Well, I got out to Dolphins Stadium in time to catch some batting practice yesterday. I was looking forward to catching the Ken Griffey show in BP for what could be the last time (at least for me - since it's not too often that I get to see Griffey or the Reds).
I was disappointed though. Actually, I was more sad about it. The Griffey I saw wasn't the Griffey I remember. His swing is still pretty and it still looks like he's having fun, but the bat speed and the power just aren't there any more (although he did drive one ball half way up the Fish Tank).
Maybe Griffey is still working his legs back into shape. I'm going to hope for that. I don't think that's what's happening though. I think Griffey's done and he'll probably finish his career as a number two hitter.
What was sadder still was the abuse that Griffey took from fans throughout the game yesterday. It wasn't that any of the jeers were particularly well crafted or witty. They were just mean. They were so persistent though that at least one youngster - unaffiliated wtih any of the hecklers - picked up on the "Griffey Sucks" chant. I'm not sure what Griffey ever did to a Marlins "fan" to deserve that sort of treatment. He may not have it anymore, but he's still a future hall of famer and a ballplayer who always brought some fun to the game.
The treatment that Griffey received yesterday (which I'm assuming he must receive nearly everywhere if he receives it in Miami) helps me understand how Gary Sheffield reacted the way he did in Boston recently. If I was being heckled for inning after inning, game after game, I'd probably immediately take offense to someone who might or might not be taking a punch at me and do what I felt I needed to do in that situation.
Sorry to go off on a tangent there, but it's not like Sheffield took his actions in a vacuum. He didn't just show up at the right field wall and start reacting to fans. There must be a lot more to the story - whether that "more" developed over the course of that particular game with the Red Sox, or over the last year or so, or over the course of Sheffield's entire career.