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.