Not a Fan of Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Ken Griffey, Jr.

 

The Seattle Mariners will honor their best player of all-time tonight when they induct Ken Griffey Jr. in to the Mariner’s Hall of Fame. A precursor, no doubt, of Griffey’s ultimate first-ballot election into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown when he becomes eligible in 2016. Only a fool would argue that Griffey doesn’t belong in either Hall. And I certainly won’t be doing that. But at a time when the city of Seattle will once again bathe this man in all its love, all the love its ever felt for any personality, it’s important for me to express my dissatisfaction with Griffey, the man. I am not a fan.

 

Being a big-time sports fan I am certainly a fan of all that Griffey did on the field. His array of acrobatic outfield dives, slides, fence climbing catches could get him a Hall nomination alone. He was the best defensive outfielder in baseball through the 90s. His glorious swing made for 630 home runs, sixth on the Major League Baseball all-time list. Fourth All-time if you eliminate the cheaters…which we should. To me even more impressive is the fact that only 5 players (clean players) have hit as many as 600 career home runs and absolutely nobody is on the horizon to do it again. Sadly Griffey’s career included only three playoff appearances for his teams. And he never played in the World Series, surpassing Ernie Banks of Chicago Cub fame as the best player to never make it to the baseball players ultimate competition.

 

Yes, Griffey was an incredible talent. And he was also an incredible jerk. I’ve always been amazed how lovingly Seattle continues to embrace a man who twice gave the city his backside and his middle finger as he headed out of town. By contrast Alex Rodriguez was vilified the moment he signed the richest contract in baseball history to go to a team that had been to the playoffs two of the previous three years. A-Rod was booed lustily when he returned to Safeco Field as a Texas Ranger in 2001 (All this long preceding the revelation or even suspicion that A-Rod was a multiple time cheat and liar). But Griffey was practically given the keys to the city when he returned as a Cincinnati Red player for the first time in 2007. How quickly we forget that he forced his way out of Seattle demanding to be traded prior to the 2000 season; and then hamstringing the Mariner’s ability to trade for value by limiting what team he would accept being traded to only his hometown Cincinnati Reds.

 

Ken Griffey ---- This image was moved from Fil...

 

Griffey’s narcissism and ingratitude was demonstrated one final time with perhaps the most classless retirement of any Superstar athlete ever. Disgusted at having been benched in 2010 because of his pathetic .184 batting average with zero home runs and only 7 RBI, Griffey left town without a word. Not a goodbye to his teammates, a fair well to fans, a closing interview, nothing but his proverbial “bird”, and a curt statement sent to his longtime friend and boss Mariner President Chuck Armstrong.

 

Griffey’s narcissism was evident early on. As a lonely 19-year-old playing for the Bellingham Mariners he attempted suicide; a gesture mostly, but one in which the individual is demanding attention. As if the number one draft pick in the entire MLB Draft the previous June wasn’t getting enough attention. I am genuinely sorry he was sad and suicidal; knowing him as I do I never took it seriously.

 

Know him? Why yes, I do. As much as a local small-time reporter from over 20-years ago can know him. Which isn’t much. He wouldn’t allow it. In the 3 years I covered Griffey and the Mariners as a reporter for a radio station and for my own syndicated daily radio interview show he never once made himself available to my microphone. But that wasn’t unusual. Griffey almost never made himself available to any local reporter, only national reporters. I’m sympathetic to those who would claim support of Griffey’s stance of not talking to reporters and remaining “private” if it were true. But it’s not. He would talk to reporters. Just not local reporters. We were too little for him in his eyes. For the record I found his father to be a prick too. But that’s another story.

 

Griffey has friends who will tell you he was kind to children, and teammates and that he was fun-loving and a practical joker. I’m sure he was all of those things. But a Hall of Fame Person is someone kind to most-everyone not just the chosen few who adore you. Junior will go into the team Hall of Fame tonight and the bigger Hall in 3 years and he earned it. He just doesn’t get into my Hall.

 

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Seahawks Blew It! And We Ought to be Mad.

Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta

The big bold headlines to the Seattle Times this morning says “End of a Super Season” with a subtitle of “Heartache after fearless comeback; finale to thrilling year”. To me it sounds all to familiar. “That’s OK boys. It’s OK that you blew a chance to bring this city its first ever football title and first major championship in more than a generation. We still love you”. A Seattle sports team gives our city some excitement one week, wins a few games and proceeds to take a bow from adoring fans devoid of much sports success to embrace when ultimately all they did was perform a face plant in front of the entire nation.

In case you missed it let me inform you of all you need to know about yesterday’s 30-28 loss to the Falcons in AtlantaSeattle had the lead with 25 seconds to go in the game and Atlanta had the ball at its own 27 yard line, 34 yards away from the possibility of a LONG field goal. It turns out, Atlanta only needed 12 seconds to complete two long passes to the Seattle 31 where kicker Matt Bryant

Matt Bryant | Atlanta Falcons

Matt Bryant

lofted a chip shot 49 yard field goal for the win. For the uninformed football fan let me inform you: THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Not to a championship caliber team it shouldn’t.

But wait…it has happened before…to this same team. Please recall Chicago, December 2. Seattle scores a wonderful comeback touchdown with only seconds to play to take the lead on the 8-3 Bears and seemingly wins the game remarkably. Only they didn’t. Like Matt Ryan yesterday, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completes a pass of about 50 yards to Brandon Marshal against Richard Sherman and a befuddled Seahawk secondary.

English: Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears warmi...

Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears

Putting Chicago in position to kick the tying field-goal as time expired, forcing overtime. Had it not been for the flip of a coin going Seattle’s way, giving them first possession of overtime, the Seahawks could have lost that game. Having lost that game Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs. Chicago does.

So what does it say about a team that twice in 7 games allows an opposing team to move from deep in their own territory into field goal position in mere seconds and lose a game they led. To me it says some really bad coaching is taking place. When it happened the first time you could blame Richard Sherman for not trying to knock the ball down and instead trying to intercept it. When it happens a second time and it involves other players besides Sherman, you have a pattern and you have a problem.

The thing Seattle fans need to learn and still haven’t is the team had an opportunity and you can’t blow opportunities like that. The team had the momentum and a realistic shot at going to and winning the Super Bowl. I’m not talking about a “punchers chance”; which everyone in the NFL playoffs has. I’m saying, and so were a lot of other people by the way, that Seattle was possibly the best team in the playoffs. Period! Of the 4 teams left in this years playoffs Seattle has already beaten two of the teams this year, and woulda, coulda, shoulda beaten a third, Atlanta, yesterday. Yes, they are THAT good. But they blew it.

The Seattle Times headline this morning is so typically Seattle and so pathetic. I want a championship and am no longer going to settle for “Nice Try”. And if the rest of the city joined me and insisted that our sports teams get their acts together I’m sure a championship could actually come our way.

Being stubborn and demanding and often annoying in ones drive to excellence is a BIG part of what makes champions. Watching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, she said as much. She said, “I’m sure my stubbornness has a lot to do with what success I’ve achieved in life”. She elaborated more…but…there ya go.

I have a brother one year older than me, raised in the same house, same parents, and we are as completely different as two people can be. My brother is a millionaire. He’s also a stubborn bull-headed, my-way-or-the-highway jerk. He always has been. Even when we are kids. I’m no pushover. But I would never be accused of being a sore loser, or poor-sport. I have always tried to be positive and complimentary to my teams, my opponents, and in every situation. Not my brother. As a child he used to cry whenever his team lost. He still can’t stand losing. A few years ago while spending a New Years Eve at his 4500 square-foot home we were playing pool. Pool is a game I can play. Not my brother. I was beating him repeatedly. At one point after 3-5 game after he missed another shot he threw his cue stick on the table scattering the balls and ending the pool play for the night. I’ve played pool in bars ever since lying about my age at 19 and being a frequent customer at the Mustard Seed Two tavern in Bellevue. I have a table in my home. I have never seen anyone do that before…show such poor sportsmanship. For my brother…it was predictable.

So what I’m saying is don’t be so accommodating Seattle. Expect more. The Seahawks blew it yesterday and deserve to be criticized not praised . They lost a very important game they should have won and we have no business patting them on the back. We ought to be kicking them in the ass and saying…“Don’t mess up next year! We’re sick of your mediocrity. And we deserve better”. By the way…same goes for you Mariners.

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Banish these in 2013! Words and Phrases that Don’t Apply

The following words and phrases should no longer be uttered, printed or even thought about. If they ever applied they no longer do. Being that we’re starting a new year now is as good a time as any to rid ourselves of the bullshit. These words and phrases constitute just that.

“The rich need to pay their fair-share”                                                                                              I wanted to vomit every time I heard President Obama or Senator Patty Murray or any other divisive Democrat utter such words. Never in all the time these BS words were being uttered did I ever hear them answer the follow-up question which naturally is, “If the highest 53% of income earner pay 100% of all federal income tax how are they NOT paying their fair share?”. English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

Well Congress finally passed into law a “permanent” change in Federal income tax rates raising to 39% the rate paid by those earning over $400,000 per year. So the President essentially got what he wanted. He stuck it to the rich. Now, lets not hear any more of the claims they aren’t paying their fair-share. They’re paying more than Republicans wanted them to, and exactly what Democrats say they should.

“Obama is a Muslim and a Communist.”                                                                                           I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012 and I think there is abundant evidence that he’s a lousy President and will continue to be so in the coming four years.

But claims by his haters that he’s 1. Muslim or 2. Communist are ridiculous and do absolutely nothing to better this country or this government. Worst of all they poorly taint all Conservatives and Republicans as hateful and racist further driving away moderate votes. There is a reason Republicans have lost 5 of the past 6 Presidential election popular votes. What I would ask those who make such claims is, where is your evidence? And, what difference would it make if you were correct? The fact is Obama is Christian because he says so. His father was Muslim. But so what? Jesus was a Jew. But all his followers aren’t. And Obama is not a Marxist/Communist. He may be a Socialist, which is different. But at best he’s the most Liberal President since Roosevelt.

“Obama was born in Kenya”                                                                                                         Again, like above, those who continue to make these silly claims are idiots and hurting the Conservative cause by looking like idiots and through association making us look so. Like above I would ask, “Even if you’re right, what difference would it make?” Obama is President, twice elected. And he’ll be our President for the next four years. Besides even if you’re right it makes no difference. Obama’s mother was an American citizen. So Obama could have been born on Mars and he’d still be an American citizen.

“The Mariners are Rebuilding”                                                                                                           I never want to hear this phrase again because…1. No they’re not. And….2. You have to have been “Built” in order to be “RE-built”. The Mariners haven’t been built, a contender, for more than 10 years. That’s half a generation. They’ve been to the playoffs only four times in their history and join the Washington Nationals as the only remaining teams in Major League Baseball to have never been to the World Series.

Seattle Mariners

Watching them whiff on Josh Hamilton one year, Prince Fielder the next, and every big name free agent who comes on the market every winter is no longer hard to stomach. It’s not hard to stomach, because it’s too easy to ignore. The Mariner’s President is Chuck Armstrong. He’s been at the helm continuously since 1992 and for 2 more years before than in 1987-89. And Howard Lincoln has been the team’s Chief Executive Officer since  Hiroshi Yamauchi bought the team in 1992.

“The Seahawks are Rebuilding”

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

The Seahawks are no longer rebuilding. They are rebuilt. They have a good coach. A franchise quarterback and young-enough Pro Bowl running back, and basically one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. And yet, they led the league in fewest points allowed, they’re 11-5 and they are unquestionably this year’s winner of the title “The team no-one wants to face in the playoffs” award. No more excuses. We expect this team to win and we will be disappointed if they lose. They can beat anyone at home or on the road.You may say…”Next year…not this year”. But that’s the typical Seattle way. And I’m rejecting that way. Sure winning three road playoff games might be hard. But can they beat Washington? Yes. Can they beat San Francisco? They just did 42-13. Their third playoff game (if they get that far) would be in either Green Bay or Atlanta. Both would be tough. But we already beat the Packers.

“This economy is in recession”                                                                                                        No it’s not and hasn’t been for a couple of years. Will it be in the near future? I think that’s definitely possible. But they are not in recession now. Continuing to act like we are in recession I believe is part of what keeps us in recession. Why go back to work when Congress just extended the two-year unemployment comp plan for another year. It’s embarrassing. Were unemployment benefits cut off in 3-6 months as they normally are I assure you our unemployment rate would be lower, more people would be working, tax revenues would be higher and we could talk about taxes and the deficit in serious ways instead of as a necessary evil while “the economy recovers”.

Kim Kardashian

OK…ya…she’s beautiful. But beautiful women are a dime a dozen. She has never done anything in her life to justify her news exposure and it makes me ill. And while we’re banishing her lets banish all the faux celebrities out there who have no talent and no earthly reason in the world for being on the checkout stand magazine cover.

“Fiscal Cliff”

The news media was at its most annoying best (worst) with the continuing reference to the tax hikes and budget cuts Congress imposed on itself two years ago as the conclusion to the “sequester” negotiations. We were not ever going to go off our fiscal cliff. It was a faux news story…like Paris Hilton.

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