Personally, I’m on the Return to the Roots bandwagon, with one hitch: Why stop with Griffey?
Why not make a play for potential Arizona Diamondbacks free agent Randy Johnson? Despite his age (45) and injuries related to chronic back problems, Johnson’s 2008 pitching statistics virtually mirrored those of the Mariners staff ace Felix Hernandez . . .
. . . If Griffey and Johnson are reunited, it’d make sense to pursue Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel. A borderline Hall of Famer, Vizquel leads active players in hits (2,657) and at-bats (9,745). A fan favorite who left the Mariners on the best of terms, he still makes his home in Issaquah.
Speaking of former Mariners – more specifically, former Mariners farmhands – Boston’s Jason Varitek, 36, recently filed for free agency. His batting average took a plunge to .220 last season, but that’s in the same neighborhood as the Mariners’ Kenji Johjima and Jeff Clement, who both hit .227. And no Seattle pitcher would dare grouse about Varitek’s ability to handle a staff.
McGrath doesn't stop there. He suggests Jamie Moyer and former Seattle Pilot Jim Bouton too.
And the thing is: with the exception of Bouton, I'm not sure that any of those guys wouldn't be better than whatever the 2008 Mariners ran out in their place. Hell, I'm not even sure about Bouton. Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva had ERAs north of 6 this season, and R.A. Dickey could probably use a knuckleballing mentor.