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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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, February 17, 2008

Baseball (or at least PFP) at last

Dusty Baker was walking of the field smiling after Sunday’s workout.

Why so happy?

“I just realized: Damn, I miss this.”

When you miss the first pitchers and catchers workout, you’ve got to love baseball. Workout included a lot of PFP (pitchers fielding practice), some pitchers throwing off the mound and little batting practice for the catchers.

Not exactly highlight reel stuff.

But it was baseball, under sunny skies, temperatures in the high 70s. A cure for the wintertime blues.

But Baker was pleased with the way the club looked.

“Most guys look in good shape,” Baker said. “Which I encourage. There’s not much time between when report and the games start. If you’re not ready when you get here, you’re either going to get passed up or get hurt.”

The Reds work out again tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.


37 Comments:

at 3:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, Thanks for including the time of tomorrow's work out in your report. You're the best.

 
at 4:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

who looks out of shape?

 
at 4:27 PM OpenID kjbnastynati51 said...

He John, just wandering, is there any way you can get an interview with Edinson Volque? It be nice to get to know what kinda guy he is.

 
at 4:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume by most of the guys in shape doesn't include the Big Donkey.

 
at 4:39 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

If Dunn & Grif are allowed to walk next year it is imperative that Bruce starts with the Reds all year for the experience if nothing else. He will be the guy carrying the load next year, he must be allowed to grow into that this year!

 
at 4:40 PM Blogger gm said...

there you go again with the weather report!!!

 
at 5:56 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Volquez is on my list.

One of the great Reds myths is Dunn is fat. He's 6-6, 270. Anthony Munoz played at 6-7, 278. No called him fat. Dunn's big, not fat.

All the returning players looked about the same to me, except Harang and Coffey. They both lost weight.

 
at 6:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Munoz played FOOTBALL, Dunn plays BASEBALL. Dunn hits balls and has to RUN. Munoz did NOT have to RUN.

Coffey needs to lose more than weight, like his job.

 
at 7:14 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

It literally amazes me that we are already harping on Griffey and Dunn as soon as spring training starts. If you think Dunn is suuch a terrible player, go out and get me a guy that hits 40 homers 4 years in a row and drives in nearly 100 runs each of those years. You're not going to, because that type of production is hard to fine.

Quit looking at Bruce as the savior of this team. He hasn't played a single major league game yet. Comparing him to Dunn or Griffey makes you look absolutely ignorant to baseball educated people.

 
at 7:18 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

I met Adam Dunn in the groupie parking lot last summer.

the dude is just big..not fat

 
at 8:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Jack. Jack Jack Jack Jack Jack. You've set yourself up.

Who shall be the blogger to knock you down?

 
at 8:39 PM Blogger David Hartman said...

Rob:

You must be new here. Bashing Junior and Dunn is a sport for some, regardless of the time of season.

There's a faction of fans out there who sink everything they believe in in Billy Beane, small ball, Moneyball, sabermetrics and all that other nonsense. Beane is supposed to be some kind of genious.

My question, as always, is how many World Championships has Beane won with his moneyball philosophy? He's constantly reloading, just never winning.

Kinda reminds me of the notion that you have to have absolutely dominant starting pitching at least four deep like the Atlanta Braves in recent years in order to win a World Series.

How many world series' have the Braves won since 1990? Same number as the Reds, if I recall.

Pitching wins championships: that was the mantra of the 90s. Small ball wins championships is the mantra of this decade. Only problem is there's just not a significant body of evidence to prove either to be true.

 
at 8:52 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

John, I think Dunn is heading for a breakout year. I know it sounds funny to say that about a 46, 40, 40, 40 man over the last four, but what else can you call it when he hits 50+ HRs with 120+ RBI in 2008. He really improved his 2-strike approach the 2nd half of last year, even his defense got a bit better. John, when he has that kind of year how many years and how much per will it take to sign him and will the Reds do it? I'm guessing 6+ years 100M+, after all Carlos Lee got exactly that a year ago.

 
at 8:52 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

I'll tell you what Cheviot Sports Authority and Jack in Blue Ash... if you two weren't so full of yourselves, maybe you'd see that it isn't just the rest of us that get tired of your boorish personalities and juvenile outlooks. John probably let my last post go up because he is too nice to say it himself.
You two and your third musketeer (Angry in Dayton) are jokes. You have no idea what you're talking about and make damn sure that the rest of us know it. You want kindler and gentler?

Go knit something, like a muzzle for yourselves.

While it's not a crime to be ignorant, it should be a crime to force said ignorance on the rest of the worlds unwitting populace.

God Bless the Freedom of Speech... and God Bless the wisdom to know when not to use that freedom unwisely.

You three could use some of the latter.

How much thinner did Coffey and Harang look John?
I'd really like to get your take on Belisle too, does he sound gun shy or does he sound determined?
I think that if he keeps his confidence up, he could come around and be a qualit starter.

 
at 9:03 PM Anonymous tutorkey'sfavoriteson said...

taking the reds farm system from 30th in 2006 to 3rd this year will be krivsky's claim to fame. having scouts who know the game and obviously keep bringing winners to the reds (phillips, burton, hamilton to name a few). these are the people who are high enough on bruce, bailey, cueto, maloney, volquez, and dickerson to keep them and build a future around. i hope bruce cracks the majors this year, but the guy is only 21, it wouldn't be a shame if he spent all of '08 at triple a. i don't think he will, i think he will make the majors, but if he can't be the starter in cf, he'll go to triple a to get at bats. i will say this as far as dunn and griffey. when you commit $25 million of a $80 million payroll to two guys, they had better produce. while they combined for 70 hrs and 170+ rbis last year, they'll get a bad rap for not shortening their swing with 2 strikes and not going to left with a swing to counteract the shift. and if you are going to be about 30% of the payroll, you better have broad shoulders. i feel as if dunn will make strides again this year on cutting down his strikeouts and griffey if healthy is always a hall of famer. keep in mind, this team played great in the first half a couple years ago under dave miley, then faded. last year, they played terrible under jerry narron and well under pete mackanin. dusty baker has been brought in to make a difference and is among the top paid managers in baseball, so let's see if he can motivate, correct the mistakes of, and otherwise put together two good halves of baseball.

 
at 9:31 PM Blogger Sam Cooke Night Beat 1963 said...

Dave, you old sage, you kinda remind me of Joe Morgan going on and on about other people's "nonsense." But Little Joe was a heckuva ballplayer. Hall of Famer if I'm not mistaken.

Coupla things...

First- From what I've seen, most of the sabermetric "faction of fans" will tear their hair out and blog their fingers to the bone defending Adam Dunn.

Second- I think you may not understand what "small ball" is because it has very little to do with the Moneyball philosophy as I understand it. "Small ball" requires a lot of stolen base attempts and sacrifices, two things that the Beane's OBP-loving devotees pretty much abhor.

Lastly, if you know how to win championships on the cheap, send ol' Billy an email. I'm sure the "genious" would love to hear what you have to say because he readily admits that he doesn't have all the answers.

 
at 9:45 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

John, Griffey has to play for a contract this year, his stated goal is to break 700 HR barrier. Looks like he will need the 2009, 2010 & 2011 seasons to accomplish that feat. John, do you think this urgency will influence his play positively, negatively or indifferently? Also John, is there any scenario that has him coming back to the Reds in 2009?

 
at 9:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wondering if anyone knows when regular season single game tickets go on sale?

 
at 10:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam Dunn a $17M player?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

If the Reds don't pay it, who is? It's not like teams have been beating down the doors to trade for him the past 2-3 years.

He's a DH with a big hole in his swing playing in a Little League ballpark and doesn't drive in runs unless he hits a homer.

Yeah, that's worth $17M. Give 'em his freedom at the end of this year.

 
at 10:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I assume by most of the guys in shape doesn't include the Big Donkey."

LOL! Dude, that is TOO funny! Hey bro - 6'6" and 270 pounds is in shape! LOL!!

 
at 10:28 PM Blogger steve said...

John
Could you ask Wayne if the reds are going to use an advance scout this year? If so who will be that person?

 
at 10:39 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

David Hartman, I agree with you about the Griff and Dunn bashing, which is ridiculous, but I think you are confused about the "Moneyball", small ball and Billy Beane comments. I don't hear any Billy Beane fans criticizing Dunn, who is actually highly regarded by most of the "analytical" types because of his power and on-base percentage.

And small ball has nothing to do with Beane or Moneyball. Small ball is usually not practiced by those with an analytical bent because the percentages show that getting runners on base while using up the least possible amount of outs is a superior strategy in most circumstances. So bunting, stolen bases, hit and run, playing for one run etc. (small ball) is NOT a billy Beane hallmark.

You are right in a sense that there is no "body of evidence" to prove that small ball or pitching alone wins championship. Problem with your argument is that the research that proves your point has been done by sabermetrics, which you proclaim to be nonsense earlier in your post.

And the Red Sox, despite their wealth, are one of the foremost practioners of the concepts touted in Moneyball. And they do win.

 
at 10:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the people who win championships is the team that scores more than its opponent about 56-60% of the time? Then wins 11 games in the post season.

That is a surefire way to win championships, I mean come up with another way to win one, in baseball at least.

 
at 6:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 6:28 Anonymous---Munoz didnt have to run? You dont know much about the conditioning involved for an offensive lineman. Munoz had to run all the time. But good try though......

 
at 9:43 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The Red Sox win because they spend $155 million on payroll, not proprietarily on the concepts of "Moneyball."

Check out this study on wins per dollars spent:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2008/01/payroll_efficie.php

Meanwhile, if "Moneyball" wasn't written I'm guessing there's quite a few fans/stat dorks who wouldn't know Billy Beane from Alan Bean.

 
at 10:14 AM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Mr. Redlegs, I agree with your comment about the Red Sox. But they do practice the so-called Moneyball concepts. See Baltimore and their success rate for an example of big spending that does not produce. No question though that having the Red Sox huge payroll is a primary factor.

I think the problem with the Moneyball book is the condescending tone it takes toward scouting. Keep in mind Beane didn't write the book, which tries to be controversial to sell books. Beane's ideas are sound. In a study in Baseball Prospectus, the A's were by far and away the most efficient team in marginal wins over 2004 through 2006 per dollar spent. Marginal wins are the wins over that which could be expected by a replacement level team.

But of course, if they don't win a pennant, who cares?

 
at 11:03 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

redlegs..why did not the yankees win with a payroll of 230million?

 
at 11:48 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Did the Yankees make the playoffs?

Yes.

That's winning in most organizations' eyes. Fans, too. Otherwise, 29 teams and their fans are losers every year.

But then, on one post you bark about the Reds' record the past seven years, but then on another you call teams with a winning record and advancing to the playoffs losers for not winning the World Series.

A winner, defined, is a team that wins more games than it loses.

 
at 11:53 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Hugh, the problem with "Moneyball" is way too many people take it as gospel. There's a lot of front office people who don't agree with many of the concepts.

Does that make them "losers" and provincial old-school fogies?

No.

But it's just a difference in philosophies, and we see these differences in all of pro sports. For example, see John Schuerholz's book about the Braves' system.

 
at 12:06 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

For those of you that are ripping on Dunn's weight, I am willing to be a good 99% of you have never met him in person.

The guy is just big...not fat. I've met the guy in person on numerous occasions and he has a frame like a linebacker in football.

And then for the guy that rips on Dunn for driving in runs only when he hits homers...he is averaging 2.5 to 3 runs per home run (right around 2.6 I believe). That's what we pay him to do. It's also a matter of who gets on base ahead of him, as well. We didn't have too many OBP friendly players ahead of Dunn this year if you can remember...Phillips was the only guy worth mentioning when it comes to OBP.

RBIs are deceiving, people. it's all a matter of who gets on base ahead of you. The Reds do not have a "legitimate" lead off man. So besides Phillips or Griffey (occasionally), Dunn doesn't have much to drive in.

 
at 12:27 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Oh, no, Rob, please don't rear the ugly head of the Adam Dunn Debate this early in spring.

It's like two bulldogs fighting under a blanket--there's never really a winner or loser, just a lot of useless jostling around until each falls over dead tired of the nonsense.

 
at 12:29 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

any team spending over 200 million on payroll and not making it deep into the playoffs or world series every year is pretty much a joke

redlegs do u have books I can read pertinent to this topic?

"A winner, defined, is a team that wins more games than it loses."

so the Reds are losers?

 
at 12:42 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

I would suggest with a payroll of 200 plus million the fans of New York have higher expectations of just winning their division.. As would most reasonable people

Since 2002 .. it does not appear that money insures winning in NY most of the time..

It appears they even have a hard time even winning division championships

the Red Sox won because they put together a team with good chemistry

 
at 3:08 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

A strong wind will blow Coffey off of the mound if the hitters don't do it first. Yuck, yuck.

Harang is in shape. Good.

If Belisle was gun shy or lacked confidence do you really think that he would have made it to the major leagues?

Since I do not attack other bloggers, I am just answering some brilliant questions for one of my favorites.

St CSA

 
at 4:12 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Hmm...chemistry. Sounds like an easily measurable concept. Yep that's got to be the reason for Boston's success. And here I thought it was "small ball" and other nonsense.

 
at 6:11 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The day has yet to come, nor will it ever come, when chemistry trumps talent.

'78 Yankees, '85 Bears, '02 Lakers are among the vivid evidence.

 
at 1:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1969 Mets. 1990 Reds.

Chemistry trumped talent then, didn't it?

 
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