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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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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Talking to Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce gives off the air of confidence. He knows he's good. He knows he's going to play in the big leagues for a long time. That's why he won't devastated when he didn't get a September call up. Bruce was in town accept Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award.

Bruce wishes he were here to play.

“Absolutely,” Bruce said. “Who doesn't? The first time I came up here, I was kind of star-struck a little bit. Now, I know the majority of people in here. I've got some sort of relationship with them. I care a lot more about watching them play, seeing them succeed up here and help the team out.”

Was he disappointed not to join them?

“I don’t know if disappointed is the right word,” he said. “I definitely wish I was up here. I understood the situation with the outfield. Those guys have earned their spots. I'm looking forward to being here when I get the chance. I've got to take care of my part of the game. The front office will make their decision. I'll be fine with it either way.”


at 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - what do you think the Reds' recent performance of the last couple of weeks - coming at the end of the season - has done for McKanin's chances of winning the manager's job?

at 1:52 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't think it should or will affect his chances. But I think it's pretty obvious, they're going to look outside.

at 1:54 PM Blogger Dan H said...

I can't wait to see him play up with the Reds in due time. He not only will be a great player but it seems a great person as well. Met his mom and dad on the back fields last spring in Sarasota and they were one of the most personable people I've talked to during that week. I can see where he gets his personality and his make up as a person.

at 2:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think there will be a minor revolt if the Reds give Pete the manager's job next year? As unfair as it may be, I think the gut reaction will be "here we go again."

at 2:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, what do you think the odds are that they land someone decent from the outside? I've heard several people on the radio, etc, say that LaRussa wouldn't come here...

at 2:11 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think a lot of fans would be disappointed if Mackanin got the job. Not because of anything he's done, but because of the history.

"Revolt" is a little strong.

As I wrote today in the paper, I would underestimate Castellini as far as landing LaRussa.

at 2:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I heard correctly yesterday, the Cubs went from last place in 2006 to first place this year. What do you think was the largest factor in this turnaround? Was it the massive amount of money they spent or something else?

at 2:30 PM Blogger Dan H said...

As for LaRussa, as Marty & Brantley were talking yesterday, there are only a few managerial spots opening this winter. The Reds, Pirates?, Mets?(if Randolph takes the blame for the collapse),Dodgers? ( same for Little as Randolph),KC,and the Cards. If he's going to manage that appears to be it. I think he styas with the Cards. Any thoughts on Phil Garner or some unknown candidate with past Krivsky ties with the Twins?

at 2:46 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think a large measure of credit has to go to Sweet Lou. But the $300 million the Cubs spent didn't hurt.

Garner's an interesting name. There are probably some others that we don't know about.

at 2:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer questions from me this year. I look forward to your posts and articles this off season. Obviously this is a huge off season for the direction of the Reds.

One last question for you -- do you think the Reds will be able to pull off a trade for a starting pithcer? and if so can you put a % chance on the following being involved in that trade:


I personally don't want to lose any of those players but they always say you must give up quality to get quality and these would appear to be the most tradeable of the Reds players.

-- Redbeard

at 3:12 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I love the questions. I think you could see any of the four go, but it's not likely. Gonzalez is probably the guy they'd move if the could, but I don't know how much trade value he has. The other are young and cheap.

And teams are generally reluctant to trade pitching.

at 3:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Tigers are going to be moving Carlos Guillen to 1st base next year. Do you think they might be willing to part with some pitching for Alex Gonzalez and maybe Hamilton?

at 3:52 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Have no idea why you continue to push this La Russa thing because of a supposed relationship with Castellini, who was a minority owner and rarely in St. Louis. You understand that Castellini's position as a minority order was akin to Bill Reik having some wide influence on the Reds.

The strong buzz this weekend is if the Mets choke and Randolph gets fired, La Russa becomes a leading candidate (tho the best bet is Girardi). LaRussa and Jocketty are strongly rumored as a package to Seattle, which is in far better shape than the Reds.

At La Russa's age he's going to pick a team close to winning, not building -- just like Piniella did by going to the Cubs this year. These are at an age they don't need the money; it's about rings, and getting them fast.

at 4:29 PM Blogger Ron said...

Bruce needs to be our opening day Right Fielder next year. Nuff said. We wasted half a year of Votto's career keeping him at AAA long after it was obvious he should have been up here. I get the feeling we are going to do the same thing with Bruce. He has nothing left to prove in the minors. For all our love & appriciation of Griffey, its time for him to move to DH & to an AL contender to get his shot at a ring. The Reds should take what ever they can get for him, swallow some of his salary and go with the youth movement.

at 4:32 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I'm not pushing it simply because of the St. Louis connection. I've been told by people who would know that the Reds are intested in LaRussa.

A lot of things have to fall into place for him to come here. He may think there's no chance to win here and not consider it.

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Mr Redlegs on this one, at least partially. I wouldn't want Larussa here either. He's annoying and overmanages. Walt Jocketty however would certainly be an upgrade over the current GM. Chances are slim that he'd come here, but I can dream.

at 4:50 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Jay Bruce hasn't earned the right to anything on the big league level, certainly not pushing out a first-ballot HOFer because he's had two good months at Class AAA.

Bruce will be in Louisville for at least 60 days to start the 2008 season. Griffey will be gone after 2008, so why the hurry?

The Reds handled Votto fine. He was not the difference in them being in the pennant race because, ya know, he doesn't pitch! But he's got enough ABs in Louisville and Cincinnati to say he's ready to be a serious challenger for the 1b job next spring, or bring the top-flight starting pitcher they so desperately need.

at 4:57 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

I've been told by people who would know that the Reds are intested in LaRussa.

Of course they are. So might the Pirates, Dodgers, Mariners, Mets, Devil Rays, Blue Jays, etc.

It's identical to Piniella one year ago this week. Interest. These guys have the choice of their jobs, not vice-versa, and talking is cheap, easy and free.

And when the free talk is over, it's about contending, not friendships, not money and not sentimentality.

Are the Reds contending in 2008? Not without three top pitchers, one less lefty in the lineup and possibly an upgrade at catcher. How can they possibly meet these needs in this year's market?

In 2008, not much. So why would a veteran, aging manager like La Russa come to a rebuilding?

at 6:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's absurd to say that Votto will merely compete for the first base job next year. I heard Mackanin say it a few times and this is a flaw I've found in his qualifications for the permanent manager job, wich I'll get to in a minute.
But the upshot is, Votto should have the job, without question. He's proven himself. What, are they going to sign a bunch of lower tier free agents and say they're in the mix for 1B? That is a waste of time and money and a little unfair to the players who would be better served looking to other teams where they really might have a chance.

But Mackanin saying this about Votto shows an inability to make a decision and stick with it. What's he going to do, platoon evrywhere in the line up----Votto/Cantu at 1B, Gonzales/Keppinger at SS, Hamilton/Hopper in CF and Ross/Valentin at catcher? This is disorganization. The team cannot win with this kind of management. You can't have several platoons and no defined roles. At most, you can only have one platoon set up work for a whole season.

at 8:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 5:15 said,"What's he going to do, platoon evrywhere in the line up----Votto/Cantu at 1B, Gonzales/Keppinger at SS, Hamilton/Hopper in CF and Ross/Valentin at catcher? This is disorganization. The team cannot win with this kind of management. You can't have several platoons and no defined roles. At most, you can only have one platoon set up work for a whole season."

I seem to remember the 1990 Reds platooning at 4 spots:

1b -- Morris / Benzinger
2b -- Doran / Duncan
rf -- O'Neil / Braggs
and to a lesser extent at catcher where Oliver had 364 abs and reed had 175 abs

So I disagree with you here.

Also I think you have to bring Bruce to camp and see how he does. He did more than hold his own at AAA over nearly a third of a season. .305 11 HR 25 RBI in 187 at bats. I say try and trade Griffey at the All-Star break eating whatever contract you have to in order to get it done.

The only real off season question to me will be who do you trade and will there be a trade available to get a pitcher at least the calibur of Arroyo. (I think picking up Dunn's option is an easy decision and must be done.)


at 9:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Redlegs you got to stop reading all of the rumor mills out there. You are becoming a Peter Gammons/Steve Phlillips type talking head with all your rumors. A serious hyper bore. i didn't know all the media calls and confers with you of who's going where.

If I was you I would listen more to John who I believe is a pretty reliable guy with information with the Reds.

The fact is no one knows for sure what is going to happen in the off season with the Reds or any team no matter how much you have read on the rumor lines.

So quit nit pickin on everybody and enjoy the off-season that's here now.

at 10:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a little off on the 90 team. Keep in mind, Doran wasn't acquired until 8/31/90 (from the Astros for Terry McGriff and 2 prospects). So Duncan was the dominant 2B for the majority of the season. Similarly, Glenn Braggs didn't join until 6/9/90 (from Brewers with Bill Bates for Ron Robinson and Bob Sebra). O'neill started 100 games more than Braggs in right----hardly a platoon. Benzinger/Morris and Oliver/Reed, however are very fair arguments.

But my point is clear----it is the managers job to make a decision and stick to it. This helps to enforce team disapline and stability. Think about the regimes of Ray Knight, Bob Boone and Dave Miley. They failed to make decisions and the teams were in chaos most of the time. This could also hurt the players as well. Case in point, Austin Kearns and Wily Pena. The Reds management refused to make a choice between the two for 3 years. I really believe this hurt both of their developments.

I also want to send a word of warning to all those clamouring for the Reds to dump Griffey and or Dunn and or Gonzales and plug in our top prospects (Bruce, Stubbs, Janish or whoever). The last time the Reds decided to dump established veterans in favor of top prospects was 1982. Gone went Griffey (Sr), Collins and Foster, in came Milner Householder and Walker. They may have stayed with the team a while and became reasonably good players (no one could run like Grayhound, Householder had a great glove and Walker played all out and climbed the walls to make a catch)----but, the Reds lost 101 games in 82.
Nothing wrong with starting Bruce at AAA for the first half of the season. When he's ready, He'll be up and Dunn will most likely be traded

at 10:40 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Votto should have the job, without question. He's proven himself.

What, after 80 career ABs a player should be "handed" a position?

Now that would be ridiculous.

at 12:14 AM Blogger Ron said...

"Jay Bruce hasn't earned the right to anything on the big league level, certainly not pushing out a first-ballot HOFer because he's had two good months at Class AAA."

I am not pushing Jr out the door, I just feel it would be a win-win situation for both. Jr would actually get a chance for a ring with a "contender" and the Reds could finally get on with their youth movement which is long over due. Bruce deserves as much a shot as anyone in this organization. He has done everything asked of him and has done enough in the minors to prove he has the ability to compete at this level. The rediculous part of it all is that he should have been up with the Reds getting the same experience Votto has since the rosters expanded. There was zero reason to leave him down there and every reason to bring him up. It is another example of Wayner keeping players that should be competing at higher levels stuck too low in the system.

at 6:21 AM Anonymous redifil said...

Anonymous 7:08:
In 1990, Morris/Benzinger was the only true platoon. Duncan had 435 at bats and Doran 59, O'Neil 503 and Braggs 201 (he really was the fourth outfielder, playing some in left and right field, after coming from Milwaukee in a trade), Oliver 364 and Reed 175.
And to whom it may conern, Votto has to be your openind-day first baseman unless he has a horrible spring training -- and maybe he then.

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