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The Return of Junior Griffey! (1 Viewer)

Jarrod_L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
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117
Looks like Ken Griffey Jr is coming back tonight to play centerfield in the Reds three game series w/ the Atlanta Braves...

While this is a good thing for Cincinnati, do you think Junior will ever re-acquire the near-mythic status he had before his last two injury plagued seasons?

Unless you've forgotten, up until a couple years ago, Junior would always top "Best Player" polls throughout Major League Baseball, and was an automatic All Star & Gold Glover...
 

Justin_M

Agent
Joined
Jun 13, 2001
Messages
48
Jarrod_L,
Personally, I don't think that he will ever live up to the hype that was put on him during his rookie and sophmore season. With his recent cry-baby fits, I don't think that he has the maturity yet to handle the pressure put on by fans and critics. I think 5 or so seasons down the line, he will be a seasoned and dangerous threat. Compare him to Bonds...both had prominent fathers in the league, both had a lot of pressure put on them when they were young, both had injuries that affected their game plus Bonds had personal issues that distracted him also. Look where he is now. Lil' Grif could get to that level, but not any time soon.

(Watch, just for posting this, I will be eating my words. Watch him break Shawn Green's day-old record tonight.)

oxonce
 

Jarrod_L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
117
Justin,

I won't get my hopes up about Junior hitting 4 homers tonight (even though from what I've read, he's been able to take batting practice the entire time he's been out w/ this injury).

I think the one thing Junior has on his side (despite his great talent) is his youth. He's only 31, I believe...plenty of time to add to those home run totals.

As a Reds fan, I'm hoping he puts these last two years behind him and returns to the level he once played at, but I'm skeptical....

We shall see...
 

Denward

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
552
:confused:I think that Griffey exceeded all expectations for many many years. He hit 40 HR in 7 out of 8 years while winning more than a few gold gloves. He's a borderline hall of famer already. The past couple of years have tarnished his image as a player and person. If he gets healthy again, I expect him to spank that puppy all over the place.
 

Justin_M

Agent
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Jun 13, 2001
Messages
48
Denward,
I agree that Grif is one hell of a ballplayer, but being touted as one of the best ever when he was a rookie? I do not think that he will ever live up to that. He just seems lazy to me, also. I saw him play in Milwaukee when he was with the Mariners and he was the last player on the field and the last player off the field between innings. How bout a lil hustle?
 

Denward

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
552
Justin, I'd have to disagree with you. Achieving almost HOF status by the time you're 30 means you're well on your way to becoming one of the greatest ever. The only thing that prevents him from being a HOF lock is sufficient longevity, and injuries may still keep him out. He may have attitude problems as evidenced by a lot of stories, but hustling on and off the field is not a criteria that I would use to judge a player. He seemed to hustle plenty after line drives into CF.

BTW, I'm not even a big Griffey fan, but objectively I have to give the man his due credit.
 

Jarrod_L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
117
I would have to say I was a huge fan of Junior's before he came to Cincy (my fav club), and now I'm somewhat turned off by him...especially after his outburst earlier in the season.

Don't get me wrong, his first season w/ the Reds he hit 40 homers, which was more than a Red had hit in years...and I didn't fault him like many fans did, but the Reds had won 90+ games in 1999, and after acquiring Junior during the off-season they went downhill.

This season they're in first, but Junior has played in only a handful of games. A month from now the Reds could have a 10 game lead & Junior could be hitting .390 w/ fifteen home runs...If that happens, I'd be the first person to to say he was the missing ingrediant...

Do I think he's a HOFer? Yes. Fastest player to 400 home runs, fastest to 450....I think he has the rest of this season and part of next to be the fastest to 500.

And I don't care how much he hustles between innings and before and after games, as long as he does it when it counts. After he came back from injuries last year I saw him make several "Junior-esque" catches in the outfield, as well as hit a very dramatic 'walk-off' inside the park home run....it was like you'd see glimpses of the old Junior, but just as you did, it would quickly fade.

To me, it just seems like he's been worn down by the press since coming to the Reds, and he no longer has that twinkle in his eye like you used to see while he was playing w/ the M's.

I wish him all the luck in the world, and hope that he can bounce back after these terrible injuries...
 

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,408
Well, I'll be attending the Sunday afternoon Braves game. I was hoping to see Griffey Jr. play in person one day, and I will. :)
 

Mark Pfeiffer

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 27, 1999
Messages
1,339
Don't count your chickens before they've hatched Patrick. Last I heard they were planning on playing him every other day at first (which would still mean he'd play Sunday).

I know Griffey's taken a lot of heat with some of the things he's said since coming to Cincinnati, but considering the death threats he was getting that first year and the way he has been ripped in the media and by fans, I can understand the desire to lash out. If anything, he's guilty of paying too much attention to all that crap and being too sensitive. He should just keep his mouth shut. Fans who think Juan Encarnacion should be playing over him are flat out idiots and shouldn't be given any attention if I'm Griffey.

I expected him to have a big year this season. It could still happen as long as he stays healthy.
 

Patrick_S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2000
Messages
3,305
11-2 Braves, Griffey 1-4.
Thank god he is back, now the Reds can start their slide out of first. :)
 

Scott Leopold

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
711
I'm behind Griffey 100%. The last two years have been unfortunate, but I believe he'll hit his stride again, and all the naysayers will be eating their words--either that or denying they ever bashed him and jumping on the bandwagon. I was at four of his first five or six games in Cincy (managed to get his first HR as a read, and 400th overall, on videotape), and the electricity and emotion in the stands was overwhelming. Cincinnati can be a great baseball town at times, but there are way too many fairweather fans, both regular fans and in the media. I think his recent treatment is uncalled for, and I can't blame him for lashing out at his critics. He made a great point recently, which was that the sportswriters and television stations in St. Louis & Chicago would never have asked the fans if they thought an injured McGuire or Sosa should stay on the bench. I'm looking forward to Griffey playing well again, because I'm sure the fans will show their appreciation then as much as they're expressing their frustration now. Unless, of course, there's a strike in August, then all of baseball's screwed.
 

Mark Pfeiffer

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 27, 1999
Messages
1,339
11-2 Braves, Griffey 1-4. Thank god he is back, now the Reds can start their slide out of first. :)
Yeah, Griffey's pitching performance last night really cost them the game. :rolleyes
Sorry Patrick, but if you listen around here, that's exactly the sort of stuff you'd hear all the time. They're losing because Griffey is in the lineup. Give me a break.
 

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