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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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Friday, August 31, 2007

Mackanin on Griffey

Pete Mackanin thought Ken Griffey Jr. should have gotten to second base on his blooper in ninth Thursday night. Griffey got a single on the play. Alex Gonzalez, not the fastest runner, scored from first on the play.

“I didn't see him get out of the box,” Mackanin said. “I didn't see if stumbled or whatever. . . But I think he should have gotten to second. Or I would have like to see him at second. Let's put it that way.”

Mackanin did not say anything to Griffey about the play. There was similar play in Florida, where Griffey got thrown out going to second after breaking slowly out of the box. Mackanin handled that the same.

“I knew that he knew he made a mistake,” Mackanin said. “He knows. There's no need to belabor the point. The team’s doing well. There’s no need to stir up anything.”

This is ultimate tightrope for an interim manager. If Mackanin makes too big of deal out, he risks losing the clubhouse. If he ignores it completely, it's seen as him tolerating lack of effort. By saying what he said to the media, Mackanin knows it will probably get back to Griffey.

Griffey was not in the clubhouse before the game -- he must have been in the training room -- so he wasn't asked about the play.


at 6:58 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Do you think Sweet Lou might have mentioned it to Griffey?

at 7:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - any idea what Phillips was yelling to everyone on the field as they were giving high fives. Griffey was in front of Phillips the whole time and had a look on his face like "listen to this clown".

The Griffey/Dunn attitude is so contagious on this team. Thankfully Phillips is immune to it. Here's hoping that Guillen is fired from Chicago and gets the Reds job. That would be classic.

at 7:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it take a loud mouth ranting over 50,000 watts before someone in the local media addresses this? If it were an isloated incident I could understand, but just off the top of my head I can think of at least 3 similar instances this year where Jr hasn't hustled out of the box and cost his team. Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion both got called out for similar incidents. Does Griffey carry so much clout that Pete Mac has to hope that something gets back to him through the grapevine instead of just addressing it head on.

at 7:36 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I have no idea what Phillips was saying.

But it's a delicate balance for managers and star players. Who do you think has more job security Mackanin or Griffey? So why would Mackanin get in a tiff with Griffey?

Mackanin handled it his way. A lot of managers would not have said what he said.

at 8:02 PM Blogger robby said...

I am an infrequent reader of this blog and an even less frequent commenter, but I must say the level of anger directed toward Griffey is puzzling to me. As if he is somehow personally to blame for the mismanagement of this organization. The Griffey acquisition by the Reds has not worked out as planned and in retropsect if the Reds were not going to significantly increase their payroll after signing him to an extension they should have never acquired him, because giving such a large share of the overall payroll to one or two players kills a team's ability to fill other needs like pitching. (The same debate the organization looks like it will have with the Dunn contract in the offseason.)

The Reds have been a joke for years. No plan, no player development and no ability to trade for, draft or develop quality pitching. That is why the team is where it is, not because Griffey doesn't hustle. Could he run harder out of the box? Absolutely. So does everyone think that every time a player is talked to by the manager it makes it into the press. Frankly I'd like to think something was said to Griffey last night or today in private. Doing what Narron did to Encarnacion was a joke. If Pete would have pulled Griffey after his single off the center field wall would that make everyone happy? Would that make the Reds a better team? Lou Pinella certainly would not have pulled him from the game. Don't kid yourself.

The Reds will not win while Griffey is on the team, but it won't be because of Griffey's attitude or lack of hustle. It will be because the organization has been so poorly managed for so long that the turn around will take longer than the year Griffey has on his contract.

at 8:05 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Has anyone else heard Krivsky's comments on Griffey'S hustle the past couple of games? UNBELIEVABLE!!!
John, I am sure that you have heard it by now.

at 8:06 PM Blogger OhioJim said...

6:08 Anon
Phillips just might have been calling Jr out. Maybe that is why Jr looked like he did not like it.

at 8:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your answer is precisely why the Reds need a name manager next year. Some of the star players on this team are desperately in need of a kick in the butt. If the manager is afraid he'll lose his job if he angers his star player, then the inmates are running the asylum.

at 8:47 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I'm stunned that this has become a big topic. The Reds won the game. Griffey drove in the winning run. Brandon Phillips absolutely fabulous play to end it.

He should have gotten to second. He doesn't bust it out of the box every time. But that's the case with a lot guys on the Reds and other clubs.

at 8:49 PM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

Amen robby. Amen.

at 9:09 PM Blogger robby said...

So what Did Krivsky say?

at 9:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Robby - Keep drinking the Kool Aid!!! Enquirer writers, and many people who write on this blog, are generally allergic to specifically and constructively criticizing bad baseball ... particularly when the culprits are guys like Griffey. Sure, there are some bloggers who I won't mention by name who engage in sophmorish ad homineum attacks when the team loses, but few sportswriters and bloggers in this town have the guts to call guys like Griffey on the carpet for dogging it. Let's face facts. Griffey, Dunn and other veterans on this team are cancers ... not because they are bad guys, but instead because the message they send by how they play is we are superstars, we put fannies in the seats, and ownership and management is far too scared of their own shadow to discipline us when we mail it in ... particularly since they themselves know they mail it in from time to time. True. The last time this team was worth giving a hoot about was when they had no superstars ... but played their butts off nevertheless. When I grew up in
Cincinnati, I paid my way through St. X in part by selling beer at Riverfront. And the thing I will always remember about those days is that Reds' fans didn't really care about the name on the back of the jersey. They cared about the emblem on the front of the jersey, and that people who donned that jersey played the game the right way. Ken Griffey, Jr. will undoubtedly earn entrance to the Hall of Fame. And while he, like Pete Rose, deserves it, at least statistically, he can't hold his old man's jock ... and everyone in this town knows it.

at 9:16 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't know. I guess he was WLW with Doc and was asked about it. But I didn't hear it. I'm in St. Louis, where weather is stunningly nice.

at 9:23 PM Blogger Jim said...


Not busting it out of the box with 2 out and no one on in the 4th is one thing. Not busting it out of the box in the top of the 9th with the score tied and a man on 1st is not acceptable. If Alex Gonzales had not been running hard on contact and not scored, I'm quite sure that would be a big deal. If Jr had been playing hard he would have been on 2nd and easily scored an insurance run on Phillips double. In other words, Jr's lack of hustle came very close to costing the Reds a victory.

at 9:24 PM Blogger robby said...


Couldn't agree with you more. What has gotten into people? I can't name a player on the Reds who hasn't one time or another during the season been a little slow out of the box. If a manager makes a big deal about that stuff in the press every time it happens they join Narron on the unemployment line. As a manager of a team of grown men, a manager must quickly learn how to motivate and individaully treat every player on the team. Not every player responds to diciplince and criticism the same way. Despite what is said on this site, not only is it unrealistic to treat everyone on the team the same it is not an effective way to lead and motivate. Be fair, and set clear, realistic expectations and goals, but don't treat everyone the same and by all means don't show up someone in the press.

at 9:32 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Anon, 8:14: You worked your way through high school selling beer? The last time Reds made the playoffs was 1995. Deion Sanders, Barry Larkin, Ron Gant, Bret Boone and Jose Rijo were on that team. Those guys aren't Hall of Famers, except maybe Larkin, but they were stars.

at 9:40 PM Blogger robby said...

Wow! Lots of pent up anger here that is not worth trying to argue about. My main point when I started this roll was that Griffey's "lack of hustle" is not why this team is where it is. Griffey is certainly not the solution to the problem that ails the Reds but neither is he the cause of the problem.

He wil be gone by the end of the next season at the latest as will Dunn, most likely. The issue for Reds fans should be what is the organization's plan after they are gone. If it doesn't inlclude drastically improving the pitching and possibly moving the fences back it won't matter. The only difference will be that fans won't be able to blame Griffey for the losing record.

I'm done. I hope the fans who want to see it, get to see Griffey hit number 600 in a Reds uniform.

at 9:48 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Griffey must have been reading the blog on his iphone. He just tripled for the first time since June 24, 2003 at old Busch.

at 10:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand. Some people on this blog act as if it's unreasonable to ask Griffey to wait until the ball has cleared the fence to break into his home run trot. Is it really asking too much to want your best player to run it out in the 9th inning of a tie ball game.

at 10:12 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Let's see- 37 year old right fielder to date playing 126 of 134 games batting .286 with 29 HR and 86 RBI. I think most teams would take that production without question. Also let's not forget his surgically repaired knees and the beating they have taken over the years on the astro turf fields.

at 11:41 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

It was nice to see Mr Griffey stretch that 400 foot single into a triple for a change.

at 9:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't as critical of the bloop single as the 410 foot single off the wall on Wednesday. That doesn't seem to be part of this discussion, so I guess we wanted to make this as easy as possible on Pete.

Not needing the insurance run doesn't mean that there was no chance that it would have come in handy. When Jr didn't make 2nd, he didn't know if we'd need another run or not.

at 10:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon Phillips has NO ROOM TO CRITICIZE anyone over not busting it out of the box. Have you seen how many times he "watches" a long fly ball only to see it didn't go out of the park. I will grant you that he has gotten much better about it. I think someone pointed it out to him and he is conscious about it.
Griffey, however, loves to "swing and pose". It almost cost the Reds another win (meaningless though it was).

at 11:04 AM Anonymous oldtimer said...

Simple question: Why are the Reds coaches/manager/general manager (and owner?) afraid of Griffey? While the new guys run flat out, Griffey's been pulling this 90-foot amble stuff all season. Why isn't he called on it?

at 11:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Griffey is 37 years old and has had a problem with pulling muscles when running hard in the past. While it would be nice if he worked out like Larkin during the offseason and could go hard through his early forties, we have to accept the fact that the Reds are a better team when Griffey is healthy and playing (and slightly dogging it).

Dunn has no excuse; he should be running hard on the basepath, in the outfield, and during the offseason. I hope the Reds can buy themselves a bullpen with the money they would give Dunn.

p.s. I started writing this before I saw dan_h's posting ;-) There are sane Reds fans!

at 12:25 PM Blogger freelancehack said...

Griffey's game-winning hit was a bloop single, and anyone who thinks should have stretched it to a double is incredibly naive.

What if Junior got thrown out at second before Gonzalez reached home?

And why did Mack use Ellison to pinch run for Junior. Ellison could have scored easily on Phillips' double.

at 9:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are a joke. The man has screws that attached his hamstring back to the bone. When he gets injured, you are the first to question why their star player is going all out when they are out of the race? When he doesn't make it to second, he's crucified. I feel for the guy, he's one of the top players to ever play the game. Hopefully, you will all realize that before he hangs them up. Until then, keep complaining.

at 1:05 AM Anonymous George Hale said...

Griffey Sr. might would have made it...maybe to 3rd.

at 1:18 AM Anonymous George Hale said...

You, John Fay, along with some of the Reds Management are enablers for the underachieving superstars in this game. You get a name player to come to "Dirty-Nati" to draw the crowds and you don't care whether they hustle or not. I've been following this organization since 1956. Ken Griffey Jr. is the laziest piece of meat they've brought into this town. He's disgusting "hot dog". Wake up, due. The look on his face for Brandon Phillips is but one clue. He doesn't have a clue. So much talent. So much waste.

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