Posted at 8:40 AM on June 11, 2008
by Steve Rudolph
Ken Griffey Jr. became just the sixth player to reach the 600-home run mark with his shot off Marlin pitcher Mark Hendrickson on Monday.
After smacking 398 career home runs by the age of 30, Griffey once seemed to have real shot at Hank Aaron's record of 755. However, injuries after his trade to the Reds in 2000 appear to have erased that possibility.
Nonetheless, Griffey will be regarded among the game's all-time greats. Not only did he have one of the sweetest swings in the game, he was gifted outfielder and played with an enthusiasm that was contagious. Unlike nearly every other slugger of this era, Griffey is untarnished by allegations of steroids and will undoubtedly be a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown.
Forget Bonds and Sosa. In my opinion, Junior is the greatest slugger of our generation and might rank next to Willie Mays as the game's best all-around player.
Dougie Baseball is alive and well
Former-Twin and current Pirate Doug Mientkiewicz is making headlines again. Usually it's his teammates that can't stand him. This time it was the Diamondback's Randy Johnson.
Benches cleared after Johnson and Dougie Baseball started barking at each other during an at bat. But according to Johnson, it was much ado about nothing.
"It's really not the storyline. It didn't bother me at all," Johnson said. "If it would have, he'd probably be in a stretcher, and I'd probably be out of the game."
One Twin who was worse than Juan
Thanks to Twinkie Town for reminding us that despite how bad Juan Rincon has been of late, he's still no Benj Sampson.
More on "The Kid"
Ever wondered why it was Griffey and not Alex Rodriguez that was traded by the Mariners? Apparently A-Rod's opinion and Griffey's refusal to give one tipped the scales.
I've been thinking about Griffey, and just what his numbers would be if he hadn't suffered so many injuries. Let's hope he gets the credit he deserves. But, regardless of his love for Seattle, why wouldn't he want to go to a team that has a chance to win? You'd think he'd be pretty tired of losing by now.