The 40-year-old Griffey told Seattle team president Chuck Armstrong that he was done playing. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu called his players together before the start of batting practice to inform them of Griffey’s decision.
Griffey was not in the clubhouse before Wednesday night’s game against Minnesota. The team said he would not be at Safeco Field. “While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction,” Griffey said in a statement. “I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be.”
Griffey was hitting only .184 with no homers and seven RBIs this year and recently went a week without playing. There was a report earlier this season — which Griffey denied — that he’d fallen asleep in the clubhouse during a game. Griffey was a 13-time all-star outfielder and ranks fifth on the career home run list with 630. He won an MVP award and was an 11-time Gold Glover. The only thing missing on his resume was a trip to the WorldSeries.