Mariners Insider

Wak on Junior: “He was not sleeping”

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm with 22 Comments »
May 11, 2010 1:36 pm

Ken Griffey Jr. was dropped to seventh in the Seattle Mariners batting order today, and expressed unhappiness with the report that his tenure with the team might be ending.

Ken Griffey Jr.

“I’ll know when I get to that point,” he said quietly, speaking to about a dozen members of the media.

Most of the questions didn’t deal with his bat speed or batting average, but the report that he’d been napping in the clubhouse during a game last week when he could have been asked to pinch hit – and wasn’t.

Was he available, he was asked.

“I’m available all the time,” Junior replied.

Was he sleeping?

“I can’t win this, and I’m not trying to,” Griffey replied. “I don’t have a blog. I’m just hoping that whoever said it is man enough to come to me and talk about it.”

His manager, Don Wakamatsu, came emphatically  to Griffey’s defense

“What I know is that he was not sleeping when that situation came up and I know that for a fact,” Wakamatsu told Jim Street of MLB.com “He was close to me in the dugout and Griff is trying to pull up evidence now in the TV footage.”

 “He was available to hit, no he was not sleeping and I know that for a fact.”

Before the media was allowed into the visiting clubhouse in Baltimore, the Mariners had a team meeting and both the blog entry, the news story and the writer – that would be me – were discussed in less-than-complimentary terms.

When the doors opened, about 20 media members moved in, though nine of those were with the Japanese media following Ichiro.

Wakamatlsu will talk to the  entire press in about an hour. He’s certain to be asked again whether Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse, a story one player anonymously told the News Tribune and a second confirmed.

There will be no on-field batting practice today, with a steady drizzle forcing the Baltimore Orioles to tarp the field. The game at 4:05 p.m. (PDT) is in jeopardy.

Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. westside_guy says:

    So… apparently being dropped into the #7 hole in the AL’s weakest offensive lineup isn’t evidence enough to him that it’s time to hang it up?

  2. pwhit44 says:

    Thanks, Larry. And by thanks I mean, “Congratulations for creating a national firestorm based on sources without facts.” Or, alternatively: “Thanks for degrading the name of one of Seattle’s few sports heroes.”

  3. pwhit44 says:

    I know you’re obligated to report what you hear, but if there is video evidence that Griffey was in the dugout near Wakamatsu… I don’t care what your sources say. If you’re not sure they are correct, you can’t report something this big without confronting the manager or the Junior. You gotta be kidding me.

    This is not to mention, your post should have qualified the incident with the fact that Junior has napped before. Simply stating that napping in the clubhouse is not unusual for him would have softened this story with the necessary background information (facts or no facts). Not at least mentioning his past was extremely irresponsible, and has created a national misrepresentation of the player. And a mess that needs cleaning up if it’s not even factual.

  4. snydro81 says:

    Zero journalistic integrity.

    Shouldn’t YOU be the one reviewing the television footage and seeking Griffey’s comments, BEFORE you wrote the story that spawned a tumultuous sequence of events?

    I hope the end is in sight for someone who broke into the Seattle sports scene in the late 80’s, and I’m not referring to Griffey.

  5. RonFromBeaconHill says:

    I thank you too Larry.

    For reporting what those two players told you. I believe it too.

    Surely it’s not comfortable for you in the clubhouse now. And no one would wish to have that difficult work environment.

    But you were doing your job. And doing it well.

    As for reporting Junior’s history with napping during games. I’m not sure I believe that. And I”m sure if Larry knew that, he’s have written that.

  6. jackryanjr says:

    Well done Larry. I doubt two players would lie to you (unless they’re complete morons). You were right to report it, even if the players were wrong. I wouldn’t want to be those two players if you find out Griffey wasn’t sleeping. Not sure what the journalistic ethics are (maybe you can enlighten us), but do those two players get outed by you if there’s footage showing he was up and around in the 7th?

  7. pwhit44 says:

    To be clear, I don’t want to imply that Larry made anything up. I just question the wisdom of trusting a couple of unnamed sources who seem to have the facts wrong. And to not include material details about Griffey’s sleep issues is inexcusable, in my view.

    I do believe that he was napping at some point, but not that he was asleep during Rob Johnson’s at bat. If he was standing in the dugout, and there is video evidence of that, this whole story is a big, unnecessary mess.

  8. jackryanjr says:

    I understand being upset if there is video evidence to the contrary, but I’m not at all sure that a print reporter like Larry has ready access to raw video footage. Or even game footage. Not sure if that’s posted on the website. If the video was available to him Larry shoud’ve checked it, but I think a reporter having two sources, unnamed or not, is good. And Griffey couldn’t be handling this any worse than he is. He needs to come out and say what happened and this will largely go away. With his “some parts are untrue and i’ll leave it at that” comment the speculation will only continue, which is what gives a story like this legs.

  9. nonstopjoe says:

    Fact is, after an illustrious career, he’s washed up. It’s rocking chair time, and the sooner the better for the Mariners.

  10. wabubba67 says:

    Snidero–Your axe to grind with Larry is too large for this blog.
    It’s not up to Larry to view video footage to confirm a story which has already been confirmed. A player told him about Girffey sleeping which was confirmed by another player…if it turns out to be a lie, that is not LaRue’s fault. Indeed, the lie (and finding out the motivation behind it) then becomes the story.

  11. crazylegs says:

    It amazes me how this thing got so blown out of proportion.

    In Larry’s original story the nap was near the end of a long list of reasons why Junior should retire or the team should release him.

    If anyone has sensationlized this thing, it’s been the national media and local talk radio by taking that one nugget out of an off-day commentary and making it out to be the biggest scoop since Watergate.

    Personally, I could care less if Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse or not. I’m a lot more concerned about that .208 average and complete and utter lack of power at the DH spot.

    That includes Sweeney too. I can’t figure out for the life of me why everyone is always defending this guy. He’s a right handed version of Griffey without the Hall of Fame credentials and ties to Seattle. And now, he’s apparently challenging people to fist fights in the locker room. Nice.

    Cut ‘em both and bring up the kids. At this point, no one could do any worse than these two geezers.

  12. bigmike04 says:

    anyone feel like TNT should just ban larry from doing mariners anymore raise your hands because he just cause uproar..

  13. Larry Larue says:

    mike – you and snydro can form a club!

  14. wabaubba67, shmuck is too kind of word for you. It’s not his job to verify or check out a story??? Who’s job is it than????

  15. You work with the sources you have. With one witness and one more to confirm Larry has to believe he has the straight scoop. If not this clubhouse is more dysfunctional than we thought.

    I love Junior, but his time is definitely up. I’m watching the game tonight and he simply makes David Hernandez look like Walter Johnson.

  16. Larry MADE news by choosing to imply a nexus between the alleged nap and a definitive statement that Junior WOULD be retired or released this month.

    I’m still waiting to hear more about how it is known for a fact that Wak, Jack Z and Chuck A WILL ask Junior to retire. That’s a far bigger story.

  17. ksmyth, all Larry had to do was review the tape to know the story was false. Watching a rain game is no way to judge anyone’s performance. If this team was in first place no one would be taking pot shots at Griffey. This entire team sucks instead of wondering why Griffey is batting around .200 you should be wondering why Jose Lopez is as well.

  18. wabubba67 says:

    hughw–Don’t let your love for Griffey’s past blind you to the facts regarding the Mariners present. As ksmyth (beat me to the post) wrote, LaRue fulfilled his obligations as a journalist. Because you do not like the story, does not make Larry irresponsible or lazy.

    By the way, I would give you $20 if you could somehow prove that you knew what a schmuck actually was before using it as a derogatory term. I’m thinking you are most likely the type that would use a word without understanding the meaning just because you like how it sounds.

    bigmike–try to string together two coherent sentences before attacking someone who has made a living doing it for decades….proofreading and self-editing is really not all that difficult.

  19. NickFromWA says:

    Hey Larry, Mariners new rally cry: “Refuse to Snooze!”

  20. blazerone says:

    “Before the media was allowed into the visiting clubhouse in Baltimore, the Mariners had a team meeting and both the blog entry, the news story and the writer – that would be me – were discussed in less-than-complimentary terms.”

    Did the same two anonymous players tell you the details of the players-only meeting – or could you hear through the door?

    On a separate note, is “both” appropriate when refererring to three things – “the blog entry, the news story and the writer”?

  21. Larry Larue says:

    blaze – mike sweeney briefed me afterward, and since he called the meeting and didn’t go into much detail, i doubt he saw it as betraying a trust. he wanted me to know some players were angry and asked for the names of the two players i’d spoken to.

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