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I can think of only one good thing about Ken Griffey Jr.'s injury: it's a legend in the making, right up there with the Curse of the Bambino, and it reinforces why baseball is the greatest game on earth.

I can think of only one good thing about Ken Griffey Jr.'s injury: it's a legend in the making, right up there with the Curse of the Bambino, and it reinforces why baseball is the greatest game on earth.

Before we proceed further, know that I take no joy in watching an All-Century Team player's career so ruthlessly derailed. Long-time readers of my columns will remember the scathing denunciations I leveled on Junior for trying to screw his old team on his way out of Seattle. Griffey said straight out that he'd use his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to Cincinnati if the Reds had to give up too much to get him.

However, we're all guilty of occasionally giving in to our darker sides, so why should Griffey be any different? We should cut him the same slack that we hope for when we lapse into the less-than-noble, selfish half of our personality.

So it's not the Griffey injury that's amazing, but rather the unpredictable results from a given set of circumstances. Babe Ruth was a top left-handed pitcher with a great bat when he was sold from the Boston Red Sox. He went on to become on the game's greatest sluggers, rewriting the future of two American League franchises.

At the time of the sale, nobody could've envisioned how everything would ultimately shake out--that's what makes it legendary.

Let's revisit the circumstances of the 1999-2000 offseason. The Seattle Mariners were coming off a disappointing third-place finish in the AL West. The Cincinnati Reds had narrowly missed reaching the post-season, losing a one-game playoff to the New York Mets for the NL wild card. During that season, Ken Griffey, Jr. had been named to the All-Century team.

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That's a shame, because when an athlete does something truly magnificent and unprecedented, we are unable to appreciate it. When a baseball player produces one of the finest seasons in the 125-year history of the sport, we are unable to distinguish his performance from the merely great. In a society that uses "Ruthian" to denote a gargantuan amount of, well, anything, few notice that a player is having a season that Babe Ruth himself would envy. While Barry Bonds may be having the most valuable season in the history of baseball, there are those who can't decide if he's even the Most Valuable Player in the National League this year.

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This week's question was sent in by Andrea Trento:

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It wasn't that long ago, really. In 1992, 30 homers would have placed a hitter fourth in the National League. These days, a player could hit 30 home runs and never show up on the typical fan's radar. We're in the middle of the biggest home run jump in baseball history. (Big news, to you all, I'm sure. Tomorrow's feature: the Pope wears a skullcap!)

If the sportswriters of the future aren't careful, then hitters of the '90s are going to be seriously overrepresented in the Hall of Fame, the same way that hitters of the '20s and '30s are today. People looked at the gaudy batting averages of the era (Freddy Lindstrom hit .379 in 1930! Ooooooh!) and instinctively viewed then through the prism of their own era (a .379 average in 1976, when the Vets' committee inducted Lindstrom, would have been 40 points higher than any major leaguer actually hit that year).

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