Cheap Seats

So long, Junior?

In a story you hate to hear even though he was for so long a division foe... Ken Griffey Jr.'s days as a major leaguer are apparently coming to a rapid close.

The longtime Reds outfielder is close to be released by the Mariners, according to a Tacoma News-Tribune blog. In addition to not accomplishing much at the plate, Junior apparently was unable to be found last week when Seattle needed a pinch hitter. It turns out he was taking a nap in the clubhouse at the time.

The Kid, now 40, is hitting .208 so far this season with no homers and only five RBIs. Last year he hit .214 with 19 homers and 57 ribbies.

I hate to see Junior hanging on past his shelf date. He was a great player before injuries robbed him of much of the second half of his career. Once a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame, Griffey's numbers fell off dramatically after his trade to Cincy. He was a .299 hitter for Seattle but only a .263 hitter since he was dealt a decade ago in 2000. His 630 career homers look great at fifth on the career best list. But he played in the steroid era and, even though he was never linked to performance enhancers, I think the days when a player gets into the Hall based purely on power numbers may be over.

Griffey was always a good guy. I hope, if he's done, that he doesn't hang on just to collect a couple more homers and a handful of RBIs. He's doing his reputation more harm than good.