Friday, April 02, 2004

Griffey or Lincoln? 

Wow! In today's Times, Steve Kelley calls out Howard Lincoln, and essentially says that Lincoln is a crybaby, and his personal problems with Ken Griffey is the only thing keeping him out of Seattle. They then add a nice inflammatory vote to allow you to say who you'd prefer to have in Seattle, Griffey or Lincoln.

As Jeff Shaw points out (San Shin should be one of your next stops in the M's blogosphere), this column follows the same theme started by Art Thiel earlier this week. But they are VERY different articles. Thiel's article indicated that Lincoln would not sign Griffey because of his high cost and high injury risk. Kelley says that Lincoln won't sign Junior because he insulted him once, and that Lincoln is a petty, whiny crybaby! The tone of the Kelley piece is extremely antagonistic against Lincoln, and all but calls for his resignation for the good of the team and the return of Junior.

But Lincoln won't consider Griffey. Once upon a time, his feelings were hurt by Junior. He was criticized by Griffey. And Lincoln reacts to criticism like Donald Rumsfeld at a journalists convention.

He bristles and fumes, and he never, ever forgets.

So even though trading for a healthy Griffey makes sense — it would upgrade the Mariners' outfield defense, give them the potential for another 30 to 40 home runs and send a message that fat-cat ownership isn't more concerned with its ever-expanding profits than it is about finding a way to return to the postseason — Griffey won't be returning to Seattle.
The truth is that Lincoln's ego is too fragile to relent on this one. He isn't about to make nice with Griffey, even if it might make the team better. He's letting his pettiness affect his franchise.
But Lincoln won't take the chance. Once again, front-office pique is getting in the way of a pennant race. Inaction off the field is affecting the action on the field.
The window of opportunity is closing on this franchise. Its position players are aging, and only 27-year-old third baseman Justin Leone and 20-year-old second baseman Jose Lopez are close to being big-league ready.

Meanwhile, Griffey will stay on the block because Howard Lincoln doesn't like him.

Poll question: If given the choice, who would you rather have in Seattle? Griffey? Or Lincoln?
If I didn't know better, I'd think one of the anti-management bloggers had taken over Steve Kelley. The "sky is falling" tone that we need Griffey or else is about right, but most of the bloggers at least seem to give Lincoln some modicum of respect. Those are extremely strong words for a local guy calling out Lincoln like that and more or less asking Mariner fans for a referendum on whether they want Lincoln to go away...

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