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.
“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.