For those of you who personally know me have seen me rant and rave about something or another at some point. But today I read an article that I had to sit back and say "Now That's a Rant". Thanks to the fine people at Bleacher Reports for this little nugget of information called Finger of blame in Wak firing pointed right at Junior. Written by Jim Moore on the Seattle Post Intelligencer website, Moore says that they main reasons that former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was fired was due to future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., and current Mariner Chone Figgins.
Here is some of what Moore has to say about Griffey:
Junior struggled and slept in the clubhouse and was ultimately benched and got upset because he thought that Wakamatsu planted the whole Sleep-gate story with Larry LaRue, which is completely preposterous. And then he got even madder when Wakamatsu didn't communicate with him for two weeks after his benching or something like that.
I understand Griffey's place in the game, but was he so clueless that he needed Wakamatsu to continually explain why he was benched? Wakamatsu gave him more than enough time to produce, and when it didn't happen, what was the manager supposed to do? Keep putting him in the lineup? Wakamatsu, if I'm not mistaken, was trying to win games, and he couldn't do it with a powerless, sub-.200 designated hitter.
Griffey could have been a reasonably mature adult and hashed out his differences with Wakamatsu and stuck around as a part-time DH and full-time pinch-hitter who still would have wielded considerable clout in the clubhouse.
But no, Junior had to take his toys and go home. He said he left because he didn't want to be a distraction. Please. He left because he was in a full-on hissy-fit, mistakenly at odds with Wakamatsu.
Wow! That alone puts anything I could have said to shame. Period! But it doesn't end there. Here are a few more words from Moore about Griffey:
Last year, when things were going well, Griffey was a clubhouse enhancer who everyone loved. He was also the congenial conduit between Ichiro and the rest of the team.
Then of course, you know what's happened this year -- everything goes to hell and Griffey goes to Orlando, driving off in a huff in one of the biggest chump moves ever.
This isn't coming from a Ken Griffey Jr., hater. In the beginning of his article Moore describes how he nearly teared up listening to the pre-game ceremony that was held for Griffey upon his return with the Cincinnati Reds during an inter-league series three years ago. Moore acknowledges how the standing ovation that Junior received was well deserved for the man who helped keep the Mariners in Seattle. Now let's shift gears towards Chone Figgins.
Arguably, Figgins has to be the biggest offseason acquisition bust for any team this season. Though the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim miss him dearly, his performance has not been the same in Seattle. Moore gives his two-cents on Figgins and Wakamatsu:
Then we had the Chone Figgins dust-up in the dugout two weeks ago when the second baseman nearly came to blows with Wakamatsu, and I wish he had - I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching that bout, fully expecting Wak, with his size and reach advantage, to floor Figgy with a roundhouse right. That would have been more fun to see than the triple play against the A's Monday night.
Let's see if I have this straight - Figgins makes $9 million a year and dogs it and gets justifiably benched and goes nuts, and Wakamatsu blows it by not suspending him and continuing to put him in the lineup.
Then when approached by Gregg Bell of the Associated Press for a comment on Wakamatsu's firing, Figgins said: "I'm not talking, man, I'm not talking." Figgins is not a stand-up guy and, frankly, neither is Junior, evidenced by his sudden departure. Why Figgins isn't roundly booed every time he steps to the plate is hard to figure.
Enough said? Nope, Moore has more to say about Figgins on his website post called I wish Wakamatsu had decked Figgins. To add insult to injury towards Wakamatsu, he had the misfortune of being fired on the day of the Seattle Mariners Japanese Heritage Night at Safeco Field. In case you didn't already know, Don Wakamatsu was the first Japanese-American manager in the history of Major League Baseball. Ouch.
Whether you agree with Moore or not, I have to give it to him. That is one impressive rant. What do you think.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here for the entire article written by Jim Moore on the Seattle Post Intelligencer website
- Click Here for Jim Moore's Website called Jim Moore: The Go2Guy