Since John Fay and the Enquirer have been all the rage today (nice spread on the Reds in the Sunday Enquirer), I thought I would mention this article as well. It deals with what Fay calls Camp Jerry II:

Camp Jerry II will be a lot like Camp Jerry I, i.e., the Reds won’t spend a lot of time chit-chatting when spring training begins. Instead, they’ll get down to the serious manual labor of baseball.

“I’m not a believer in eye wash,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “I don’t want to spend 12 hours out there to try to impress someone. I want them to go about their business and get their work in.”

The Reds open camp in Sarasota on Saturday, when pitchers and catchers report. The first workout will either be Feb. 18 in the afternoon or Feb. 19 in the morning. Position players report Feb. 21. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 23.

Narron is an old-school baseball guy. The camp he runs borrows heavily from the system Baltimore manager Paul Richards came up with in the 1950s.

“It’s time-tested,” Narron said. “I thought it worked well last year. I think that’s one of the reasons we got off to a good start.”

I think there is ample evidence that Narron is a pretty poor in-game manager, but I can’t argue with the methods mentioned in the article. Seems like a sound way to get the team ready for the season.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article is the list of questions facing the Reds as Spring Training opens:

Who’s going to be the fifth starter? Veteran right-hander Kirk Saarloos is the favorite. But Matt Belisle, Elizardo Ramirez, Bobby Livingston and (dare we say it?) Homer Bailey also will get a look.

It should have been Brandon Claussen (once he recovered), but the Reds just gave him away. I’d say the leader in the clubhouse is Saarloos, since he’s a Krivsky acquisition. Elizardo may be a close second at this point.

Who’s going to be the closer? The plan is to use a committee, with David Weathers and Mike Stanton getting the bulk of the chances.

Ugh. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Will Ken Griffey make the switch from center field to right? Griffey is open to the idea. Whether it happens will be determined shortly after the games begin March 3.

I hope so. I think it helps the team’s defense to move Griffey to a corner.

What about Josh Hamilton? The Rule 5 pickup will get every chance to make the club. “We have to see if he plays well enough to stick,” Narron said.

I hope he does, and I remain in favor of picking up Hamilton. Low risk, high reward; exactly the type of risks the Reds need to be taking.

Who’s the 25th man? “Do we want to go with an infielder, an outfielder or a catcher?” Narron said.

Does it matter? Though, I must admit, I really hope they don’t waste a roster spot with a third catcher, as they did all last season.

Is anyone else getting excited? We’re getting ready to get the ball rolling on the 2007 season, and I can’t wait.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at

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5 Responses

  1. Chris

    If the 25th spot really comes down to Denorfia vs. Chad Moeller – the idea I got from reading something today – I’ll be unpleasantly surprised.

    Let’s assume 12 pitchers, Ross and Valentin, Hatteberg, Phillips, Gonzalez, EE, Castro, Dunn, Jr., Freel, Conine…. that gets you to 23.

    So, there are 2 spots, and IMO, at least one of them needs to be Denorfia. Conine isn’t really a legitimate OF, and both Griffey and Freel are regular victims to two week long “day-to-day” injuries.

    Crosby, Hamilton, Denorfia, and Hopper are all on the 40-man. I see Denorfia as the only logical choice for one spot. I’d keep Jeff Keppinger around as a nice contact bat off the bench, but sadly, they’re paying Conine a couple million to fill that role (though expecting more). Jerry Gil drew a mention from Fay. Then there’s Moeller, a guy who’s really no defensible in any way.

    Of course, they could go with 11 pitchers, at least early in the year, and keep Hamilton and some more useful players. (Assuming they can’t hide Hamilton on the DL, or work out a deal with Tampa to keep him.)

  2. Bill

    I did read something in the last week or so (can’t remember where) hinting of at least the possibility of hiding Hamilton on the DL for at least part of the season.

  3. Mr. Redlegs

    It will be hard to “hide” Hamilton on the DL if he plays every spring game and gets 80-100 ABs as Narron has suggested. Tampa wants him back. They would scream.

  4. Chris

    Very true. Though his knee injury could certainly flare up around March 30.

  5. Chris

    And Tampa is certainly likely to scream at Krivsky, after the Livingston situation.