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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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Friday, March 14, 2008

Dusty on old-timers, Votto and more

Dusty Baker loves the idea of having former Reds in camp. Eric Davis, Jack Billingham, Lee May and Ken Griffey Sr. are currently in camp.

“I love having those guys around. They make stuff fun, too. They know the right way and the fun way."

But it's not just for show.

“I told the players to soak up what you can, get their numbers, if need something talk to them. Most of the time, old-timers aren’t going to volunteer – you’ve got to come to them. Todd Benzinger on how to play first base. (Cesar) Geronimo how to play outfield and how to use your arm and when to use it. Talk Jack Billingham about the slider. That was his specialty when I faced him.”

"I told Homer to go to talk to Mario (Soto) during the game because Dick (Pole’s) busy during the game. I saw him down there all game. I like that. It’s like going to school."

Joey Votto's slow spring start does not concern Baker: “Strange you should ask about him. I’m going to talk to him. I see a lot from him. His upside is tremendous. He can run. He’s got a good arm. He’s got some sock. He’s one of those guys you don’t want to use what he's done in the spring. You want to use what he’s done over the course of the year and what you see now. You track a guy’s start and finish. You saw him last year at the end. He was rolling. They told me he hit .185 last April. That can show you he may be a slow starter.”

On cuts coming: “I just don’t know when. I've got to talk to Wayne. I’ve got a lineup (for tomorrow). I’ve got to tell these guys who’s going on trip and who’s not. We’re going to have a meeting and get everyone’s input.”

On pitchers hitting: “We’re going to start using the pitcher hitting next week. Especially guys – if they’re going to make the guy – guys like (Johnny) Cueto and (Edinson) Volquez. I don’t know if Volquez ever hit. If they haven’t done all the way through, they tend to have a little jelly legs. They ain’t been on this side of that 95.”

On sorting out the roster: "Problem right now is how to sort the bullpen, center field and the utility position. There are guys playing pretty good in that utility role. If they don’t make it, we’ve got some backups, which I heard ain’t been the case here.”


at 10:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did u mean Ken Griffey Sr. ? i would hope Jr is in camp.

at 10:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty's quote:

"Problem right now is how to sort the bullpen, center field and the utility position.

Notice he didnt say rotation?

Does he have his starting 5?

John, please find a good way to revisit that w/ Dusty and see if he'll elaborate on not mentioning the rotation!

Was it a slip or has he seen enough for him to not be as concerned about that at this point?

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 10:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was some very hard reading. You must have been in a hurry when you transcribed this, or Dusty needs to start talking English.

at 11:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice he didn't say First Base? Is Votto the starter or is Hatteberg? How do you platoon two lefties?

at 11:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


About the rotation,

Youve mentioned a couple times how you dont see how Cueto does not make the rotation.

Is that just based on his performance? or has Dusty dropped any subtle hints?

I think your 100% right, hes gotta be in there, The question is where?

I would love to see him in the three spot, but the five is more logical given his experience.

Anyway, I'm feeling good about the possibility of being down to just 2 open spots with two weeks to go.

Who are your front runners for those spots?

K in FM

at 11:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another person stole my thunder. Spell check? Grammar check? Please.

at 11:50 AM Blogger Brad said...

When did this blog become a pissing match between 5 year olds?

at 12:18 PM Blogger Brad in IN said...

I enjoy reading your blogs. Hamilton seems to be tearing it up for the Rangers. From your observations will Volquez produce for the Reds?

at 12:50 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Hamilton v. Volquez debate is second only to the Keppinger v. Gonzalez debate on this blog.

In the case of all the players involved -- except Gonzalez -- the sample size is just too small to make conclusions.

Hamilton put up great numbers last year. But he hit .222 with one home in 72 at-bats against left-handers. And he missed 72 games to injury.

Volquez's overall big league numbers are awful because he got crushed in six games as a 21 year old. His potential is great because he throws 97 and has a good offspeed pitch.

I would have made the trade. It was worth the risk because it was pretty clear the Reds weren't going to win unless the pitching improved.

at 1:10 PM Blogger Matt said...

You could platoon two lefties by using career avg/ops against the starting pitcher. If Hatteberg hits him, use him, otherwise use Votto. I'm not saying it's a good idea but it's one way. Hatteberg at home, Votto away or whoever's hot. There are ways to split time. Hatteberg's not completely inept against lefties, Votto to this point is. I like starting with Votto and if he struggles into May, you send him down . In the meantime, just give Hatteberg spot starts. Too bad he doesn't catch anymore.

at 1:13 PM Anonymous redsneedpitching said...

can we please stop talking about hamilton...

he's gone, get over it

at 1:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kearns and Lopez have finally faded away. Now it's time to let Hamilton go. We're going nowhere without pitching.

at 2:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Redsneedpitching............Thankyou

at 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamilton who?

Reds fan in East TN

at 8:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone hear think Norris Hopper is getting a raw deal? All he did last year down the stretch was get on base, anyway he could. When he wasn't bunting his way aboard, he was lining hits into right-center. All Freel does is try to hit the ball out and rarely puts the ball on the ground.

Here's hoping Hopper at least leads off against all left-handers.

at 5:18 PM Blogger bobo said...

Cant Baker teach them anything in that he has to bring in the old timers to do his job.

Wait til hBaker brings his son to the game and he has to worry about knowing where the kids at all the time.Do you think he's thinking about the game at hand.Maybe he brings the kid to help him manage also.

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