Interview 1. Source ESPN (Sunday Conversation / Joe Morgan).
Morgan: How's the wrist?
Griffey: It's fine. Got a little stronger in the off-season.
Morgan: Want to give me eighty percent, ninety percent, a hundred percent?
Griffey: Well, right now it's about ninety / ninety-five percent. I've just got to get stronger. I lost a couple of degrees in flexibility, but that will come back as the year goes on.
Morgan: Are you gonna shy away from the walls? Have you found any difference in the way you play the outfield?
Griffey: No. I mean, it was just a freak accident. I just turned my wrist, I just impacted the wrong way.
Morgan: Tell you what, if I'm Lou Piniella, I tell you to be a little more careful out there.
Griffey: Well, no. I mean it's just the way I play. It wouldn't be me. I wouldn't feel comfortable out there. So it hasn't changed. I'm conscious of it if I dive, or a sliding catch I pick it up right after I catch it.
Morgan: I guess the statement was made, "This is the man who's going to save baseball." Does that put any more pressure on you?
Griffey: No. I mean baseball's in trouble. I mean it's starting to come back now. Last year with the playoffs with New York and us was needed to bring back some fans. So hopefully we'll bring more this year with a one-hundred sixty-two game season and create some interest in baseball.
Morgan: Who do you think is the best player in baseball?
Griffey: Barry Bonds. I mean you've got a guy who can run, throw, hit, hit for power to all fields. He can do so many things to beat you; stealing bases, hitting the long ball, driving in the game-winning run, can throw guys out on the run — from any direction at any base — and that's so important. I mean you see guys now, they are one dimensional. They come up and just hit, and that was the one thing my dad (Ken Griffey) said, "If you can hit they'll find a position for you."
Morgan: Do you think you get as much satisfaction out of making a great play in the outfield as you do out of hitting a home run?
Griffey: Well, yeah because if I hit a home run I can't do the things I want to do. I can't show the pitcher up. Number one, I can't show some of the enthusiasm that I have when I do hit a home run, but I can when I make a great catch. I can do some things especially to some guys who I have a friendly rivalry against, like Kenny Lofton.
Morgan: Describe your best catch.
Griffey: Probably the one I broke my wrist on because everybody asks me how did you hold onto the ball knowing your wrist was broke. And I said well I didn't feel it until they operated on it. As I was driving home I called back and the first question I asked the doctor was, "Will I ever play again?" And he goes, "Yeah." And I said, "Will I be a hundred percent?" And he goes, "Yeah." He said that the way I broke it was no big deal.
Morgan: Let's play a little name game. I'm gonna give you some player's names and you say whatever pops into your mind. Cal Ripken, Jr.?
Griffey: He makes us all look bad. The man plays thirteen years, plus every day.
Morgan: Roberto Alomar?
Griffey:The best defensive second baseman I know I've seen.
Morgan: Mo Vaughn?
Griffey: Mo's quite a player. I mean he's big and strong and wears his pants like the early sixties and seventies. And then he does a lot of off-the-field community work. We need more ballplayers to do that.
Morgan: Albert Belle?
Griffey: Albert's got some sort of bad rap. I mean if you talk to him one-on-one, he's a great person. He can do so many things offensively to hurt you.
Morgan: Greg Maddux?
Griffey: Clark Kent (laughs).
Morgan: What about the fans? Do you feel the players owe the fans anything from the strike or should they owe the fans something in general?
Griffey: The best thing we can do is get an agreement. It starts off there. I know our team has gone out of its way to be fan friendly. We're trying. I mean there are certain times we can't do anything and there are certain times we can. And the fans have to understand that.
Morgan: Is making the Hall of Fame one of your goals?
Griffey: No. I just want to be the best player I can be. I mean they've compared me to Willie Mays and Barry Bonds and Frank Thomas ... that's not important. I just want to be the best player Ken Griffey can be -- not what everybody expects me to be. I'm tougher on myself than anybody.
Morgan: If there was one thing you could change?
Interview 2. Source Mariners Magazine.
Griffey: I'm in a catch twenty-two. No matter what I do it's 'OK that's him, that's what he is supposed to do.' Look at Michael Jordan's situation. Before he retired people would say, 'What's wrong with Mike?' if he didn't score fifty or make an incredible dunk in a game. I'm not saying I'm in the same situation, but I feel that if someone else was playing centerfield for Seattle, he'd be under a totally different scrutiny.
MM: Are you tired talking about Roger Maris and the home run record?
Griffey: I really don't worry about that. I can't worry about what the media writes, it's all hype anyway. You just have to put yourself in the situation to break all those records, then anything can happen. The media has a job to do and I have a job to do, but they can't bother me from 6:15 p.m. on.
MM: In this the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, can you describe your thoughts about the man?
Griffey: Jackie Robinson means an awful lot not only to me and my family, but to everyone in baseball and all the other sports. He took an entire race upon his shoulders and carried that burden. From 1947 through today, Jackie helped everyone grow as a country and as people. Knowing what he went through, in terms of racial slurs and abuse, has to make all of us stronger. He not only changed the game of baseball, he changed the entire country.
MM: On Opening Night this year you met Jackie's daughter Sharon for the first time, what did you say to each other?
Griffey: We just talked about what her dad meant to us. Every now and then we pray for him to let him know that there are players in this era that look up to him and would like to say thank you.
MM: You worked a lot on your golf game this winter with Mark O'Meara and Tiger Woods?
Griffey: They have to give me a few more strokes, I only get eleven. We have a lot of fun together. We have an opportunity to play when they're home or on occasion I catch up with them on the road and watch them. Last year when we were in Detroit, Jay, Norm, Alex and myself followed Mark, John Cook and Freddie Couples in the Buick Tournament. It was really exciting watching a tournament in person for the first time. That really helped me because I wasn't so nervous when I played in the Lexus Celebrity Challenge this winter in Palm Springs.
MM: After they beat you on the golf course, do you take them to a natural turf of some kind to get even?
Griffey: Oh yea! That's a given. We do other things as well, like play tennis. Also last year I took Mark out to the batting cage and I just laughed. I want to take Tiger out this year so I can really show him who's boss.
MM: Will Trey and Taryn have another brother or sister?
Griffey: Oh no, that's it. I think. Trey is taking pee-wee karate and both of them are taking swimming lessons. Taryn just started and she really loves the water. I went to one swimming lesson last year and Trey was a little show off; jumping off the diving board and not listening to the instructor. So Melissa said 'That's the last time you get to go.'
MM: You spend a lot of time during the year with Make-A-Wish kids. What do you learn from them?
Griffey: That even though they know the inevitable, they never give up. And that's the attitude everyone should take. No matter what life throws at you, don't ever give up chasing your dreams. When I'm with these kids, I just want them to have fun at the ballpark so I give them everything I can. I can always get another jersey or another bat, but they only have this one chance. I do everything I can to make sure they have a great day.
MM: Off the field, you are involved in several business interests, including the All-Star Cafe. Do you enjoy hanging out with the celebrities at the restaurant openings?
Griffey: It is a lot of fun. We see each other a couple times so we have fun when we can. For once I get to ask a lot of questions of someone else. We talk a lot about our families, and our jobs. Plus I'm always looking for some acting tips.
MM: The Planet Hollywood opening was one of the biggest celebrity events ever in Seattle. What do you remember about the Planet opening?
Griffey: That most of my teammates were there and it was fun. It was a great event and the turnout was terrific. It took me a year to help get a Planet Hollywood in Seattle. Now we're talking about bringing an All-Star Cafe to Seattle soon.
MM: You and Jay Buhner have a very close friendship. How did that start?
Griffey: For about eight years now, we've gone through a whole lot of pitching changes. We would meet in right-center and that's how we became friends. We've gone through a lot together on the field and that's translated into spending a lot of time together off the field. Now we live next to each other and play golf. I beat him in golf and he beats me in fishing. So it's a trade off.
MM: The game of baseball has changed dramatically both on and off the field. Players today have a lot more say in what happens off the field. You have a pretty influential position here in Seattle. Do you enjoy that role on the team?
Griffey: We are all in this together. Most guys on the team will do whatever it takes to help the team. We always dream of going to the World Series and if management is thinking about trading for someone or if I feel we need to do something, then I have to say something. Sometimes they may not like it, but our goal is the same, to get to the World Series. I want to be the last player off the field and walk into the clubhouse and spray champagne on everyone.
MM: You have taken an active role in the design of the new ballpark, what were some of your concerns?
Griffey: I want to make sure the rightfield wall is brought in another thirty feet. It will be great. Dan, Norm, Jay and myself went over to the architects and made a lot of suggestions about the laying field and the clubhouse facilities and the family rooms. We also made sure the visiting team has to make the long walk to their clubhouse instead of us. We make the long walks in their parks, so we just wanted to return the favor.
MM: Since this is the twentieth anniversary of the Mariners and you have played the starring role in Mariners biggest moments, lets talk about a few of them. You had an incredible 1995 playoff against the Yankees. Were you in one of those zones at the plate in that series?
Griffey: I just wanted to hit the ball hard and contribute to the team since I was out for most of the season. I wanted to come back and help carry this team that had worked so hard without me. I just wanted to give the team whatever boost we needed.
MM: Take us around the bases with you in that tenth inning in Game Five.
Griffey: I looked at the left fielder and thought that if Edgar hits the ball down the line or in a gap, I have a chance to score. When he hit it I just took off and let the third base coach make the decision, but I tried to make it an easy decision by getting there as fast as I could.
MM: When you scored, what was going on underneath the pile at the home plate celebration?
Griffey: I started laughing at first. Then I realized I was the one who didn't need to be on the bottom because I had a broken arm. I tried to get up but couldn't. I just wanted to get to the locker room and celebrate there, but I'm glad we got to celebrate as a team because we did it as a team.
MM: Was that the most memorable moment of your career?
Griffey: No doubt. Playing with my dad (Ken Griffey) was the most memorable. He stuck around and played all those years and proved to a lot of people that he could still play.
MM: As a kid did you ever dream about playing with your father?
Griffey: No, too many things had to happen. Luck, staying healthy, staying consistent and then have the opportunity. When it did happen, I was a little nervous even playing catch with him before the game. During the game, it was probably the most exciting time that I've had. Playing the outfield with my dad.
MM: What about the back-to-back home runs?
Griffey: After he hit his, I was watching him run the bases. When he crossed home plate, he said "That's how you do it son!' and went back to the dugout. I looked at him and then after I hit mine, I couldn't wait to get to the dugout and say "That's how you do it Dad!' He waited until after I congratulated everyone else, then he gave me a hug and said you did it. That's something that will never be done again. Everyone else in the dugout was shocked and excited to see a part of history.
MM: Are there one or two great catches that stand out in your mind?
Griffey: I take a lot of pride in my defense, but I don't try to make great plays. If it happens, it's just a bonus. Two that stand out for me are the Jesse Barfield catch at Yankee Stadium and the catch I made when I broke my arm because I was able to hang onto the ball. The Barfield play was the first time I ever climbed the wall and robbed someone of a home run and I got teased by my teammates because I showed a lot of excitement. I heard it from our leftfielder and the guys in the bullpen were yelling at me so I turned around and started laughing.
MM: Are you more cautious going after balls at the wall now?
Griffey: I still approach it the same way. As an outfielder it's important to go out everyday and not be afraid to run into a wall to make a catch, to do what we have to do to help the team.
MM: What did you have to go through during the eight-game home run streak?
Griffey: I really didn't talk to the media that much. I said as long as the streak is alive, I wasn't going to talk about it. Everyone wanted to talk about it but me. After the streak ended I discussed it. My dad told me during the streak to pick one pitch and try to hit it hard.
MM: The 1995 season obviously was very memorable, but can you describe what Randy Johnson meant to the club in 1995?
Griffey: Randy is a very dominating pitcher. He's 6-10 and throws the ball in the low hundreds when he wants to. He's got better control that what people think. The long hair, mustache and goatee are all a part of Randy. His personality in a game is completely different than in the clubhouse where he is joking around, having fun. On the mound he is all business. He is the one guy that if we lost a couple games in a row that year, we just knew we were not going to lose with him on the mound. His wins would then snowball with the other pitchers behind him. He makes my job a lot easier in the outfield. We just had to stand there.
MM: What do you remember about Randy's no-hitter?
Griffey: He threw the first pitch at ninety-nine miles per hour and the last pitch at ninety-nine miles per hour. As the innings went on, he got stronger and just dominated. It was a great game to watch.
MM: On the field, Jay looks extremely intense. Is that really the case?
Griffey: Jay is going to give you everything he has and expects the same out of everyone else, no question about it. Like every guy in our clubhouse, he wants to win in the worst way. The two games I remember most about Jay were: Game Three of the League Championship Series in Cleveland, when he came back after making a big error to hit the game-winning home run; and his cycle. He trippled to complete the cycle in the fourteenth inning, and after he scored the winning run, everyone else went out to congratulate him, but I went to third and pulled the bag out of the ground and gave it to him. I felt it was something he should have, being the only Mariner to ever hit for the cycle. It's something no one can ever take away from him.
MM: Are you surprised by Alex's quick rise to All-Star status?
Griffey: You could tell from day one what kind of a player he was going to be. Even before he was drafted, we saw films of him when he was still in high school and you could tell he was going to be a great player. He was up and down a lot in his first year. He became really comfortable and confident when he was moved to second in the lineup. It was the same situation with me when I batted second ahead of Alvin Davis and Jeffrey Leonard. I just told him to relax and have fun.
MM: What makes this Mariners' team so special?
Griffey: We are a very tight group. When someone is down, we try to pick them up. When people are up, we try to get them going and motivate them. But at the same time, we have fun. You need to have a loose club to go through these pressures everyday. That's something we do as a team. Hopefully we can throw some more banners up around the Kingdome and in the new ballpark. We all play this game to be on a championship team and hopefully that will happen within the next couple of years.
MM: What are your feelings about inter-league play? Are you looking forward to going head-to-head with your National League rivals?
Griffey: We play all of the National League West teams during spring training with the exception of the Dodgers, so we know the teams pretty well. Anytime you play against a Barry Bonds or a Tony Gwynn you always do your best. There are friendly bragging rights to be won. It's going to be a lot of fun because we all like to compete. This gives us a chance to go into different cities and for them to come into our town. With a team like San Diego, it's a chance for the fans to see the other league's MVP in Ken Caminiti and Mr. Batting Title in Tony Gwynn. Plus I get to return to San Diego for the first time since the All-Star Game there. Inter-league play is good for baseball and I'm looking forward to it.
MM: You faced Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers in Japan years ago, are you looking forward to a possible rematch?
Griffey: A pitcher is a pitcher, he has to adjust to me just as I have to make adjustments. It's been six years since I've faced Nomo. If we do get the opportunity to face him, you have to stay with the game plan, which is to lay off his forkball, but still be aggressive and take your cuts. If he gets the forkball over, you'll find yourself behind in the count and in trouble.
Interview 3. Source GOLFonline (Dave Allen).
Golf: Have you ever played Sahalee?
Griffey: A handful of times. It's a lot of fun and very tough.
Golf: What do you think of the course and all those trees?
Griffey: We call those trees out there the Seattle symphony because when you hit it in the woods, it sounds like a wood section of a symphony: knock, knock-knock-knock.
Golf: How do you think Sahalee sets up for some of your Isleworth neighbors - Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, Lee Janzen?
Griffey: It will be a nice course for them. Hopefully, one of them will win so Team Isleworth can complete the sweep of all four majors. I'm sorry i'll be out of town (the Mariners are in Chicago to play the White Sox during the PGA), otherwise, I'd be out there rooting for all of them.
Golf: Since O'Meara and Janzen have already won majors this season, is there a lot of pressure on Tiger to win the PGA?
Griffey: It really has been quite a year for Team Isleworth. I'm proud of all the guys. Hopefully, Tiger can win at Sahalee. If not, he'll probably hear about it this winter. All winter.
Golf: Are you one of those guys like Michael Jordan who plays no matter what time of year it is, even during the baseball season?
Griffey: During the season, if I get the chance to play during an off day, i'll jump at the chance. I do play a lot during the offseason down in Florida. The courses I frequent in the Seattle area are Bear Creek Country Club and the Plateau Country Club.
Golf: Approximately how many rounds of golf would you say you play each year?
Griffey: During the season, i'll probably sneak in about ten rounds. In the offseason it jumps to about one-hundred ten.
Golf: Do you have a handicap?
Griffey: Ten. I go up and down. Some days I can't put everything together like the pros.
Golf: How would you rate yourself as a golfer? Single A level? Triple A? Big-league (Rick Rhoden) level?
Griffey: By the time I get to be Rick Rhoden's age, I hope to be playing at his level.
Golf: Compare playing golf in Seattle to playing in Florida. What's the biggest difference?
Griffey: I don't have to worry about alligators in Seattle and I don't have to worry about casual water in Florida.
Golf: What has been your single greatest thrill playing with Tiger and company at Isleworth?
Griffey: Just playing with the guys . . . Mark, Tiger, Lee, Payne and the rest. I outdrove Tiger once. He was fifty yards ahead of me, but in the rough and that doesn't count.
Golf: Of all the Isleworth players, who do you enjoy playing with the most? Who pockets the most money?
Griffey: All the guys are great, but no money is exchanged. Just the dinner bills at the club and, of course, bragging rights.
Golf: Compare hitting a baseball with hitting a golf ball. Which is more enjoyable to you, hitting a bomb on the golf course or hitting the upper deck at the Kingdome?
Griffey: Definitely hitting the ball into the upper deck. That is going to help my team win. The two are very different. In baseball, you're trying to hit a round ball moving between eighty and one-hundred miles per hour with a round bat square. Plus in golf, you have to play your foul balls!
Golf: Which is more impressive: Tiger's drives (on the golf course) or your drives (out of the ballpark)?
Griffey: I wish I could hit a baseball as far as he hits his drives. remember, he has to do that fourteen times a round. I only hit maybe four or five times a game.
Golf: What is it you find most enjoyable about playing golf?
Griffey: Playing the golf course. Each course presents its own challenges. the other thing I like is playing with people you enjoy being around. It's fun and relaxing.
Golf: If you could play one round of golf anywhere in the world, where would it be? with whom?
Griffey: Augusta National with the entire Team Isleworth.