New player in camp, but not Jr.

The Mariners just put out a press release — but it had nothing to do with you-know-who.

Mariners public relations director Tim Hevly handed out the release, which announced the arrival of Minor League catcher Israel Nunez.

Nunez, 23, appeared in 59 games at Class-A Wisconsin last season, hitting .224 with eight doubles and one home run.

Now, for the latest Ken Griffey Jr. saga.

It is 9 a.m. MT and the Mariners are having a team meeting inside the clubhouse before going onto the field for the first full-squad workout. Junior was not in the group and is status remains in limbo-land.

Word out of the Braves camp in Orlando is that Griffey is angry about a story in yesterday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution that he had a “done deal” with the National League team.

Not so fast.

About an hour after that story broke, Junior told me it wasn’t true and he had not made a final decision. As far as I know, he still hasn’t made a decision.

There is some serious squirming going on. AJC reporter David O’Brien, who co-authored the “done deal” story said in his blog: “And so we begin Day 4 of the Junior Watch, and if Ken Griffey Jr. isn’t officially a Brave by the end of the day, please shoot me.”

Naturally, he was joking, but this never-ending story stretches from one coast to the other.

It eventually will end. . .and not a minute too soon.

— Jim Street

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