Early arriving Griffey plays coy at camp
Outfielder sheds little light on hand injury, awaits re-evaluation
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. didn't offer clues to the mystery over how he broke his left hand over the winter.Instead on Friday, he only added to the speculation. "I was fishing, and I pulled in a big fish and it jumped in the boat, it was a shark," joked Griffey, an early arrival to Spring Training. "It started attacking my kid and I whupped [it]. That's my story and I'm sticking to it." Fishing whoppers aside, Griffey declined to offer details about the injury he suffered in December. At that time, the Reds declared that it happened during an accident at home and that the 37-year-old's hand was placed in a hard cast. That cast is now off the hand, which Griffey said felt good. But he held off saying more until team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek had another look. "We're waiting for Doc to re-evaluate the whole situation," said Griffey, who batted .252 with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs in 109 games last season. "He's not here, so I can't really answer all of your questions." Griffey did squelch one of the many rumors he heard circulating about how he hurt his throwing hand. He said it did not happen while riding a motorcycle. "I haven't been on a motorcycle in three years," he said. "My motorcycle is an '03 with 57 miles on it." Reds pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Saturday. The full squad will hold its first workout on Feb. 23. At this point, Griffey is expected to participate.
"I haven't heard he's going to have any restrictions," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "Until I do, I'm assuming he's 100 percent."The scrutiny on Griffey this spring will extend beyond his health and well-being. There have been discussions that he might shift from his customary center field to right field. During the winter, the club asked Griffey to be open-minded about switching positions. Griffey spoke briefly to Reds manager Jerry Narron on Friday but would not offer insight into if he was willing to move this year. "What we decide will be done behind closed doors," he said. "It won't be something in the media for you guys to sit here and talk about every day." "That will resolve itself once the games get started," Krivsky said.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.