March 30, 2007

Interview with Jerry Narron

I found this part particularly interesting: Was having 140 different lineups last season out of necessity because of changes, injuries and having interchangeable or versatile players?

Narron: It was definitely out of necessity. It wasn't that I was trying to do anything special, believe me. I would love to have the same eight guys in there and just write down a different pitcher every night. Players like to know their roles and how they're going to be used. I think they do best when they don't have to worry about being in the lineup or how they're going to be used.
I have a hard time believing in what you're selling, Mr. Narron.

Reds 5, Rays 4

This is a game I have been known to say "the Reds wanted to lose but didn't." A sort of jest, if you will. It felt like that today, just not as much. They won. Which goes with the saying, I suppose.


Pitching: Fitting that the battle for the fifth spot came down to today's game. Hard to say who ended up on top overall, as Saarloos got the better of Belisle on this particular day. Belisle started and got the first 8 outs, giving up 5 hits and a walk, K'ing 4 and letting 3 score, 2 earned. So he was human, shall we say. But he picked up the win, due to the 5 runs scored when he was pitching. Saarloos took the next 7 outs and was much more efficient, allowing only 1 hit and K'ing 1. Cormier (everyone's favorite) took the 6th and gave up a run. Weathers took the 7th and allowed only a hit. Stanton had the 8th, allowing 2 hits but no damage. I'm assuming that's how we'll see the late innings shape up - Weathers followed by Stanton. I'd prefer the other way around, in case Stanton blows it. He has the potential to do so. Anyway, Jared Burton was the closer on this night and got a huge save, with a 1-2-3 inning. Game over.

Hitting: All 5 runs in the first inning. Freel was a surprise play, but he led off and was 1/3 with a run scored. Griff was 1/3 with an RBI single. Castro had a big 2-RBI double. Hatteberg also had an RBI double. Gonzo got another hit, this time getting an RBI. Saarloos was 1/1!!! Moeller was 0/3 while grounding into a double play. Welcome to the team, Chad!

Fielding & such: 2 errors today. One on Gonzo!!!!!!! Seriously, for all the fake hype, I'm getting a little concerned. He made what, 7 errors last year? He's made 3 in spring training. Let's hope he just doesn't really care right now, because c'mon, this is just not right. The other was on Phillips, which is almost as sad. Jay Bruce thought he was cool trying to steal a base, but no, not in the big leagues, my son. He was caught stealing. Bolivar-Janish-Valentin turned a pretty sweet double play. That is all.

Moeller wins by default

Hey, lookie there! Norris Hopper will start the season on the 15-day DL, meaning that spot that maybe wasn't going to Chad Moeller, 3rd catcher extraordinairre, now becomes his by default! Hard to assume what Narron would have done, we know he loves the 3-catcher system, so maybe Moeller was favored in the first place. Hard to believe that, though, when the other guys were Hopper & Denorfia.

Remember when it was a battle for the last spot between Denorfia & Hopper? And nobody thought much about Chad Moeller? And then they hurt themselves in back-to-back games and we giggled because we thought it was silly and fun. But now, it turns out their injuries were much more serious than we first imagined, particularly in the case of Denorifa who is out for a dang long time. Tough break for the kid.

But anyway, get used to it. Chad Moeller with a Reds uniform on. And playing.

Twins 10, Reds 2

My Minnesota brethren kinda took care of me right there.


Pitching: Arroyo didn't bring his 'A' game, but this was the first time he has shown anything worthy of concern this spring. Still not ideal to head into the season, but knowing Arroyo, he will shrug it off. His line goes something like 5 innings, 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batter and 1 K for 3 earned runs and the loss. Still not all that bad. He was facing a good Twins team (not their full lineup) and they are good, so it's not unexpected. Coutlangus took the 6th and gave up a mere hit. Coffey took the 7th and gave up 2 hits and a run. Hermanson gave up 2 runs in the 8th, neither of them earned. Some guy named Lutz closed it out and gave up 3 hits and 3 earned runs, mixing in a walk and a K. Not a great night for anybody, save Lango.

Hitting: Hamilton led off and was 1/3. Where did that whole 22/44 thing go? Granted, his average is still barely under .400, but it's almost like he has become just a normal guy now. Phillips hit yet another homer, this time a 2-run blast. Let's hope we see more of this during the regular season. Jay Bruce had a hit in his only at-bat. Gonzo got a hit if you can believe that, and a double at that. EdE & Griff went 0/3. Ross went 0/2 and has generally sucked at hiting all spring. Hits were 15-5 in favor of Minnesota, so yeah.

Fielding & such: 3 errors. Gulp. One on Phillips (naughty boy), one on Crosby and one on some guy named Cosme. Hamilton had 2 outfield assists! Yeah, showing off more of that laser arm. Gotta dig that junk. Jay Bruce also threw out Lis at second base. Very nice. Hamilton & Phillips turned a double play on one of his outfield assists, and a regular double play was turned by EdE, Phillips, and Hatteberg.

The Mavs to pick up Kevin Willis?

Say it ain't so, Joe.

Umm........anbody not feeling this is a great move? I mean, granted, the guy is fit and muscular and has a great work ethic, blah blah. He is a team leader and blah blah. He's also 44 years old. It's true Diop has had a bust year and half the way Dampier is smoking the apathy weed, but do we need this guy? Out of all the candidates we could have, is Kevin Willis, the since-2004 retired Kevin Willis, the answer to the Mavs questions? Sure, you'll tell me he might play 4 minutes in a game or something like that. Alright, fine. Can he do it? Maybe. Could somebody do it better? Most certainly. We'll see what happens, it just seems everyone is so positive about this. I felt I needed to be the voice of negativity, if not the voice of reason.