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Thank You

Here’s the obligatory Griffey post. Enjoy!

So here we are, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Wednesday was a very emotional day for me. I was preparing for our CO-ED softball championship when I first heard the news. It did not surprise me. My initial reaction was “finally.” Then we played softball, lost, and I came home feeling sad. It wasn’t just the softball game though, it was something else in the back of my mind. I then found out about the whole Galaraga perfect game situation. That made me even more sad. Sad for him, sad for the umpire, sad for baseball. It wasn’t til I went to bed that night I finally realized, Griffey is no longer playing baseball.

I love George Kenneth Griffey Junior. I love his swing, I love(d) his defense, I love his persona, and so on. I don’t personally remember too much about his departure, so I never had that bad taste in my mouth. It was all joy. I think that is why it was so hard to see him struggle. It was too obvious watching him day in and day out that he was done. I joked that 630 was just too round a number for him to hit anymore. Who wants 631? That’s ugly. There’s Griffey at 630, and Mays at 660. It’s not symmetrical, but it is beautiful.

But despite all these things I love, I love one thing more: winning. Jr. was not helping in that department. I knew it, he knew it, we all knew it. That’s why he retired. It took him longer than it should, but I don’t blame him. When you’ve been the best at something, better than all your peers, for your entire life, it’s going to be real damn hard to just stop. The writing was always on the wall, he just had to put on his glasses and read it.

After I stopped being sad, I was joyous. This is not a sad day in Seattle, this is a great day. We get to celebrate our Hall of Famer. He is ours, not Cincinnati, not Chicago, not anywhere but here. He is ours.

There  has been a lot of talk about how Griffey’s legacy is “tainted” because of the last two months. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. How often do we hear of May’s last years in New York? Hardly ever. In a couple months when Jr. comes back and we have the celebration at Safeco, no one is going to remember all this stupid sleeping business. No one is going to remember how wretchedly awful he has been. It doesn’t matter. That is what happens when you get old. You suck! You are no longer able to do what you did when you were 25. And that is why we love him isn’t it?
There is nothing sad about him sucking. It only furthers the fact that he is one of the greatest players of his generation. One of the main reasons we love him is because he the only modern player with 600+ home runs that is CLEAN. When you’re clean, you get hurt, you start a decline. Would you rather have him chasing Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds well into his forties, then all the speculation rest of that steroid garbage? People say this isn’t a storybook ending, but it is. It is with out a doubt a storybook ending.

So thank you Jr. Thank you for saving baseball. Thank you for coming back. Thank you for you’re swing, you’re glove, and the pure unadulterated joy you brought us. Thank you for grounding out to second 100 times this year. You did it well, you did it right. You are not dead, just retired.

PS: Thanks again.


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