Griffey speaks for first time since retiring in June

Ken Griffey Jr. back as special consultant for the Seattle Mariners

By Barry M. Bloom /

PEORIA, Ariz. — Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the Mariners on Wednesday for the first time since his retirement this past June 2. He’s back as a special consultant, and spoke about his decision to retire for the first time since then.

Aside from a printed statement the day of the announcement, Griffey had declined to address the issue. Until now.

“I’m only going to do this one time and this will be the last time I talk about [it],” Griffey told a small group of reporters in the press room at the Mariner’s Spring Training complex a few hours before their game against the Brewers. “Last year I felt that it was much better for me to remove myself from the team. I told [president] Chuck [Armstrong] and [chairman] Howard [Lincoln] if I felt I was going to become a distraction, then I [would] retire. One thing I didn’t want to become is a distraction to the organization.

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