Just got off the phone with general manager Jack Zduriencik, who is in Seattle. He is staying back from this road trip, the first one he’s missed all season. In fact, it’s the first time he’s been away from the team since the first day of spring training.
Zduriencik said he hadn’t had a chance to read Larry LaRue’s blog post on Ken Griffey’s future with the Mariners, though he had been briefed. I read him the pertinent paragraphs, including the one about Griffey napping during a recent game.
Here was his response:
“On any issue that happens in a clubhouse, it stays in the clubhouse. I would not confirm or deny anything that takes place behind closed doors.”
And on speculation that Griffey’s time with the Mariners is numbered: “The way that article is written, it’s just someone’s opinion. Certainly, anyone is entitled to their opinion. Any issues involving the team and the roster are issues we talk about internally and evaluate internally. I wouldn’t read into or speculate on anything. What we’re concerned about is we’re going on a road trip, and our concern is we want to win baseball games.”
I asked Zduriencik specifically about Griffey and his ongoing struggles.
“We have several players on this club struggling right now offensively. We’re trying to do some things to help all of them. I would never single out any individual player. The players are well aware of what we’ve done, and what we can do. We’re trying to get better and help the club get better. Yesterday was a nice day. We have a new hitting coach, and we’ll see where it all ends up, and where it takes us.”
The Mariners are obviously in a delicate situation here with Griffey, and I wouldn’t expect any comments of specificity unless and until they make a definitive move. A call to team president Chuck Armstrong was returned by Randy Adamack, vice president of communications, who said that the Mariners “wouldn’t respond to speculation about the status of any of our players.”
Nor would they comment on the napping incident. “If and when something happens in the clubhouse, we adhere to the old baseball bromide, it’s going to stay there,” Adamack said.