The Seattle Mariners were expected to be one of baseball’s most-improved teams heading into the 2010 season. A month into the season, things just keep getting worse and worse.
The latest negative nugget involves the best player in the history of the Mariners franchise.
According to a Tacoma Tribune News report, Ken Griffey Jr. retreated to the clubhouse to sleep during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays last week, preventing embattled manager Don Wakamatsu from using him as a pinch hitter for the light-hitting Rob Johnson.
Citing sources within the team, the report also states that Junior spends parts of games in the clubhouse texting and watching television.
The Mariners have already parted ways with Eric Byrnes and his beachcomber and continue to deal with Milton Bradley’s psychological issues. Getting rid of the scuffling Griffey probably wasn’t high on the M’s to-do list, but the team now faces what amounts to a substantial PR embarrassment.
Griffey hasn’t commented on this report but will certainly be asked to do so Tuesday when the M’s visit the Orioles.
Despite his poor performance and physical problems, the Mariners will most give Griffey a few more ABs before casting him adrift.
If nothing else, inserting him in a struggling lineup should at least keep him awake.