Awakening Of a Sleeping Giant: Ken Griffey Jr.

Danny LoPrestiContributor IMay 22, 2010

SEATTLE - APRIL 18:  Ken Griffey Jr. #24 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field on April 18, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Thank you ESPN. Thank you Seattle newspapers. Thank you Mariners fans. Thank you radio talk shows. Thank you sports world. Oh yeah, and thank you Kevin Gregg.

I say thank you to all of the above because you have awoken one of the greatest baseball players of all time from his slumber.

Throughout this season, Griffey had been criticized day in and day out on how he should retire. People have said he's too old, doesn't have the same bat anymore, and simply cannot perform at the Major League level.

Maybe they are right. Maybe he is getting older. Maybe he doesn't have the same bat speed anymore. Maybe he doesn't belong in the big leagues.

Maybe. Maybe not.

With the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, just two outs away from the club's sixth loss in a row, Ken Griffey Jr. was called upon to save the day.

On a 2-1 pitch, Griffey lined a base hit to right field to deliver the game winning run and perhaps becoming the spark that the Mariners needed to turn this thing around.

On a night where all hope seemed lost, where the Mariners were just two outs away from another disheartening loss, the Kid came through with a clutch hit that will shut critics up for at least one night.

Every athlete has a mean streak in them that when tapped into, they become one of the most dangerous players on the field. A man can only take so much criticism before he starts to do something about it.

Being the leader of this team and the face of the franchise, its up to Griffey to help salvage the season.

Although he is only hitting .191 with no home runs, and as a team the Mariners they are ranked 28th in the entire league, you have to feel that the wheels are slowly turning in the Mariners' favor.

So baseball world, sit back, relax and enjoy because I think the Mariners are on to something.

Oh and some advice on bashing one of the greatest players ever:

Don't sleep on him.