Miller: Junior de-emphasizes achievement
Editor's note: This is Danny Knobler's first story for CBSSports.com. Knobler joins Scott Miller as a second baseball writer for the website after covering the Tigers for 18 years for Booth Newspapers.
CINCINNATI -- The billboard on Interstate 75 flashed Ken Griffey Jr.'s picture.
"Chasing 600," it said.
|The attention in Cincinnati is less on Junior's chase and more on Jay Bruce. (US Presswire)|
This has to be the biggest story in baseball right now.
Or at least the biggest story in Cincinnati.
It's not. Jay Bruce is the big story here. Jay Bruce is all anyone here wants to talk about. Jay Bruce isn't "Chasing 600." He's "Chasing 1." But Jay Bruce is the guy Reds fans are pumped up about.
"You here to see the Boy Wonder up close?" Reds Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman asked Thursday, when he saw a familiar face from out of town.
He didn't mean Griffey, the guy with 598 home runs. He meant Bruce, the guy with 0 home runs.
Now Bruce seems like quite a player. He was the 2007 minor league player of the year, and he had quite a big-league debut Tuesday night (3-for-3, two walks, two RBI, one steal). Not only that, but he has one of those names that fans love to scream: "Bruuuuuce."
Yeah, it sounds like a Springsteen concert when he comes to the plate at Great American Ballpark.
It sounds like nothing special when Griffey comes up. And that's just wrong.
"The way that 600 thing has been handled has been a joke," Reds outfielder Adam Dunn said Thursday. "You don't hear anything about it. It's a joke. It's embarrassing.