Griffey wants out of Seattle

May 30, 1994|By McClatchey News Service

MILWAUKEE -- Fed up with losing, Ken Griffey Jr. wants out of Seattle.

Yesterday, he admitted for the first time what he has been thinking for months: There will be no contract extension beyond 1995, and he expects to be traded before the end of this season.

"I can't see staying," Griffey told the News Tribune of Tacoma in a copyright story appearing in today's editions. "I hate to lose. I love Seattle. I'm building a home there, and I love the people. But losing is killing me."

"The last six years, I've watched somebody else in the playoffs, in the World Series, and thought 'Damn, that could be me.' This spring, I thought it might be different."

Now Griffey Jr. is convinced it won't be different in Seattle.

"It takes heart to win, and we don't have enough here," he said.

For weeks, Griffey has been feeling out friends and family, and this weekend in Milwaukee he had a long talk with former batting instructor Gene Clines.

"It really is killing him," Clines said. "He looks around and sees the direction that team is heading, financially, and he sees them having to move Jay Buhner, move Edgar Martinez, move Chris Bosio. He won't ever demand a trade; that's just not him. But he won't be back."

Despite Griffey's numbers this season -- a .337 batting average, 22 home runs and 45 RBIs -- Seattle is 20-28 and in third place.

"From the Mariners' point of view, they can't pay me next year. It would be ridiculous to pay me $7 million to play on a last-place team or a next-to-last-place team," Griffey said. "The team can't afford to keep me and Jay and Edgar and Randy. That would be $20 million right there. It won't happen."

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