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MLB BOOTLEG: Griffey rumor mill swirling

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Junior Scuttle Denied by M's, Reds
(Seattle Times) Remember that Junior Griffey-back-to-Seattle rumor? Well, it was only yesterday, so if you don't, you need to put the bong back under the couch for a while. A bit of Seattle P-I dirty had it that Junior is mortally unhappy in Cincy and wants badly to be traded back to the M's. Supposedly, associates of Griffey's and the Mariners are already having chit-chats to this end. As with any great rumor, the guffaws and vociferous denials were quick on its heels. "There's absolutely no truth to that story," Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln tells the Seattle Times. "There have been no discussions with Griffey, Griffey's agent, the Cincinnati Reds, or the United States army about this. That story is absolutely, totally, unequivocally false. There is absolutely no basis to write that, as far as the Mariners are concerned. It would be totally inappropriate for us to express interest in a player under contract to another team." Well, give Lincoln credit, he's pretty convincing. Except the part about it being "totally inappropriate for us to express interest" in someone else's player. Were that the case, trade talks of any kind would involve either an ass-load of inappropriateness or long, awkward silences. On the Reds' end of the stick, GM Jim Bowden, who's sometimes about as candid as an indicted senator selling a used Pinto, declares: "We're not trading Junior to anyone. We got him to finish his career as a Red." Bowden went on to say that team honchos Carl Lindner and John Allen also have no desire to ship off Griffey. Junior's agent, Brian Goldberg, also denies the story. But the P-I isn't the only one sounding the drums. Something-or-other Keith Olbermann, who apparently now has a radio show, said recently that Bowden has spoken to the M's at least once about returning Junior to sender. It's also widely whispered that Bowden has a habit of putting Griffey on revocable waivers just to gauge trade interest. Griffey is is in the third year of an eight-year, $116.5 million extension he signed after being dealt to the Reds. The M's, who aren't short on jack, could certainly handle that outlay, but the real concern might be Junior's inability to stay healthy the last two seasons. This time around, he's laid up with a knee injury. However, surgery is apparently out of the question, and there's talk he could be back in less than a month. He still has power, and he still takes his walks, but, like any player, if he's hurt, he's as useless as a French intellectual in a gang war. Although there are worse examples of workplace angst, Junior clearly is no longer a happy man in Cincinnati. When a player of his stature wants to change his circumstances, things have a tendency to happen. Distillery
The Jays will probably activate reliever Bob File on Monday ... D-bax infielder Jay Bell will get a once-over on Sunday to determine whether he's ready to begin a rehab assignment ... The Rangers think Jay Powell may have a torn ligament in his middle finger. Either way, he won't be back any time soon ... The Freep reports that Jose Macias could lose his job as the Tigers' starting centerfielder ... For the children ... Byung-Hyun Kim, whom Bob Brenly ran through the wood-chipper last fall, now has Jeff Moorad as his agent ... The Snakes placed SS Danny Klassen on the DL with a swollen big toe ... The D-bax have activated Greg Colbrunn. Enough about Arizona players already. Ever been to Phoenix? It's a drag ... Nomaahh may get a day off during the weekend series against the Yankees. What with his wrist and all ... A's outfielder Jermaine Dye will begin a rehab assignment early next week and could be back in the lineup by next weekend ... Yankees lefty Sterling Hitchcock is about a week away from throwing on the mound ... BoSox skip Grady Little will keep his rotation in order. Thus, Pedro will have an extra day's rest and face Boomer Wells on Saturday ... The Mets have demoted outfielder McKay Christensen and called up Tony Tarasco ... The Phils will activate Randy Wolf in time for him to face Cincinnati on Friday night ... Brewers right-hander Jamey Wright says his sore shoulder feels better, but it's still not clear whether he'll dodge a trip to the DL ...
Tagged: Brewers, Yankees, Mariners, Rangers, Mets

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