Interesting story in today's Dayton (Ohio) paper, written by Hal McCoy, on the Mariners checking out Junior. Enjoy:
NEW YORK — The Seattle Mariners covet Ken Griffey Jr., want him as much as a loving mother wants to see her children on Mother's Day.
Club President Chuck Armstrong wants the Cincinnati Reds outfielder desperately, wants him to inject excitement into the Mariners and boost attendance, because Armstrong knows Griffey is a deity in the Northwest.
That's why Duane Shaffer, a special assistant to the executive vice president, was in Shea Stadium on Sunday, May 11 — to check out Griffey.
The Mariners most likely would use Griffey as a designated hitter, something that Griffey has said in the past he wouldn't like to do. And he has said he wants to win a World Series ring before he says goodbye.
A ring isn't likely in the immediate future either in Cincinnati or Seattle, but Griffey likes to be loved, and he is more than loved in Seattle. While many fans in Cincinnati still love him, many don't.
When Griffey was asked about Shaffer's visit, he said, "Don't know the man. Never heard of him. I just live and play for the present. I've never been a what-if guy."
As a 10-and-5 player, Griffey must approve any trade, and he said, "The problem with (10-and-5) players is that by the time they come to the player, it is down to them wanting a 'yay' and a 'nay' right away."
Griffey said last week was difficult, and not because of all the trade chatter. It was mostly because of the death of his closest friend, Frank King, a victim of cancer at 38.
"Last week was the longest of my life," he said, as he laced up pink shoe laces on his pink-trimmed Nike spikes as part of annual wearing-of-the-pink by major-league players on Mother's Day to bring attention to breast cancer. The players wore pink wrist bands and several used pink bats.
"Every time I call home, she (wife, Melissa) is still crying," Griffey said.