Baker first had this on Twitter, and now the Mariners have issued confirmation - Ken Griffey Jr. will be returning to the team. The only difference between this time and last time is that this time when he hits zero home runs, he won't be doing so as a player.
Griffey's job title will be the nebulous but exclusive "special assistant," and what that means is that, over the course of his job, he'll be assisting a lot of different people in a lot of different areas. He won't just be handling on-the-field matters, and he won't only involve himself in the Major League operation. He's going to be doing a little bit of just about everything.
It's obviously good news for a community that by and large didn't want Griffey to disappear in the first place. It's good news for Griffey, as he gets to stick with the team that gave him a job and stay busy in retirement. And, I think, it's good news for the organization. And it goes beyond marketing and PR, even. Griffey's obviously going to help sell the team, but more than that, I can see him as a valuable instructor or consultant. We know he knows the game, and while every coach at every level knows the game, every coach at every level isn't Ken Griffey Jr. This is a guy who can hold the rapt attention of minor leaguers and Major Leaguers alike. When Griffey talks, players will listen, and that can only be good news. Unless he starts deliberately giving them bad advice.
This isn't a shock, as we've known for a long time that Griffey would make an eventual return. But it's good to have it all taken care of. Still waiting to hear about Roger Salkeld.