BY Seth Kolloen 07:15AM 02/16/2011

Exit 164: Griffey’s Return, PR Stunt, Progress, or Pointless?

Time to decide what Griffey’s return means, if anything.

Ken Griffey Jr. is returning to the Mariners organization. “The only difference between this time and last time is that this time when he hits zero home runs, he won’t be doing so as a player,” writes Lookout Landing’s Jeff Sullivan. Duly noted. The Mariners say Griffey’s return will make them better on the field. “Someone like Ken Griffey Jr. can give kids direction,” says Eric Wedge. Wedge says he has reached out to Edgar, Jay and Dan Wilson about similar roles. Chuck Armstrong also sees Griffey as a mentor figure, saying that Griffey will talk to young players about “what it means to be a Mariner.” Umm…Be old and/or terrible at your job? Ha! We kid! Putting joking aside, Lookout Landing’s Sullivan concurs with M’s brass: “When Griffey talks, players will listen, and that can only be good news.”

But is there a different motive? “Just another cheap PR ploy by a horrible front office hell bent on distracting casual fans from the incessant losing,” tweets blogger (and my Pac-10 hoops podcast co-host) Jeff Nusser. My SportsPress Northwest colleague Doug Farrar thinks similarly: “At this point, the M’s seem to be down to two annual moves: Promising the fans Bedard, and trying to pacify them with Griffey. Pathetic.”

Others are disinterested, like USS Mariner’s Dave Cameron, or wonder what the point is, like our Art Thiel.

Being the epitome of a dumb fan (if I ran the team, Griffey would still be DH), I’m just happy to see the guy’s face. So I guess as a PR stunt, it works for me. No, there’s not much of a point to it, but if Griffey helps the proverbial “just one person,” which he might someday, where’s the harm?

In other news…

Stud hoops prospect Angelo Chol will not be a Washington Husky.

M’s manager Eric Wedge makes funny faces in interviews.

If you care about Husky history, Bob Condotta’s diary of the 1978 Rose Bowl replay is fascinating.

If you care about basketball, life, America, or just good writing, read Steve Rudman’s piece on Bill Russell, who yesterday became the first ex-Sonics coach to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Though I’m told Bob Hill was on the short list.)

Former Seahawk Jim Zorn is the new QB coach of the Chiefs.

Seattle U lost at KeyArena to UC Davis, falling to 9-16 on the year.

Big upset in district hoops last night, as Bellevue beat #2-ranked Rainier Beach behind 20 points from Nate Sikma (yup.). The Vikings now must win two straight loser-out games to make the state tournament., And even if they do, as the lowest seed in the district they’ll have to travel to Spokane for a regional, under the new state tourney system. They’d need two wins there just to get to the quarterfinals in Tacoma, and let’s just say they aren’t likely to get the benefit of the doubt from the refs out there. Beach has made at least the quarterfinals of every state tourney since 1998.

In other 3A district hoops news, the aforementioned Bellevue, as well as Seattle Prep, O’Dea and Chief Sealth secured berths in the state tournament. For Sealth, it’ll be the program’s first state tourney since 2001 (and only their second since 1989). Congrats to Sealth coach Colin Slingsby, a Garfield grad. Bull-DOGS!

See my State Tournament Hoops site for all of yesterday’s scores and where all the teams that are still alive stand.

Talked NCAA tourney hopes for Pac-10 teams in 18 & Life, the Pac-10 hoops podcast I do with Jeff Nusser of CougCenter.

This BECU Bow Down to Washington ad is pretty fun, and features former Husky athletes Nate Robinson, Sonny Sixkiller, Damon Huard, Brock Huard, Detlef Schrempf, Danielle Lawrie and Elise Woodward, among other famous Husky alums, trading verses of the UW fight song. Of the athletes, Damon Huard is the only one who can even remotely sing. See for yourself: (H/T Hot Dog & Friends)

Today’s action…
GNAC Hoops: #9 Central Wash. @ Western Wash., 7 p.m. (FSN)

3A and 4A District hoops action

District 1
Shorewood @ Meadowdale, 7:30 p.m. Loser out.
Oak Harbor @ Mountlake Terrace, 7:30 p.m. Loser out.

District 3/4 (all winners advance to winner-to-state games)
Camas vs. Kennedy @ Clover Park, 6 p.m.
Kelso vs. Hazen @ Clover Park, 8 p.m.
Mountain View vs. Wilson @ Stadium, 6 p.m.
Bremerton vs. Foss @ Stadium, 8 p.m.

District 8
North Central @ University, 7:15 p.m. If University wins, they go to state and North Central is out. If North Central wins, the two teams play again Thursday for a state berth.

District 3/4 (all winners advance to winner-to-state games)
Kent Meridian @ Auburn, 7 p.m.
Gig Harbor @ Evergreen, 7 p.m.
Kentwood @ Kentridge, 7 p.m.
Bethel @ Olympia, 7 p.m.
Union @ Puyallup, 7 p.m.
Federal Way @ Bellarmine Prep, 7 p.m.
Rogers @ Mt. Tahoma, 7 p.m.
Kentlake @ Curtis, 7 p.m.


  • RadioGuy

    Isn’t hindsight grand?