Tuesday, June 5, 2007

All-Star Year?

At this point in the All-Star voting Ken Griffey, Jr. is in third place among NL outfielders. I have been and will continue to be a Griffey apologist as long as he wears the Reds uniform. He is one of the greatest CF’s of all time, and who knows what might have been had the man not endured one injury after the other during his tenure with the Reds.

The fact of the matter is that he is no longer the player he was in Seattle, or even the player he was in 2000; his first year with Cincinnati. Narron made the right call by moving Jr. to RF, but his transition to the corner of the outfield has been difficult to watch. There have been come spectacular plays. More often than not, however; the spectacular has been overshadowed by the horrendous. The just finished Colorado series was one example.

Late in Friday’s game David Weathers had been called into a tight situation. He coaxed the batter to hit a fly ball to RF. The ball should have been caught and the inning should have ended. Instead, the ball dropped in front of Griffey and the Rockies scored. The Reds did win that game, but it was further evidence of Junior’s poor performance in right. Thankfully, he is swinging the bat well. That still does not make it any easier to watch him take bad lines on flyballs and allow routine flys to drop in front of him.

Is Griffey an All-Star this year? My heart says yes. My head says no. If he were an AL DH, then maybe his season would qualify for All-Star consideration. He is not a DH; however, he is an everyday RF. I would not label him as a defensive liability. I also wouldn’t call him an All-Star outfielder.

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