Mariners Insider Blog

Last Look At An Old Friend?

Ken Griffey Jr. is waiting in Chicago for the Seattle Mariners, and when he plays against them this week, it could be for the last time.

The Mariners passed on acquiring Junior early this year, thinking their future wouldn't be served by bring back a 38-year-old future Hall of Famer in his last years.

Or months.

When the White Sox traded for Junior 12 games ago, they knew they weren't getting the Griffey of the '90s.

As a member of the White Sox, he's batted .241 without a home run and with three RBI. He has DHed as often as he's played center field.

Is this Junior's last season? That decision will be his - someone will offer him a contract for next season, but not for what he's been used to making.

Does a man with more than 600 career home runs, with more than 1,750 RBI want to play a diminished role for another team?

Much depends upon the next five weeks.

If Griffey can help the Sox win their division by helping them win even a few more games than they might have without him, that will factor in.

And should the team get to the post-season - and Junior rises to the challenge and has an impact - that might bring him back.

On the other hand, win or lose this year, Junior may want to go out while most fans remember his best seasons.

He was, in his prime, as good as any player in the game and might well have been the best of his era.

Junior was also unique - a man whose joy on the field spread into the stands, throughout a clubhouse.

Whether he plays beyond 2008 may depend upon whether he still feels that joy.