The scene in Seattle was electric this weekend as Jr. came back for the first time since demanding a trade early this decade. ESPN’s Jim Caple summed it up nicely here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/070625_griffey&CMP=OTC-DT9705204233
I love Jr. I have always loved Jr. As a Reds fan, he made the Mariners my second favorite team. I was glad to see him respond so warmly to the crowd. You could tell he really wanted to do something big for them. He got a hit in all three games so no one was totally left out. His second HR yesterday was beautiful.
Whenever Jr. is discussed, we mention the injuries and what could have been. Let’s stop for a second to note that he is about to pass Frank Robinson for 6th on the HR list. He has a fairly strong shot of passing Willie Mays at 660. He will likely finish higher on the HR list than everyone not named Bonds, Aaron and Ruth. That’s pretty freaking amazing for a guy who was hurt as much as he was. I think most Reds fans love him, but there have always been a few who don’t get it. There are some guys who want to say, “He always gets hurt! He doesn’t hustle!”. Not realizing that every time he got hurt in Cincy it was while hustling, and the management has asked him to take it easy. He’s not a young man anymore.
He’s the only squeaky clean slugger of his generation. Let’s thank him for that. All in all, he’s still Jr., and still one of my all time favorite baseball players.