April 19, 2007

Talking About the Reds Notebook

There's so much to like about the story Notes: No double-standard on hustle on Reds.com, that I feel the need to put up an entire post just to talk about the pieces in turn.

First, there's the fact that the Crack Technical Staff told me that this article was originally published with the title “Manager Narron Looks for Hustlers,” which I think is a perfectly good headline. When I wrote for the paper back in college, our editor actually encouraged us to come up with double-entendre headlines.

Hustlers Wanted
The story itself starts out with a feature about the fact that Edwin Encarnación got the bench when he didn't leg out a foul ball but when Brandon Phillips didn't run because he was admiring the long fly ball he thought was a homer. Narron explains:

“He didn't leave the batter's box,” Narron said of Encarnacion. “There's a big difference between not leaving the batter's box and admiring a home run, I can tell you that.”

Encarnacion is a younger player, but Narron said everybody would be treated equally.

“I respect what everybody has done in the past in this game,” Narron said. “I respect what younger guys might do in the future. But it's all about right now, playing game right now and playing it the right way each game. That's all you can go by. The only thing fans might not understand sometimes is a player might be injured or has a nagging injury where they might not be able to go 100 percent at times. Other than that I believe you play the game right.”

Another thing fans might not understand: EdE is a card-carrying member of Chris Denorfia's Jerry Narron Doesn't Like Me club. It's hard to argue with EdE sitting lately to make room for Josh Hamilton with the way the two of them have been performing, of course. It's not like they can sit David Ross instead. But if EdE finds his groove and is still riding the pine anytime Griffey isn't in the sick ward, it could get ugly.

Welcome Hopper; Good Luck Moeller
Next up, the Reds DFA'd Chad Moeller in favor of Norris Hopper. Again, it's hard to actually argue with the move, but I'm not exactly sure what Moeller did to deserve it. Had he even started a game? It seems like he must have been the designated whipping boy for the catching staff or something.

Josh Hamilton is Scary Good
Tampa Bay must be kicking themselves about now, eh?

But Will Farney Pitch?
Ryan Freel is now the emergency back-up catcher again, and he's also a cut-up:

A utility man that has played five positions, Freel has never caught in a big league game. Seeking one day to play all nine positions, he also hasn't pitched either.

“That would be fun if it didn't mean anything,” Freel said. “Forty-five games ahead and we already clinched would be the only way you could do it.”

Freel already had his pitch selection planned out for the occasion.

“I would definitely throw the first one behind the guy's head,” Freel said. “Just to make him think, 'I don't know what the heck is going on.' Then I'd provably groove in a strike and hopefully he doesn't hit a home run. Then I'd probably throw the next one over his head again and play around with him.”

And if the batter takes issue and charges the mound?

“I'm hoping Dunn can come in from left field real quick,” Freel said. “Actually, I'll just run out to left field. The guy won't catch me, I'll tell you that.”

If they could arrange this for my birthday or Blogger Day or something, I would really appreciate it. Really, that would mean a lot to me.

What a Sweetie
Aaron Harang is starting a nice program to help fill in some of the void left by Casey's Kids and The Gravy Train:

Aaron's Aces: Reds starter Aaron Harang announced a new “Aaron's Aces” ticket program for children of military personnel currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all Sunday home games the rest of the season, Harang will host 30 guests with the free tickets, concession coupons and a custom-made T-shirt.

That's a good deal. Doesn't make up for not having your parents around, I guess, but still a pretty sweet trip to the park.

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