By BILL SWARTZ
Ken Griffey Jr's agent says the napping story was accidentally published before the story was ready.
Brian Goldberg told KIRO Radio Thursday, Tacoma News Tribune writer Larry LaRue was investigating Griffey's performance with the Mariners, but accidentally published his blog posting before completing the story.
According to Goldberg, LaRue felt horrible for prematurely making the story public before consulting with Griffey and Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu. LaRue immediately called the newspaper after realizing his mistake to try to retract the story.
Goldberg said the newspaper declined LaRue's request. He said LaRue wrote a retraction, but the editors at the TNT told him "No, we need to cover this up. We can't look foolish."
Darrin Beene, the TNT's sports department leader, told KIRO Radio the facts of the story are irrefutable with two unnamed Mariners players confirming Griffey was asleep in the clubhouse during a game last week. LaRue posted again on Tuesday with statements from both Griffey and Wakamatsu denying the incident.
Goldberg said LaRue used the oldest journalism trick in the book and didn't really speak with two players. According to Goldberg, the story was relayed to LaRue from someone else in the organization.
In a response to KIRO Radio's story on Goldberg, Beene posted on the Tacoma News Tribune's website that:
LaRue did regret not talking to Griffey before the story was posted on the blog. He did, however, try to contact him on Monday. He also tried to get comment from M's GM Jack Zduriencik, but Jack Z referred him to a team spokesman. Also, it should be noted, LaRue told Managing Editor Dale Phelps that he has not spoken to Goldberg since spring training.
Goldberg said no one from the Mariners general manager on up has talked to him about Griffey retiring and Junior is here to perform whatever role he can.
LaRue and Griffey have a 20 year working relationship, Goldberg said.
LaRue has not made himself available to comment.