Posted: Thursday April 28, 2005 12:00PM; Updated: Thursday April 28, 2005 3:26PM
Because the world needs another sports blog ...
The good news for the Reds is that Ken Griffey Jr. hasn't gotten hurt yet. That might also be the bad news. Griffey has yet to hit a home run in 73 at-bats this season, a drought we might expect from an undistinguished outfielder such as Toronto's Alex Rios (zero homers in 285 at-bats) but certainly not from a member of the 500 Home Run Club. What's worse, Griffey doesn't cover center field well anymore and is taking away much-needed at-bats from talented youngsters Wily Mo Pena and Austin Kearns. It's a shame that injuries have derailed Griffey's homecoming in Cincinnati, but in the past few seasons at least The Kid has produced at the plate when he has been healthy. Is it fair to say Griffey is done?
The same question should apply to Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who has been even worse than usual behind the plate (one basestealer caught in 20 attempts) and looks nothing like the slugger who set the all-time record for home runs by a catcher (he's batting .235 with two home runs). Griffey and Piazza eventually will end up in the Hall of Fame, just not for anything they are doing this season.
Which other fading superstars need to be put out to pasture?
-- Jacob Luft (12:00 p.m.)
Is Nomar going though his Tiger Woods phase? Forget all of his injuries for a moment, ever since Nomar started dating Mia Hamm, he has become a shell of his former self. Remember Nomar was one of the best hitters in baseball -- he hit .372 in 2000; now he’s a .157 hitter with little power and even less ability to stay healthy. Actually, maybe he's in his Griffey phase. -- Beamer Williams, Munster, Ind. (12:05 p.m.)
Excellent point about Piazza. What I find most appalling is he can't even reach second base with his throws. How is this not a bigger story in New York? He bounces every throw to second and as a result you have guys like Vinny Castilla burning up the basepaths against the Mets. Piazza is more of a liability, especially with his diminished power, than an asset at this stage of his career. -- Jimmy T., Plainview, N.Y. (12:10 p.m.)
You could add Mike Lieberthal to the list. The Phils look foolish for trading Johnny Estrada for Kevin Millwood. -- Jay, Yardley, Pa. (12:31 p.m.)
Should David Wells retire? I think the training regiment of cheeseburgers and liquor isn't so funny anymore. -- John, Boston (12:36 p.m.)
I disagree with your assesment of Griffey. After all the injuries in recent years, I'd have to suspect he's playing a bit cautiously, both in the field and at the plate. Remember, he's injured himself while both fielding and running the bases. Once he gets that first homer taken care of, we could see his power numbers start to look like they should. As far as fielding, even if Griffey can't cover the same amount of ground as he once could, he is still much more than adequate. Although he's 99 short right now, I still see him as a 600-plus homer guy when he's finally done. -- Toby Baird, Truckee, Calif. (12:36 p.m.)
Is Juan Gonzalez with millions in his pockets for five excellent seasons in the mid-90s ever going to ride off into the sunset? -- Eric Britt, Martin, Tenn. (12:46 p.m.)
Would it be of any consolation to know that you are one of the few people who is aware that Juan Gone is still an active player? -- JL (12:52 p.m.)
Jeff Bagwell and his monster contract ($30 million over two years) are not worth the money, considering he is a one-armed defensive liability who can no longer produce as he did in the days of yore. -- Eric Eric, Austin, Texas (12:46 p.m.)
You can add the Killer B's (Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell) and Kevin Brown, who is killing the Yanks. But of course the real answer is Julio Franco, whose prime was probably in 1991.
-- C.E., South Boston, Va. (12:47 p.m.)
Bagwell is taking a beating here. In his defense, he deserves credit for playing hurt. He's a warrior. However, it's painfully obvious that bandbox ballpark is the only thing keeping him serviceable at this stage. Eighteen of his 27 home runs were in Minute Maid Park last season, as were both of his shots so far in 2005. -- JL (1:03 p.m.)
When is Tom Glavine going to hang up his spikes? As a Mets fan, it upsets me to see that momentum-killer take the hill every five days. His off-speed stuff is garbage and his fastball couldn't break glass. Atlanta knew what they were doing when they let him walk away. -- John Doyle, Staten Island, N.Y. (12:51 p.m.)
I have to stick up for Glavine here. I don't think he's a much different pitcher than the guy who won 242 games for the Braves. The problem is with his surroundings. He hasn't had the same superior defense behind him that he had with the Braves, and for a finesse pitcher any play that is not made can be a killer. Also, you can't overlook how much Questec has hurt him. -- JL (1:13 p.m.)