Ken Griffey Jr. Says He Was a Distraction
Last year was a disappointing one for future MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. The Mariners icon was reported to be sleeping on the job when asked to pinch hit in a game last season and then abruptly retired three weeks later. The fan favorite walked away from the game in an odd fashion and was hardly heard from afterwards.
Now, nearly a year later, he somewhat explained why he walked away mid-season.
Junior told several reporters including The Seattle Times that he retired abruptly last year because he felt he’d become a distraction to the team. “I’m not upset. I think people thought I was upset about certain things, but that’s not the case,” Griffey told them.
Griffey believed at the time that former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu had leaked the word of his mid-game nap to the press and didn’t talk to the man for two weeks on the job. They still haven’t patched things up, and Griffey says he’s still waiting to hear from Don.
This somewhat brings closure to a bizarre ending to the legend’s career. Most people probably could have figured that was the reason Griffey walked away, but at least now we have it on record.
When you look back at things, it’s really a shame that Ken left the game in the fashion he did. Many people, myself included, will argue that he should have walked away after his successful season in 2009. Griffey doesn’t have any regrets, but there are several fans who certainly wish things had ended differently.