This is exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time:
But there’s been talk about him not doing what the Reds have asked. Not playing well with others and generally being a jerk.
Terry Reynolds, the Reds farm director, was in Columbus for Bailey’s last outing.
“The stuff was there,” Reynolds said. “He walked too many. But he pitched well. He looked good.”
What about the talk of him not being with the program?
“That’s not true,” Reynolds said. “He’s got a good working relationship with (pitching coach) Ted Power and (manager) Rick Sweet.”
John Fay then echoes my thoughts when he sums it up:
I think Bailey gets bad rap because he is not media friendly. I wrote about that during spring training. He could take a PR lesson from Bruce. But if Bailey can come up here and get people out, fans don’t care. Some guys who are awful with the media are great players.
If you want to criticize Homer Bailey for what he does on the field, fine. I still maintain there is no evidence to suggest that Bailey isn’t coachable. To me, it appears that he went straight to Louisville and has worked on exactly what the Reds wanted him to work on, and he’s improving.
If you want to criticize the kid (and there are certainly flaws in Bailey’s game), you need to remember that Bailey just turned 22 years old. He’s young for his league. He has plenty of time to improve, and he’s still on track to be a great major league pitcher.
It really bothers me when people want to give up on Bailey and dump him. I guess it would have been alright to give up on Edinson Volquez when he was 22, too? No, of course not. Give Bailey time. He is still progressing steadily toward the goal of being an outstanding pitcher for the Reds.
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 email@example.com.