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.

9 comments to “Reds Notebook: Spring Training”

  1. Geki says:

    Good to see I’m not the only one who noticed the videogame connection with Hatcher’s name.

  2. redsrbetter says:

    Freakin Simpson. This figures…

    I cannot stand it when we have a manager stupid enough to have them try bunting in the first place. This team won’t learn how to bunt, so why try?

    Oh well, at least I have always had faith in Bong.

  3. Decker says:

    After Bong, we can start running second basemen to the mound. Is that an upgrade?

  4. Joel says:

    I hear that Tony Womack is fast, maybe he can pitch.

    I don’t know why his speed is relevant in this case, but then I don’t know why it’s relevant for a player who can’t get on base either. Maybe it’s some sort of special power?

  5. Red Hot Mama says:

    Don’t be silly. If Womack pitches, who the heck is going to play second?

  6. Joel says:

    I don’t know, maybe one of the other 8 guys who play the position. Or better yet, Dunn could do it, it can’t be much different than learning to play first base. I mean, they are on the same side of the field, right?

  7. Red Hot Mama says:

    That is a friggin’ GREAT idea: second basemen at every position except second base. If that doesn’t put butts in the seats, nothing will.

  8. Geki says:

    Aaron Harang should play 2nd. Just for the sheer hilarity of everything involved.

    Or, better yet, put Harang at 2nd and Coffey at short, then watch them turn double plays.

  9. Joel says:

    Dude, Harang can’t play 2nd, he took a fastball in the eye. Did you even [i]read[/i] RHM’s fake news?