Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr is having a rough go of it this baseball season. He is back for a second year after his return to Seattle last year in a glorious renewal of the great early Griffey years as a Seattle superstar. The city clearly loves him. But, this year he is struggling to hit the ball and seems to have lost all his superpowers. He never plays the outfield. He can barely run and he doesn't have to very often because he only has two extra base hits and is hitting around .200. He looks out of shape and overweight; he looks like a middle aged man. And he is old in baseball years, about 40. He should have retired last year to the accolades of the Seattle crowds. But, he said he will know when he is ready to hang up his spikes and Seattle hoped his hanging on would only help a struggling ball club for one more year. It hasn't. Griffey is a shadow of his former self. The latest embarrassment was last week when the Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu was looking for an eighth inning pinch hitter and Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse, or so the story in a local newspaper went. Apparently, two of the newer players on the team (Mike Sweeney has challenged them to a fight if they come out and say who they are) said they witnessed the sleeping allstar. Manager Wak denied he was looking for Griffey but admitted he did not know where he was earlier in the game. Griffey denied he was napping.
Whether Griffey should have retired or not is moot at this stage of the season. He did not and he is part of the team and you can't very well release a Hall of Famer who played a huge role in keeping baseball in Seattle when it had some very bad years. Some say Griffey built the new Safeco field. So, let's take another look at napping. Many 40 year olds and older do it. It is necessary to make it through the day. Call it a power nap, if you will. A ten or fifteen minute nap after lunch can make one's afternoon much more productive. Given the Mariners power outage this season (some sluggers on other teams already have more home runs than the entire Mariner team), it might be a good idea to give everyone an afternoon nap on a rotating basis. You have a DH in the American League so why not a DN for designated napper. Let each player catch some zzz's during a game and maybe they will catch fire at the plate. It's a long season, and they travel alot, and it's hard to sleep in a new bed every night. Some of those hotels are brutal. I say, Griffey may have another Hall of Fame idea here. Listen to your leader. Give your players permission to snooze. I know how the saying goes - you snooze you lose. But the Mariners are not snoozing and still losing. So,hey,what do they have to lose. It's time for the DN.