Now that Ken Griffey's NapGate scandal has died down, I thought I'd be untimely and chime in.
I believe Griffey was napping during the game, but like he said, he wasn't asleep in the 7th inning. My theory is that he was asleep in the 6th and a few other players played a prank on him. While he was snoring away, dreaming of cheeseburgers, a few of the younger players put his hand in warm water and then The Greatest Player in Mariner History wet himself. When he awoke he went to change and clean himself up and that's when Wakamatsu called for him to bat.
Everyone seems to like the stories from years past of Griffey waking from a nap to bat, stumbling out to the plate with his shoes untied, and blasting a home run. It's just not the same watching a bloated Griffey hobble out of the dugout with a wet stain on his crotch, stunbling to the plate to pop out and end the inning.
A lot of the blame, and Mike Sweeney's wrath, was directed at the two young players who ratted Griffey out to the Tacoma News Tribune. I agree it's probably something that should have been handled in the clubhouse. I think when the Mariners to took the field, they should have quietly and gently picked up the recliner Griffey was asleep in, and carried it out to left field. Eventually the crowd noise would have roused him, Griffey would be exposed, and the team wouldn't have to delude themselves that the whole thing was made up by Larry LaRue. Plus, Griffey loves a prank and everybody loves that scene in Major League when Wesley Snipes gets cut and wakes up in his bed outside the field.
The big question remaining is what the future holds for Griffey. Will he retire? Will he be cut? Will he take an at bat in his pajamas? What about the future promotional nights involving Griffey?
Due to his lack of production, his season on the roster needs to end. It seems like he could use the rest and serious Mariner fans are tired of watching him pop up to end innings. But we all know Griffey is on this team to sell tickets, not hit home runs. The Mariners need to use this to their economic advantage. How about a Mariner Snuggie promotion night? Or maybe a Griffey Nap Night, where fans can bring blankets and pillows and sleep through a game with Griffey in the upper deck. Griffey Pajama Night? The possibilities are endless.
Perhaps, Griffey could participate in a sleep study, but at Safeco field. He could be enclosed in a glass room, given warm milk and his favorite teddy bear, and fans could gather to watch him sleep. He's the greatest Mariner of all time and most M's fans can't let go, regardless of the damage he does to the team. They don't mind watching him snooze at the plate, but maybe they'd be just as happy watching him snooze in the stands. It could be a win-win.