After what seems to have been an eternity, Griffey Jr. finally hit his 600th home-run. He has been stuck on either 598 or 599 for nearly an entire month, but he ended all the madness with a monster shot against the Florida Marlins tonight. This is probably the first “legit” 600th home-run milestone we’ve seen since Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, but yet it doesn’t seem as big of a deal.
Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds are both members of the 600-club, but a huge asterisk is attached to their accomplishment. Although Sosa has never been attached to any proof of cheating, Bonds has a few “pending” reasons why his accomplishment is tarnished. Junior appears to be legit and if it wasn’t for his various injuries over the past ten years, he could have been the one that broke Aaron’s record. He still has a few more seasons left in him and I think a logical goal would be to surpass Willie Mays at 660. He could average around 20 knocks a year over the next three seasons and retire as one of the best players to play the game.
Now since Junior has achieved this milestone, I look for the Reds to try and move him to an American League team so he could become a designated hitter. I still think he is a good outfielder, but he seems to need more days off to be productive. The Reds are in a youth movement and would benefit from having him around, but it wouldn’t be fair to him to stay on a team with the playoffs not being in Cincinnati’s future this season.