Mariners Squander Oppportunity to "Promote" Griffey to Hitting Coach

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Griffey can't hit anymore, which makes him perfectly qualified to be the M's hitting coach.
Until the Mariners staved off what would have been a club record nine-game homestand losing streak yesterday with a win over the Angels, this weekend's sports ledger was marred by epic suckitude--and not without swift, stern response from team management.

The Sounders, after getting clobbered 4-0 at home Saturday, offered rebates to season-ticket holders. Not to be outdone, the Mariners, boasting the worst offense in big-league baseball, up and fired their hitting coach, Alan Cockrell, who'd been with the club since the dawn of the Jack 'n Wak era.

We've got no arguments with sacking Cockrell. Something, after all, had to be done, and things certainly can't get any worse in that department at the Safe. (Or can they?) But replacing him with Alonzo Powell, and not Ken Griffey Jr., feels like an opportunity squandered.

Thirty games into the season, and the fourth greatest non-steroidal home run hitter in big league history is hitting .208 with zero home runs and five RBIs in 77 at-bats. At least last year, he flirted with the 20 HR plateau, finishing with 19. This season, balls Griffey used to park in the second deck end up as cans of corn in various outfielders' mitts. With no pop in Griff's stick, he's even useless as a pinch hitter--something he apparently realizes, given a recent report that he was asleep in the dugout when Wakamatsu went looking for a bat off the bench.

In short, he's done as a player. But he'd make a great coach, a role he's already effectively fulfilling, albeit at a steep price tag and with on-field eligibility. No disrespect to Powell, who's more than paid his dues, but "promoting" Griffey to hitting coach would have been the perfect way to keep the Mariner legend in blue and white while freeing up his roster spot for someone who can actually hit one over the fence.

 
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