Thursday, July 31, 2008

So long to a legend

Ken Griffey Jr., who I may have mentioned a few times in this blog before, was traded today from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox.

Sad day, for me personally, for a number of fans, and for the Reds. When Junior came to the Reds, it was supposed to be the beginning of a Reds dynasty. It didn't end that way; in fact, the Reds have done nothing but lose games since Junior put on a uniform. That fact, however, has very little to do with Junior himself, and a lot more to do with the rest of the team on the field in those years. You know, the team that the owners and GMs put together. The only thing anyone can really say about Junior and his game is "too bad he got hurt so ofen." He's had a number of injuries as a Red, all well-documented, all of which came from playing baseball. Now he's 38 years old, has screws holding his leg together (and possibly other body parts, I'm not quite sure), and he isn't the same player we got eight years ago. It happens.

What shouldn't happen is a town getting so down on one of baseball's greatest players that I am made to feel like he is better off NOT playing here. Cincinnati doesn't deserve to have star sports players. And by "star," I mean good. Because when this city does have them (Junior, Barry Larkin, Chad Johnson, Corey Dillon, and hell, even the Bengals "star" coach, Marvin Lewis), the city shits all over them. Supposed baseball fans here, for the most part, can't stand Junior. They couldn't stand Barry Larkin either. And both of those players went to high school here! Larkin grew up in Cincinnati, played for the Reds his whole career as an outstanding shortstop, and when it was all said and done, people couldn't wait to see him go. Is it because they're black? I don't know. Judging by the way this town treats Adam Dunn, who is white, it seems like anyone is fair game. Anyone, that is, who is good at what they do and get paid nicely to do it.

I don't know which provides the fuel for the fire, the fans or the media. Both, I know. Both are horrible, and should just shut the fuck up already. Junior is gone now, you got what you wanted, move on. But no. 700 WLW AM aired a faux promo today, the day Junior was traded, that included clips of the press conference from when Junior first came to the Reds and ended with the line "Now the question remains, who will be the next Reds half-asser?" Because, you know, that's all Junior has done as a baseball player is half-ass his way through his career. That's why he has 608 career home runs -- the sixth most ever in the history of the game. That's why when his hamstring was literally torn off his bone, he had surgery to screw it back in place and came back to play baseball for this team. That's why he signed a ridiculously cheap deal to come here in the first place. To half-ass it.

Giving me a fucking break WLW. I know you're a bunch of assholes that consistently try to one-up each other on the controversy carousel that is your hatred radio station, but at least try to do it with some humor or sarcarsm. Or, I don't know, find an appropriate target for your hatred and anger. Junior isn't the reason the Reds suck. They're going to continue to suck tomorrow too, while Junior puts on a jersey for a first-place team. I'm sure you couldn't stand the fact that he wanted nothing to do with your station. (Gee, I wonder why.) So don't bother to try to ask yourselves why that was and do something about it. Instead, take your cheap shots. Puff out your chests. Whine. Cry. Whatever. Lose listeners such as myself. I never listened to anything other than Reds games on WLW anyway, and now those are a thing of the past as well. I don't need blathering idiots to try to sell me on Ken fucking Griffey Junior being a half-assed player. It is, in fact, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard on that station. And that is saying something.

I wish Junior all the best, and I guess I'm now an instant White Sox fan. It's a bittersweet ending to a bittersweet story full of bitter people. But this town doesn't deserve someone of Junior's caliber to grace it's baseball diamond. This town's attitude toward him and others is nothing but disgrace. I feel for Adam Dunn; he already takes an obscene amount of unjustified criticism here, and with favored-whipping-boy Junior out of the picture, Dunn will get buried under the local sewage that poses as fans and sports talk radio. He and his agent need to do some work this offseason and find another team for Dunn to play for, because Cincinnati surely isn't worthy of his talent.


AE said...

I was so sorry to hear about Junior! It's a sad story. I hope he does well in Chicago.

Rosie said...

Very sad indeed. But I'll be rooting for him wherever he is!


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