Daily Archives: February 20, 2006

February 20, 2006

Castellini Says He Approved Casey Trade

I was watching the Reds Week programming on FSN Ohio tonight. During an interview with George Grande, Reds CEO Bob Castellini acknolwedged that he was consulted before the Casey trade went through and that he concurred with the decision.

Castellini said that “baseball reasons” were the impetus for the decision and that monetary concerns are a part of the baseball reasons. He said you have to spend something of value to get pitching and recounted a heartwarming tale of a neighborhood scamp giving his daughter grief over the deal.

I always figured that a trade of that magnitude wouldn't go down with at least a consultation with the probable new owner, but I didn't think he'd say anything about it for a while. Then if Dave Williams sucked, it would be easy enough to fall back on the It-Happened-Before-I-Was-Here excuse; alternately, Castellini could always claim some of the credit later if Williams rocked.

But, of course, Mr. Castellini doesn't seem to be the type to shirk the responsibility. Good for him.

February 20, 2006

Reds Notebook: Spring Training

SARASOTA, FL -- The Reds announced Jung Keun Bong as the projected opening day starter today after 29 of the 30 pitchers currently at spring training were injured during bunting practice.

In a desperate attempt to improve the bunting ability of the Reds pitching staff, manager Jerry Narron threw his pitchers right into bunting against live pitching today.

“Looking back on it, we probably should have let them warm up against something a little softer,” said Narron. Instead, he had the notoriously wild flamethrower Allan Simpson throw bunting practice.

“They just went down one after another,” said Narron. “[Aaron] Harang took a fastball in the eye, and [Dave] Williams got hit in the shoulder.”

“I just kept thinking 'there's no way he's going to keep hitting them.' I was wrong.”

Simpson himself tripped walking off the mound and sprained his wrist. Only Bong, who is in Japan training with the Korean team for the World Baseball Classic was spared and is likely to be the only pitcher healthy enough to work on opening day.

“At least it won't be [recently released pitcher Josh] Hancock,” said Narron.

Narron Looks Ahead, Hires Hatcher
The Reds announced that former Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher will replace John Moses as first base coach. Moses retired suddenly last Thursday. Narron chose Hatcher because of his experience working with Lou Piniella.

Hatcher most recently coached first for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays where he worked with Piniella. Reds CEO Bob Castellini has made no secret of wanting to bring Piniella in to manage the Reds when he's available.

“Might as well bring in someone who has a shot at keeping the job next year,” Narron explained.

Lopez Backs Out of WBC
All-star shortstop Felipe Lopez backed out of playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic so that he can bond with new infield coordinator, Bucky Dent.

Lopez says he'd like to have as big an impact as Dent. “Anybody who can piss off Boston fans so much is someone I'd like to get to know,” said Lopez. “Maybe someday, if I'm good enough, they'll call me 'Felipe Fucking Lopez' or something.”

He's also looking forward to getting to know the new first base coach.

“I've been playing his video game all day, and I'm really looking forward to talking giant eggs with him,” said Lopez.

February 20, 2006

Reds Programming on FSN Ohio

Could the Reds finally be getting some respect from FSNO? Or is the network just bored now that Cleveland has Fastball Sports Productions? Either way, there's lots of Reds-related programming on Fox Sports Ohio tonight.

  • 7:00 p.m. Reds Week: 1990 Reds
  • 7:30 p.m. Reds Week: Hot Stove Special
  • 8:00 p.m. Reds Week: Hall of Fame: Sparky Anderson
  • 8:30 p.m. Reds Week: Interview with Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 9:00 p.m. Reds Week: Interview with Bob Castellini
  • 9:30 p.m. Reds Week: Something not specified in my program guide

According to this official press release, we should be seeing this kind of programming all week long. That's fantastic, but can we get them to do something about only broadcasting 100 games? What better do they have to show anyway? Honestly, I think I've already watched as many fishing programs as I could possibly ever want.

February 20, 2006

Kearns for Westbrook: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

I thought all that talk of the Reds trading right fielder Austin Kearns to Cleveland for 28-year old right handed starting pitcher Jake Westbrook had fizzled out by now, but accorrding to a story on Cleveland.com that is dated yesterday:

Pitcher Jake Westbrook shrugged off recent speculation he'd be traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Austin Kearns. “I've been traded three times before,” Westbrook said, “so I didn't give it much thought.

“I'm not really used to hearing my name in trade talks, but it's all part of the game.”

Unhappy as I am to say it, this could make some sense for the Reds. Westbrook would certainly be an upgrade for our rotation, and losing Kearns' production wouldn't kill the offense. Plus, you'd be sending a local guy to a team that's still fairly close to home, though not as close as Sean Casey ended up being.

I do wonder about the money involved. Westbrook is owed $4.25 million next season, a far cry from the $1.85 million Kearns is due.

Furthermore, I'm fairly horrified to think that this would mean an outfield with Adam Dunn AND Wily Mo Peña. The fans at Great American Ball Park would have to adopt “He'll get it back in the bottom of the inning!” as their battle cry any time the opposing team smacked something into the corners.