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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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Friday, February 22, 2008

Dusty: There are things I've got to address

Dusty Baker spent a good part of the yesterday's workout on the mini-tower in the middle of the four backfields. He spent a lot of time taking notes. He liked what he saw for the most part.

“There are a few things I’ve got to address," Baker said. "We’re doing good but we can put a little more game effort into these fundamentals and drills."

Baker tries to address things individually if possible.

"It's depends if it's team thing or not," he said. "If it's one or two, why punish the team?"

The tower vantage point lets Baker to keep an eye on four fields at once.

"It allows me to watch a lot of things at the same time," he said. "Right now, I'm learning the personnel. . . I've got a lot to see, a lot to see."

Two things we've learned about Baker in his short time here: He's a stickler for being on schedule, and he's pays close attention to little fundamental things.

Other early tidbits:

--Outfielder/first baseman Craig Wilson was released. Wilson didn't take the field after his physical. He spent most of last year on the DL with shoulder problems.

“That’s a big turning point in you life and your career," Baker said. "I’m hoping it works out. I could see it in his eyes."

--A lot of you asked about options. The following players on the 40-man roster do not have options: RHP Bronson Arroyo, IF Juan Castro, RHP Francisco Cordero, IF/OF Ryan Freel, 1B Scott Hatteberg, IF/OF Jeff Keppinger, 2B Brandon Phillips, C David Ross, C Javier Valentin and RHP David Weathers.

So that means everyone in the bubble for pitching jobs has options.

"That's one great thing Wayne (Krivsky's) done," Baker said. "That's big. Those are big decisions. If one guys is pitching better than a guy who is out of options, you could end up potentially losing both of them if you don't do it right."


at 9:54 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

john .. hope you are enjoying the sunny weather.. we have rain sleet and ice up here

glad to hear that you feel Baker is paying attention to fundamentals

this is completely contrary to the way he managed in Chicago..hey maybe he learned from his mistakes and will turn out to be a great manager

have fun in the sun

at 9:58 AM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

I'm guessing when the final 25 man roster is announced ,this board is going to explode with comments accusations etc etc.

The Krivsky/Baker critics are gonna rumble verbally with the supporters. Should be lively.

Seems like Baker is going to work them hard on fundamentals. There is a great article in Sporting News this week about what coaches do or don't do in spring training to make a impact. Well worth reading.

at 10:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Griffey has options?

at 10:10 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Most top players retain their options because once they make the bigs, they never get sent down.

But veterans of five years, I believe, can refuse the assignment to minors.

at 10:14 AM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...


Any word on how Edwin is looking so far?

at 10:27 AM Blogger Laura said...

John, I have a question for you. I read that every time someone brings up Jay Bruce to Dusty, he changes the subject to Norris Hopper. Do you find that to be true? Think there's any chance Bruce will start with Dusty at the reigns?

at 10:30 AM Blogger Bengal43 said...

What # is Fogg? Reds.com took #32 off of Jay Bruce. Has Fogg taken 32 and Bruce given something else?

at 10:40 AM Blogger Stecher said...

I see nothing wrong with hopper starting the year in CF. I think he can be a great leadoff hitter which we desperately need and he has a lot of heart and some quality talent too! Bruce will get his shot though, Griffey and Dunn could both be gone next year if Griff declines his option and Dunn as a free agent so we need to keep Hopper in the mix and a little more time in the minors for Bruce isn't going to hurt.

at 10:49 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

No matter how Dusty and WK spin it, because of the service time issue, I don't think there's a chance in hell Bruce goes north with the big club.

Check out the explanation below from noted Reds fan Keith Law:

"To push free agency off a year - and this assumes the player never goes back down to the minors - if the player wasn't on the 40-man beforehand, it's eleven days into the season. To avoid making him a super-two (a la Ryan Howard), the proper date is around June 15th."

Consdiering the glut of outfielders, and cash they could save, it would certainly appear that the smart move would be to leave Bruce in L'ville for some more seasoning, until an injury opens up a spot.

at 10:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give Bruce #33 so I can convert my useless Hamilton jersey!!!

at 11:00 AM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Wayne knows he has to win now. If Bruce has a Hamiltonian spring training and appears to be the best option, he'll be starting in CF. This team doesn't appear to be fooling around anymore, it's time to win before Griff and maybe Dunn are gone, cuz losing 70 HR and 170 or so RBI is going to be next to impossible next year. Maybe a winning season helps to convince Dunn to take a little less to stay.

at 11:06 AM Anonymous BigRedOne said...

First of all, I'm SICK and tired of hearing people whine about how horrible Baker was in Chicago. He was the same manager in Chicago that he was in San Francisco that he is here now. All those Cub fans made Dusty the scapegoat for their own losing organization, with a history of losing, a present of losing and a future of losing. Dusty is only one man and can only do so much. I lived in the bay area when Dusty was with the Giants, he is a great manager, not a good manager, a great manager. He can inspire players to play to the best of their abilities, he knows baseball strategy, he know how to handle a pitching staff, as long as they are injury prone to begin with which, honestly, isn't his problem, it's the pitchers, for taking care of themselves in the offseason. Oh, what's that? Dusty Baker has been preaching to Reds players this offseason to get in shape early and come in to camp ready to play? Rest my case. The fact is Dusty Baker is the best manager the Reds have had in over a decade and he is a manager that can take this team to the playoffs.

John C.
Las Vegas

at 11:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

losing 70 HR and 170 or so RBI is going to be next to impossible next year

You can buy a lot of home runs and RBI's with the $25 million in payroll that they'll have. Don't discount signing a good free agent outfielder....or...maybe a front line pitcher.

at 11:16 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

John this is a blog and a debate ..dont take adverse opinion to heart.

I am sorry, it was not just the fans that had issues with Dusty baker in Chicago.

As you can see by my earlier post, I hope Baker turns out to be a great manager..Time will tell

at 11:39 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Castellini should have hired Lou Piniella when he had the chance. I will give Baker a chance though before I start blasting him. He can not be any worse than Narroon the Baffoon.

at 11:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a whole lot of good offensive outfielders in the 2009 free agent class:

at 12:09 PM Anonymous I'm a Dreamer said...

Sure there is...Manny in left, Vlad in right. Where's the issue?

at 12:20 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

Jeff Passan has a nice article on the Reds:
tx2_data_prep <= {rx2_dataout_sync[15:4], 1'b0, rx2_dataout_sync[2:0]};//subtract 0x800 to VID

He talke about how the Reds need to start the Fab Four and of course I have agreed with that all winter for reasons said many times on the blogosphere.

at 12:23 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

Woops! Sorry, I messed up the link to Jeff Passan's article. That'w what you get for mixing work with fanatacism


at 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm.. Who said a blog has to be a debate? Why does everyone always want to debate something. I am not in this so called debate because I just don't see the point. I am curious why people feel they have to debate EVERYTHING. I am really surprised I don't see the old debate of the earth being square still around because a lot of debates I hear is exactly like that. Pointless, just something to say mine is bigger to.

ok. well, I got that off my back. Bring on the backlashes.

Reds fan in TN.

at 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manny and Vlad both have options, so if they have good year they will both be picked up, plus we would have to overpay to get them anyway, and we don't need to pay a ton of money for another aging slugger.

at 12:40 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Breaking number news: Fogg is #33. Bruce is still #32.

at 1:03 PM Anonymous mgarner543 said...

Why bother with Manny and Vlad. How about Mark Teixeira for 1B and move Votto to LF (since he is a sub-par defender at first and Teixeira is gold glove quality). Freel or Hopper could play center with Bruce in right. The infield would be solid at 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, leaving C as the weakest position (still...). Or better yet, try and sign CC Sabathia and a second tier leftfielder. That would be a tough rotation with CC, Harang, Arroyo, and which ever of the two youngsters develop the best.

at 1:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice article passan, I wasn't aware that juan encarnacion was back in the fold. lord, you'd think they'd mix in a proofreader/factchecker over at yahoo, no?

at 1:56 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

I like Passan's writing a lot but he used selective evidence and careful wording about Baker's "penchant" for not playing youngsters. In short, he didn't do his homework.

He mentioned players "developed" under Baker. What about Zambrano? What about Ramirez (after his troubles in Pittsburgh)? What about Rueter, Beck, Clayton, Taveres in San Fran?

It's a decent-sized list of young people who played, and played significantly for him.

Besides, what's the definition of "developed?" When Baker had young players with talent better than anyone else, they played. Where their career track or talent peaked (Van Landingham, Patterson) is not always the manager's undoing. It's usually the player's.

at 2:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 2:24 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

that passan article is another example of a guy who's writing about a mid-market he's not familiar with, ala keith law. actually that's probably an insult; passan seems to know a LITTLE more than law about the reds, and he lost ALL of his credibility when he said we have a juan encarnacion at 3rd, as anon 1:05 stated. last i checked, the poor guy played right and may never take a field again. these national writers and espn types are getting on my last. you may know the yanks and sox, but reds? nah. keep your ignorance to yourself, for cincinnati's sake.

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