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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another day on the Griffey watch

Just witnessed a gaggle of reporters around Ken Griffey Jr. Joe Kay from AP arrived in camp. Jayson Stark from ESPN is here too. The re-enforcements didn't get much more out of Griffey than I did yesterday.

The interesting thing was Jerry Narron said he was going to check with Griffey before posting a lineup. The lineup has since been posted with no Griffey.

Griffey was cordial, but hardly expansive. From my notes:

"When I feel like I can play, I'll go out there."

Still in pain as far as the hand? "What do you think, if I haven't played?"

On the switch to right: "Obviously, I knew a month ago. It didn't really matter how I felt."

Repeat from yesterday: "It's not a big deal. You guys are making it a big deal."

On the switch to right, too: "It's been discussed behind closed doors. It's going to stay that way."

On playing right? "I don't know. I've never done it."

On playing center: “You never know. I might play it again.”

Read what you want into that last one. Griffey is saying all the right things now. But believe me, this was a big deal. And a lot went on behind the scenes before Narron said point-blank they were going make the switch.

As for when he plays, obviously, he's close. A factor now is if they don't play him the last 10 days of spring training in an "A" game, he can be put on the DL retroactively, meaning he could play in the sixth of the season.


at 10:14 AM Blogger gebby said...

What I still do not understand is why Hatteberg is at 1B when Dunn is the prototypical first basemen. Move Dunn to 1B! Hamilton is an upgrade over Hatteberg in the batting lineup and his leather in LF is better than Dunn. Dunn cannot muff too many plays at 1B. He has to be better at first than Boog Powell! Put the giant over at first and get Hamilton's promising five-tool gifts 550 AB's!

at 10:44 AM Blogger Roy said...

Please, John, get over the Griffey fixation. This is getting to be middle school girls stuff.

at 11:21 AM Blogger Mark said...

John has a legitimate concern here. The fact that national media is showing up to question Jr. should say something. I wonder if any assurances of starting in center would have "sped up" Jr.'s recovery progress. I also wonder if pouting slows down the healing process.

Moving Dunn to 1st is probably decent as he seems to struggle out there but are we ready to crown Hamilton as a superstar quite yet?

at 11:21 AM Blogger docproc said...

Sorry, AM Roy--the fixation seems to be Griffey's, not Fay's. John's just doing his job. Junior's just being an ass.

at 11:34 AM Anonymous Steve from Sycamore Township said...

John, do any of the local pro-athletes like you at all. It seems like, not! I have never read an interview (most recently, yesterday's Griffey interview) where they actually open up and tell you anything that worth anything.

at 11:46 AM Blogger John Fay said...

I really don't have any problems with anyone. Griffey doesn't want to talk about this. That's fine. The right field thing is dead issue, as far as I'm concerned. The bigger issue is when is he going to play. That's why I listened in today -- to see if shed any light on it.

at 12:01 PM Blogger Mark said...

Hey John, Do they arm reporters with pacifiers? If steve from sycamore is right, then your goal is to pacify these well paid stars so they will "open up to you." I think the fact that Jr's acting this way only proves that you are hitting a nerve. I guess these days... you aren't suppose to do that. The goal is to be "liked" right? Just talk about how great their stat-line is and they'll talk, huh? Keep it up John. Don't let up!

at 12:24 PM Blogger Lawrence said...

Come on Gebby... You really can't honestly believe that a guy with NO (read 'zero') ML at-bats is going to be an upgrade over Hatteberg in the lineup. Do you? I think Hamilton will be a fine player but honestly don't expect too much out of him this year. He will be better than Wily Mo was when we HAD to keep him on the 25-man roster.

As for Griffey playing RF, John is Right, it IS a big deal. I am sure he isn't happy about it. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. I think it is the right move though, for Griffey's health and because he isn't the center-fielder he used to be. I am still a huge Griffey fan and I hope he is ok with this. Go REDS!!

at 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gebby, you clearly don't know baseball and didn't watch the Reds last year. Hatteberg is the most "professional" hitter on the club. He makes contact and gets runners over. He and Conine will be a good platoon at first. The right/left combo gives Narron plenty of options. Plus both of those guys are good defensively, while Dunn is a disaster, even at first. I'm a huge Hamilton fan and he'll get plenty of at bats with injuries/rest for Griffey/Freel and pinch hitting duties. Let's see the guy in some real MLB action before acting impulsively. You probably thought Homer Bailey should be the opening day starter too.

at 2:48 PM Blogger gebby said...

Anonymous...what I was trying to say by "prototypical first baseman" is that the position historically is where a club places a powerhitter (Giambi, Ortiz,Delgado,Pujols,etc.) not a punch-n-judy hitter. hatteberg can hit for average, but Dunn is a powerhitter. Dunn also stinks it up in LF ( I saw many games) defensively and Hamilton is five-tools. I still believe first base is where you place your long ball hitters.Otherwise, stick Casey back at first with his .300 batting average and 80 rbi's. I thought the Reds moved Casey to Pittsburg (for nothing) because he was an atypical first baseman?

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