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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 8, 2008

Mercker signed, spring TV schedule

The Reds signed left-hander Kent Mercker to a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp.

Here's the Reds release (he has done something since the 1994 no-hitter):

TODAY’S NEWS: The Reds have signed to a minor league contract and invited to Major League spring training camp LHP Kent Mercker...in his 17-year Major League career Mercker has made 677 apps for the Braves, Orioles, Indians, Reds, Cardinals, Red Sox, Angels, Rockies and Cubs...in 4 seasons with the Reds (1997, 2003, 2005, 2006) he posted a 3.66era in 192 apps, including 25 starts...in 253 apps over his last 4 seasons he has posted a 2.95era...Mercker missed the 2007 season while recovering from 8/17/06 “Tommy John” surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament and to reattach the flexor tendon in his left elbow.

REDS ON TV: Reds television rightsholder FSN Ohio will broadcast 3 spring training games from Sarasota, including March 10 at Yankees (7:15 p.m .ET), March 17 vs Tigers (1:05) and March 24 vs Blue Jays (7:05)...Reds Live will premier with a 1-hour special at 1:00 p.m. on March 31...the pre-game show will air half an hour prior to each of FSN Ohio’s regular season telecasts.


28 Comments:

at 12:46 PM Blogger Allan said...

Aside from that no-hitter in 1994, what has Kent Mercker done?

I wish we would stop signing retreads. He'll probably make the team and then immediately go on the DL.

Hard to believe that this is a good move by Krivsky. I want another bold signing or a big trade.

 
at 1:51 PM Blogger RPA said...

not sure why we need another mike stanton. having one already cost us enough games last year.

i just want the reds to hurry up and evaluate all of these marginal relief pitchers (majewski, coffey, mcbeth) and see who belongs in the majors and who doesn't. i don't really need to see kent mercker to know what he can do for this team (not much).

 
at 2:01 PM Blogger docproc said...

Oh, tell me you're kidding.

 
at 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some times you reward loyalty. Mercker pitched with an aching arm and then blew it out. He first was ready to hang it up and then had surgery. You never know that outcome but you know the guy has guts. Guts count a lot. If if is a peanuts kinda contract, who knows? The man knows how to pitch but then so does Stanton. The operative question is, does their arm match their wits?

 
at 2:31 PM Blogger Brad said...

Is he going to be buying more HGH by check?

 
at 2:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mercker is a cheater, just like Stanton.

 
at 2:42 PM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

Cant blame them...low risk move with virtually no financial cost. Heck he might light his pilot light and catch fire this season. Who knows. Unlikely, but who knows.

 
at 3:04 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

We're heard very little about Mercker since he blew out his elbow. So has he been rehabbing all along or will he wait to rehab on the Reds' dime?

 
at 3:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kent is a positive figure to have around the franchise, even if he's not pitching for us.

 
at 3:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merkcer???? Are you kidding me???? Does anyone doubt now that the Reds are a desperate team??? Don't get me wrong, I think we have a chance to surprise people this year, thanks to our up and coming young talent and in spite of our retreads Stanton, Williamson and now Merkcer. When will Krivsky ever get over his man crush on old, worn out relief pitchers?

John C.
Las Vegas

 
at 3:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe W.K.is still the GM...only he would be dumb enough to sign Mercker!! Walt J.,you need to take control!!I've now joined many others in thinking Kriv is a joke as well as a jerk !! I'll side with the coach in saying...WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY!!!
FT.THOMAS REDS FAN

 
at 4:50 PM Anonymous Tom said...

Fay,

What are you going to say when your blabbering gets our young core dealt to Oakland for a blah #3 starter?

Your "speculation" regarding what it should take to get Blanton is ridiculous. It is the only one making waves right now. If you don't know what is going on, don't bumble about it. My mentioning things like 2 top-50 prospects and a third your setting a price floor, or a beginning point of negotiation.

A perfect example of this is when Boras publically announced time and time again what ARod would receive in his contract before he had even entered free agency. Nobody could believe, but Boras said it enough that it became fact.

Your pulpit is strong enough, and cited enough in this digital age that as soon as your spew some dribble onto the keyboard, it reaches from coast to coast. Be careful in the future, your speculation in this case is not good at all for the Reds.

 
at 5:19 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Majewski has "guts" too. Where's that getting him?

Enough screwing around with the Sauerbecks and Merckers. Is Jeff Shaw going to be in camp? He's from Ohio and was good during the Clinton administration too.

 
at 5:21 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Tom: You're giving me way too credit. The Reds arent going to let what I post influence any trade. I'm just reporting what I hear. They're talking -- whether they make a deal is up to Wayne, Walt and Bob. I won't be consulted.

 
at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merker? Who's next? Tom Browning? Jose Rijo?

Getting ready for another long season of launching the I-word Krivsky's way...

Jeesh...what a nutty front office.

 
at 6:35 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

With the Mercker signing, I think that maybe a big trade will happen before camp.
Blanton, Johnson and Street for
Bailey, Freel, Votto, Stubbs, Bray and two A players.

 
at 7:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a minor league deal people,quit gettin your panties in a bunch!

 
at 7:39 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Typical of Chris and the goobers at Redleg Nation to overreact on a minor-league deal. Like the 10-12 innings Mercker might get in 4-5 weeks is going to make a difference or stunt someone's growth. Not with all the intrasquad and A, B games they play in ST.

Mercker is not making this team. At best he goes to Louisville to get some innings and see how his arm feels, which might lead to a role with another team. Seems the Reds are offering him a courtesy invite (without really saying it) for being a good guy in the past.

Amazing how often a small little move erupts into Helter Skelter on these boards. Like it's a ruining the season. Use your brains, think 'em through.

 
at 8:54 PM Anonymous mikec said...

SOme people on here crack me up. This is not a sign or a big deal either way. It's a minor league deal. No risk. Who cares if he doesn't have it anymore? If he does, you've got a veteran lefty at little cost. No one complained when the Reds gave Paul Wilson a shot in spring training last year.

 
at 10:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all of the Negative comments about this MINOR LEAGUE deal you would think KRIVSKY signed MERKER to a 5 year deal and penciled him in for CF and LEAD OFF on opening day. Every team signs a handful of horrible players to Minor League deals with invites to the Big League camp.

 
at 10:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know it's a minor-league deal.
Get a sense of humor.

But come on, this signing is NOT an example of keeping one's GM (or player personnel) "eye" on the "ball."

Maybe if Krivsky would stop dicking around we could get Blanton?

Obtaining Blanton transforms this season from a six month spring training exercise to true competition. Blanton's worth (easily) is a 20-game turn around, 10 more wins (e.g. 10 fewer losses); last year's 72-90 mark should be improved upon without Blanton (let's say to about 75-87) but with Blanton that's worth a bump to the level of 85-77...which ties last year's Cubs...of course this year's Cubs and Brewers and Cardinals and Astros have also improved.

Just watch, no Blanton = below .500 this season.

But if there's not enough golf and drinking between big signings and you must sign a few senior citizens or talentless washed-up players in the offseason, who am I to complain? Sorry Wayne. As you were!

P.S. I think it's pretty funny that the dog sled without many dogs gets a lame old mutt...since when do major league teams hand out gratuitous minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training?

Someone in the front office MUST seriously think Mercker might come back. Mercker's 2004 roid rage incident and his appearance in the Mitchell Report in December make the signing of this 40-something amazing. Has anyone injected Mrs. Mercker with HGH? Inquiring minds want to know!

14 years is a LOOOOOOONG time since the no-hitter...and isn't Mercker too skinny to make this club? What happened to the two-chin minimum here? Or is it one million in salary per chin for pitchers? I forget. Either way, nice jackpot Mercker! I doubt the Braves or any of the other dozen teams you've played for would let you wash their cars or be the ballboy on opening day.

GM Mr. WK Magoo has done it AGAIN!

 
at 1:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every team might sign a handful of horrible players to minor league plus please play grapefruit with us deals BUT...

1. The Reds are not every team and don't have to do what every team allegedly does;

2. Who said Merker is horrible? He's just 40 years old and broken...

3. The "it's no big deal the Reds are just as dumb as every other team" really doesn't work on this one...(especially because most teams aren't this stupid or desperate)

Really, get a new line.

Mercker is a waste of time, money, and space. I'm sure there are 1,000 college seniors (just graduated last June) who have more talent NOW than Mercker did during his last season of big league ball.

Give one of those guys a shot...better yet, give all 1,000 an invite to spring training, heck, invite every 15 year old in the Dominican Republic to spring training...most are probably better than Mercker.

Can't wait to see what the next Magoo classic move will be!

For a trainwreck of a ballclub, the Reds sure are entertaining!

 
at 9:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord if someone is so distraught over the Mercker signing I would hate to see how they handle a real life situation.

Ever notice that a lot of teams do the same exercise and invite players that are trying to comeback from injury,age etc etc.?

Come on people, it's not that big of a deal.

 
at 10:35 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

SIGN JOEY HAMILTON!

 
at 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being 40 and broken down is equal to being Horrible until MERKER proves otherwise.

I doubt that WAYNE spent more than 5 minutes on the MERKER deal or that he told OAKLAND to hold off on talking about a BLANTON deal until he inked MERKER to a deal.

I'm sure a MINOR LEAGUE deal with a BIG LEAGUE intvite is a standardized form very similar to your FOOD STAMPS or PROBATION PAPERS and that one of WAYNE assistants probably just e-mailed it to MERKER. Since it is standardized MERKER didn't even look at it and signed and faxed it to WANYE's Secretary.

Be thankful WAYNE is the GM and not BOWDEN, be thankful DUSTY is our manager because nobody of equal stature would have taken the job and trust me, if it wasn't DUSTY it would have been another MILEY or NARRON and don't think for a second that a GIRARDI would have taken the job when he knew the YANKEES would be calling or that a LARUSSA is the answer don't forget how many times his teams have chocked. Be thankful JOCKETY has lent the REDS his rolodex. In big business contacts are everything and the person delivering a message makes all of the differnece when it comes to getting a big deal done, this is why large companies bring on the likes of JACK WELCH as CONSULTANTS or try to encourage politicians like AL GORE or JACK KEMP to serve on the board. These type of people just help to get BIG DEALS done and you can't have too many of them. The REDS are definitly heading in the right direction and you should that BOB for that, it starts at the top and he is putting the best guys in a position to give you a winner. The team of "Baseball Guys" is as solid as any organization but most of you won't notice it until the REDS start winning. Until then, you will take out the anger you feel as a result of looking in the mirror on the guys you are jealous of. Guys who got the jobs you wish you would have gotten.

MERKER was a "business as usual" deal like and to get angry about it is as ridiculous as your exsistance.

 
at 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

W.K. & GM= IDIOT
Kent Mercker ???????
BOB C. SAVE US PLEASE....
I MUST JOIN THE GROWING WAVE:
WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY

 
at 1:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you meth-takers really must get a grip. No one is angry over Mercker. We're LAUGHING.

It's funny to see such an inept front office wasting even 5 minutes rubber-stamping a spring training invite to a 40-year old steroid-taking-raging journeyman.

Now that's class! LMFAO!

P.S. Dusty is mediocre, Reds pitching, scouting, and drafting stinks, and the Reds will be under .500 again this year, easily.

Unless we can wean the GM from picking through the baseball equivalent of Mt. Rumpke and get busy beating the Dodgers to a Blanton deal.

I must admit that Mercker will run wind sprints faster than Fatex this spring!

 
at 12:36 PM Blogger ewad said...

2.54 Kent Mercker's ERA over his past four major league seasons over 253 relief appearances.

 
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