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Baseball scouts skeptical of Griffey Jr.

"Personally, I think Griffey's done," one scout said emphatically. "Griffey can be pitched to. And it's going to be fun to watch him play centerfield. I don't think he can. But we're going to find out." But besides what the former Seattle and Cincinnati star can do or can't do offensively, there is question, frankly, about how hard Griffey wants to compete. "The wild card in this," said one scout, "is the combination of diminished ability and the fact that he doesn't play. Both are issues. "Now, if he goes out and busts his butt ... it's different. It may happen for a week or two weeks or three weeks, but at one point in time he's going to get comfortable and go back into being a one-gait player. "The White Sox may sit him down and say, 'We're not going to prejudge anything or what you've done in the past. But here's why we got you and what we expect from you and we're not going to treat you any differently than anybody else."' But the scout said that if Griffey, who batted .245 for the Reds, didn't, for instance, run hard to first base to beat out a potential double-play grounder, "the White Sox will get the same thing the Reds had." The second scout also wondered how Griffey, once among the game's greatest defensive center fielders, would play the position now. "You know he's not going to play left field or right field," the scout said. "And where's (Nick) Swisher going to play? Or if Swisher goes to first base, how about (Paul) Konerko? Somebody's not going to play." The third scout said, "The one who's going to help the least (of the three) is Griffey because he has deteriorating skills. ... Moving to center field from right field is going to put a lot more pressure on him."

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