Griffey return, Part I
Ken Griffey Jr. got a big ovation when he stepped in for batting practice. He's wearing his hat backward, by the way.
Probably 120 people crammed in the interview room for the Griffey returns to Seattle press conference.
Griffey was charming, funny, a bit thoughtful. It lasted about 30 minutes, but in the end Griffey really didn't say much.
"I'm excited to be back."
Griffey revealed a lot about why he wanted to be traded to Cincinnati when he said this: “The toughest part was ’99 when (my family) went back and spent eight weeks in the Florida, and I was here by myself. That took a toll on me – not having my little partner crime with me. I don’t think he realizes how much I care about him. That was probably the toughest.”
Playing in Cincinnati vs. Seattle: "It's really the same, other than the location -- and the weather."
Any regrets about leaving? "No, because my family was the No. 1 thing."
Does he think about the 1995 playoff run? “Do I think about ’95? Yeah. How much fun we had. The things that you always dream about, playing in the playoffs, winning a playoff game . . . The best moment of ’95 was when Edgar (Martinez) doubled (and I scored). Everyone jumping on each other at home plate. That will never leave my memory. Being a Seattle Mariner will never leave my memory.”
On that team being broken up: "Things change. Priorities change. Ownership changes. They want to go in different directions. It's one of those things where you say: OK, what's best for me at that time. Because ownership does it, too."
On playing center field in this series: "That's not up to me. I don't control that. I want to play shortstop. If it was up to me, I'd go straight to shortstop."
What's it like coming back? "It's just different . . . I don't know what to think."
Nervous? “I’m always nervous. Anytime someone else does something for you, you’re always nervous. Not that I’m nervous in a bad way. Once the game start, I’ll be OK. We were all looking forward, even though I didn't say a lot."
Finishing his career as a Red: "I can't control that, unless I decide (to retire)."
On future: “I don’t have any set goals as far as numbers. People around me the longest know that numbers don't mean that much. I have no idea how long I’m going to play. I know (son) Trey said if I play six more years he can make it to the big leagues. I guess when I stop having fun. I’m going to hang around to break someone’s records. That’s not fair to me or the sport.”