Mariners Insider

Wakamatsu looking ahead, moving on

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm with 60 Comments »
May 11, 2010 4:13 pm

After a players-only meeting  to discuss the issue – and a pair of anonymous players who triggered the most controversial part of it – Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Ken Griffey Jr. was not asleep in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game in Seattle.

One player said he’d seen Junior asleep at his locker in the seventh inning of that game, an inning before catcher Rob Johnson came to bat, and a second player confirmed the account.

“Distractions come up during the course of a season,” Wakamatsu said. “We deal with them and move  on. Junior was available.”

Was Griffey asleep earlier in the game, he was asked?

“I don’t know that,” Wakamatsu said. “I do know our focus is on the game we won Sunday to stop a losing streak none of us was proud of.”

 Since it was my blog that sparked all this, players approached me after their meeting to ask if I’d identify the two guys I’d interviewed. I wouldn’t – if there’s heat from all this, it’s on me, not two guys who answered my questions.

I was also told a number of players were angry and hurt by the blog, and that it would be best not trying to talk to them for a few days. Given my job, that’s not possible. I had to try and did, and many passed.

That’s part of my job, and maybe part of theirs, too.

Leave a comment Comments → 60
  1. bigmike04 says:

    TNT should fired Larry from Seattle Mariners no need for him to cause another uproar and let him just do Minor league game and put better person in Ryan Divish with Mariners atleast with him it lot better blog..

  2. westside_guy says:

    Really, these players apparently arrested their emotional development in high school. “Tell us who squealed, Larry! Tell us! If you don’t, we’re not talking to you anymore!”

  3. riot613 says:

    So basically Saunder’s, Moore or Fister is a liar? I don’t have any problem believing this story. I have no problem believing that the younger players said something that has been blown up. I don’t have any problem believing that the M’s should have parted ways with Griffey after last season. In fact, the only thing I’m having trouble believing is that a writer for the News Tribune woke up one day and decided to completely fabricate a story about Griffey just so the M’s would cut him. It’s the same cover up crap they used to do for Griffey before he held the M’s hostage in 1999 for a trade to Cincinnati. Everyone alwlays wants to throw the reporter under the bus for writing it. I have a feeling that Larry’s story is closer to the truth than what the M’s are coming out with.

  4. Way to try and save face, Larry. Maybe next time you use a little journalistic integrity and check a story before you run with it. That is if you have any integrity or there even is a next time. I have no doubt, and rightfully so, that you will be the subject of snubbing by both players and fellow journalists. It’s what happens when those of you of the press forget their place. Unfortunately, we as consumers are to a certain extent reliant on the media for information. However, we also realize, at least most of us, that journalists are egotistical and self serving. We realize that you will take every opportunity to express your personal opinion, however subvertly. Maybe in your next attempt at character assination you will use better judgment. I getting back to the game now, kind of hard writing this between innings. Just rest assured I will take everything you say from this point forward with a grain of salt and will be constantly subject to my ridicule.

  5. Larry Larue says:

    hug – if you think about what you’re saying, it wouldn’t have made sense for me to write the blog if i were egotistical or self-serving. i certainly knew it wouldn’t make my job easier. most of us in the business will happily take a story with two sources, especially if they’re players we know and trust.
    if junior was asleep in the clubhouse in the seventh inning of a game, i’m not sure much more needs be said.

  6. Larry, I’ve always enjoyed your work. But you made a mess of this, and brought joy to no one.

    Those players shouldn’t have talked to you. AND you shouldn’t have written the story. This was muckraking.

    It didn’t matter TO ME if Junior had a little nap in the clubhouse. I’m sure that far more heinous behavior occurs all the time.

    Conveniently absent from the fallout from this story is any discussion or attribution about your claim that Junior’s days with the M’s are definitely numbered. Did you actually GET information from somebody in management or the front office, or was that simply your opinion? I really do want to know.

    Junior napping is one (non) story. Junior being forced out is ANOTHER story. Your combining the two was your choice, and merits explanation.

  7. Larry, you’re not a rookie, you have what; 30 years in the business. As you point out writing the stories that you have has not made your job any easier. You knew you would be smudging the name of baseball icon. Maybe, 2 sources are fine for the everyday humdrum story, but a story of this magnitude required a little more finesse. First of all, even if Griffey was napping in the clubhouse; how does that in itself make his playing days over? You didn’t stop at writing just one story saying this you wrote three. Secondly, you should realize that if Griffey’s playing days are over, as you suggest that he has earned the right to dictate the terms of his departure. Lastly, you should of took the time to review the tape. As easily as this story was to blow up in your face you should of performed due diligence.

    That being said Larry, I give you credit for responding to my post. Maybe, I have been a little harsher on you than I needed to be. Anyway, I wasn’t expecting a response and I have to admire you for doing so.

  8. Larry Larue says:

    hug – there was no tape available to me when this was being written, sunday night and monday morning. and even junior won’t say whether he was sleeping in the seventh inning or not.
    and, as i said in the blog, the nap in and of itself isn’t the issue: “It’s hardly a capital offense, but it’s a telling piece of anecdotal evidence. This isn’t the Griffey of 2009. This isn’t the Griffey who can help the Mariners in 2010.”
    And that was about 14 graphs into the blog – hardly sensationalism.

  9. Larry Larue says:

    they wouldn’t have been written if they weren’t part of the same story, and the fact that people won’t go on record in seattle talking about junior’s departure right now is a result of his stature. he’s earned it from those who pay him and play with him.

  10. Mike, you need to relax a little bit. I don’t want to get the Mariners job that way.

  11. bigmike04 says:

    I am relax but it would be nice if Larry LaRue does a colum for the paper about how he sorry about his story. First off why listen to any young guys on team when if you knew that Griffey Jr had sleeping problem than why bring it up, the reason fans are coming to game is Griffey and that plain and simple, everybody want to see Griffey Jr play one last year. I am sorry if I come off harsh but I know that Griffey Jr not going to put up great number but the guys bring in fans and if you guys would stop complaining and whining about the attendance during the week, knowing full well that weekends games are always busy than keep it at that. But to Rip Griffey Jr and how you think he should be cut than that just wrong. Ken Griffey Jr still has something left in the bat and it still early, geesh it not June, july, August when it count more it still early and AL west is still up for grabs.

  12. rotoman says:

    I guess all you posters who are complaining about Mr. LaRue posting the story have not recognized how much of a story it is…

    It has gone national. It has been on ESPN. It is across the spectrum.

    Now, Mr. LaRue is in a “no win” situation. He posted a post that is devisive. But the overriding question is…”is it news?” After all, it is a “newspaper” and he is a reporter, and, reporters report news. Welll, it is news, isn’t it? That is clear by the overall response.

    He threw his opinion into the story also. But all of the “conclusions” he made are not really being questioned. Griffey is old. He is batting .200. He has slower bat speed. He can’t run or play the field the way he could previously.

    The last issue Mr. LaRue posted was that Griffey was not providing the same level of leadership as last year. One point supporting that conclusion (per his blog) was that Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse during a game. He had two sources – two independent sources (players) – who provided the information.

    What is he supposed to do? Not report that. Based upon the national reaction, it was newsworthy.

    Griffey can come right out and deny it. But, Griffey responded when asked,

    “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..”

    Not exactly a “flat out” denial. If he was not sleeping, then why not come out and just say it.

    But again, this is all more than about Griffey sleeping in the clubhouse. It is about him not performing on the field or for the team when he is not playing. That is what is really upsettig many of the posters here. It is hard to see a long time fan favorite, hero, and, a player who is 5th on the all-ttime home run list not be that player anymore – and be called on it.

    The truth hurts sometimes…

  13. phredmojo says:

    Larry, can’t say i’m a fan of yours, but. you have nothing to feel sorry about concerning griffey sleeping on the job, something that if anyone else besides him or ichiro did would result in a far different manner of treatment by management, as you did what you were supposed to do. report what you heard from multiple sources you found to be credible. it doesn’t matter if those sources have been in the league 1 day or 20 years. griffey doesn’t deserve any special traetment by the press (which he has been getting by seattle area media for over 2 decades now) because of what he did over a decade ago. kudos for reporting what you knew would bring you nothing but trouble from people that believe that griffey is beyond reproach because of who he is. after reading sweeny’s responses today, i have totally lost all respect for him. as for the players acting like spoiled 5 year olds by not talking to you for not revealing your sources i just have to laugh. the one thing i have a problem with is you stating that griffey will be released like it is a fact when in reality it is your opinion and should have been stated as such. thats not going to happen as long as howie and chuckie are here. he may retire, but he will never be forced out. as for bigmike04, not all (or most) people go to mariners games to see griffey, they go to see the mariners, all 25 of them. no matter how bad they all are. some of us remember all too well the real reason why griffey left this town and how he tried to hurt our team on the way out.

  14. Why should he write a column saying he’s sorry?

    Mike, you are in the minority that think that Junior has something left in his bat.

    Nothing i’ve seen tells me it will get considerably better.

  15. Just wanted to say thanks for doing your job. As a member of the media you are required to report the facts regardless of how the reporting of those facts makes you look to the players you report on. I thank you for that.
    If the M’s players want to be mad at someone, they should look inward to the two players who decided to talk to a reporter about this. It is not your job to name those guys. As Griffey said (while NOT denying he was asleep) he wishes they would have said something to him.
    If Cliff Lee, or any other Mariner, wants to “boycott” LaRue they are just being childish little rich boys. If you don’t slip up and say something stupid, you have nothing to worry about, in my opinion.

  16. Tiparama says:

    Larry, you did what any reporter/beat writer would do. You had 2 sources tell you Jr was asleep. So you wrote about it. Knowing that you would take some heat on it. Nothing quite like stirring up a hornets nest knowing you’re gonna jump right into it in 24 hours. I’d avoid that stress, but it’s part of your job.

    The only part that bothered me was the conclusions about him being gone/retiring, etc. That seemed a bit speculative. (although I agree, I think it would be best if he walked away gracefully…I’m not crazy about watching him batting this way for another 4 months)

    The Mariners response seemed calculated. Those two players not publically outing themselves to the team during the meeting, Griffey and his “not completely the truth” line…something is being hidden. And just like the judge who had the written decision on the Seattle Supersonics future written up and ready to read on that fateful day, we may never know the truth on this matter. But you will.

  17. On this story, what are the possible explanations:

    LaRue is lying.
    The sources were mistaken or lying.
    The Mariners are lying.

    Why would the Mariners lie? Damage control for one of their star players who still has several promotions left on the schedule. If the story isn’t true, then everything’s OK and it’s all the mean reporter’s fault.

    What does Larry have to gain by lying? He’s not going to throw away a 30 year baseball career on something that could be easily refuted with some video of the dugout. During the post game interview, Cliff Lee refused to continue until he left the room. The story is going to be nothing but trouble for him and yet he had the courage to write it.

    Why would two different sources confirm it? If it was a big misunderstanding, it could have easily been cleared up in one of their team meetings. Was it a prank on Junior that has spiraled out of control or maybe they did have an ax to grind. Those sound a little far fetched and the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

  18. snydro81 says:

    I love Cliff Lee.

    Wouldn’t continue his post-game presser until LaRue left the room.

    Awesome.

    Hope it continues.

  19. wabubba67 says:

    Larry–A very mature response with the proper perspective of professionalism…that on your part and understanding of what teammates now feel that they have to do as part of the clubhouse culture.

    I’ve been reading all of the people who have objections regarding LaRue’s reporting and they fall into one of two schools of thought: 1.) Griffey is a local icon and is somehow above criticism….with these people LaRue’s main job seems to be protecting the image of the Mariners organization (isn’t that, literally, Shannon Drayer’s occupation?) or 2.) that LaRue somehow failed as a journalist to confirm his story before publishing.

    The first argument is absurd. The players realize that LaRue is a reporter and not their friend or protector. I have difficulty understanding why the reading public would expect, or desire, a reporter to publish only biased information. Isn’t that what FOX News or MSNBC is for?

    The second assertion is just wrong or misinformed. As another blogger indicated, a journalist works with the sources available. When told of Griffey’s napping, LaRue independently confirmed that story with another player. That meets long established journalistic standards. If the players either conspired or lied (both extremely unlikely) in order to dupe a journalist working in good faith than the clubhouse is more dysfunctional than we could ever imagine. But that is beside the point. Again, LaRue fulfilled his role as a professional journalist.

  20. wabubba67 says:

    You’re a bitter and small man, snydro. (and I mean that literally and figuratively)

  21. inorthrip says:

    Larry-

    Keep your head up. I suspect that there are many of us who regularly read this blog without commenting who understood that your post was not about the nap, but about a larger point for which the nap was merely an example.

    Your documentation is also reasonable. Two independent but corroborating live witnesses are perfectly adequate, even if they later suggest they said something else or said nothing at all. The folks who now want you to have reviewed every minute of tape from every camera at the game are probably the same ones who insist on a live witness instead of a camera when they blow through a red light.

    And the conclusion that a move is likely coming is reasonable if Bradley is returning to the team in the next week or two, forcing someone off the roster. It is a reasonable conclusion whether management has announced it or not. Is it guaranteed? No, but that does not make it an invalid story, as predictive sports stories are necessarily built on reasonable circumstantial evidence, not management announcements..

    Obviously, you’ve seized the mother of all “third rails” and offended a lot of people. It doesn’t make me happy, either. The publicity may make an exit strategy harder. But that is hardly your fault. Griffey’s contributions, status, and, yes, sleeping habits, do constitute news about the team you cover. Nothing wrong with asking the questions and writing the story.

    Perhaps your next story can reveal that a number of sacred deities support imposition of a Washington State income tax. On second thought, save that one for Callaghan.

  22. FireRuskellNow says:

    You suck Larry LaRue!!! I may have an old 1990 frontpage newspaper article of yours from when Ken Griffey Sr. signed with the M’s framed and hanged in my room but you have now lost my already waning respect for you!

    Cliff Lee is THE MAN!

  23. Funny, I don’t remember ever seeing a post from “Hughw” before this story & now they are flaming Larry all over the place……….

  24. bigmike04 says:

    I am so glade Mariners players are outing Larry LaRue for his blog post and newspaper story, Maybe you guys see that Griffey Jr bat has gone but it doesn’t mean the guy should get release, he saved Baseball in Seattle hands down, Safeco Field was built for Griffey that house that Jr built.

  25. rotorooter says:

    Larry was correct to publish the story, but the strong hints as to who his sources were was just baiting the hook. I’m curious why he felt the need to do that, if he wasn’t going to identify them individually.

  26. analogkid says:

    bigmike04 @ 8:46 p.m. states that “…the reason fans are coming to game is Griffey and that plain and simple, everybody want to see Griffey Jr play one last year. ”
    Clearly the lows in attendance this year support this fully. Personally, nothing could be further from the truth for myself, and I’ve followed this team since 1987. I want to see the M’s be competitive and win, and pursue a WS title. Griffey contributes little to nothing towards either of these, with no upside.
    I don’t come to see Griffey; I’m fine with what he accomplished here, including his removal of leverage for the M’s when it came time to “deal” him to Cincinnati. It’ll be a nice bonus if, and when, he actually comes through with some XBH or maybe a home run, but I’m not counting on it.
    He played one last year, and that was last year. We’ve got to move on from that which took place in ’95. That much is plain and simple.

  27. mrgardner says:

    This is not 1995. Griffey is washed up (sorry but true) the national media laughs that we are keeping an old guy on the team and taking up a roster spot.

    I do love Griffey, and would rather see the M’s drop

    When I first heard how the team was dumping on Larry I was dissapointed. The audio I heard – they asked Griffey if he slept that night and he did not answer. And as many have already said, the sleeping is not the problem, it just is a piece of what is going on.

    Larry – I feel for you – how bad it is that they have isolated you. You just did your job. some commenters on this thread seem to believe this is 1995 and Griffey is going to break out with 50 HR’s at any minute.

    FireRuskellNow you obviously do not like Larry, and your opinion counts, but change your profile name – Ruskell has been gone for 6 months now, and a whole new regime is in.

  28. geologic says:

    larry,

    keep your head up. although some of the commentors here would rather stick their heads in the sand, i think your integrity is unquestioned. as a beat reporter, you always have to weigh what potential damage an unfavorable story will do to your relationship with your sources, and you took the story over your relationship. i think the problem with many sports reporters these days is that they pretend to think that they’re friends with the players they cover. i’m sure you’re aware that this is hardly the case. I applaud you for sticking true to your profession. two different sources is plenty.

  29. wabubba67 says:

    mrgardner—I guess some people like living in the past.

  30. Krawlspacekid says:

    Have fun finding a new job, Larry. Douchebag.

  31. folkcrusader says:

    Sorry that you are going through all this Larry, normally I am very supportive of a person just trying to do their job – as I have no doubt you were trying to do. I have two issues though;

    #1 The issue you were getting to was why did Wak not pinch hit given the situation. I don’t care who those players were they had no frigging idea why Wak choose not to hit him, they just gave you an amusing coincidence. You needed to ask Wak that question and you clearly didn’t.

    #2 There is a reason that reporters are not allowed in the clubhouse during a game, and there is a reason that veteran players rarely comment on clubhouse issues. I don’t care if he was sleeping, puking, or grilling red hots – those two should not have been commenting on it. You may be paying a tough price right now but it will pass. When they are found out, and they will be, the treatment they get will never let them forget what they should talk about and what they should not.

  32. ranger_10 says:

    larry_

    I tell you what, this has to be the worst insider blog i have ever seen. why (if any one actually did) would two teamates tell you that griffey wass asleep at his locker and not available to D.H. in the eighth. I THINK MY FRIEND ( AND I USE THIS TERM LOOSELY) THAT YOU SHOULD EITHER NAME YOUR SOURCES OR QUIT MAKING CRAP UP!!!!!!!!

  33. wamboldt10 says:

    It’s disappointing the players are boycotting Larry Larue, who is just doing his job and satisfying his responsibility to the Mariners fans to report all information, flattering or unflattering.

    The Mariners’ spin on this story is just not believable. How can you say the article is “made up of lies” and then hold a meeting to address the two players who leaked the information? It can’t be both.

    The responsibility lies with the player who is making over $2 million, hitting below .200 and sleeping during work. At some point the Mariners will have to stop making excuses for their beloved icon such as “He’s great in the clubhouse” and deal with the ineffectiveness of a designated hitter that has lost both his power and timing.

  34. wabubba67 says:

    ranger–A journalist is under no obligation to reveal an anonymous source…it’s a standard of journalism. Such a standard allows journalists to report on truly significant topics….like Watergate (this, of course, does not rise to that level of significance).

  35. bigmike04 says:

    analogkid says:
    May 12, 2010 at 7:03 am
    bigmike04 @ 8:46 p.m. states that “…the reason fans are coming to game is Griffey and that plain and simple, everybody want to see Griffey Jr play one last year. ”
    Clearly the lows in attendance this year support this fully. Personally, nothing could be further from the truth for myself, and I’ve followed this team since 1987. I want to see the M’s be competitive and win, and pursue a WS title. Griffey contributes little to nothing towards either of these, with no upside.
    I don’t come to see Griffey; I’m fine with what he accomplished here, including his removal of leverage for the M’s when it came time to “deal” him to Cincinnati. It’ll be a nice bonus if, and when, he actually comes through with some XBH or maybe a home run, but I’m not counting on it.
    He played one last year, and that was last year. We’ve got to move on from that which took place in ’95. That much is plain and simple.

    I am going to comment and here what I have to say is that Griffey Jr to me still has something but shouldn’t be playing everyday but neither should Sweeney because the guy should be released and brought back for position just for club house, Mariners need is Power Bat and they failed in off season to get one, while their out getting guys who play good defensive but hitting is another thing, From 1-9 their no power. If Mariners were to want to make run to get to playoff they need to get a power bat. I will say this if Team is not in contention by July 31st the trading deadline, than Cliff Lee will most likely not be back in Seattle.

  36. If you had reported that Milton Bradley was sleeping in the clubhouse then you would be the toast of the town right now. Everyone would have you on their radio show to yuk it up talk about how great of a story this is. Espn, WGN Chicago, everyone. You’d be the refreshing reporter that didn’t just give us the company line. “You’re the type of guy that isn’t afraid… Blah, blah, blah” But it’s the Kid. The 40 year old kid. The Kid that said he was ripped coming into spring training. The Kid who’s knee troubles were gone and he was going to break out after “only” 20 homers last year. All M’s marketing lies to sell all the sentimentals a few extra tickets. Why doesn’t anyone report about the M’s marketing lies? We now know he’s not ripped, he’s was having his knee drained in spring training and this year is in fact his ride off into the sunset trip while taking up space that someone hungry and competitive could be in.

    I always thought that what was wrong with the Mariner’s was that they held on to guys for too long past their productiveness to sell a few more seats. I just never knew the fans were so easily duped into watching bad baseball. M’s fans have been duped into loving loser baseball so much that as long as a guys smiles and reminds you how good 15 to 20 years ago was he’s an all star. Even the M’s website was trying to get me to vote Griffey into the All Star game. Are you kidding me? How embarrassing! I like to watch competitive, winning baseball, period. Holding a roster spot for a DH (Designated “Hitter”, not clubhouse guy, not bench coach, not prankster or joke cracker, a damn hitter) that cant hit is more disrespectful to baseball, Griffey’s legacy and players that are leaving it all on the field than a reporter pointing out a glaring weakness on the team. That glaring weakness? A team that is built around pitching and defense that doesn’t hit well with 2 DH’s that can’t hit. Most catcher’s aren’t known for their hitting. We haven’t had a 3rd baseman that could really hit since Safeco Field opened. Designated hitter isn’t a position where you can be good on defense and still help the team. You have to hit the ball not strike out and pop up.

  37. The only thing this story makes me think is that a high school diploma should be a prerequisite for engaging in conversation on the Internet.

  38. clkcrawford says:

    I just finished registering so I could comment and tell you Larry that you are a joke. As a fellow Tacoma’n I’m embarrassed for and by your comments. Anonymous source? How nieve could you be to think that reporting anonymous sources” wouldnt stir up unneeded drama? Your guise of “reporters report facts and never reveal the sources” is just a way of saying you want to stir up as much as possible without getting in any trouble. The fact that you would tarnish the image of Seattles biggest ever superstar Ken Griffey Jr based off information gathered from two young “anonymous” sources shows the level of character you possess. ZERO. You are a self serving stubborn old man and I hope you never get an another interview with the M’s as long as you live. And my family friends and myself will never spend another 75 cents on the TNT as long as you are employed by them. Go to hell

  39. wabubba67 says:

    That’s pretty funny, Phattnuss!

  40. somefunny says:

    Some people can’t handle the fact that their hero is washed up and isn’t major league material anymore. Griffey, please just retire gracefully. I’ve been a fan of yours since you were “The Kid” in ’89, but the time has come to retire.

  41. Larry Larue says:

    craw – first, thanks for registering. good to have another loyal reader. i would have to question your thought that i did this to stir things up without getting into trouble. players not speaking to me at the moment is a bit of an issue, being called out by junior and mike sweeney isn’t my idea of a fun day. the use of anonymous sources isn’t to protect the writer, it’s to protect the players invovled. if players will demand a boycott of me, what would they have done to the two guys who answered my quesstions? self-serving doesn’t work this way. lol.

  42. Larry Larue says:

    ranger – you make a delightful argument, but i’m not about to put two good guys in jeopardy. they spoke because they were willing to tell the truth when asked a question. keeping their names out of the paper protects them, not me.

  43. Larry Larue says:

    krawl – i’ll keep this one, thanks.

  44. Larry Larue says:

    geo – thanks for the pep talk. you get it, and i appreciate that.

  45. Larry, why is this a big deal and why even “report” it? Players sleep in the clubhouse all the time when they are not in the line-up.

    Also, since everyone on this blog seems to KNOW that Griffey can’t hit, why are we complaining about him reportedly snoozing instead of pinch-hitting?

    I just don’t see the story here.

  46. wabubba67 says:

    Larry–have a feeling that first post by “you” was not really you. If that’s correct, just wondering how cowardly a person would have to be to use your name (instead of their own or their blogname) in an attempt to smear your reputation?

    Hang in there…there have got to be more intelligent people with perspective who appreciate what you do and the choice that you recently made between maintaining relationships/access and running a worthwhile story!

  47. finfangfoom says:

    Jeeze people, if you can’t handle real reporting, then stick to reading the M’s official website to get all of your news. Larry has a job to do, and it’s not to be a PR rep for the M’s front office. Personally I hadn’t ever really read this blog before, just the Seahawks one, but going forward I have the blog bookmarked and will be reading it daily.

    Personally I hope Griffey goes and jumps off a cliff, so all the idiots that have their noses surgically attached to his ass will go over with him. I like him and all, but he’s not bigger than this team, and all he and Sweeney have done this year is drag it down. Sure there are other players that are not producing at the plate either, but at least they have some upside and are helping on the field.

    And who cares if Cliff Lee wont talk to Larry? He’s going to be gone next year anyways if he even makes it past the trade deadline.

  48. finfangfoom says:

    And my favorite comment regarding Sweeney in the team meeting telling the players who talked to stand up and fight him, is that he should have been holding a bat when he said it, that way the players wouldn’t have been afraid of getting hit.

  49. finfangfoom… what makes him “bigger than the team?” Because he was napping while he wasn’t in the line-up? As I said earlier, players sleep in the clubhouse during games all the time. As far as Griffey jumping off a cliff with Sweeney, they are just as much a part of the team as anyone else.

    The problem here, is players complaining to Larry instead of going to Griffey himself, and Larry then reporting it as “newsworthy.”

    I’m not dogging Larry here – maybe he was just posting thoughts on his blog – but Griffey and Sweeney are not in the wrong here. The unnamed players, and the media are in the wrong.

  50. riot613 says:

    I didn’t realize that not being in the starting lineup meant that you were guaranteed a night off. That’s some out of the box thinking when you are only allowed to have 25 players on you’re active roster. I guess baseball is one of those kick ass jobs where you get paid millions of dollars to sleep through what you consider work. Maybe that’s why nothing is allowed out of the clubhouse. I always thought it was because the clubhouse was full of hookers, alcohol, gambling, and cocaine but i guess its just full over the hill players sleeping on the clock. Wow, my image of what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse is ruined forever. Go M’s.

  51. SharkHawk says:

    Larry, I’ve always been a fan and supported you and enjoyed your work. I think you’re a good guy. But I also think that you’ve hunkered down as much as the team and made this an impossible situation to resolve in the manner you’ve approached it.

    Here is my take. 1- You reported a story. Fine. 2- You were called on it. Fine… it happens all the time. 3- You refused to retract it. Fine. Again…. that happens once in a while when the writer has multiple sources. 4- Things got sticky when the players had a players only meeting and you were told what took place IN THAT MEETING and THEN you reported that fact.

    #4 is what really screwed things up for you. This showed that even AFTER the players had a meeting and smoothed things over, there were still players who were backstabbing their teammates and telling you what happened in a closed door meeting.

    The players are mad. They are mad at you. They are mad at each other. They are mad at the fact that not only did it happen once, but it happened twice. You played into the hands of somebody (or multiple people) who most likely is a younger player or a player who is getting less playing time and wants Griffey OUT. Why else would they say it and then after the meeting add more fuel to the fire?

    Now…. if any of that was said off the record and you still reported it (which I highly doubt you’d do, because I think you have more integrity than that) then I could see why everybody (including those who told you) are now shunning you.

    The whole thing stinks, and getting a scoop is important in this day and age, but alienating management of a team is a very bad idea… even if it is “just the facts”. Alienating the greatest player to ever suit up for that franchise may be a move that gives you big press and creates a whole mess of stories, but it isn’t always for the best either. Taking the word of a couple of kids isn’t always best, even if they do talk a good game and maybe at some point they were “technically” right. It doesn’t mean their actions were ethical and deserved the justification of reporting on it without talking to a few more people about it.

    This wasn’t a joke report where you are ribbing a guy and making a crack. This a very pointed and obvious attempt at taking a guy down a few notches by some players that are jerks in my mind. I’ve played enough baseball to know how the typical younger “I deserve more AB’s guys” work. They probably do deserve more at-bats. They probably don’t want their options getting used up and heading back onto waivers or whatever, but you win as a team, you lose as a team, and there are certain things that should never leave the clubhouse. And the fact that they left the clubhouse for the second time immediately after a meeting where this was covered is what really sticks with me. I think that was classless on their part and classless on your part. You should ask questions… sure. But do you honestly think it is fair to take the word of I’m guessing the same eggheads who made the comments in the first place and then repeated stuff after a closed door meeting? That’s just poor all around, even if they were anonymous sources.

    I am the #1 defender of the freedom of the press, but I also understand that nobody has to talk to you and bridge building is necessary in order to get the real story and forge relationships. It sounds like this bridge may have just gotten blown completely up, and that is unfortunate… but if that is the price of getting a story now, then I guess that is the price that many reporters are going to have to pay.

    I am now at a point where I find the Geoff Baker fights of last year pretty embarrassing considering that you pretty much attacked him for sloppy reporting and I jumped into the fray and defended you to many people. Now you seem to be trying to get similar scoops and get people riled up in the same manner that bothered you so much last year. It’s pretty depressing for me all around. I guess it’s true that reporters aren’t fans, but I don’t see how this served the fans or the team in any way and I can see why they’d cut off your access, which is unfortunate for us….but I am sure more unfortunate for you.

  52. Larry Larue says:

    shark – appreciate the thought shown in the long post. all i can say about No. 4 is that mike sweeney told me what about the meeting in part because a) he wanted me to tell him who my two sources were and b) to keep from walking into angry players without at least having been warned. he wasn’t betraying his teammates, didn’t go into details. i respect mike and appreciated him taking me aside to talk about it.

  53. Soze,
    In 2008 when Richie Sexson was hitting .183 everyone and I mean everyone called for his head. There was no debate that he would be gone. . . and he was.

    Junior is hitting about the same with far less power. He shows no sign of coming around. It’s sad but he’s finished. When he is sleeping in the clubhouse instead of supporting his team, not preparing to hit in the next inning, that’s a story. Why do we insist on building a fence around him? Would we cut Jose Lopez or Milton Bradley the same slack?

    It makes me wince to write about it this way. Griffey is my favorite ballplayer, I saw his first home run and still have the ticket stubs, but a blind man can see it is over.

  54. jbouton says:

    From all the non-denial denials spewing forth, it’s pretty apparent that Junior was grabbing some shuteye back in the clubhouse at some point in the game, whether it was in the 7ht, 8th or 9th innings. And, really, that’s OK. He’d probably have just watched a third strike whiz by anyway.

    And now the M’s are rallying around their aging superstar and we all have to listen to Mike Sweeney defend him and his “heart.” How heart-warming, and I mean that facetiously.

    Time to cut the dead weight. Time for Junior to hang it up. Time to put Bradley on a one-way train to Kookooville and change all the cell phone numbers. Time to unload Lee before he takes the free agent plunge and hope the M’s can get a bat or two for him. Time to knock Ichiro down to second in the batting order where he might spark some run production. Time to start playing like a team instead of a lot of paper tigers, which is exactly what Jack and Wak have assembled so far in this fast-unraveling season.

    Hang tough, Larry. Hang tough, all you true Mariners fans.

  55. dave8557 says:

    Is Jbouton the one and only Jim Bouton? Is it possible?

    Wakman is looking more and more like McLaren, Riggleman and the rest of the groupthink managers of today.

  56. SharkHawk says:

    Thanks for the clarification on Sweeney telling you about the meeting Larry. I guess when I read it originally I only saw that “sources” told you what was said in the meeting, meaning they basically took team business to you again. I wrongly assumed that it was the same “sources” (meaning more than one) who had talked to you originally. I can see how that could basically destroy a team. I am sure you’ve seen teams that have melted down for less.

    I apologize for being incorrect on that. I haven’t read any of the follow-ups since it hit originally and just saw that it had hit the national press that you had lost access.

    I am guessing it wasn’t Ichiro who said things. I think Ichiro is an important person to bring up though, because this same thing happened to him in a way. He was undermined by teammates and ‘things were said’ to members of the press, but as far as I can tell none of them were ever corroborated and not a lot of specifics were printed. They were more vague and basically said that he was a poor leader and wasn’t a good teammate. But there were never any specific examples like this one that was told about Griffey. Apparently it wasn’t more than one player who said things about Ichiro though. Was that just a case of the media smelling out a load of crap, or was that a case of realizing that running down Ichiro wouldn’t do anybody any good? Reporters make decisions everyday on how far to run with a story and whether or not something is worth printing and the impact it will have.

    I guess I just never felt there was much sense in peeing in my own well. I think that is kind of what happened here. As a journalist I am sure you are grateful for those who have come to your side in reporting that your access had been cut and in effect putting pressure on the Mariners to offer access to credentialed press, and like you say… the players are coming to each other’s side too. I see this as a no-win and that sucks.

  57. SharkHawk says:

    One thing I forgot and I’ll drop it after this, but I had a question Larry about one specific part of your statement that just does NOT add up with me….

    “Since it was my blog that sparked all this, players approached me after their meeting to ask if I’d identify the two guys I’d interviewed. I wouldn’t — if there’s heat from all this, it’s on me, not two guys who answered my questions,”

    Are you trying to say that you asked a guy if Griffey was sleeping and he confirmed it, then you asked somebody else who confirmed it? That seems extremely far-fetched.

    I just don’t quite get it…. I am assuming somebody told you that Griffey was sleeping and you asked for corroboration from another source. Were they together at the time? Did the second person hear the first say it? Were the questions asked in isolation and in a short period of time so that there was no way that one could tell the other to corroborate?

    I just don’t think there is any way that this started because you asked a guy a question. Why would you ask a player why Griffey wasn’t available to pinch hit? That is a question for a manager or for Griffey himself. To me, this is a big hole in your story, and I think this is the part that others have concerns with. Did somebody just come out and tell you this? If so… then that is not answering your questions…. that is telling you something that was nobody’s business and you taking it further and then asking questions about their initial statements of disdain/anger/frustration or whatever it was exactly. Seriously, I don’t think you should be taking the heat on yourself if that is the case. I know naming sources is a no-no, but if they did it and you heard it and stand by it then you should tell it how it happened. Therein lies the problem I think. It just doesn’t quite add up.

    And finally…. was this recorded, or did you shorthand it on a legal pad or steno book like I’ve seen you do in the clubhouse? Having it taped and an independent person listen to it and confirm it was said and was said by two people as reported would sure clear a lot of things up and probably end the entire mess. The team would owe you an apology and would have to take their anger out on themselves.

  58. 59 posts on this blog………………… WOW!!!!!!!

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