TODAY’S NEWS: The Reds have agreed to terms on 1-year contracts with RHP Daryl Thompson and 1B Joey Votto…4 players remain unsigned.
WE PLAY GREEN: We Play Green, a non-profit organization founded by Chris Dickerson of the Reds and Jack Cassel of the Indians to raise awareness about the damage to the environment caused by plastic water bottles, is hosting the Go Green Challenge at tonight’s Cyclones hockey game at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati…the first 2,500 fans will receive reusable grocery bags, literature and prizes from Duke Energy…at tonight’s hockey game We Play Green is hosting 30 children from St. Joseph’s Orphanage…the web site can be found at www.weplaygreen.org.
TODAY’S NEWS: The Reds have agreed to terms on 1-year contracts with RHP Johnny Cueto and RHP Ramon Ramirez…6 players remain unsigned.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS: For all Reds games at Great American Ball Park, except Opening Day, will go on sale at tomorrow…for more information log on to reds.com or call (513) 381-REDS.
Gone. That’s what the Ken Griffey Jr. poster in my bedroom simply read while he posed after his signature swing. Gone. Well, now he’s back.
Ken Griffey Jr. was it for me. Like many others who grew up in the 90’s, it didn’t get any better than Junior. The Mariners were my team, even ahead of my hometown Brewers at the time. A-Rod, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Joey Cora, Norm Charlton, but most notably was Junior. I had all the baseball cards, the shirts, the N64 video game, the jerseys, the batting gloves and even the spikes…with the big Nike swoosh in Velcro across the laces.
I was lucky enough to meet Junior in 2007, while serving as media relations intern for the Milwaukee Brewers. Mike Vassallo, Brewers director of media relations, used to work in the Reds media relations department. When I realized the Reds were coming to town, I asked Mike if he could set up a meet-and-greet for me. He simply said, “I’ll see what I can do.”
On the day of the second game of the series, Mike summoned me to his office. “I think I can introduce you to Junior during batting practice tonight, so just be ready.”
Ready I was. I made sure the batteries in the camera were charged. I made sure the memory card was empty. I made sure I got all my work done super-fast. Then came the call.
“Come down (to the field) when Junior is in the cage, he’ll meet you in-between rounds (of batting practice).”
After working in baseball media relations for 5 minutes, it’s hard to get star-stuck. You realize that the players are just “guys” and just like you and me…except they get to play baseball everyday. But meeting Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the few times I had to step back. Standing next to me was my favorite all-time baseball player. I grew up watching his every move. I tried to emulate his swing (even though I was right-handed). I had his posters up in my room. Here he was, shaking my hand.
Although I wish that Junior would’ve signed with Atlanta so I would’ve had the chance to see him come through Cincinnati this year, I’m glad he’s back with Seattle. It just seems right. He’ll get more at-bats with the DH and knock out a few more homers…followed by that classic pose.
Enjoy the homecoming Seattle, I’ll be reliving the glory days right there with you.
World Baseball Classic final rosters include Reds players 1B Joey Votto (Canada), RHP Johnny Cueto (Dominican Republic), RHP Edinson Volquez (DR), OF Willy Taveras (DR), IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. (Mexico) and C Ramon Hernandez (Venezuela) along with minor leaguers IF Yen-Wen Kuo (Chinese Taipei), LHP Alexander Smit (The Netherlands) and RHP Juan Carlos Sulbaran (The Netherlands)…special assistant to the general manager Mario Soto will be the pitching coach for the Dominican Republic…Class AAA Louisville’s Tomas Vera will serve as the head athletic trainer for Venezuela.
The World Baseball Classic begins in Tokyo on 3/5, in San Juan and Toronto on 3/7 and in Mexico City on 3/8…the second round begins in Miami on 3/14 and in San Diego on 3/15…the semifinals are 3/21-3/22 and the final on 3/23, all at Dodger Stadium.
Through 2 innings of play in today’s workout, the White Squad leads the Gray Squad 7-0. With two swings of the bat, Reds 1B Joey Votto has produced a 3-run homer and an RBI double.
TODAY’S NEWS: The Reds have agreed to terms on 1-year contracts with OF Chris Dickerson, C Ryan Hanigan, IF/OF Jeff Keppinger and IF Danny Richar…11 players remain unsigned.
TODAY’S NEWS: Today’s workout uneventful.
WBC ROSTERS: Final 28-player rosters for the 16-team 2009 World Baseball Classic will be announced at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow on MLB Network…45-player provisional rosters for the WBC include 18 players in the Reds organization and 8 players on the 40-man roster: 1B Joey Votto (Canada), RHP Francisco Cordero (Dominican Republic), RHP Johnny Cueto (DR), RHP Edinson Volquez (DR), C/IF/OF Wilkin Castillo (DR), OF Willy Taveras (DR), IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. (Mexico) and C Ramon Hernandez (Venezuela)…also on the provisional rosters are 10 Reds minor leaguers…Class AAA Louisville head athletic trainer Tomas Vera will serve in that same position for Team Venezuela…he also was Venezuela’s head athletic trainer in 2006.
PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING: The Reds and the Men Against Prostate Cancer group will offer free comprehensive prostate cancer exams at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m….the mobile examination center will be located at the corner of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue…contact Rex Hardin of MAPC at (941) 926-9666.