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Morning Juice: Ken Griffey Jr. calls inevitable transition 'strange'

Big League Stew

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Konichiwa, annyong, bienvenidos and 'sup? This and many weekday mornings throughout the rest of March, let's rise and shine together with the latest news from spring training and of Major League Baseball and the World Baseball Classic, where negotiations and mediation go out the window and countries play out their disagreements on the diamond.

This morning, reaction to Ken Griffey's anticipated switch to left field, plus Team USA finally breaks down and calls for help.

Game of the Day: Mariners 10 (SS), Padres 8

In reverse: You might think that playing left field would be just like playing center or right — just go stand over "there" instead of standing over "here." Nah, former Gold Glove center fielder Ken Griffey says. Left is an unsettling place to be for a 39-year-old.

"Everything feels strange," said Griffey, who caught two flies and fielded three singles. "Just strange."

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Griffey has logged three games and a total of 13 innings in left for his career, which always had been known for spectacular plays in center with an occasional dailiance in right (for 228 games). It's unfamiliar territory for Griff, who noted on MLB.com that a "ground ball that nearly took my ankle off."

He's also batting .118 this spring for the Mariners.

"It's getting better," Griffey said of his swing. "It's just a matter of repetition."

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Longoria to the rescue!: Team USA finally asked, and Longoria reponded as he said he would. The Rays' star will replace Chipper Jones on America's roster for the WBC semifinals. The U.S. has endured several injuries on its WBC journey but either had been unwilling or unable to make roster moves.

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Longoria says he is pumped about the opportunity.

"Just get over there and try to win the thing, that's the goal," Longoria told The Heater. "I don't want to go over there and hang out, I want to go over there and win.''

Longoria said he nixed the idea of playing first base after Team USA GM Bob Watson inquired about the possibility.

"I said 'Let's not allude to this;' I'm a third baseman, and I'm not going to go over there and start experimenting.''

Those silly Americans!

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More to come...


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