Forget the touchy spin on the matter, forget the drawn-out deliberation process, just forget it all. The only thing that matters is that Ken Griffey, Jr. is coming home.
Cynics will say he’s got nothing left in the tank. Naysayers will look at this as a foolhardy publicity stunt. None of it matters.
We don’t get a lot of good sports-related news in Seattle. We’re generally immune to feel-good stories. We tend to pass on championships. We’re comfortable living under our cloud. Which is why we need to embrace this day. Why we need to embrace Junior’s return. We may not get much out of the Mariners this season, but we will get him. And that’s enough for me.
This is something sabermatricians will never understand: humanity. Emotion. Crunch the numbers if you must, bury your nose in stats, and then bring me all the flaws in this deal. I’m going to be standing there smiling, because I don’t care. I don’t care if Ken hits .200. I don’t care if he gets injured (well, I do, for his sake, but you know what I mean). I don’t care what he does, I’m just glad he’s back.
There are so many things that divide us as sports fans and as people. So when something comes along to unite us, to allow us common ground, to truly excite us, we need to enjoy it. Read the message boards, watch the evening news, check your Facebook newsfeed…over the next few days, you’ll see more love professed for Junior than guys like J.J. Putz, or Raul Ibanez, or Erik Bedard, or Ichiro, or any of the other Mariners or ex-Mariners that the team has propped up there could ever imagine. If you hate good things, this will sicken you.
Be happy, because this is a great thing. It may defy statistical logic, it may not pave the way to a championship, and it might not even make fiscal sense when all the details are announced. But in our hearts, we know this is the way it should be.
We deserve him, and he deserves us.