Baseball fans (most of them) can breathe easy. Ken Griffey Jr. is coming back for at least one more season of baseball and he’s going to be wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform.
Griffey agreed yesterday to a one year offer to stay a Mariner.
Not everyone is happy about the move. Especially some who follow the Mariners close like the writers at U.S.S. Mariner:
So, unless the M’s decide to go with 11 pitchers next year, this probably ends the Ryan Langerhans era in Seattle. The M’s have essentially traded in about half a win worth of value (the difference between Langerhans/Griffey in on-field value as a reserve) for the expectation of better team chemistry.
We wouldn’t have made this move. That should be obvious by now. It won’t destroy the franchise, but it’s an inefficient use of resources, and exposes the team to some real problems if Gutierrez gets hurt. The M’s just became a little less likely to win in 2010.
As Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times writes, how could Griffey be coming back for any other reason than him loving the game? This is good for baseball, and although it’s not of the magnitude of a franchise saver; the casual baseball fan enjoys looking for Griffey’s name in the out of town box score. People who are around my age probably grew up loving Kenny Griff. The nostalgia brought back in seeing him in his old Seattle uniform for one more season is a good thing.
And maybe, just maybe he’ll ride off into the sunset with a 30 home run season and an average above .270 for the year. We hope he does. It just wouldn’t be right to see him end his career limping into retirement with a .218 average. We know one thing: we wouldn’t bet against Junior doing something special over his final season.