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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mackanin on the Junior play

Pete Mackanin was surprised as anyone that Ken Griffey Jr. got thrown out at second on his blooper that fell into left field Saturday night.

"I was like what happened?" Mackanin said.

Griffey was not running hard to first. When he saw the ball drop, he broke for second and was out easily. The play fizzled a rally. Rather than second and third, not outs. It was man on tihrd, one out.

"He knows he screwed up," Mackanin said. "It's nothing to be ashamed about. It happened."

How Mackanin handles Griffey is key to his future as Reds manager. Griffey has played hard under Mackanin. He's broke up a couple of double plays with hard slides. He's stolen three bases.

In this situation, Mackanin didn't feel anything needed to be said.

"He is probably as embarrassed as you can get. He knows he made a mistake. I don’t think I ever need to embellish on that. You could see it in his face. He was embarrassed. Those things happen. Unfortunately, it didn't help at that point in time.

“But Junior has helped win and is going to help us win games. Nobody’s going to through a season without making some kind of mistake. Call it a brain cramp."


7 Comments:

at 12:40 PM Blogger RickNMd said...

Always has been and always will be a different measuring stick or standard for future HOF players. If this sort of play was a pattern or Griffey didn't produce or add anything of value to the clubhouse, that would be different.

But a younger player who isn't established who continues to make mistakes and doesn't perform, no way he should be held to the same standard as someone who's got 19 years in the game. Griffey's earned the right to a few gaffs or spotty play.

I just defended Griffey. I should be shot.

 
at 1:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defend Junior all you want. Far better than thinking a .418 team is "competitive".

 
at 1:26 PM Anonymous LexFan said...

John, thanks for asking about this. First of all, let me say I am a Griffey fan. However, that doesn't mean that I am not disappointed in some aspects of his play. How can not running to first base be considered a mistake? Misjudging a fly ball... now that's a mistake. This is not an isolated incident. His lack of hustle to first base has been well-documented. Griffey is a role model to other baseball players, including his teammates and all the way down to little league players. When they see someone like Griffey consistently show lack of hustle to first, what kind of message does this send them? Do we tell them that you have to hustle to first until you become Hall of Fame material? Then everyone will overlook this "minor flaw" because of all the other great things you do?

I was hoping there was a better explanation than it was a mistake. Wonder if he prioritizes the times he decides to hustle, trying to minimize his exposure to injury. Now that's something that I might actually buy in to.

 
at 2:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

He hardly ever runs out a grounder to first base, so what is new, nothing, just more Excuses from the Griffey fans. If it is not that he is allowed these mistakes because he is a Vet too, hey, don't you know he is hurt. LOL What about his comment that he said he is healthy enough to play CF? Did all Griffey fans forget about this? Of course you did. What I see is Freel covering for 2 people in the OF that he should not have to do so often. I guess you Griffey fans don't see this either. LOL

 
at 2:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who has played ball and is a little objective knows that since there was a runner on first and you don't know if the ball is going to drop, you can't just motor into 2nd base (you'd pass up the other runner and make an out). In that sense, jogging to first isn't a big deal. The mistake is in the attempt to take 2nd base which he had no chance to make. Once he realized that Hatteberg was going to take third leaving 2nd base open, it was too late. Common sense.

 
at 3:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best measuring stick of whether anything has really changed under Dave Miley, Jr. (i.e., Pete Mackanin), other than wins and losses, is whether this team of lazy underachievers continues to mail it in under Miley, Jr. Griffey's waltz to first and Lohse similar waltz in his last start ARE something to be ashamed of ... but only if you value playing the game the right way, and value the fact that hard-working fans pay premium dollars to attend games. Mackanin apparently values neither. He's simply an apologist. One more reason this team needs Joe Girardi.

 
at 3:54 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

I have to agree with lexfan. Griffey running hard to first is apparently up to the whimsy of the superstar (and no mistake when he dogs it)! S

However...

Given the Reds pitching "talent" it wouldn't matter if Griffey rolled to First Base on a goat cart singing: "Buzzards keep on flyin' over" (which they are).

Speaking of Porgy and Bess, here's a little Reds' song tribute:

Summertime
And the losing is easy
Bats are slumping
And the ERAs high
Daddy Casti is rich
And those free agents good lookin
So hush little Reds fans
Don't you cry.

One of these seasons
We're going rise up swinging
Then we'll flap our arms
And lead the NL in Wins
Until that moment
There ain't nothing can help us
Your Bruce(y) and Bailey are standing by.

 
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