Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Kid Is Back

It is official, Ken Griffey Jr. signed with the Mariners this morning. I celebrated this event by signing him to my Fantasy Baseball team which was already loaded with Mariners, including Ichiro, Jose Lopez, Felix Hernandez, Brandon Morrow, and Geoff Clement. I also have former Mariners J.J. Putz, Gil Meche, and Raul Ibanez. And my team (The Evergreen Stoners) also has Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada, Hideki Matsui, Kazuo Matsui, Carlos Pena, Josh Beckett, and two pitchers I haven't heard of but their numbers are good. This, by the way, was an almost random draft (I just put Ichiro and Felix at the tops of my list prior to the draft, but other than that it was totally random). I almost tried going for an all Japanese team, but I would be downgrading some of the positions just for the novelty.

The last time I played Fantasy Baseball was 20 years ago and I won the pennant. I played Fantasy Football this last season with people from the Stranger and had I not missed three consecutive weekends in the hospital I could have easily won. I have the advantage of having nothing better to do than check injury reports and statistics. I probably shouldn't have so many Mariners on my team and I probably shouldn't have cut someone to make room for Griffey, but I do have some home town loyalty.

With Griffey coming back I believe more people will go to games this year than would have gone had he not signed. Granted it will be for the novelty or nostalgia. With today's economy it is difficult for me to justify spending a lot of money to see a team that has a better than 50% chance of losing the game, no matter how much I like Safeco Field. I say I will go to a game, but I think I have to leave this dump first because the "cheap seats" are now almost $30, and infield seats are up to $75 (double the price of what they were when I last went to a game in 2003). I will try to see a game early in the season before he does something to hurt himself. I don't see him playing in the outfield as much as him being the DH, so I have a little more faith in him (and his surgically repaired knee).

UPDATE: According to the P-I, the Mariners have already sold 16,000 additional individual tickets since the news broke and the official clothing company that makes jerseys has been working through the night to have official Ken Griffey, Jr. jerseys on the shelves by this morning. (I know I want one).

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