Reunited and It Feels So…Meh
DURING THE YANKEES’ four-game series at Safeco Field, starting August 13, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez—the Mariners’ two biggest stars of all time—will step onto the diamond in Seattle together for the first time in a decade. A look back at the last 10 years…
WHY THEY BAILED
GRIFFEY Junior’s relationship with the M’s—and the city—soured after the 1999 season, and he demanded a trade to his hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds.
Money quote: “When you get death threats from Seattle fans…that is pretty much the last straw as far as me staying in Seattle.”
A-ROD An unrestricted free agent after the 2000 season, Rodriguez bolted for the Texas Rangers (and a $252 million contract); fans called him greedy, but he brushed off their player hatin’.
Money quote: “You are leaving Seattle and a lot of long friendships. I was excited, but disappointed.”
HOW THE FANS FELT
GRIFFEY Because he went to the National League, fans had time to grieve the loss and bury hard feelings; but Junior couldn’t help firing off a few parting shots.
Money quote: “Other people change jobs and move to other cities. But since I am a baseball player, I’m not allowed to do that?”
A-ROD The Mariners brass begged fans not to go overboard in booing Rodriguez on his return, but A-Rod kept things in perspective.
Money quote:“I think they are booing the uniform, not the player.”
WHILE THEY WERE AWAY
GRIFFEY In nine years away from Seattle, Griffey managed to injure every major muscle in his body other than his tongue; this year he returned to the M’s a broken but surprisingly no longer bitter man.
Money quote: “No team is going to treat you like your first.”
A-ROD New York tabloids, divorce, steroids, unauthorized tell-alls—it’s been a tough eight years for Rodriguez.
Money quote: “When people write [bad things] about me, I don’t know if it’s [because] I’m good-looking, I’m biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team…”