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Mariners to release Ken Griffey?

The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that the Mariners may release outfielder/DH Ken Griffey Jr. this month. Griffey is hitting .208 with no home runs and just five runs batted in 77 at-bats this season, a year after hitting .214 in 117 games in 2009.

The possibility of his release is not just performance based, but also his attitude. Sources informed Larry LaRue that Griffey was not called on to pinch hit in the late innings because he had gone back to the clubhouse and fell asleep. As much as Griffey struggled to stay healthy, he always was an everyday player and may not be up to being more of a special assistant who will have a few at-bats here or there, like his role has become in 2010.

His bat speed has slowed dramatically and he struggles to even catch up to fastballs anymore. The Mariners could flat out release him, but the more classy move would be to allow him to retire and give him a nice send off at Safeco Field.