Ken Griffey Jr. said it's too early in his career to start thinking about switching positions, and his play in the outfield has nothing to do with criticism of his defense.
The Cincinnati center fielder, who won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1990 through 1999 with the Mariners, has run into the outfield fence while chasing down fly balls at Great American Ball Park twice in the past three games and gone to his knees to make a sliding catch of a sinking liner.
He said it's just a coincidence that he made the plays right after a newspaper columnist and the hosts of a radio talk show suggested he'd lost some of his range and should consider moving to left field or first base.
"I don't play [angry]," Griffey, 36, said before Wednesday's game, the day after he refused three times to talk with the media following the Reds' 7-3 win over Milwaukee.
Griffey said he would switch positions if he felt like he was hurting the team, but he also pointed out that injuries can occur at any position. No matter where he plays, he said his effort would remain the same.
"If I can get to it, I'm going to get there," he said. "If there's a wall there, I'm going to run through the wall. I play baseball at one speed. That's the only way I know how to play. If anybody thinks I'm going out there to play [halfway], I'm not going to do it. I've got to deal with 24 other guys in this locker room."
Atlanta: RHP John Smoltz's next start will be pushed back from Saturday to Sunday to give him an extra day's rest. Saturday's starter will either be RHP Jorge Sosa on three days' rest or LHP Horacio Ramirez, who would have to come off the disabled list.
Chicago: RHP Kerry Wood might not make his scheduled start Sunday. The Cubs listed Sunday's starter as TBA while they wait and see how Wood's shoulder responds from Tuesday's 86-pitch outing.
Philadelphia: Rookie pitcher Cole Hamels was placed on the 15-day DL list with a strain in his left shoulder. The Phillies promoted RHP Clay Condrey from Class AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre to replace Hamels.
Pittsburgh: 1B Sean Casey, recovering from a fractured back, will begin a rehabilitation stint with AA Altoona on Friday. ... OF Jason Bay, a Gonzaga product, has homered seven times in his past seven games.
St. Louis: RHP Chris Carpenter was scratched from his start with some swelling in the right side of his back.
San Francisco: "Bonds on Bonds," the ESPN reality series featuring Giants slugger Barry Bonds, will go on hiatus after two more shows, and is unlikely to return on a regular basis. "If Barry was hitting home runs at [Cardinal] Albert Pujols' pace, we would continue," producer Mike Tollin said. ... The Giants optioned RH reliever Scott Munter to AA Connecticut and sent OF Dan Ortmeier to AAA Fresno.
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