Tonight Ken Griffey Jr. knocked Mark McGwire off of his steroid pedestal by blasting two home runs to move to 7th on the all-time list. While Griffey has ten Gold Gloves, twelve All-Star appearances, one All-Star MVP award and one AL MVP award, I can't help but think he could have been better.
Griffey has been notorious for not staying in shape during his career and doing next to nothing in the offseason to improve his game. This was ok for most of his career, seeing as he blessed with being insanely talented. But Father Time caught up to Griffey real fast because he was so lackadaisical about staying in shape. Jerry Rice he was not. And it's now been quite a while since Griffey was actually a very good player.
Everyone expected Griffey to be the guy to break Hank Aaron's record and become the greatest player of his generation. But that didn't exactly happen. Instead it was Bonds who took over that role, despite the steroid cloud.
I applaud Griffey for not having used steroids, but at the same time I actually have some respect for Bonds as well. Even though Bonds used illegal means to get where he is, he made a commitment that he wanted to try and be the greatest player to ever play the game.
I don't think we ever saw that same commitment from Jr.
I'm not saying Jr. should have used steroids at all, I just wish he'd worked a little harder. If he had, we might have the greatest matchup in American sports history right now. A clean player and a dirty player racing to reach Aaron's remarkable record.