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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, January 24, 2008

Talking to Dusty

Dusty Baker held a mini-press conference before the buses rolled on the caravan. The highlights:

On Jeremy Affeldt: "We’re hoping Jeremy can adjust to starting. I talked to him. He’s trying to add a third pitch a changeup, which is going to be a bit of an experiment in spring training. If it doesn't work – I told I’d give him every opportunity – you know he’s qualified as a reliever. Everybody needs that. But everybody’s looking for a left-handed starter. We’re going to train him and prepare him as a start. If it doesn’t work, he can always relieve. It's harder to prepare him as a reliever and then ask him to start."

On the center field situation: "You're asking questions that I'll have to see when I get there. I've never see Norris Hopper play. I've seen Ryan Freel play. At this point, there could be some other guys in the mix. That's a very, very, very important position on our ballclub. Right now, it's Freel and Hopper and we'll see if the other guys are ready. We may get a surprise guy to open some guys."

And Jay Bruce: "I'm going to let the young man be himself. Let him play. Don't put any pressure on him. He's headlines already. I hear the reports on him are very, very good. I've never seen him play. I'm excited and anxious to see him play."

I asked Freel if his knee would be ready by spring training:


100 percent?

"98.6 percent."


at 4:53 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Baseball America has released its annual organizational reports and the Reds have leaped from No. 12 to No. 3. Here’s the Top 10 list:
1. Tampa Bay
2. Boston
3. Cincinnati
4. Texas
5. New York Yankees
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Colorado
8. Atlanta
9. Washington
10. Los Angeles Angels

Note: Krivsky and his crew obviously suck at their jobs of scouting and development. This ain't all O'Brien's drafting of Bailey and Bruce, both of whom were first-round picks anyway. The Reds have some talent in the lower reaches of the farm system.

at 6:13 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Mr Redlegs..as long suffering Bengals fans..we all got excited every off season. Whether it be draft picks, new coaches, forecasts, free agents etc..there was great optimism every off season.

Sometimes even the writers and sports experts gave us great hope with their positive evaluations.

And of course..the rest is history

Show me on the field and I will believe

I am sticking to topic from now on.

John..I see Bruce staring in center field unless something dramatic happens how do u feel?

Will Freel be traded? He hustles but truly lacks talent. With Hopper and Keppinger in the game the club played better

at 6:18 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Two notes: Cano is getting a four year contract for $30 millions. How much does Phillips want for a four year contract?
Clemens cancel his prehearing. I think that he getting nervous about lying to the FBI.
Any comments?

at 6:30 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think Bruce wins the job, just my personal hunch.

Cano has less experience than Phillips (two to three years). Phillips has more power and speed. Cano gets on base more. He asked for $500,000 more and was offered $500,000 more in arbitration. So they're similar.

at 7:05 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

jack has one irrelevant point and he's stickin' to it. yes he is.

under no circumstance should bailey start the year in aaa, so it should be a foregone conclusion by now.

but of course wayne wants to "create competition" for jobs, so its 2 more months of that.

no, its not a bad thing, but cmon you can't bring in a guy who's already flamed out of starting and start him, while leaving your top pitching prospect and biggest trade chip in louisville.

at 7:15 PM Blogger Jon said...

I'll be shocked if Bruce starts unless he turns in a Josh Hamilton like performance. I just don't see it. Freel may start, but I'm hoping Hopper can beat him out.

at 7:56 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

At least Dusty is being honest about Affeldt. They're going to go through the motions as a SP this spring with him. No way Jeremy is going to have efficient command of three qaulity pitches by opening day. His command of two pitches is already lacking but good enough to be the top LH dog out of the pen. That is where they need him and they become very serious contenders if repeats last year's effectiveness. The overwhelming RH stuff of Bailey and Volquez have to fill out the 4th & 5th spots. Belisle at least has the kind of excellent command that gives you faith that he can improve.

at 11:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Dusty is not serious about starting Affeldt. This would be like conceding every fifth game.

at 8:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty was notorious for not lettting the younger players play in Chicago. I fearlessly predict that we won't see Bruce in Cincy until at least July.

The Walls

at 8:43 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...


I think that John Fay and others are getting tired of this battle of predictions

As it stands now..this team has been terrible for the past seven seasons..the record over the past 16 or 17 years is quite similar to that of the Bengals ( pitiful).

You and a couple of others can make excuses and/ or suggest that things are gonna be great this year. Thats the beauty of sports and the unending hope of an offseason..

Yet as it stands now..not a single game has been played on the field. This is a team that finished 13 games outta first place

I wont be discussing predictions any further ..We can do so late in the summer when it makes more sense

Furthermore..this is not a Reds Fan Club blog..without calling names or using foul language all are welcome to comment

There are many that visit this blog that have reservations about the Reds.. Who would not?

at 8:53 AM Blogger Scorp said...

Two words. Mario Soto. If Mario is still working with the Reds in ST, I have confidence that Affeldt will have the greatest opportunity to learn a circle change. From what I hear, Mario has done wonderful things for some of our other young pitchers. I hope Dusty uses that resource...I think Mario could be invaluable.

at 9:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, lets see the Reds have the 3rd best prospecsts in the majors and the best overall in the NL. We know Bruce is off limits. However if the Reds the depth in their system, why can't they land Bedard?
That maybe a question for Krivsky to answer. If Bedard is in the rotation and with the Reds' offense. Mr. C's ambition on winning going to happen. Without a No. 1 starter to go along with Harang and Arroyo, its going to be another season of disappointment.

Bill from Lexington

at 10:12 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Even with Bruce off limits, the Orioles wanted Cueto, Bailey, Votto and a fourth player. Make that deal and the Reds aren't in the top 10 on BA's list.

I think that's what Dusty was alluding to when he said:

"You don't want to be stupid or crazy. That's the worst thing you can do is make bad decisions for the short run. We're looking at the long haul."

at 10:17 AM Blogger Mark T said...

Krivsky has worked in a helter-skelter fashion to inject some life in this ailing franchise. I think he's done a great job - I'm not even upset about the trade, as I don't think Kearns and Lopez were that high quality. But pitching is another story - there just isn't enough to go around, so you have to take chances and hope you get lucky. Other than Burton, he's not been lucky.

All said, though, I like having Krivsky around.

at 10:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jack,
What is the Reds record over the past,16 or 17 yes? I forget who they remind me of? Was it the Bengals?

Oh yeah,all I have to do is wait for your next post and you'll repeat it for the 10,000th time.
Mr. Bored By Your Post

at 10:29 AM Blogger docproc said...

I really like how forthcoming and straightforward Dusty is in his description of the team and his plans. I've grown so weary of the tight-lipped, no comment approach of Marvin Lewis and Wayne Krivsky. This was refreshing.

at 11:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So lets recap all these brilliant moves:

Trade your starting centerfielder for a pitcher who is 24 and has no major league success let alone experience and a diminutive lefty who throws 75 to 80... when everyone knows there are other players out there that could have been gotten that would atleast be a #3 for the REDS

make very little effert to get Bedard, Blanton or Willis. and sign a guy who couldn't even stay a starter with KC (btw a real pitching powerhouse organization)
to be a left handed starter for those young guys that were so valuable you couldn't trade them for a legit young proven star in Bedard??

Name the time in the last ten years the Rangers or Royals/Rockies were known for having good pitching or even developing good pitching...

come on John and guys truth is this club is weeker for the moves made since the end of the season not stronger "competition" for spots is code for we have notheing there or "rebuilding"

at 11:26 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

Mark T. Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena? Come on, Burton is a nice pick up, but has had 1/2 of a season so far.

Jack, you are making predictions yourself, just like everyone else. Yours just say the Reds will be bad, that every move made in the last 2 years is irrelivant because we haven't won and that Bruce will start. Those are all predictions.

at 12:07 PM Blogger David said...

Hey Anon 11:17 - Maybe you should be more informed before you make your idiotic statements. Colorado just went to the World Series partly on the strength of home grown pitching. Aaron Cook, Manny Corpas, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales and Jeff Francis all came up through Colorado, and helped them to the Series. Affeldt WAS very highly regarded when he was a starter in KC. Some guys have alot of potential, but never realize it. Some do. Sometimes you need a change of pace.

at 12:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

reaganspad ..pay attention..I included myself in the prediction making crowd

And the predictions we have been discussing were pertinent to team standings

if ya are gonna lecture me please learn how to spell and develop proper sentence structure..don't make yourself irrelevant

I have never said the Reds will be bad..once again..I just don't think they are gonna be the superstars this year as everyone assumes. They have a long way to go.

at 12:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't saying the Reds need to be stupid or make foolish moves. I was only stating if the club had depth, it should try to acquire Bedard or any pitcher who would inject some punch to the rotation.
They Reds will not survive the weak Central division with its present rotation

Bill in Lexington

at 12:48 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I'm all for people making predictions. What surprises me is the absolute conviction a lot of you have about your forecasts. I'm on record as saying I think Jay Bruce will the starting center fielder on Opening Day. Could I be wrong. Abso-friggin'-lutely.

The great thing about sports is they're unpredictable.

How many of you would have picked the Rockies to make the World Series at this time last year?

How many of you would picked Stanford over USC at USC?

How many of you had the Giants in the Super Bowl?

at 2:13 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

no argument there, john.

to add, plenty of people make plenty of money off predicting sports (see espn, keith law, mel kiper)

...though law knows very very little about the cincinnati reds or any other mid market (harang is an average pitcher, he thought cormier was playing for us in august, etc)

yes louisville, lexington, dayton, most of indy and half of columbus does make us mid market

i read an article in the zanesville times and they interviewed marty b.


he mentions that there's a rumor out there that maloney may be the most mlb ready. it made me look up his numbers and they are impressive.






aside from volquez, he's also pitched the most innings above A ball

have you heard anything of the like, john?

at 2:14 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

John, it is the time of year for predictions and conviction. Granted I thought Paul Householder would win the triple crown... I think Sparky helped us with that because he was so positive on all the upcoming kids.

Anon 12:26. I have no idea who you are, as there are about 50 Anon's in here, which is why we identify you by your minute in time.

As far as sentence structure, in a blog...ROTFLMAO

at 2:17 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Frankly John I think this blog is much more lively when I do input

at 2:19 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

...and maloney's a southpaw

at 2:29 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Jack: You have a way of jerking people's chains, which is fine. No one should take others opinions personally. You don't seem to. I do, however, wish you'd keep your posts shorter.

As for Maloney, his numbers were very good after the trade: 4-3, 3.00 ERA, 27 hits, nine walks and 62 Ks in 45 innings. I'd be surprised if he starts the year in the bigs because the Reds are reluctant to move quickly with young pitching.

at 2:43 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

thanks, john.

i know i've been hard on the idea of affeldt starting...i'm not wishing bad on the guy or the reds but if he does struggle in the rotation and a callup is needed do you think a lefty with good control could get preference over a righty with ok control in volquez or another rh in cueto?

obviously performance will determine a lot but do you get the inkling that krivsky and baker are thirsty for a lefty to start?

at 3:10 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

I don't intentionally jerk peoples chains John.

When I see 4 or 5 quality middle and a couple more starters relievers and a catcher..I will jump on the bandwagon

I think you should have a get together during the season..dinner and a ballgame

at 4:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not a real big supporter of Dusty Baker becoming the Reds manager when he was hired, but so far I like what I hear from him and wish him and of course the team the very best. I heard a rumor while working in the Cleveland area this week that the Reds had talked to the Indians about a possible trade. The Reds sending the Indians Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Majewski, Sean Watson, and Chris Valaika for the Indians Cliff Lee and Andy Marte. I'm not sure if there is any truth to it, but it was interesting.

at 4:37 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Interesting trade Rocco.

That looks like both teams gain, while not destroying our core

at 6:00 PM Blogger Joe Farfsing said...

Why does everyone seem to bring up Dusty's penchant for choosing more veterans than younger players? Castellini, Krivsky, Jocketty, EVERYONE I guarantee you have made it quite clear to Dusty what they expect from him, and mixing in the young players I assure you is part of the grand scheme. It's not like the Reds have a lot of quality vets out there to choose from.

at 9:15 AM Anonymous clueless krivsky said...

Redlegs give us a break. This organization would not be anywhere near #3 on that list without the likes of Votto, Bailey, Cueto, and Bruce. Not a one signed by Krivsky.

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