Feb. 19 -- Ken Griffey Jr. returns to Seattle

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Over/Under on the day the Mariners make the publicly painful decision to release Griffey: June 23. Yeah, you heard it here first.

Keith Law on ESPN.com did a beautiful job of breaking down this sentimental move -- a foolish one for a team that needs to be rebuilding and getting at-bats for its up-and-coming youngsters so that they can be good again once Griffey is mercifully retired. The money quote:

"What's most troubling is that this appears not to be a baseball move, but a marketing one. It's a cynical, insulting ploy to try to get fans into the park -- "Hey, they've heard of this guy! They won't know he's not half the player he used to be!" -- and worse, it's misguided. Fans who want to see Griffey play again will go … once. One past-prime player isn't going to get large numbers of fans to go to the park on a regular basis; the only thing that can do that is winning."

I also have a couple of thoughts on this insane idea that Braves fans are upset with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution because Braves GM Frank Wren said Griffey bailed on the Braves because he was upset that the paper ran a story saying he'd decided to sign with Atlanta.

1. Baloney.

2. And if it is true that this is what made Griffey's decision for him, then the Braves got a huge break.

3. Griffey is soft, a whiner and not an especially useful major-league baseball player at this point in his career. I respect what he's accomplished in the game, statistically, but personally he's a loser and he's no longer a good enough player to justify this kind of angst.

4. The Braves will be better off with Garrett Anderson.

Just sayin'

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