Seattle Mariners Need To Wisen Up and Stop Trying To Kill the Messenger

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Seattle Mariners Need To Wisen Up and Stop Trying To Kill the Messenger
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

With each passing day, the events surrounding Ken Griffey Jr.'s alleged mid-game snooze are becoming less clear in the eyes of many within the sport.

Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Ken Griffey Jr. was not asleep in the clubhouse in the eighth inning last Saturday night.

He was indeed on the bench and available to pinch-hit, contradicting parts of a story that appeared in the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune on Monday.

In case you yourself were napping and missed it, the News Tribune story quoted two young players who spoke off the record, saying that Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse during the game Saturday night.

When asked whether he was asleep in the clubhouse, Griffey was vague. He didn't answer the specific question but said, "I wish they [the unnamed players] had been man enough to talk to me."

Upon being asked if Griffey had been asleep in the clubhouse during the game Saturday night, Wakamatsu said Tuesday, "He wasn't asleep. He was available to pinch hit, and I chose not to use him as the manager."

Before Tuesday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Mariners held a players-only meeting. A club source said the meeting was organized by Mike Sweeney and "was 100 percent about Griffey" and was designed to support Griffey.

The source said that Griffey was upset and hurt by the story, and cried briefly during the meeting.

Sweeney chastised the anonymous young players for speaking about something that had happened in the clubhouse, in essence challenging the clubhouse "Deep Throats" to a fight, according to the source.

And therein lies the rub.

If Griffey was indeed NOT asleep and available, then where was the need to chastise these younger players? 

What clubhouse incident were they relaying to the world that justified this admonishment?

There is absolutely nothing that makes sense in the team's statements, and the whole thing smells fishier than the Pike Place Fish Market.

The incident continues to make waves as each day goes by.

After the Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, winning pitcher Cliff Lee started to address the media, then stopped and said he could not continue until the reporter from the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune left.

Other Mariners players followed suit with the newspaper at their lockers, according to Seattle-area media reports.

Look, I don't want to admonish anyone for being a good teammate and looking out for one of their guys. 

The sanctity of the clubhouse is one of the values held most dear across Major League Baseball, and the Mariners can't be happy that two of their teammates allegedly violated that trust while creating a big media controversy in the process.

But from all appearances the events outlined in the initial report seem to be in all likelihood fairly accurate, meaning the Mariners are doing nothing more than killing the messenger here.

So Seattle's management, keep giving your contradictory statements. Cliff Lee, go on blackballing the reporter who wrote the piece. Mike Sweeney, keep offering up "stitches for the snitches." 

All y'all just keep doin' your thing.

But if you're trying to sell me that there is little or no truth to the initial story, just know that I'm not buying it.


This article is also featured on You're Killin' Me, Smalls!

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