone will ever see.

So “ohhhh, the sweetest swing,” may still be there, just less often.  But having Griffey return on a low-risk contract, for a team that his inability to play well should not hold back, seems like a very positive move for a franchise that is desperate for attention, positive attention at that.

Ken Griffey Jr. has and always will be one of my favorite players of all time, and I am happy for Seattle fans that he is returning, even if it a Griffey with diminshed skills.    


  1. mikeeff

    i wouldn’t have signed him.

    my fav U2 songs–
    still haven’t found what i’m looking for
    the streets have no name
    with or without you — ( i have an amazing bootleg dance mix of it somewhere-if i can find it i’ll send it to you )
    beautiful day
    mysterious ways

    i guess i could go on…

  2. PWHjort

    Scouts are saying Griffey can’t even catch up to a lot of fastballs now, even from right-handers. If this is the case he won’t slug 350 next year. Once major league pitchers figure out that he can’t handle their fastballs, every pitch in their repertoire is an out pitch. He needs to be platooned at most. Without an adequate platoon partner he isn’t a useful major-league player.

  3. girlybaseballchick

    I love Griffey! He is absolutely one of my favorite players ever to play the game. I’m an A’s fan so obviously I don’t want Seattle to be to good but I like him going to the Mariners but I wouldn’t mind if he was an A either but we got our Giambi back! We all know Baseball is more of a business than ever but for us fans we gotta think with our heart. Someone has to. And if you told me I could have a kickass closer like K-Rod who is also a total @$$ who I can’t stand but would be good for my team or Griffey if all he is good for is to mentor I would be like bring me Griffey! Not enough is said about what these types of players bring to a team off the field. Now we have McGwire helping Crosby with his swing I think that is huge. Whether people hate Big Mac or not for his steroids he was still GREAT hitter with or without them and he knows what he is doing. I obviously want a great team but sometimes nothing beats having a once GREAT player to mentor the future GREAT players. ~ Lisa http://girlybaseballchick.mlblogs.com/

  4. joefromnewhampshire

    Mike, why? I know he isn’t much of a player, but it is really just for sentimental reasons it seems. He probably won’t be good enough to start, yet since the team should be rebuilding, it should not hurt their chances (since their chances are not good). I think the fans will like it, but a good team should have nothing to do with him unless they brought him in to sit on the bench and pinch hit sometimes.

  5. joefromnewhampshire

    pwh, I am a little more optimistic about his slugging percentage. But it will still be low for a corner OF, I just think it will be closer to .400 than .350.

  6. joefromnewhampshire

    king of cali, I agree. Basically Griffey has the same swing that he had in the mid 90’s, just the slow motion replay version of it. 🙂

  7. joefromnewhampshire

    Girly, I am glad that you love Griffey. You are better off without him though, because I believe the A’s will make some noise in a weak division, and there is no room for Griffey on a team with an outside shot at the division (other than a cheap bench player).

  8. joefromnewhampshire

    And if anyone wonders why I choose to answer comments as separate comments of my own, it is because I don’t like the way it looks when I put them all in the same comment box. They get all bunched together because I can’t put a space in between them. I am not just trying to jack up the number of comments I have to make myself feel better 🙂

  9. joefromnewhampshire

    For example, if the Red Sox were looking at a 75 win season, I wouldn’t mind them giving Nomar a one year deal and having him start if he wasn’t taking away playing time from a young player or anything.

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