And your host allows himself a point of personal privilege. Or, an open letter to Ken Griffey Junior.
Dude...please use this off-season wisely and think about retiring instead of continuing your not-so-triumphal return to Seattle. Wait, let me amend that. Don't just think about retiring...do it. You are laying waste to what was once not only a Hall of Fame career, but a career that would have ranked you among the top 10 ballplayers of all time.
Oh, you'll still make the HoF, no question. Just not based on anything you've done lately. You haven't had a Griffey-esque season since 2005, and that was your only Griffey-esque season of the new millennium. That's right, Junior. With the exception of '05, your last great season was 2000.* (And that's stretching the definition of a Griffey-esque season that you established for yourself between, say, 1993 and 1999.) A whole generation of young fans is growing up watching you whiff on pitches you used to crush, run doubles into singles, and not even bother to run out routine ground balls; they watch all this and they turn to their dads and say, "What's the big deal about this guy?" You haven't batted over .277 in four years...and your last two full years were .249 and .214. With the exception of that .301 in '05, you haven't even visited the .290s since 1997. I haven't done the math, but I'm guessing that you knocked at least a full 10 points off your lifetime batting average over the past decade.
Then there's the never-ending cavalcade of injuries. Needless to say, those injuries had a lot to do with your declining performance. But regardless, come on, Ken. If you couldn't stay healthy in Cincinnati in your early 30s, what are your odds of doing it now at age 40?
I will remember you as having the prettiest, most majestic swing I've ever seen, bar none. Now please hang up the spikes. Do it before no one else remembers you at all.
* Of course, that depends on whether you fix the year 2000 as the final year of the previous century or the first year of the new one. For the purposes of this post, I go with the former definition.