I’ll miss you, Kid.
Ken Griffey, Jr., approved a trade to the White Sox. Wrong Windy City team for my tastes, but at least I’ll still be able to see him on WGN occasionally.
I’m not sure if it was nice of the Reds to do this for Junior, to let him try for a World Series ring during the final years of his career, or if they are boneheads for letting him get away. They didn’t get anything in return. But, they never really took care of him while he was in Cincinnati. Sure, there were celebrations back in 2000 when he first came to the Queen City, but such jubilation was short-lived as he didn’t play quite like he did in Seattle.
The media has been nothing short of cruel to him (not in a New York sort of way, but cruel enough for Cincinnati). Even in the chase for 600, he was either ignored or vilified, up until that historic blast, and then for only a few days the sharp-edged “wit” of the Cincinnati media was silenced. After a few congratulatory articles, it was back to beating down Cincinnati’s own.
If Reds fans and media outlets had treated Griffey better, with the respect that a sure-fire future Hall of Famer who is overflowing with modesty and charm deserves, would he have stayed in Cincinnati? Would he have performed better while here? It’s a question that can only be answered in theory, because what’s done is done.
Chicago White Sox fans, treat Junior right. Let him know how much the baseball world at large appreciates his talent and career, in spite of the abuse he suffered in Cincinnati.
Let’s hope the next Cincinnati Kid who comes along isn’t bullied the way Ken Griffey, Jr., was.