Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A big welcome home for Ken Griffey, Jr.

Nothing like a bit of sweet news from the world of sports to provide a temporary distraction from all of the massive problems we're grappling with as a state:
PEORIA, Ariz. - Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik tonight announced that the Mariners have signed outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. to a 2009 contract. It is not yet known when he will report to Peoria, but he took a team physical on February 15.

"This is a great day for the Mariners", Zduriencik said. "It is rare in this game when you get an opportunity to reunite a player and a team in a move that works for both. We spent a lot of time this winter doing our due-diligence on what the best baseball move for this franchise on-the-field was. By last week, we were confident the best fit for this club, on the field, was Ken Griffey Jr. After Don and I sat down with Ken and talked with him about our goals for the 2009 team and this franchise, it was even more clear that he would be a fit with us."
It's hard for any loyal Mariners fan not to smile at the thought of Ken Griffey Junior wearing a Seattle uniform again. Watching he and Ichiro play together will be a real treat, and the Mariners clubhouse will surely benefit from his presence. Junior is a legend - besides Edgar Martinez, perhaps the person most synonymous with Mariners baseball throughout the history of the franchise. He is beloved by Mariners fans across the Pacific Northwest, from Alaska to Idaho.

Remember the old 1995 slogan, Refuse to Lose? I can still picture seeing that sign in an RV window on my way into the Kingdome with my family to see a Mariners game back in '95. And I can remember Junior blasting a home run into the upper decks at that game. Those were the days!

The value of having Junior as part of the Mariners again can't be measured in numbers. The team has been in a funk ever since the magical one hundred and sixteen win season in 2001. Sometimes they've been good but not good enough, other times they've been mediocre, and, too often, they've been terrible.

The Mariners need somebody who can lift them out of their slump. They need a guy that everyone can look up to and respect. A bridge builder. A leader.

I can't think of anyone more suited for the job than Ken Griffey, Junior. He has the confidence of practically an entire city, state, and region - the support and faith of Mariners fans everywhere. Plus, doctors have pronounced him healthy and ready to play. Our lineup has long needed a slugger who can complement Ichiro's contributions, and Griffey can be that slugger.

Welcome home, Junior! And readers - see you at The Safe this summer!


Blogger Jason Black said...

Sadly, he also has the ego of an entire city.

I think he'll perform well as a DH, but until I see it happen I remain highly skeptical of his ability to provide real leadership to the team.

February 19, 2009 1:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home