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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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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gonzalez cleared

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez has been cleared to begin baseball activity. In fact, he's hitting in the cage now.

I still think he begins the year on the disabled list. Gonzalez has been out since March 1 with a compression fractuce in his left knee.


49 Comments:

at 11:19 AM Blogger ST fan said...

GREAT NEWS

 
at 11:31 AM Blogger hebs said...

John,

Do you anticipate a true 15-day DL, or will it be one of those lingering stays?

 
at 11:37 AM Blogger wiseinsrq said...

good news for gonzo...the better news i think is that, unlike in years past, the reds actually have capable back-ups to bridge the gap...while i love kepp i don't think he is the everyday answer at SS...that said, he is a luxury we have not had in years past

 
at 12:18 PM Blogger R said...

Being cleared by Doc K doesn't mean that you're actually ready.

 
at 1:12 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

Gil at shortstop today ..... a little interesting

 
at 1:19 PM Blogger docproc said...

Hard to believe there will be room for Castro once A-Gon comes back.

 
at 1:35 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Good news. He probably won't be ready until late April / early May, though. Keppinger will be fine and should provide plenty of offense but their defense will improve when Gonzalez is back.

 
at 2:12 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

2 errors for Gil so far in todays game -- one throwing and one fielding. Doesnt bode well for Gil being 25th man

 
at 2:46 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I'm an EE fan but he sure looks bad at the plate again. He just took a fastball right down the middle of the plate for strike 3. We've already heard from Dusty how much he hates to see that. I don't get it, how can you not be ready to swing at a fastball on strike three?

 
at 2:56 PM Blogger smtides said...

Lost or overlooked in everything else this in camp is the spring that Griffey is having.

Hitting around .350 with 5 doubles and 11 RBI's and 2 (I think) HR's. That's a very good sign for the Reds.

 
at 3:05 PM Blogger MarkinMusicity said...

I am cool with Kepp as long as necessary... I wonder is there is any activity in regard to catchers... being sought or added...

 
at 3:25 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

Good point about being cleared to play. Look how long it took Bray to come back. Granted he is a pitcher but still it could be a month before we see AGon.

When AGon arrives, who goes to AAA or gets released? Castro?

 
at 3:25 PM Blogger redfuture said...

It will be interesting to see how Griffey responds to his first 'contract' year since 1999. He wants to get to 700 HRs and that is going to take 3 more years after this one. So he has to get someone interested in paying him to play out a 3-year contract.

 
at 4:23 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

jeff.. what would indicate that the defense suffered last year with keppinger at SS..be specific

trended out..keppinger made less errors than Gonzalez and the team played much better

wise is keppinger gonna fall apart if he plays fulltime..he seemed to be doing great? I am sorry I forget the "experts" say Keppinger is not an everyday player

ken griffey will not be with the Reds next year even if he agreed to pay the team to let him play..guaranteed

redfuture ken griffey aint gonna be playing another 3 years

 
at 4:31 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

griffey or anyones else having a terrific spring means very little in the course of a 162 game season

spring is the time for everyone to get their work in and for the 3-6 players on the bubble to make a case for themselves

Has griffey ever played a complete season for the reds? Maybe he should take spring training off and rest up

 
at 5:46 PM Blogger Jeff said...

As a shortstop, Keppinger's range is below average. There are a lot of balls that Gonzalez and many other shortstops in the NL get to that Keppinger do not. He would be better suited to be a 2nd baseman. I like him a lot, as either a 2nd baseman or a utility player, but as an everyday shortstop he is inadequate.

 
at 6:12 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Gonzalez said he's coming back with the team that would indicate he'll be ready sooner than later.

Griffey played 54 more games than josh Hamilton last year.

 
at 6:17 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

John...Just wondering if Hopper has options?

 
at 6:52 PM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

Jeff Keppinger is having a good spring. Doesn't mean anything.

 
at 7:04 PM Blogger John Fay said...

hopper has options.

 
at 7:15 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

jeff..again..keppinger made all the plays, made less errors and the team played better..Oh yeah..he batted 70 points higher than AG

John ,,Griffeys record has been deplorable since the Reds acquired him. Comparing a soon to be 40 year old injured every year old man to a young dude that had not played a baseball game in 3 years makes no sense

Ken Griffey did nothing for the mariners while he was there..that is except pad his stats. When he has played, hes done nothing for this team except cripple our payroll,

Nobody in the ballpark last year was excited over Ken Griffey. And the majority of fans in Cincinnati want him gone

 
at 7:27 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Jack: You've just gone off the ludricrous scale. "ken griffey did nothing for the mariners." Ernie banks did nothing for the cubs, either I guess.

 
at 7:39 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Griffey did nothing for the Mariners?

That went past ludicrous... and straight to plaid.

Having an opinion is one thing, using "trending" to form your opinion of a player is questionable, to say "Griffey did nothing" basically signs the "mentally incompetent" papers.

Comparing a 28 year old journeyman with questionable fielding skills to one of the top 3 defensive SS in the game is just plain ignorance.

It's a guarantee that Griffey uts more butts in seats in ONE GAME than Keppinger has in his career.

Now id you said that Keppinger has meant nothing to every team he's played for... you'd finally be accurate.

 
at 7:45 PM Blogger ST fan said...

My father was a REDS fan but doubtful and negative. After Johnny Bench had won two MVPs, dad said, "lots of players come up and have a couple good years and then are never heard from again. Bench is just a flash in the pan." Jack reminds me of him. Time to cut him off.

 
at 9:27 PM Blogger Seth M. said...

griffey saved baseball in seattle...ask most people who live there and they'll tell you the same thing

 
at 9:56 PM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

How don't know how you can say Griffey did nothing for Seattle when you live so far away from there.

jeff Keppinger having a good spring. Doesn't matter. Not a game has been played yet.

 
at 11:47 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

Oh Jack, I'm thinking your last name must be a 3 letter word.

 
at 12:05 AM Blogger Jeff said...

Jack - Keppinger makes all of the plays when he is able to get to the ball. He does not have the quickness or range to get too enough balls. He'd make a good starting 2nd baseman or a backup SS.

 
at 9:31 AM Blogger smtides said...

John Fay:

Jack's been off the ludicrous scale since his "I'm really Julie" days. At least.

Love your column about Dunn. I didn't and still don't have a problem with trading Hamilton, but the key to making that a good trade is NOT whether or not Bruce is the opening day CF, because he'll be there soon enough.

The real key is whether or not they get Dunn locked up long-term. If the Reds need to replace both Griffey and Dunn next year, that will set them back for a long time.

 
at 11:39 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

John..how many times did the Mariners win their division with Ken Griffey?.
1

how many times did they win a league championship?

0

John how did the team do shortly after he left ? LOL

you cant compare cubs fans to mariners fans..by the way the mariners fans at the time he was traded were tired of his petulant attitude John..you seem to forget this


People that go to the ballpark.. and frankly most in this town, don't care about Griffey, want him traded, and want the money used for pitching etc

 
at 11:41 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

wise..what gap..keppinger hit for a higher average, he made less errors and the team played better.. Gonzo certainly is a god stopgap

Nah ..lets get Gonzo back in there and play 20 games under .500

 
at 12:21 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Redsfanwoody, I loved your retort to Jack's Griffey comments. "Hoisted on his own petard". You've got the Jack playboodk down pat, "dude"! Too funny...
Funny thing is, I love Keppinger, saw him play against Miami last year. Great hitter and a scrappy player in the field and on the bases. Just as versatile as Freel and more self-preservation and common sense. But pulease..He'll never be Caal Ripkin for God's sake!

 
at 12:25 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Jack – I really hope you’re not suggesting that the Reds’ improved performance in the 2nd half was due to Keppinger replacing Gonzalez. I fail to see how you can measure the performance of a single player solely on a team’s wins and losses. It’s a silly notion.

To clarify what I meant by range, there’s a statistic called range factor. It’s defined as total chances (assists plus put outs) divided by the number of games played. Gonzalez’s career number is 4.27, Keppinger’s is 3.99 at SS. That equates to 50 balls in season that Gonzalez gets to that Keppinger does not. I like Keppinger, just not as an everyday SS.

 
at 12:31 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

How does Corey Patterson start in CF ahead of Jay Bruce?

Just another example of Krivsky outsmarting himself again!

 
at 1:30 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Jack: You pick and choose your facts. The Mariners won the division twice with Griffey there. They never had a winning season before he got there. They had a winning record five of his 11 years there.

 
at 2:06 PM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

No team has won a division title or league title or world series with Jeff Keppinger. Just think if we got rid of his salary,we could buy some pitching.

Has Jeff Keppinger ever played a full 162 games? No? Maybe he should take spring training off and rest up. He's vastly underrrated.

Ken Griffey was accidently playing for the Mariners when they got the new stadium. His all-star games and homers were a fluke. If they Mariners would have won a world series,then they would be validated.

Josh Hamilton has been possessed the spirit of Mickey Mantle.

(This post has been brought to you by the Tongue in Cheek Company)

 
at 3:44 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

John Fay.. this is where you, I and others differ dramatically

When you accept mediocity and defeat all you have are some stats to analyze.. and maybe some success in spring training..you live for the aforementioned

I see 7 terrible years of losing and a season of regression last year. I want to see results.

I want to go to the ballpark and not leave every seventh and eighth inning tired and demoralized after yet another defeat

Do you think that good franchises that are consistent winners even care about spring training or preseason? NOPE

I don't care who plays, I dont care about the backround of whom is playing, I don't care about family tragedies ( although I certainly don't wish such on anyone), I dont care what scouts may say, they are wrong more often than not..just show me results

Ken Griffey has only minimally energized teams..make excuses all you want..what is ..is. So John in 16-17 seasons Ken Griffey has been to the playoffs how many times?

John do you remember how the fans in Seattle got tired of Juniors self serving attitude or is your memory that selective?

John you live in Cincinnati and you know as well as I that the tone by the majority of local folks is that they are tired of the old man and want him gone. Yet, we also realize that nobody will trade for him or he will void any trade

As far as attendance because of Griffey..I just have an LOL for that one

I don't care if Keppinger or Gonzalez starts. But I do know that with Keppinger, Hopper, etc..the team played better.Why mess with it? Play it until it breaks

Yes Jeff, a large part of the Reds success in the 2nd half was in part due to Keppingers timely hitting

 
at 7:05 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

john u pick and choose your posts ..too funny

and the mariners had 6 outta 11 losing seasons with Griffey

and the reds have had what ..all nine have been losing seasons with Griffey or 8 out of nine,,impressive

 
at 9:41 PM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

Jack,
If you have such a problem with John and us others who find you somewhat a drag,find another blog. Maybe you won't come off as such a sore whiner.

And seriously. It's time for you to stop saying we all accept losing and mediocre play. Obviously you do also or you wouldn't be spending half your day posting.

I think you problem might be that you need a serious amount of attention. Obviously, it seems you may not be getting it in real life. So I think that's why you come in with your over the top,let me pick a fight with anyone attitude with statements that are simply half baked.

And yes you do pick fights. Most of the time this blog crawls to a snails pace it's because you get personal on someone.


You should seriously consider finding or maybe starting your own blog. You will be a much happier and productive citizen.

And you can blast away on me all you want. You neither upset me or change my mind on much.

 
at 10:49 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack, your posts are mediocre.

Dusty is new to the team and he knows Keppinger cannot turn the DP like Gonzo. You have never explained why Kepp has so many fewer DP's.
Or why Gonzo scored more runs, more RBI's. or why Castro has more runs and RBI's this spring.

Kepp is a fine back up. period. He has never played a full season, especially 140 games at SS, never had 500 ab's or dog days of August and why you continue to say he is some sort of all star is ameturish propoganda. You really do not understand baseball.

You really do not understand that when Kepp gets one out on a DP ball, he gets no error.

 
at 7:44 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

reaganspad tell us again how Affeldt and Fogg are going to take this team to the playoffs and how Juan( I cant hit Castro) should be our starting SS

I understand one thing Reaganspad..the team played much better with Keppinger and others in there. Chemistry is important

Reaganspad..you may feel that your baseball knowledge is superior to own..I dont

redsfanwoody..I never address you..read the past blogs you always have a rebuttal for something I type..focus on someone else dude..This is a blog pal..I dont have a problem with John Fay, you or anyone else..Nor do I genuinely care about any of you

I dont share in your enthusiasm nor do I give darn about spring training..Again.. good franchises and teams with winning records could care less about spring training

I go to baseball games soon..my participation in this blog will soon be minimal. I understand many of you live outta town and/or dont have the opportunity to go to ballgames..this blog and TV is the way you get and feel involved..

I respect that and I respect the fact that you are fans.

I could care less about any statistics, all star recognition, etc, I just want a team that wins..as do most in Cincinnati

 
at 9:58 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

See Jack, that is why you are mediocre. I am not the Fogg fan, you confuse me with someone else you like to banter with. I do understand the signing of Fogg and Affeldt.

I am the Todd Coffey fan, who is doing just fine thanks and will be key to a much improved (along with Cordero's 3 ERA) Pen

I like Kepp also, but until he plays a whole year, we are really just listing to your opinion on how he will project

 
at 12:03 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

coffey has some good innings in meaningless spring training games. Until we play real games that mean something..nobody knows anything dude

reganspad you told us signing affeldt was like the second coming of Tom Seaver.. you were gushing..

you are also the dude that said Juan Castro should be a staring SS on this team in lieu of AG..this as recently as last week

I dont consider your posts mediocore..just foolish and with rather immature expectations

the team has had a terrible record for seven years, they regressed last year..I dont expect that much my friend.. an improvement to.500 would be an accomplishment

 
at 1:53 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

wrongo again Jack. I never used a Tom Seaver comparison.

Coffey has a big league track record. Fact.
Keppinger has not played a full year. Fact
Castro is a better shortstop than Kepp. Fact.

You keep mixing up who you are jousting with. Fact

We (you and I) have agreed on how good Hamilton was. Fact

Hamilton has not played a full year. Fact

Lets stick to the facts. Projecting Hamilton as a star is a lot different than projecting Keppinger as a star since neither has played a full year.

Hamilton is a better fielder, better arm, more power, than Kepp. Kepp is closer to Bill Russell, except Bill Russell was a great center fielder who became a average shortstop. Kepp is an average ML utility man.

I hope he hits 330 again and helps the Reds win

 
at 4:19 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

reagan you were gushing over affeldt like he was seaver,,he stunk up the place in a starting role

coffey stunk last year..this year to be determined. because u say he will do better this year does not make it so

Is keppinger gonna fall apart if he plays a full year? griffey has not played an entire season ih how many years?

castro is terrible

reagan u been a talking all winter long..now we will see

 
at 4:49 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

ryan freel is an average utility player

I saw Keppinger perform at a very high level for half of a season.

The team played better with Keppinger and others in the lineup. Trended out he made less errors than Gonzo and he batted what .330 to AGs .260

I forgot, yeah hes a backup because you and scouts say he is . Probably the same scouts that said tony Romo was a backup..maybe the same scouts that gave us Brandon larson and Akili Smith. Scouts aint gods dude

 
at 6:58 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Jack – First of all, Gonzalez batted .272 not .260. Quit distorting facts.

As far as defense, yes, Gonzalez made more errors than Keppinger last year. If you “trend out” or project their error totals from last year over a 162 game season, Gonzalez would have made 23 errors to Keppinger’s 7. That is 16 more errors over the course of a season. But, error total isn’t the only metric for assessing defense.

Gonzalez has much better range (4.27 career range factor vs. 3.96 for Keppinger at SS – a difference of 0.31 plays per game). He makes about one more play than Keppinger every three games. That may not sound like much but over the course of a season it equates to about 50 balls that Gonzalez gets to and makes a play on that Keppinger does not. Where I come from 50 is more than 16. I'll also point out the fact that Gonzalez’s error rate last year was easily the highest it has been since 2001. I doubt he makes that many errors this year.

As for being a backup, this is the third organization Keppinger has been with in his career (Mets, Royals and Reds) and the third that seems to feel he’s a backup. I guess you know more about baseball than any of the folks in those organizations.

I’ll say it again, Keppinger is a good backup SS and possibly a good starting second baseman. He is a good hitter and is consistent in the field. He’s just not good enough defensively to start at SS.

 
at 9:16 PM Blogger Jeff said...

I would also disagree with comment about Ryan Freel being an average utility player. Given the fact that he can play five positions well (average arm but above average at getting to the ball), I believe is an above average utility player. The problem is his salary is out of line for what he provides to this team. There are probably several teams that could justify spending that kind of money on a good utility play...the Reds are not one of them.

 
at 10:03 PM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
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