May 23, 2006

Movie-Type Trick Teaches Arroyo to Believe in Himself

CINCINNATI, OH -- Last night the Reds pulled a hoax on starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo to help him gain confidence in his own abilities.

The Reds have carried three catchers this year, at least in part because of Arroyo's preference for David Ross. With the hot start that Ross has had, the Reds have had many sweet offers for him, but have been reticent to deal him lest Arroyo implode.

“We needed to make him understand that it was him providing the quality starts,” explained manager Jerry Narron. “It didn't matter who he was pitching to.”

So, at Great American Ball Park he secretly replaced catcher David Ross with Jason LaRue to see if Arroyo could tell the difference. The result: seven innings of one-run baseball.

“I guess I had it in me all the time,” said Arroyo. “No matter who my catcher is.”

Are there plans to cut off that insipid hair while he sleeps?

“Not saying,” said Narron, hiding a blond wig behind his back.

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