PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - The only thing the Mariners can't limit with Ken Griffey Jr. as he begins his return to Seattle is his humor - already in midseason form.
Baseball's leading active home run hitter had his first practice yesterday since signing a one-year contract with Seattle worth $2 million, plus incentives. His jokes were on his new Seattle teammates, former teammates - just about anyone near him.
Griffey joked that he felt like he was on a high school recruiting trip, as he was followed around yesterday at the M's training camp in Arizona by a trainer, a doctor, Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, other team personnel and a half-dozen photographers.
In his first batting practice with the Mariners in 10 years, he cracked five home runs.
Seattle has intrasquad games today and tomorrow and opens exhibition play Wednesday against San Diego in their annual charity game. It's unlikely Griffey will play in any of those games, and it's unclear when the 39-year-old slugger will be in the lineup.
When he does start playing, Griffey will initially be the designated hitter, but he hopes to be Seattle's left fielder when the season begins April 6 at Minnesota.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)