Mariners players shun reporter in response to report critical of Ken Griffey Jr.

Mariners players are boycotting a newspaper beat reporter who wrote that DH Ken Griffey was asleep during a game and unavailable to pinch hit.

Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune reported that two M’s players told him Griffey was napping in the clubhouse last week.

The blowback started after a players-only meeting Tuesday. LaRue wrote that he was given the silent treatment when he entered the locker room and would not disclose his sources; ESPN.com reported that left-hander Cliff Lee asked LaRue to leave his postgame interview session. LaRue complied.

Griffey and Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu have disputed LaRue’s account, saying Griffey was awake and available. Fellow DH Mike Sweeney told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the 40-year-old Griffey had his teammates’ full support.

"We will support and fight and take a bullet for Ken Griffey Jr., if we have to. He’s our teammate," Sweeney was quoted as saying. "Nothing is going to divide this clubhouse, especially a makeshift article made up of lies. We don’t think there are two players who said that (about Griffey) and I challenged anybody in that room if they said it to stand up and fight me. No one stood up."

Mariners players are boycotting a newspaper beat reporter who wrote that DH Ken Griffey was asleep during a game and unavailable to pinch hit.

Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune reported that two M’s players told him Griffey was napping in the clubhouse last week.

The blowback started after a players-only meeting Tuesday. LaRue wrote that he was given the silent treatment when he entered the locker room and would not disclose his sources; ESPN.com reported that left-hander Cliff Lee asked LaRue to leave his postgame interview session. LaRue complied.

Griffey and Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu have disputed LaRue’s account, saying Griffey was awake and available. Fellow DH Mike Sweeney told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the 40-year-old Griffey had his teammates’ full support.

"We will support and fight and take a bullet for Ken Griffey Jr., if we have to. He’s our teammate," Sweeney was quoted as saying. "Nothing is going to divide this clubhouse, especially a makeshift article made up of lies. We don’t think there are two players who said that (about Griffey) and I challenged anybody in that room if they said it to stand up and fight me. No one stood up."

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