Deuxiéme journée à Londres : c'est le Grand Bleu
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Clément Lefert, Fabien Gilot et Amaury Leveaux laissent échapper leur joie après leur victoire historique dans le relais 4 x 100 m nage libre, quatre ans après l'argent décroché à Pékin. Mais c'est bien à Yannick Agnel, qui est encore dans l'eau à ce moment, que les Bleus doivent leur titre. Le Nimois a couvert le dernier relais en 46 sec 47, soit une seconde plus vite que Ryan Lochte, son adversaire direct. Agnel pourrait être l’une desd grands figures de la natation mondiale à Londres
Camille Muffat est devenue championne olympique du 400 m nage libre, offrant à la France sa première médaille d'or des Jeux. Elle succède à sa compatriote Laure Manaudou, sacrée sur la même distance en 2004 à Athènes, mais qui est, elle, complètement passé à côté de ses JO.
Laure Manaudou est venue à Londres prête à croire au miracle. Il ne s'est pas produit. L'ancienne figure de proue de la natation française a coulé dès les séries du 100 m dos. Dernière et 22e temps de ces qualifications, la Française n'a pu se hisser en demi-finale de ce qui était, sur le papier, sa meilleure épreuve. On a apprécié son coté supportrice des Bleus dans les gradins.
Camille Lacourt, champion du monde du 100 m dos, s'est qualifié pour la finale de l'épreuve avec le 2e temps des demi-finales, derrière l'Américain Matt Grevers. Pour le dénouement, il faudra attendre lundi.
L'Américaine Dana Vollmer est devenue championne olympique du 100 m papillon en explosant au passage le record mondial de 8 centièmes. A 24 ans, la championne du monde en titre, est la première femme à passer sous la barre mythique des 56 secondes sur la distance (55 s 98).
La bonne série tricolore avait débuté avec Céline Goberville La tireuse a remporté la première médaille française à Londres dans l'épreuve du 10 m. La Picarde de 25 ans n'a été devancée que sur le dernier plomb par la Chinoise Guo Wenjun
La tireuse Kim Rhode, sacrée dimanche à Londres dans l'épreuve du skeet, s'est réservé une place de choix dans les annales du sport olympique en devenant la première Américaine à remporter une médaille individuelle lors de cinq Jeux consécutifs. Elle avait déjà obtenu l'or en double trap en 1996 à Atlanta puis en 2004 à Athènes, ainsi que l'argent en skeet à Pékin et le bronze en double trap à Sydney en 2000.
En remportant l'or dans l'épreuve de tir à l'arc par équipes, les Sud-Coréennes, dont ici Choi Hyeonju, ont fait mieux que leurs homologues masculins, qui, eux, ont obtenu le bronze la veille. A noter que c'est leur septième titre d'affilée. La Corée du Sud est donc le seul pays à avoir été champion olympique dans cette épreuve. Chapeau.
En judo, David Larose a été éliminé en huitièmes de finale dans la catégorie des moins de 66 kg. Le Français est tombé contre le Géorgien Lasha Shavdatuashvili sur ippon durant le Golden score et ne peut prétendre aux repêchages, accessibles seulement aux perdants des quarts de finale
Vice-championne olympique en 2008 à Pékin, la Nord-Coréenne An Kum Ae, 32 ans, a battu en finale la Cubaine Yanet Bermoy Acosta dans la catégorie des moins de 52 kg. C'est la première médaille d'or du tournoi pour les ouailles de Kim Jong-u qui ont pu entonner en cœur le "Chant patriotique", l'hyme de la RPDC. La judoka Priscilla Gneto remportait le bronze, deuxième médaille française du jour et la premiére dans le toutrnoi de judo . Belle combativité de la jeune Corse que l’on attendait pas !!!
L'équipe de France masculine a entamé la défense de son titre olympique par une véritable promenade de santé face à la Grande-Bretagne (44-15), une équipe de bric et de broc montée de toute pièce pour les JO de Londres
Portée par une avalanche de tirs à trois points, la 'Dream Team' américaine a donné une leçon de basketball aux Français en s'imposant 98-71. Après avoir tenu tête aux champions en titre (22-21 au premier quart-temps pour les Etats-Unis), les Bleus ont logiquement baissé pavillon par la suite pour échouer à près de 30 points des géants de la NBA.
Le résultat n'est pas anodin même s'il ne s'agit pas de l'équipe d'Espagne, double championne d'Europe et du monde en titre. La Roja version olympique (la Rojita) a été éliminée du tournoi par le Honduras (1-0).
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Arizona Diamondbacks give Justin Upton $51.25M deal | MLB
Justin Upton has lived with high expectations virtually since the day he picked up a baseball bat.
Now at 22, with two full major-league seasons already behind him, he says he welcomes the challenge of living up to the $51.25 million, six-year contract he signed Wednesday with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second-largest deal in team history.
With his parents Manny and Yvonne looking on proudly at a news conference, the outfielder said he understands the responsibility that comes with this big a contract at such a young age.ken griffey jr shoes
"I do kind of put that pressure on myself," he said. "I want to be great, that's the thing. If you want to be great, then you set your goals higher."
Upton earned his first All-Star berth last season, when he hit .300 with 26 homers and 86 runs batted in.ken griffey shoes
His statistics are compared favorably with those of some of the game's greats at the same age. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .836 compares with the early numbers of Al Kaline, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.
"There's a lot to live up to," he said, "and I think I'm ready for that."ken griffey jr shoes sale
He gets a $1.25 million signing bonus, half on April 15 and the rest on July 15. He receives salaries of $500,000 this year, $4.25 million in 2011, $6.75 million in 2012, $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
"We view him as a core player, one of our key pieces," general manager Josh Byrnes said, "and as we view the next six years the kind of guy we want to build around."
The only bigger contract in Diamondbacks history was the $52.4 million, four-year deal Randy Johnson signed in 1999.cheap ken griffey shoes
Upton has had the pressure of high expectations for years, following the path of his older brother B.J., who was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2002. Justin was one better, chosen No. 1 by Arizona in the 2005 draft.
He played less than two years in the minors before being called up by the Diamondbacks in 2007.
Batting gloves protect hands
Omir Santos tried on his new batting gloves, said to slow the impact of a harmful fastball down to the mere annoyance of a junkball, and voiced excitement.
"I think it's going to help," the New York Mets catcher said. "It sounds like it's going to work."ken griffey shoes 2012
The latest high-tech protective product in a sport that's slow to accept innovation, the batting gloves are manufactured by the startup company XProTeX, which hired former All-Star Reggie Smith to go around spring training trying to persuade big-leaguers to switch.
Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president of on-field operations, said his department already has given its approval, which is necessary for all on-field gear.griffeys
"We looked at the data. No, I didn't put it on and take a fastball," said Watson, a former All-Star himself. "Now, is this going to stop all major injuries? That I can't tell you, but according to the data, it should cut down on broken bones and severe injuries coming from pitched balls."
? The Chicago Cubs agreed to terms with Cuban defector Juan Yasser Serrano, 21, a right-handed pitcher.griffeys 2012
? Aaron Harang was selected by Reds manager Dusty Baker to be Cincinnati's opening-day starter for a team record tying fifth straight season.
? Houston All-Star first baseman Lance Berkman will sit out the Astros' spring-training opener against Washington because of a bruised left knee.
? Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton probably won't return to the field until next week because of a bruised left shoulder.cheap griffeys
? Alex Rodriguez singled, Colin Curtis hit a game-ending, three-run homer and the New York Yankees beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 in Tampa, Fla. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner watched in the ballpark bearing his name as the World Series champs won their spring opener.
? Phillies top pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont allowed five runs in the third inning of Philadelphia's 13-6 victory against Florida State in Clearwater, Fla. Aumont is one of three prospects the Phillies received in an offseason trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners.
? Tim Hudson pitched two sharp innings and rookie Jason Heyward doubled and scored as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 9-5 in Kissimmee, Fla.griffey shoes
? Jeremy Bonderman pitched two shutout innings after missing most of last season with circulatory problems in his right shoulder and Mike Rabelo hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run ninth to lead the Detroit Tigers over the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 in Dunedin, Fla.
? Baltimore third baseman Miguel Tejada made an error in his debut at his new position and the Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 12-2 in Sarasota, Fla.www.cheapkengriffeyshoes2012online.com
? Major League Baseball has settled a lawsuit it filed against a baseball card maker for allegedly stealing trademarks. The Upper Deck Co. has agreed to pay $2.4 million on sales of licensed cards in 2009.
Google to downgrade pirate sites in search results
Google is altering its search results to de-emphasise the websites of repeat copyright offenders and make it easier to find legitimate providers of music, movies and other content.
The move is a peace offering to Hollywood and the music recording labels. This year, Google joined other Silicon Valley heavyweights to help kill legislation that would have given government and content creators more power to shut down foreign websites that promote piracy.
The Motion Picture Association of America issued a lukewarm response, saying it was "optimistic" the change would help steer consumers away from piracy.www.kengriffeyjrshoesnyc.org
"We will be watching this development closely - the devil is always in the details," MPAA senior executive president Michael O'Leary said in a statement.
Next week, Google will start using "valid copyright removal notices" to rank its search results, according to a Friday blog post by Google's senior vice president of engineering, Mr Amit Singhal.www.griffeyshoesonecheap.com
Google typically ranks websites based on how many other sites link to them, on the belief that sites that get more links are more trustworthy and useful. But Google also regularly tweaks its formulas to reflect special circumstances.
In this case, sites with high numbers of copyright-removal notices may get bumped down in rankings. In effect, that will help users find legitimate sources of content without removing any pages from its results completely. Google did not elaborate on what it considers to be valid notices.
Google's icy relationship with content creators has thawed slightly.
Last month, Google said it would offer a US$50 (S$62) -per-month TV package over a super-fast fiber network in a Kansas City test bed. The package would offer mainstream channels including Nickelodeon.
Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, also sells movies and music through its Google Play store on mobile devices that use its Android operating system.www.jordanheels2012online.org
But a US$1 billion copyright lawsuit filed by Viacom against Google's YouTube in 2007 was re-instated by a federal appeals court in April after a lower court threw it out.
And last week, court papers showed that the Authors Guild is demanding Google pay US$750 for each of the 20 million books it has scanned in a 7-year-old case. AP
Griffey comes through in 9th as M's end losing streak
"It took a little old-fashioned Ken Griffey Jr. magic -- and perhaps the inspiration of Don Wakamatsu's first career ejection -- but the Mariners finally snapped out of their recent funk with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Toronto on Thursday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Griffey drove a run-scoring single to right field with one out in the bottom of the ninth to cap a three-run rally that ended Seattle's five-game losing streak.griffey shoes
The winning rally came shortly after Wakamatsu got tossed in the eighth inning by umpire Andy Fletcher after Ichiro Suzuki was thrown out trying to steal second with the M's trailing 3-1.
"I'll get tossed every night if I need to," said Wakamatsu, who thus wasn't on the field at the end of what turned out to be his 100th victory as a manager.
"Just to be able to watch that in my office was special," he said with a sly grin.ken griffey shoes
The ultra-calm Wakamatsu went nose-to-nose with Fletcher for about a minute before getting the heave-ho, much to the delight of 20,452 fans at Safeco Field who were just happy to have something to yell about at that point.
But the Mariners finally got things going in the ninth. With American League saves leader Kevin Gregg on the mound, Seattle loaded the base on singles by Mike Sweeney and Jose Lopez, followed by a walk to Milton Bradley.
Casey Kotchman then drove a long foul ball into the upper right-field seats before taking a walk to force in a run that closed the gap to 3-2 with no outs.air jordan high heels
Josh Bard then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left, bringing Griffey up for his game-winning hit off Gregg, who had just one blown save in 13 prior chances.ken griffey jr shoes
Griffey, who is still hitting just .191 and has been through a rough stretch of criticism recently, left the clubhouse without talking to the media. But his teammates were happy to speak for him.
"I think it meant a lot to him," said Sweeney. "The past couple of weeks have probably been two of the toughest of his career and yet he knew he had the backing of everyone in this clubhouse.
"He had every single guy in this clubhouse cheering for him and I'm sure he had every single person in this city cheering for him. He's Mr. Mariner and he came through in big way today.""
Reds, Baker have deal through 2012
Dusty Baker brought in a tailor during his first spring training as the Reds manager, getting the clubhouse staff ready to look good for the day when the marooned franchise would finally win.
"I said, 'Man, we're going to the playoffs, dude,'" Baker related. "I want them all looking good, clean. And I want them believing that we're going places."ken griffey jr shoes
Two years later, the staff freed those snazzy suits from their protective plastic wrap. And the manager who picked up the tab got a two-year contract extension and a chance to make sure those suits get a lot of wear.
The Reds announced the deal Monday, a reward for the team's first playoff appearance in 15 years.ken griffey shoes
"I think we got here sooner than a lot of people thought - to the playoffs," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I think a lot of it is due to Dusty's leadership."
Baker is in the final season of his original three-year deal. The front office approached him during the season to talk about an extension, and the sides closed in on an agreement last week while the Reds were clinching the NL Central title.
The superstitious Baker wanted the deal to last two years.griffeys
"I've had some of my best success on two-year contracts," Baker said Monday. "I don't know why."
Baker's coaching staff also was offered two-year extensions before the club worked out, attended a downtown rally and headed to Philadelphia. The Reds open against the defending NL champions on Wednesday.
The Reds were the biggest surprise of the division champions, winning the Central despite a young and inexperienced lineup and pitching rotation. Baker kept it together during one of the tightest pennant races in years. The Reds and Cardinals weren't separated by more than three games from mid-May to mid-August.
The division title was a huge breakthrough.griffeys 2012
Cincinnati hadn't been to the playoffs since 1995, when Davey Johnson took the Reds to the NL championship series, then got replaced by owner Marge Schott, who simply didn't like him. The Reds went through five more managers before hiring Baker, who presided over a quick rebuilding process.cheap griffeys
The Reds traded Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn during Baker's first season, beginning a change from power-dependent offense to one that can win by going from first-to-third on a single - a category in which they led the league this season.
"It was very difficult (in 2008)," Baker said. "You know that you're rebuilding at that time. And then you've got to get new leaders, you've got to get a new face or two for the organization."griffey shoes
The Reds brought in third baseman Scott Rolen last year and shortstop Orlando Cabrera in the offseason, adding two veterans who have been to the playoffs. They helped a core of young players pull off the unexpected championship, one that puts Baker in select company.cheap griffeys 2012
Baker led the Giants and the Cubs to the playoffs before coming to Cincinnati. He joined Bill McKechnie as the only managers to take three NL teams to the playoffs. Nine have taken three different teams to the playoffs overall - McKechnie, Johnson, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella, Joe Torre and Dick Williams also did it.
Given the team's young core, Baker thinks the staff is going to get more chances to look good in those suits.cheap ken griffey shoes
"To me, this is just a first step hopefully in a long line of wins, in a long line of excellent years," Baker said.www.cheapgriffeysonline.com
Mariners go into Winter Meetings "open-minded," but not likely to be bidders for high-priced free agents
The tearing down of a 101-loss Mariners team has been under way since before the disastrous 2010 season ended.
Only 14 of the 25 players who opened the season with the Mariners are still on the 40-man roster and two of those, Matt Tuiasosopo and Rob Johnson, are not considered favorites to make the squad next spring. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik continued his reworking in recent days by trading third baseman Jose Lopez and non-tendering pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith.griffeys
Zduriencik arrives in Florida on Sunday for the annual baseball winter meetings looking to accelerate his plans to rebuild what has been torn down. The Mariners already have youngsters Justin Smoak, Adam Moore, Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda either at or near the majors, but must figure out where they fit and how to bolster an offense that ranked among the worst in the last 40 years.
"I've always believed that you just have to acquire talent," Zduriencik said before leaving for the meetings, which begin Monday and conclude Thursday morning with the Rule 5 draft. "As you move forward, you win with good players. You may go in to the meetings with a game plan thinking that X, Y and Z is the thing you need to do, but then, as it unfolds, I think you need to adjust.
"You realize, 'Maybe I can't go down this path to do this, but this helps me.' "griffeys 2012
Zduriencik lost out in bidding on free-agent pitcher Rich Harden at the winter meetings in Indianapolis a year ago. But then, during an airport conversation on the way home with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., groundwork was laid that resulted in a deal for star pitcher Cliff Lee just a week later.cheap griffeys
The Mariners plan to keep their on-field payroll at roughly the same amount as the $91 million spent on opening day last season (an additional $2.5 million was spent on players no longer with the team and Ackley's major-league contract). That's left the team little room to pursue higher-priced free agents and led to speculation Zduriencik will attempt a trade or two to reshape his lineup while continuing the rebuilding plan.
It was just two years ago, at the winter meetings in Las Vegas, that Zduriencik helped orchestrate a 12-player, three-team swap that landed Franklin Gutierrez and others in exchange for a package centered on closer J.J. Putz. Zduriencik could try to move his current closer, David Aardsma, because the pitcher stands to earn between $4 million and $5 million in arbitration for a rebuilding club not lacking in high-powered bullpen arms.
Seattle has been linked to trade rumors involving Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, through the asking price for him is expected to include several of the young prospects the Mariners are looking to in their rebuild. There have been lesser rumors about the Mariners possibly dealing for Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds and then trying to trade Chone Figgins.griffey shoes
For now, Figgins — who played second base last season — appears to be the replacement for Lopez at third base. But at age 32, with a hitting skill-set that appears to duplicate leadoff man Ichiro, it's tough to see where Figgins — owed $27 million the next three years — truly fits on a team not expected to contend before 2012 or 2013 at the earliest.
The Mariners also need somebody to man second base if, as expected, Ackley does not make the team out of spring training. Other priorities include finding a capable catcher who can share time with Moore as he tries to prove he belongs in the major leagues.ken griffey jr shoes
Seattle also must find a way to jump-start an offense that scored only 513 runs, the worst total in the majors since the designated hitter came into effect in 1972. Areas that appear easiest to supply a boost in would include DH and left field — especially if the Mariners don't believe Milton Bradley and Saunders can handle those spots.
Zduriencik cautioned that, even with so many youngsters in the fold, he isn't handing out jobs just yet. Players young and experienced will have "an opportunity to compete for jobs" next spring, but he won't hesitate to make a move this coming week if it benefits the team.ken griffey shoes
That could include moves to bring in "veteran leadership" and to "fill some of the needs that we have" with older players if the right ones come along. Zduriencik noted that several of his younger players still have minor-league options and could be sent to Class AAA in the short term if they show they aren't ready.www.griffeysonlinestore.com
"I think you go in open-minded," he said. "And I think that's what our plan is, I'm very open-minded. I know what I'd like to accomplish. Whether we can, or cannot, remains to be seen. But I would be able to float in one direction or another if I felt it could help us in the long-term."
Ken Griffey Jr. says he left because he was "a distraction" to team
Ken Griffey Jr. says he retired abruptly last year because he felt he'd become a distraction to the team.
"I'm not upset,'' he said. "I think people thought I was upset about certain things, but that's not the case.''
Griffey said he merely feared that people he'd grown close to on the team would try to talk him out of retirement if he stuck around for a press conference. griffeys 2012
So, I asked him, if everything else was fine, why hasn't he spoken to former manager Don Wakamatsu since he walked away from the team and the game back on June 2?
"My phone rings,'' he said, implying that Wakamatsu should have called him. "That's just the way it is.''www.onitsukatiger2012.com
Players and Wakamatsu himself say that the pair didn't speak for the final two weeks of Griffey's career. One player told the Times last summer that Griffey erroneously believed that Wakamatsu had been the source of the Sleep Gate story in which the future Hall of Famer was said to be napping in the clubhouse during a game in May.
The player said Griffey shared his opinion with others on the team and only realized weeks later -- after he'd already retired -- that Wakamatsu was not the story's source. But today, Griffey merely says he wasn't upset at the time and left because he feared he'd become a distraction to the team.
Griffey was asked what he has to say to fans disappointed by his abrupt departure. ken griffey shoes 2012
"You want me to apologize for something that I felt was right? I felt that it was right for me to leave. I'm not going to do it. Because it's not intended to hurt people. It was a decision that I made. I made that 15 years ago...there are some people who are upset and some people who are not. I can't worry about it. I had to do what I thought was right for me.''
Griffey had indeed spoken for a long time of retiring without fanfare or a press conference. Again, though, one wonders why -- if he insists he left with no ill feelings and had simply planned to leave this way all along -- he didn't extend his manager or general manager the courtesy of a phone call. And why, to this day, he still hasn't spoken to a manager he had a close relationship with in 2009. He did call team president Chuck Armstrong, but, typically, if nothing's wrong, the manager and GM do get calls and are offered an explanation when a player suddenly retires.
So, today, the question was asked and answered. Griffey's phone rings is his answer. That's all he's prepared to say about it. We can keep asking the same question over and over again, but I doubt we'll get a different answer.
So, that's his explanation. Whether or not you accept it is up to you. cheap griffeys
The bottom line, as I've written before, is that this franchise needs as many of its few icons to come back within the fold. It says a lot that one of the most popular, if not the most popular, public figures for this team was not a player, but a broadcaster. The death of Dave Niehaus left the Mariners reeling back in November, not just because of the human being they lost, but also because a part of the organization died with him.
Griffey said it will be hard for the organization and those who met Niehaus up-close to get over his death from a heart attack last November at age 73. He was asked whether it will be odd not having Niehaus around on Opening Day.king griffey shoes
"Yeah, it's odd,'' he said. "If somebody tells you it isn't, it is. Definitely, looking around and not seeing those white shoes, those tight pants he wears and that semi-tight shirt. And that voice. I think that's the biggest thing. That voice saying hello to you, teasing you, having a good time at the ballpark.
"I think that's the thing that a lot of the guys who were here over the years are going to really miss. And even the guys who knew him for a year or so, they're going to miss him, too. But I've known him since 17, so like I said, in Seattle he's like the grandfather to a lot of guys. I know he was one to me, so I'm going to miss that. You're not going to be able to replace that. You can replace a player, but that voice, you can't do it. It's going to take 50 people and even those 50, it's still not going to be the same.''
Griffey may not be the most popular guy for some fans right now, but he is a future first ballot Hall of Famer and arguably the most famous face for the franchise around the world of baseball and at-large.http://griffeys2012.weebly.com
He just got back from a trip to the Philippines, where he was serving as a goodwill ambassador on behalf of the United States government. Now, he'll be an ambassador of sorts within the organization, especially when it comes to spreading the message to younger players about what's expected of them.
"This is the organization I grew up in,'' he said. "So, if there's going to be an opportunity for me to be in baseball, it's going to be here. I had an opportunity to get a chance to do it. It's a lot of learning because it's a little different. It's not going to change. I'm still going to be the same person. You're going to know how I feel.''
And what's his main message going to be?http://kengriffeyshoes2012.weebly.com
"Hard work doesn't start during the game,'' he said. "Hard work starts the night before.''
Regardless of what happened last year -- and several good people did lose jobs because of the events of 2010 -- the organziation has to try to put it in the rear-view mirror. It will take time for some to forgive Griffey. And some fans may never do that. That's their choice.
But in my view, you do have to put the events of last year into the context of a 20-year career. If some of you want to include 1999 in that context, again, it's your right.
You've read my stuff about Griffey and know how I feel about what went on last season.http://cheapgriffeys.weebly.com
But you also know, if you've kept reading this space, that I believe the organization, in the wake of Niehaus's death, had to find some way to bring Griffey back into the fold. That he was too important a part of Mariners' history -- good and bad, but mostly good -- to be estranged from the city he spent most of his career in.
Griffey said he has no regrets about coming back to play in 2010 after what could have been a storybook sendoff in 2009.http://kinggriffeyshoes.weebly.com
"No,'' he said. "I mean, things happen. Through no fault of its own, things happen. I got to meet some great people last year. If I wouldn't have done it, I wouldn't have had an opportunity to meet some of the people in Seattle that I did meet...and who still call me today. So, no, I'm not sorry that I came back.''
It may take time for some to get the appreciation back that many fans felt in 2009. And some may never get it back. But the team had to try.www.nikesoccercleatsmvp.com
Griffey came today and offered his explanation. It may be enough for some, not enough for others, but it's a start. And it's as good as it's going to get.
We'll see where things go from here.
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Own a big piece of Ryder Cup history by purchasing golf balls at auction
The Ryder Cup is the biggest event in golf, and one of the biggest ways the Chicago area is marking the occasion is by displaying a collection of gigantic golf balls.
As part of the Ryder Cup festivities, artists and celebrities have teamed up to create a collection of three-foot golf balls painted to represent scenes and symbols of Chicago and the Ryder Cup.
The balls are being sold to benefit Chicagoland charities, and the five most special spheres are being auctioned off on highheelsonlinecheap.com.
The auction is part of the Magnificent Moments campaign, an officially sanctioned charitable fundraising program for the Ryder Cup to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and The Illinois PGA Foundation. The online auction will begin on Monday, Sept. 24, and concludes on Monday, Oct. 1.
The Magnificent Moments campaign launched with the Ryder Cup Captains' Charity Golf Shot on Sept. 26, 2011; continued with the "Tartan Art on The Avenue" public art exhibit of which the giant golf balls are a part; the "Bagpipes & Blues" international Ryder Cup celebration at the iconic Field Museum; and concludes with the celebrity golf ball auction. All net proceeds of the Magnificent Moments campaign will benefit children and families in the Chicago area, and leave a Ryder Cup legacy long after the Matches depart.
The five balls available in the eBay auction include the:nike high heels
LeRoy Neiman Golf Ball
Renowned for his unique progressive style, Official Ryder Cup artist LeRoy Neiman contributed a historic piece of artwork by completing the very first golf ball sculpture for the Ryder Cup Magnificent Moments Campaign. This one-of-a-kind piece is even mpore special since it turned out to be the artwork Neiman created before his death in June at the age of 91, and will be signed by the players and captains from both teams during the Ryder Cup.
Neiman described the ball as an ode to one of his heroes, abstract impressionist Jackson Pollock, and it memorializes Neiman’s vibrant, colorful and energetic images of sporting events.
Michael Jordan Golf Ball – “Jumpman”
Chicago icon and basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan signed a golf ball with his famous “Jumpman” logo. This ball, painted by Chicago artist Ron Jelinek, blends two of Michael’s passions -- golf and basketball.
European Ryder Cup Team Golf Ball – “Great Fighting Spirit”
José María Olazábal, the 2012 European captain, inspired this ball celebrating his team. It features the Ryder Cup and European Ryder Cup logo, and will be signed by each player and captain on the European team. Olazabal collaborated with Chicago artist Susan Kissinger on this piece.
U.S. Ryder Cup Team Golf Ball – “Chronology of Love”
Davis Love III, the 2012 U.S. captain, collaborated with Chicago artist Annamarie Buchanan on a ball that depicts inspirations in his career. They include the U.S. Ryder Cup shield, a father and his son golfing (representing the relationship he had with his famous teaching professional father), the Davis Love Foundation, Davis Love III’s Classic Paddle & Putt, and his collegiate alma mater, the University of North Carolina.
Luke Donald Golf Ball – “European Stars Over Chicago”
European Ryder Cup team member Luke Donald graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Art Theory and Practice and collaborated on his ball with recent Northwestern graduate Morgan Krehbiel. Donald, who still lives in Chicago, has signed the ball, and each European Ryder Cup player and captain will add their autographs during the Ryder Cup.
Each golf ball is three feet in diameter, and sits on a tee. They come with a concrete base and a green acrylic decorative stand that makes each piece six feet tall and weigh 200 pounds.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana
Caring for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion, and community, RMHC?-CNI keeps families together in a “home away from home”. RMHC-CNI recently opened the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House? near Lurie Children’s, helping more families than ever before. To learn more, visit http://www.highheelsonlinecheap.com.
About the Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois PGA Foundation serves as the charitable arm of the Illinois Section of The PGA of America, a working association of 850 dedicated golf professionals in Illinois who make golf their vocation and giving back their passion. These men and women understand the critical difference golf can make in the lives of children by sharing the inherent values of honesty, integrity, and confidence, and encouraging sound physical fitness.
Their Foundation promotes this goodwill of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth through education and recreation. Learn more at www.highheelsonlinecheap.com.
Ken Griffey Sr. urges prostate testing to save lives
Ken Griffey Sr. wasn't entirely surprised when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. He knew that it ran in the family, with four uncles succumbing to the disease.
Early detection and surgery saved Griffey's life. Now, he's urging men to get past their unease and get tested for it.
The former Big Red Machine outfielder has joined a campaign against prostate cancer sponsored by Kimberly-Clark's Depend brand. Now 60 years old, he has been cancer-free for several years. He's also back in uniform, working as the Reds' batting coach at Class A Dayton for the first time.
His son, Ken Griffey Jr., recently retired from the Seattle Mariners.
Griffey acknowledged during a phone interview Thursday that it's taken awhile to get over the operation that saved his life.
"The first year was a really tough situation for me because I couldn't do anything," he said. "Nothing was going right. I was having problems all around. The doctor explained to me that over time it would get better. I'm in my fourth year now. Everything has gotten real good since then. My family has been behind me the whole time."
Griffey played right field on the Reds teams that won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76. He was a three-time All-Star, winning the game's MVP honors. He ended his career in Seattle in 1991 playing with his son.
He had only two major health issues during his 19-year career. He broke a kneecap in 1979 and had two vertebra in his neck fused in 1991, ending his playing career.
Because of the history of prostate cancer in his family, Griffey went for regular checkups. A test in August 2006 indicated he might have the disease. The same week, his ex-wife, Birdie, was diagnosed with colon cancer. A biopsy later confirmed his cancer.
"It was a depressing situation, but at the same time I was up because we had discovered it," griffeys said. "The doctor told me it wasn't life-threatening. That was the big thing."
Griffey had been a special assistant to the Reds since 2002. He had to take it easy after the operation and deal with the side-effects, letting his body heal.
"The first year is a monster," he said. "You don't know what to expect, all the changes you go through. And to be honest, you don't think things are going to get better. But over the last year, everything has gotten three times better."
Griffey and his ex-wife are both cancer-free four years after they were diagnosed. Griffey's experience prompted him to get involved in the Depend campaign, encouraging others to get tested. He knows it's not a comfortable subject.
"Men are totally shy," he said. "They won't talk about it at all. They don't want to admit they have that kind of a problem."
Griffey is looking forward to another Father's Day, a chance to continue a family tradition. Since Junior was a youth, he has given his father a bottle of Old Spice and underwear every year.
"Now he has the grandkids doing it," Griffey said.
Griffey's accomplishments will never be forgotten
Ken Griffey Jr. was introduced to Seattle, way back in 1989, in bite-sized chunks of brilliance — a leaping catch here, a laser shot to the gap there, the occasional flashing smile that foreshadowed his powerful personality.
They were the first tangible hints, beyond the initial hype, that the Mariners, with the first pick of the 1987 draft, had stumbled onto something special. Something magical. Something epic — and that sense just grew stronger with each passing game. You know greatness when you see it, and the teenaged Griffey just oozed with larger-than-life abilities — and sensibilities.
Griffey was introduced to the nation, more or less, in a Sports Illustrated cover story on May 7, 1990, headlined, "The Natural." Author E.M. Swift began it like this: "You kind of want to put the whole show under glass and preserve it forever, before it changes, the way people wanted to do when Willie Mays first came up and the Say Hey Kid won everybody's heart."
That was a sweet thought, but time marches on. Griffey became great, then greater — quickly became the biggest thing in the game, a megastar, and then an icon. He left town, went home to Cincinnati, kept getting hurt, found the grass wasn't always greener. He came back to Seattle, flashed the electric smile again, bathed in the warmth and affection of a grateful fan base that had never forgotten the person who put Seattle on the baseball map.
And then, abruptly, Griffey walked away on that June day, a shocking move even though everybody could see the end coming fast. You could see it in his slowing bat and the hurt in his eyes as his commitment was questioned in a story about him napping in the clubhouse. And then he was benched, the unkindest cut of all.
The finality of his departure hit us all like a punch in the stomach. It was a reminder of our own mortality. If Ken Griffey Jr. — the joyous wunderkind, the prodigy, The Kid — could get old and frail, what did it say about the rest of us?
But once the initial shock wears off, and the gloom of his final season passes, we will be left to savor, for perpetuity, a career for the ages. No one can take that away — not the passage of time, the graying of our hair and fraying of our strength. Now Griffey will indeed be preserved under glass forever.
I asked Griffey's longtime agent, Brian Goldberg (unlike many superstars, Griffey stuck with the guy who guided him through his first contract), how he thinks Griffey views his career, now that it's over. Griffey has yet to speak publicly since he retired, though it appears he will eventually rejoin the Mariners' organization in a yet-to-be-determined role.
"I'm confident it's pure satisfaction," Goldberg said, "because in the big picture, while Junior always had confidence in his skills, he never expected to have the career he had."
The career, of course, was a marvel, his 630 home runs ranking fifth all-time, behind only the titans: Bonds, Aaron, Ruth and Mays. As his longtime teammate, and buddy, Jay Buhner put it, "There were times he played in a whole different league, at a whole different level, than the rest of us."
And yet Griffey will forever leave behind a sense of what could have been, if only. If only he hadn't played so long on the unforgiving Kingdome turf. If only he had paid more attention to conditioning early in his career. If only his body hadn't betrayed him during the final decade.
Griffey's career was definitely truncated: The glory years (438 homers by the age of 30, seemingly on an inexorable track toward Aaron) and the breakdown years (just 192 homers thereafter; no more 100-RBI seasons; a pedestrian .260 average the rest of the way, after hitting .296 up to that point).
One of the common exercises in his later years was to imagine if he had stayed healthy, extrapolate the numbers, and guess how many homers he could have hit without all those lost games — surely, somewhere in the low to mid 700s. And if he got that close, maybe he would have persevered until he got to the top — a much more palatable Home Run King than the tainted Barry Bonds.
But that's all dreams and wishful thinking. Griffey's career was what it was, and that will still send him on a Cooperstown path, a definite first-ballot choice whom we can safely assume will go in wearing a Mariners hat.
Griffey also, of course, played the bulk of his career in what is now known as the steroids era, and he has never once been connected to performance-enhancing drugs. While there are no certainties, the prevailing sense among baseball people is that he was the singular slugger to stay clean, to resist the overwhelming temptation to juice up, to forestall the ravages of time, to slow down the breakdown, to turn his body back into the physical specimen it had been in his prime.
Instead, he got older, slower, pudgier and achier, just the way nature intended.
"One thing, to his credit, I never heard him say in private, let alone in public, something to the effect of, if I hadn't gotten hurt, I'd have this many home runs, or if guys didn't juice up, I'd be here on the list," said Goldberg. "And outside of his family, I've spent as much time with him as almost anybody."
As a player, Griffey was a human highlight film. There was the succession of jaw-dropping catches he made, back in the days when it seemed as if Griffey could truly do virtually whatever he wanted on a baseball field. His first manager, Jim Lefebvre, said of Griffey's swing: "It is beautiful. There is no other way to describe it." It was 1990 when Mariners coach Rusty Kuntz declared, "If you could build the perfect player, it would be Ken Griffey Jr."
Those words were uttered barely one season into his career, and for the next decade, Griffey set about proving it. He ramped up his power to the point where it seemed he, and not Mark McGwire, would win the race to Roger Maris. In 1994, Griffey had 32 home runs on June 24, but he never seemed comfortable with the attention that a potential run at Maris brought him. He hit just eight more until Aug. 12, when the strike hit and the point became moot.
Griffey always bristled when he was called a power hitter — he considered himself a hitter, period, with power — but he dropped 56 homers in both 1997 and '98, and blasted a ball off the warehouse in Baltimore during the All-Star home run derby in 1993. His favorite home run, of course, was the one in Anaheim, the one that followed a blast by his father, Ken Griffey Sr., in September 1990, off Kirk McCaskill. Two weeks earlier, they had become the first father-son tandem to play together in major-league history, the proudest moment of both Griffeys' careers.
"I think he would feel that was the highlight of his career," Goldberg said of the father-son homers. "I know, when it happened — and I was in Anaheim that Friday night; the Angels were still in the race — that was the most excited I've ever seen a visiting crowd get.
"My memories of that night — we went to get something to eat after the game, and Junior and Senior had a friendly, made-up disagreement about whose ball went farther, and whose went out quicker."
Of course, Griffey's signature moment was his dash around the bases on Edgar Martinez's double in the 1995 playoffs, and the 1,000-watt smile he unveiled from under the pile of teammates that engulfed him. Talk about a moment to preserve under glass.
Again, however, reality: The Mariners, seemingly a team of destiny that magical season, were knocked out in the next round by the Cleveland Indians. Griffey never did reach the World Series in three playoff tries, the overriding regret of his career. In that 1995 season, he and his teammates would have to settle for being the galvanizing force behind passage of legislation to bring a new stadium to Seattle — "the House That Griffey Built," as team president Chuck Armstrong invariably calls it.
As a personality, Griffey really took off in the 1990s, proving that someone from the lonely Northwest outpost of Seattle could be nationally marketable. People ate up the backward cap and the youthful energy he exuded. He seemed to play the game with a joy that fans wanted from all their superstars, but too often got instead a surly, disinterested vibe. Not from Griffey, and when he got his own chocolate bar (which he never ate, being allergic to chocolate), a high-profile Nike ad campaign and an instant-classic rookie baseball card, Griffey became the highest profile athlete this side of Michael Jordan.
As a person, Griffey proved to be complex. In the spring of 1992, Griffey revealed to Bob Finnigan of The Seattle Times that he attempted suicide after his first pro season, swallowing 277 aspirin and having to have his stomach pumped. "I'm living proof of what a dumb thing trying to kill yourself is," he told Finnigan, saying he told the story to help other troubled youngsters. "No matter how bad it seems, work your way through it."
Griffey could be moody at times, and stubborn — it took a massive amount of persuasion to get him to participate in the Home Run Derby in Denver in 1998; he eventually relented, and won the competition. He threatened on more than one occasion to bolt from the Mariners when his contract expired (and he eventually forced a trade after the 1999 season to be closer to his family in Florida). He chafed at the lack of privacy that came with being a celebrity, and periodically felt disrespected.
Yet the other side of Griffey prevailed — the hilariously funny one who would stand at his locker and hold court, throwing out one-liners worthy of Chris Rock. The warm one who endeared himself to teammates for not letting his ego run amok. And the sensitive one who was a tireless advocate of both the Boys & Girls Club and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"From someone who has known Junior since he was 8 years old, and been his agent since he turned pro at 17, I can say he's even a better person than he was a ballplayer," Goldberg said. "For me, it's a friendship as much as a business relationship. I'm just so proud of all the things he does — not just in the community, but with the people who are fortunate enough to get to know him."
Baseball fans in Seattle were fortunate enough to get to know Griffey. It was, at times, a rocky relationship. He walked out on us in 1999, but eventually we forgave. When he came back to Safeco Field for the first time with the Reds in 2007, it turned into an unabashed lovefest, ovations for him at every turn. It can safely be said that when Griffey left town after that series, his eventual return was inevitable.
Many now wish Griffey had left after last season, when he rode off on his teammates shoulders after the final game. But life is not always neat and tidy. Nobody loved being a ballplayer — on the field and in the clubhouse — more than Griffey, who essentially spent his whole life there. He wasn't ready to give it up. Heck, he may still not be ready to give it up, deep down inside.
But eventually, the bell tolls, and all our heroes head home. What Griffey rendered during his 22 years, however, is preserved forever.
These Nike Free Inneva Woven Shoes Are All I Need to Be Happy
I've never wanted anything more in my life than these Nike Free Inneva Wovens. Okay, that's probably a lie. I'm pretty sure I want to wake up tomorrow morning more than own a pair of shoes. And I'm probably more thankful that I get to eat tonight. But pure stuff-wise? I'm looking at my new iPhone 5 and I don't have that same primal, tunnel desire of "I want you now now now" than I do with these Nikes.
It's just a pair of shoes. Yes. I get that all the time when I go bananas and gaga and ha-ha-happy over footwear. WHATEVER. And I understand. Sort of. But then I take another look at the black on black hand-woven upper and I shed happy tears. It's beautiful, like a time-worn basketweave that's more considered and thoughtful than just slapping on synthetic materials on a sole.
It'll be snug like a Chinese Finger Trap for your little piggies. And placing that upper on a Nike Free sole that's perfectly speckled? Have my babies. Or maybe I'll name my baby Inneva.
The Inneva Wovens are supposed to go on sale at Nike Sportswear stores tomorrow, September 22nd. It's the best thing launching this weekend. Just bear with me as I gawk at these shoes one more time
U.S. EQUITIES WEEK AHEAD: Walgreen, Nike, Micron, Santander Unit IPO
Some major companies are expected to report their latest quarterly results next week, including Walgreen Co. (WAG), Nike Inc. (NKE) and Micron Technology Inc. (MU).
Also, potentially the second-biggest initial public offering of the year is slated for next week, along with a handful of reports related to consumer confidence.
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Quarterly Earnings From Consumer-Focused Companies
Drug-store chain Walgreen Co. (WAG) and sporting-goods company Nike Inc. (NKE) are slated to report their latest earnings later in the week.
Walgreen's same-store sales have been dragged down by a dispute with Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) that forced the pharmacy-benefit manager out of Walgreen's network at the beginning of this year. A new agreement was unveiled in July, but it won't help the retailer's latest period, which ended before Express Scripts rejoined Walgreen's network.
Walgreen, which has seen its stock jump since the deal came through, already reported softer sales for the latest period and is expected to post weaker earnings Friday. Walgreen's effort to lure back lost customers will become a major focus in future quarters.
For Nike's report Thursday, investors likely will focus on the company's gross-margin levels, which have been on the decline amid higher costs. The company has been pushing into a slate of new apparel, footwear and technology offerings that have made many analysts bullish on its future prospects. Those products include Nike's Flyknit running shoes, Nike+ FuelBand movement-tracking wristband and apparel launches tied to the National Football League and the 1992 men's Olympic basketball "Dream Team."
Other consumer-oriented companies scheduled to report next week are athletic-goods retailer Finish Line Inc. (FINL), spice maker McCormick & Co. Inc. (MKC) and cruise line Carnival Corp. (CCL).
Earnings Reports From Several Technology Firms
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) is expected to post its fifth-consecutive quarterly loss Thursday, as the memory-chip maker continues to struggle with weakness in the flash-memory market. Still, a future bright spot for the company could be its planned purchase of troubled Japanese rival Elpida Memory Inc. for $2.5 billion, which should boost the company's product portfolio and help it better compete against rivals in South Korea and Taiwan.
A handful of other tech companies should also report quarterly results, including software provider Red Hat Inc. (RHT), electronics contractor Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL) and struggling Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM, RIM.T).
Seagate Lined Up to Buy Solyndra Facility
Bankrupt solar-power company Solyndra LLC will seek approval to put its Fremont, Calif., facility on the auction block.
A Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy judge on Monday will consider Solyndra's auction plans as well as the leading bid it lined up from Seagate Technology LLC (STX). Seagate has offered $90.3 million to lead off the bidding, which would entitle it to a $1.8 million breakup fee if its bid loses.
Solyndra said it has been searching for a buyer for the facility, located on 30 acres, since February. It hopes to close a sale by the end of February.
Four IPOs Slated for Next Week
Banco Santander S.A. (SAN, SAN.MC) fired the starting gun on what is expected to be the largest initial public offering of a Mexican company, as it seeks to boost its capital base by raising up to EUR3.4 billion ($4.28 billion) through the sale of just under a quarter of the shares of its Mexican unit.
The total amount raised could make the IPO the second-biggest new listing of the year, behind Facebook Inc. (FB), according to Dealogic.
Santander, the euro zone's largest bank by market value, said it will sell 24.9% of Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico through a stock-market listing in Mexico and on the New York Stock Exchange, with most shares trading in New York.
GlobeImmune Inc., a clinical-stage drug developer focused on treatments for cancer, had been scheduled to start trading publicly Friday but delayed the offering. It is now expected to launch its $75 million IPO early next week.
Technology security firm Qualys Inc. and natural-gas pipeline company Summit Midstream Partners L.P. are also expected to start trading next week.
Ally Financial to Review Suitors
Ally Financial Inc. will begin reviewing bids next week from a variety of suitors, including General Motors Co. (GM), as it looks to sell its international operations by the end of the year to generate cash and repay a bailout it received from the U.S. government.
GM, which spun off Ally more than six years ago, was expected to hone an earlier offer to focus on purchasing only the Latin and European operations, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The auto maker's bid is one of 30 proposals Ally could review. GM is viewed as the likely winner, although Ally is interested in selling all of its international operations, including Canada and Mexico. It will consider selling off the units in pieces, the sources said.
Consumer-Confidence Data Reports
A very busy calendar will include new readings on how consumers assess the economy and whether they are spending in the third quarter. Expectations are that consumers are feeling better in September and spent modestly in August.
The Conference Board's confidence index will be reported Tuesday. The final reading of September consumer sentiment and the report on August income and spending are expected Friday. Other important reports on tap for next week include new-home sales and durable-goods orders.
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Among the significant conferences next week are IPAA OGIS San Francisco from Monday to Wednesday in San Francisco, Craig-Hallum Alpha Select Conference on Thursday in New York and the Noble Financial Markets Life Sciences Exposition in Stamford, Conn., on Monday.
--Jacqueline Palank, Christopher Bjork, Jeff Bennett, Andrew R. Johnson and Kathleen Madigan contributed to this article.
Write to Ben Fox Rubin at www.nikefreeforwomen.com
Willie Mays helped convince Griffey to come back to Seattle
In the Mariners' wooing process of Ken Griffey Jr., which ended in triumph Wednesday after some nerve-racking detours, give an assist to Willie Mays.
Yes, the same Willie Mays who ranks fourth on the all-time home run list with 660 — one slot, and 49 homers, ahead of Griffey's 611.
The same Willie Mays who inspired Griffey to wear No. 24 when he arrived in Seattle.
Chuck Armstrong, Mariners' team president, was driving in Arizona Wednesday afternoon when Harold Reynolds called with a question that astounded him.
"Would it be an imposition if you talked to Willie Mays?" asked Reynolds, a former Mariners' all-star second baseman and close friend of the object of Armstrong's pursuit, Griffey.
"Of course not. I'd love to talk to Willie Mays," Armstrong replied immediately.
Reynolds had been acting all week as a liaison between the Mariners and Griffey, trying relentlessly to convince his buddy that Seattle was the place for him. And Mays was his ace in the hole.
"I called Willie, and he acted like an old friend," Armstrong said. "He talked about the importance of coming back, and asked if it would be an imposition if he called Junior and talked about it.
"I said, 'Willie, you're probably the greatest player ever, and the reason Junior wore No. 24.' I gave him Junior's number.'"
Apparently, what the Say Hey Kid had to say hit the mark, because it was not too much longer before Griffey himself called Armstrong — who had just landed back in Seattle — to give him the good news.
"Ken said it was a legacy thing," Armstrong said. "When he talked to Willie, that was the word he used — legacy, and what it meant to him and the Giants, and what Junior means to this franchise. He told him that would live on long after his own lifetime, and Ken's lifetime."
Armstrong said that Reynolds was instrumental in swaying Griffey's decision, and not just by playing the Mays card.
"I don't think this would have gotten done without the great assistance of Harold," Armstrong said. "I was talking to him three, four, five times a day. He was talking to Junior and telling him why he needed to come back."
For the Mariners, the recruiting process began in earnest last weekend when Armstrong quietly slipped off to California to meet with Griffey and his agent, Brian Goldberg, at Pebble Beach. Griffey was playing in a golf tournament.
"We had a good session," Armstrong said. "That got things started off for me and Ken."
Griffey and his wife, Melissa, moved next to Peoria on Sunday to meet with Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and manager Don Wakamatsu. He also took, and passed, his physical, allowing the deal to be consummated immediately once Griffey made his decision Wednesday after a hard run by Atlanta.
It was a decision that elated Armstrong, who said the two agreed early in the process that their friendship would remain no matter where Griffey ended up playing.
"I want this homecoming to be wonderful for Ken," Armstrong said. "I get goose bumps even talking about it."
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