Reacting to Ken Griffey's latest demand to be traded, New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner said Wednesday night that "nobody wants" the career .300 hitter and that he "should shut up because I'm tired of him whining."
"Who's going to take a 36-year-old outfielder with two gimpy knees making $960,000 a year besides me?" Steinbrenner said. "Who else is that stupid?"
The Yankees planned to use Griffey this season as their left-handed designated hitter and as a fill-in at first base. On Tuesday, Griffey told Manager Lou Piniella that he did not like that situation and then renewed his demand to be traded.
Griffey, who turns 36 in April, last season batted .274 with 10 home runs and 69 runs batted in during 127 games, most of them in left field. But Griffey, traded by Cincinnati to the Yankees after the 1981 season, has been unhappy with his role at various times during the last two years.
"He's got to get over this business of wanting to be traded every five minutes," Steinbrenner said. "The fact is, no one wants Mr. Griffey. Maybe if he agreed to give back about $600,000 of his salary, maybe I can get him traded. But I wouldn't even guarantee that. I'll start calling triple-A teams if he wants."