TAMPA, Fla. -- As Ken Griffey Jr. sleeps one more night while rasslin' with what probably will be the last big decision of his career, the parameters are pretty simple.
Atlanta by far offers him the best situation, personally.
Seattle clearly is where he should go, professionally, from strictly a save-the-legs, extend-his-career point of view.
Assuming the money is roughly equal -- a year, somewhere between $1 and $2 million -- this doesn't make the decision any easier. But the parameters are very clear.
Remember when Junior asked the Mariners to trade him to Cincinnati so he could go home?
Turns out, he rarely felt at home.
Atlanta offers a far better home situation than Cincinnati ever did. He lives in Orlando, 15-20 minutes from the Braves' complex. He literally can live in his own house an extra six or seven weeks this year during spring training (as opposed to having to pack up and spend February and March in Peoria, Ariz.).
Atlanta, the city, is geographically closer to his Orlando home than Cincinnati is. At an hour away by air, Griffey could head home to Florida on off days if he wanted.
If he signs with Seattle, of course, he can't. But he may be able to acquire several more at-bats as a DH than he would as a platoon left fielder in Atlanta.
Meantime, while the Braves aren't necessarily favored in the NL East, they probably can hang with Philadelphia and the New York Mets longer than a Seattle team that lost 101 games last year can stay afloat in the AL West.
So, to recap. ...
Atlanta = home, family, playing meaningful games, possibly getting one more chance to play in October if all sorts of things fall into place.
Seattle = easier on the legs thanks to the DH slot and ... um ... well, far less humidity than Atlanta during the peak of the summer.
It's difficult to view a Griffey return to Seattle as anything more than a chance for the Mariners to help sell more tickets. At 39, he's certainly past his prime and isn't in position to significantly help them improve. He's a role player now.
Bottom line is, it's pretty clear.
Atlanta makes the most sense.
Likes: Mets manager Jerry Manuel's plan to shake up the lineup, and maybe give shortstop Jose Reyes more defensive responsibility in terms of helping to position guys. Terrific idea. Reyes has shown a lack of focus and a need to mature. Giving him more responsibility may be exactly what he needs to lock in and stay focused. ... Love Boston's David Ortiz and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen saying anybody who tests positive for steroids should be suspended for an entire season. Somebody start that petition. ... Sean Penn has to win the Oscar for Best Actor over Mickey Rourke, doesn't he? Rourke's performance was powerful, but -- and not to diminish it -- he was largely playing Mickey Rourke. Penn was pure acting. ... B.B. King's latest disc, One Kind Favor, is really good. ... So is The Hold Steady's latest, Stay Positive. Vastly underrated group. ... Absolutely love the Blackberry "If Delivery People Ran the World" ad where the kid Callahan is missing from school and the delivery folks track him, grab him and deposit him before he knows what's hit him.
Dislikes: I will see you on Tuesday live from the Alex Rodriguez press conference in Yankee camp. I don't think anybody wants to be there -- A-Rod, the Yankees, the media, anybody. But we've all got to play our parts before we can move on with the spring, know what I mean? I'll be happy to get past it and get back to writing baseball.
Sunblock day? Warm sun, cool air. Probably around 70 which, for you Northerners eating your hearts out, is still pretty darn good down here.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"I think she drove a new Mustang
"I guess it might be a rental
"I remember she had satellite radio
"I guess she seemed a bit nervous
"Do you think I’m that stupid?
"Well look, what the hell, I’ll tell my story again …"
-- The Hold Steady, Sequestered in Memphis