Q: Take away Homer Bai­ley’s two no-hit­ters and what have you got other than a big con­tract to honor? — DAVE, Mi­amis­burg/Cen­ter­ville/Beaver­creek.

Dayton Daily News - - BASEBALL -

A: You have a guy who has en­dured three se­ri­ous surg­eries on his arm in the last three years, a guy who has worked tire­lessly to get back to where he was, a guy who is in­valu­able in ad­vis­ing and guid­ing the Cincin­nati Reds pitch­ers and you have a guy who gave me two pairs of new sneak­ers be­cause we both wear size 13 and he didn’t like the shoes adi­das sent him. I love ’em.

Q: What is your opin­ion of the Reds keep­ing man­ager Bryan Price for next sea­son? — RICHARD, Tipp City. A:

Selfishly, I love it. The guy is the me­dia’s de­light. He an­swers ev­ery ques­tion with an ocean of words and a sea of good sense. Yes, the Reds are on their way to a third straight last-place fin­ish, but don’t place the blame at his feet. They traded away most of his vet­er­ans, the pitch­ing staff has been rav­aged by in­jures all three years and now he is force-fed a pitch­ing staff of raw rook­ies. His op­tion was picked up for next year and it wasn’t an ex­ten­sion. He comes cheap, and with all the young play­ers he is prob­a­bly the right man. Given the same team, I’d chal­lenge Sparky An­der­son, Lou Piniella or Jack McKeon to do bet­ter. Not likely.

Q: What are your World Se­ries picks as this sea­son winds down and the Indians look un­beat­able? — JEFF, Troy. A:

Ev­ery team is beat­able. The talk­ing heads and pun­dits were anoint­ing the Dodgers as the best team in the his­tory of mankind ear­lier this sea­son, then they lost 11 straight. Pick­ing World Se­ries par­tic­i­pants is fool’s gold. Any­thing can hap­pen in the post­sea­son. How many times have we seen wild­card teams not only in the World Se­ries, but win­ning it. I’m pick­ing Hous­ton and Los An­ge­les for the World Se­ries be­cause I’m al­ways wrong and I re­ally want to see my Indians and the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als (Dusty Baker) in the Fall Clas­sic.

Q: I hear and read com­ments about Reds pitch­ers not be­ing able to bunt, so why don’t the Reds have their pitch­ers bat in the mi­nors? — LARRY, Pi­qua. A:

If you have no­ticed, the home run is king and the bunt is an­cient his­tory. It isn’t just the Reds and it isn’t just the pitch­ers. No­body can bunt ef­fi­ciently. And there are def­i­nite rules about the des­ig­nated hit­ter in the mi­nors. In Triple-A and Dou­ble-A games, the DH is used un­less both teams are af­fil­i­ates of a Na­tional League team. Then the pitcher bats. In Class A games the DH is al­ways used. So Reds pitch­ers do bat in Triple-A and Dou­ble-A games when they play teams as­so­ci­ated with then NL. And they do prac­tice bunting — all the time. In this case prac­tice does not nec­es­sar­ily make per­fect.

Q: Is Dave Parker de­serv­ing of be­ing in the Hall of Fame? — ERIC, Celina. A:

In my book, which isn’t very thick, he cer­tainly does. He played in the ma­jors for 19 sea­sons and had a ca­reer slash line of .290/.339/.471 with 339 home runs and 1,493 RBIs. And at 6-foot5, 230 pounds he stole 154 bases. Dur­ing his prime he was one of baseball’s most feared hit­ters. Un­for­tu­nately, he was caught up in the Pitts­burgh co­caine scan­dal in the 1980s and that has been held against him. Hey, Tim Raines made it with the same kind of back­ground. Why not Dave “The Co­bra” Parker?

Q: My ques­tion re­ally isn’t about baseball, but what is up with that Redzilla con­trap­tion? — BECKY, Tren­ton. A:

That “ve­hi­cle” they run around the track midgame be­tween in­nings to shoot good­ies into the stands makes enough noise to wake up Bob Howsam. It isn’t a con­trap­tion, it’s a dis­trac­tion. When your team is bad, you try any­thing to grab at­ten­tion. I’m wait­ing for the thing to run over an op­pos­ing player run­ning out of the dugout and onto the field. It has come close a cou­ple of times. It’s a law­suit wait­ing to hap­pen.

Q: Any chance the Reds re-sign Zack Cozart? — DICK, Jack­son, Tenn. A:

There is al­ways a chance, as slim as it seems. He will be a free agent after the sea­son, and the sea­son he is hav­ing, de­spite a bad leg in­jury, will push his price tag up and up. And the Reds are load­ing up with young in­field prospects as part of the re­build. Had he not been in­jured and on the dis­abled list at the trade dead­line, he’d prob­a­bly be play­ing for Tampa Bay right now. I’d like to see them keep him, but I would have liked for them to keep Johnny Cueto, Todd Fra­zier and Jay Bruce. OK, and Bran­don Phillips, too, even though he wouldn’t talk to me.

Q: Have you ever bro­ken the un­writ­ten rule and cheered in the press box? — STOCC, Mi­amis­burg. A:

Just once. Yes, there is a rule that there is no cheer­ing in the press box. For­mer Chicago Tri­bune baseball writer Jerome Holtz­man wrote a great book about baseball writ­ers called “No Cheer­ing in the Press Box.” The only time in my 44 years I saw writ­ers ap­plaud and cheer, me in­cluded, was the night Pete Rose sin­gled off San Diego’s Eric Show for his his­toric 4,192nd hit. The en­tire River­front Sta­dium press box stood and ap­plauded. And no­body gave any­body a dirty look, as hap­pens when some neo­phyte re­porter cheers.

Q: How close do you think MLB is to im­ple­ment­ing a clock be­tween pitches or lim­it­ing catcher/in­fielder trips to the mound? — MATT, Char­lotte, N.C. A:

The clock prob­a­bly will be born next year. And it won’t work. They al­ready have the two-minute clock be­tween in­nings for pitch­ers to warm up. I’ve watched closely and time and time again pitch­ers get their full eight warmups, even when the clock ex­pires. They’ve tried about every­thing to speed up the game, but noth­ing works. Re­mem­ber when they em­pha­sized keep­ing hit­ters near the bat­ter’s box be­tween pitches. They are back to wan­der­ing all over Hell’s Half Acre be­tween pitches. I’m in fa­vor of re­strict­ing mound vis­its to the man­ager or pitch­ing coach (no catch­ers, no in­field­ers). I’m also in fa­vor of not per­mit­ting warmup pitches for re­lief pitch­ers. They warm up in the bullpen, don’t they?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.