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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, December 14, 2007

Junior's Mitchell statement

I tried to get a hold of Ken Griffey Jr. today -- he'd give me the keys to Aston Martin sooner than his cell number -- but failed. Griffey left a statement with his agent, Brian Goldberg:

"Obviously, it's unfortunate having those names attached to the report. But more importantly, going forward we need to do everything possible to restore and maintain the fans' confidence in the game and the players."

That's typical Griffey. He will never say: I was clean. That makes what I've done a lot more noteworthy than I'm given credit for.

"Besides staying away from this stuff," Goldberg said, "I'm proud that I've never once have I heard him say: If they hadn't done this, I would have been able to accomplish that. Just like I haven't heard him say: If I hadn't had all the injuries, I would have done this or that."

I haven't heard Griffey talk about what might have been either. And I and others haven't tried to get him to talk about it.

The temptation had to be there to cheat. Steroids and human growth hormone would have made it easier to come back from those injuries. You've got to give him credit for playing clean -- even if he won't ask for it.


at 4:09 PM Blogger RPA said...

i haven't always loved griffey's attitude while he's been here, but i really do think he's clean (based on what i've heard about him and read and so on), and i appreciate that.

i imagine there would have been a temptation to go the bonds route as he got older and started breaking down to take hgh/steroids to be able to play to play more often and recover more quickly.

i think that is why most of these guys took the stuff to begin with. i'm still not sold on the fact that the steroids actually make these guys better players. maybe a little stronger, maybe a little better than the competition come august because you aren't as worn down, but you can't shoot up anything that will teach you how to hit or pitch.

i hope there are enough names in the report that selig just lets this go. i agree with senator mitchell here... let's just fix things going forward. if 15% or so of the league was on this stuff between 1985 and 2005, there's not much point in punishing anyone.

at 4:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitchell had two guys, and they exposed 90 - imagine if they had four or six guys testifying. What I heard yesterday was a huge sigh of relief from the majority of players from the early-to-middle steroid era. I think we're now in the late steroid era, as some are still undetectable by means of urine samples.

So Griffey not being mentioned means he is either clean, or was not connected to the Mets or Yankees during those years.

What would you do if you could make millions of dollars by injecting a drug whose only side effects would not present themselves for years? What would you do? I know what I might do ... I might take them.

at 4:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to change the name on your headline, it makes it sound as if his name appeared on the list, i just about lost all respect for the guy, you scared me!

at 4:24 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Good point. Head was "Junior on the report." Changed it.

at 4:31 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Like John and RPA, I really admire Griffey's approach to both this issue and the injury stuff.

I really don't know how he's kept that outlook. Given his private nature, I suspect we'll never know.

at 4:36 PM Anonymous Scott said...

It's nice to see all of the Griffey haters have stayed away from this post (so far). He may not always be the warmest player to deal with in baseball, but he's played the game the right way all these years.

at 5:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible that The Enquirer can stop referring to David Justice as a player w/ Reds ties? Yes, he is from Cincinnati but he does not represent the Reds. I am from New York - do I represent the Mets?

at 5:21 PM Anonymous Nick Danger said...

For those of you have a problem with Griffey's "attitude": now is the time for you to take a look at the bigger picture. The guy is amazing. He took far less than what he could have gotten to come to Cincy and he's had some bad luck with injuries - injuries he got going all out on the field.

For the record, having a bad attitude with the press has nothing to do with one's character. Anyone who has ever had anything written about them in the papers knows the press is practically incapable of getting the story right.

at 5:39 PM Blogger JCK said...

I hope the Griffey bashers consider the fact Jr. did not make this list. For that matter, I hope they also consider the fact Dunn did not make it as well.

at 8:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hope the Griffey bashers consider the fact Jr. did not make this list. For that matter, I hope they also consider the fact Dunn did not make it as well."

Dude, not being named on the list means nothing (see: Sosa, Sammy)-this list was just the tip of the iceberg. I don't think you can use that as affirmative evidence at all. Of course, I don't think Dunn or Griffey use-but there was no way in hell I thought Hal Morris would either.

at 8:46 PM Anonymous Redzfan64 said...

I don't really see the need for Junior to brag about being clean...he lets his performance speak for itself....and always has...I for one have been and will continue to be a Ken Griffey Jr. fan...I feel that in this age of pompopus superstars and wannabes, Junior is secure in his status and place in the history the game..Hank Aaron wasn't one to brag about his accomplishments, and also played his career without constantly having to be on the front pages...and that wasn't truly realized until after Aaron left the game...if that is who Junior is patterning himself after, I could think of a couple of dozen worse people to be like in the game today (ie: Manny Ramirez..Bonds...etc.)..lets enjoy Junior while we still can...he is fast becoming a rare breed in baseball...

at 8:47 PM Anonymous rick said...

Oh, hip hip hooray for Griffey. He didn't take illegal drugs, sames as 85% of other players. We should be so proud of him and praise him now. What a guy that Griffey is.

at 11:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hal Morris supposedly (as his representatives have issued a formal denial and the check they claim he paid with cannot be found) tried steroids in 99. As several news analysts have mentioned, many of the cases of steroid use were by veteran players who were not superstars and were starting to get phased out of their jobs. The superstar steroid users were getting $10 million dollar contracts, wich meant the players who were merely good were getting the shaft. In 99, Morris fit right into this catagory. In 98 he had a good year as an evryday player, hitting .300 for the sixth time since the 90 season. But the Royals chose not to spend the money on renewing his contract and he ended up taking one of Jim Bowden's sucker deals and playing for Jack McKeon, who wasn't going to play anyone if he didn't have to. Morris could still play the game, he just wasn't given the chance. So, supposedly, he tried the steroids to see if he could get just a little bit better and get another shot.
This is almost understandable. It was a desperation move and it delivered inconsequential results. So in this case, don't blame the player, blame the system that arbitrarily marginalizes him.
Where the steroid use becomes unforgivable is when you have a superstar who has already earned his ticket to the Hall, like Bonds from 86-99, who decides he's going to show evryone how great he is. Maybe he was injured a lot, maybe he was feeling old but really he was just jealous of all the attention being given to someone else----in this case, McGwire and Sosa. Here, it's not about struggling to keep a job. It's all about ego. "No one is better than me and I'm out to prove it!" This is unforgivable.

at 7:31 AM Anonymous ben dover said...

Maybe he should have taken steroids, maybe those shots off the wall he jogs into singles would not have happen. 12 million a year for a "job" your breaking my heart. Try getting a autograph from him or his dad sometime. Trade him for a bag of balls. Funny thing is I use to be his dad's biggest fan.

at 7:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheating is cheating. Hal Morris, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, others who the list doesn't name but who did cheat (the list cannot be close to comprehensive) are all the same. Their motivations are irrelevant.

Do you really think that a bank robber who robs a bank is less of a criminal depending upon his "reason" for trying to steal money?

Oh please, you liberals are just so sick in the head with your moral relatively! No wonder Clinton Crime Family Matriarch appeals to you so much!

at 11:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey john with arizona getting haren thats a huge move. The reds first 3 games of the season will be up against. CY YOUNG WINNER Brandon Webb, Dan Harren, Randy Johnson.
The Reds need to get bedard, If not the reds will lose get swept the first series.

at 1:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I don't blame Griffey and other athletes for not giving autographs, when most the people who complain about it would have it on Ebay in 10 minutes. Rather than ask him for an autograph, why not just ask him for a c-note.

Also, note that Griffey did sign autographs at Reds fest.

at 1:58 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

And, Anonymous at 7:34, you conservatives never fail to make me laugh when you try to sound intelligent, but turn "moral relativism" into "moral relatively".

And what in God's name does Hillary Clinton have to do with baseball, you idiot?

at 1:59 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

And, the "Clinton Crime Family Matriarch" would, by definition, be Bill Clinton's mother, not his wife. Please use a dictionary and/or a thesaurus before you speak next time, mouth-breather.

at 4:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't throw conservatives under the bus, and why do people who comment on blogs throw politics into everything.

1. Those on the list should be thought of innocent until proven guilty.

2. Just because there is a check written to someone does not mean that it was for drugs. You could buy something from someone today from a classified ad(like a couch). Write a check for $100, then the seller could 2 months later be charged with selling drugs. When the police go through is financial records, they find a check written from you for $100, then you become a suspect. That doesn't make you guilty. Same thing in the Mitchell report.

at 5:47 PM Anonymous roger said...

We're now at the point where we praise athletes for NOT cheating??? That's all Griffey supposedly did - not cheat - and we're supposed to have more respect for him now? Sholdn't we just expect that?

at 11:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodgers pick up a Japanese free-agent starting pitcher (star). Good thing we don't need any starting pitching here in Cincinnati! Thanks Wayne! Great job again! What's our new closer going to do when we're losing 9-6 in the 9th because our starters stink?

at 11:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moral relativism, yes, relatively quick typing led to that but I love it when liberals support their arguments with "mouth breather!" Too funny! Now call Wayne "mouth breather" while all Diamondbacks and Dodgers ensure that that the Reds won't even have a shot at the NL wildcard!

at 12:24 AM Anonymous Mark said...

Gotta say--I don't care one whit about steroids or HGH, or any of it. All I care about is what happens between the lines, and let's face it, the HR chase in 98 was great, and Barry Bonds is still a great draw wherever he played. Looks to me like a lot of other people don't care either...

at 1:22 AM Blogger Phill said...

I like how someone has to bring in insane political banter when it has nothing to do with what's being talked about.

Does motivation matter in a bank robbery? Maybe. The crime is the same but I would feel more leniency toward a person who acted out of a seemingly necessity rather a person who acted out of greed. It is still wrong indeed but there is a difference as slight as it would be. But guess what? That has nothing to do with being a liberal or conservative and most CERTAINLY has nothing to do with cheating in baseball.

The Mitchell Report isn't the end all be all and shouldn't be viewed as such. If a players name isn't on here it doesn't mean they aren't guilty and if a players name is it doesn't mean they ARE guilty.It does however tarnish reputations no matter what.

Roger, I would like to agree with you on that it is something that should be expected and not really applauded. Just like in the newspaper there shouldn't be stories of people helping other people because frankly...it should be happening on a daily basis. So much cynicism surrounds baseball and sports nowadays it's kinda sad.

Since this is long anyways I'll keep it going...

Ben Dover, Griffey's long singles? Are you still whining about that? Yes he has done it. Yes it is a sad sight to see. Let's just guesstimate here how often that actually happens. What? 2 or so times a season if that? Oh no he isn't Charlie Hustle incarnate he ruined the team. Sounds like he gave you the cold shoulder once and since then you sit and stew over it in a dark room with a Ken Griffey voodoo doll stabbing his legs.

at 9:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posting with a name like "ben dover"(obviously was in prison often this guy) should be a red flag that this poster is pretty much saying whatever will rankle the fans. Obviously he still carrying a grudge about getting an autograph that he'd probably try to sell a.s.a.p.

Some people will dislike Griffey no matter what he does. He could save someone's life and that person would complain he didn't hustle enough in and out of the flames.

at 12:01 PM Anonymous Junior Stands Alone said...

Let's face it, virtually every player in the major league baseball over the last several years, except for Griffey and a handful of others have been using some combination of amphetamines, HGH and/or anabolic steroids. Why do you think some pitchers and position players sweat like crazy when they play outdoors in freezing weather in the middle of April and in October? Baseball, like all other major league sports, encourages this conduct. The only real solution is to go to blood testing and to ban players two years for their first offense and for life for their second. The lame Andy Pettite excuse, oh I was just trying to heal from an injury, is garbage. The next line of defense will be "I was just trying to help my team and I was beginning to suck." You'll never be able to catch all the cheaters, but I guarantee you when they go to Olympic style drug testing, which will have to come from Congress, you will never see anyone break Roger Maris' home run record (the real one) and you'll never see guys throw heat like Eric Gagme. True.

at 10:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it, virtually every player in the major league baseball over the last several years, except for Griffey

Why would Griffey be clean? So far, what's proven is that Griffey is un-caught.

Big difference.

If "virtually every player" did the drug thing, then why would Griffey be the exception? Because he's a Red? Because you like him?

I don't think Griffey was dirty but given the wide variety of ergonomic aides out there...and the comparatively few tests, lack of testing, and plethory of masking agents...uh...it's really hard to be sure about anyone.

I mean, Hal Morris? Hal Morris?

Bud Selig knew more about steroid use in baseball many years ago than we do even today.

at 9:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should remember that it was a large number of players who were demanding better drug testing a few years ago. When Selig set up 03 to be a trial test period, he said if more than 5% of players tested positive for steroids, he would implement a stronger policy and any player who refused to be tested would be marked down as positive. So players like Paul Konerko and Frank Thomas openly said they were going to refuse the tests because they wanted a stronger policy. We don't know all the players who refused. Griffey may well have been one of them. But still, this shows that there were more than a few players out there who wanted steroids eliminated. It disproves the idea that there were only those who used and those who didn't get caught

at 10:47 AM Blogger Joseph said...

I just wanted to pipe in and say, regarding Mark's post, that I do care about the steroids issue and am disappointed by the whole mess (though not surprised). I'm not trying to pick on Mark, but wanted to comment because I keep hearing a lot of sportscasters saying they don't believe the fans are going to care. I think it would be more accurate to say the fans are going to care, but not so much that they stop going to ballgames.

And yeah, I realize that if I keep buying the product I'm not discouraging the behavior. Public outrage alone isn't much of a deterrent. What are we supposed to do?

Some people are going to care, some people aren't. Maybe it comes down to personal preference. I'm not crazy about the longball. Sure, I get up and yell when Dunn crushes a home run, but I think great fielding is just as exciting, maybe more. My favorite Reds '07 highlights were clips of Josh Hamilton burning people trying to run home.

I'd also like to say that while Griffey wasn't named in the steroids report, it's public knowledge that he abused nerve tonic while playing for the Springfield Isotopes. That's bound to catch up with him sooner or later.

at 1:54 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr said...

Mr. Fay, what do you think of the Mitchell Report? Is Congress going to act on it or wait until later in the summer? I would think that Congress would call the 86 players in before next season. How much money did it cost us to investigate the players? Was it taxpayers money?

at 2:14 PM Blogger John Fay said...

MLB paid for the report. I've read it cost between $20 and $40 million. I don't think Congress will call more than a Handel of players.

at 2:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was waiting for someone to make a SIMPSONS reference

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