Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco joins us again on Redleg Nation Radio, for a discussion with Bill Lack about the upcoming season, his first as Cincinnati’s primary starter behind the plate. Enjoy!

You can listen with the player at the bottom of this post or right-click here to download the mp3 file to listen at your leisure. For links to all previous episodes of Redleg Nation Radio, check out the podcast’s home page.

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Many thanks to Friend of the Nation — and huge Reds fan — Freekbass for the bumper music. The music is from this album; he’s a talented guy, and highly recommended.

32 Responses

  1. Johnu1

    Realistic optimism.
    I like his thoughts on the bullpen usage.

  2. Farney

    I liked his high-pitched “Uhhh” after every question–Literally made me laugh.

    But seriously, quality guy and a quality interview. Keep ’em coming– baseball can’t get here soon enough!!

  3. sunbreakthedawn

    This is a great interview to get. Nice work guys.
    I would love to see Devin take the league by storm this season.

  4. Sultan of Swaff

    Am I the only one who couldn’t hear a darn thing Mez (or Welsh) said? On my speakers it was as if they were being recorded from a mic set in front of a cheap speaker, while Chad was better but still sounded distant.

    • dc937

      @Sultan of Swaff: Its not just you. I love these radio shows, but the audio quality has been pretty bad for me as well. Part of it may be the low bitrate of the audio file (understandable, bandwidth isn’t cheap) but there seems to be a regularly poor call connection with any guests featured on the show. I could hear Devin more clearly with some fancy headphones, but he was unintelligible on my speakers.

      • Bill Lack

        @dc937: I’m conducting these interviews via Skype (and usually to them on their cellphone) and the audio quality is what is it…I don’t know what I can do to improve it. Sorry.

  5. Mike Martz

    Great job, loved the question about Don Long.
    Devin’s response about coming to the plate with a new mentality gives me hope about Mesoraco, Cazart, and Frasier this season!

  6. HOF-13

    You could really tell how much Devin disliked the personalized catcher situation. Kinda wish he had been asked about his working relationship with Dusty but I guess it’s water under the bridge and he probably would have been diplomatic even if there were problems. He was a very good interview.

    Side question to the RN staff. Did you all stop picking spotlight players? There had been a new one every year but last year it seems like there wasn’t anyone new. I always liked that feature but I understand if it isn’t pratical.

    • Bill Lack

      @HOF-13: No, we haven’t officially stopped, but haven’t had anyone take us up on an offer in the last couple of years.

    • Matt WI

      @Johnu1: gracias for posting that… my friend texted me last night and told me it was good.

  7. OhioJim

    I liked a lot of what Meso had to say. On the other side of the ledger, I was disappointed that when given a carte blanche opportunity to do so,he did not make a strong statement that what happened the last week of the regular season and in the play in game was unacceptable in terms of attitude, focus, and effort.

    This team needs leaders in the clubhouse and the guy who has basically had the starting catcher position handed to him would be a good starting point for finding them.

    • OhioJim

      @OhioJim: I might add that I listened the Votto on Sports Talk link above; and, Lance threw the leadership question at JV only to have him dance around it.

      Why is it that no one wants to be the one thing this team needs in the clubhouse, the mean cop? Or at least a guy who acts like he might go postal when somebody does something stupid on the field.

      • Johnu1

        @OhioJim: I honestly think clubhouse leaders are created by the sports media. I don’t know that the ‘going postal’ is particularly useful for a big-league baseball team. You can’t go out and grunt your way to a win like you can in football.

      • Matt WI

        @OhioJim: That’s interesting… I thought Joey was direct in his answer. He is not a “stereotypical” leader, doesn’t want to be, and said it isn’t congruent with who he is as a person. That’s fair. And he talked about how each guy can have a role in saying something. Perhaps a difference in how they feel as a team vs. what we as fans think is necessary to function.

        And I don’t know that leadership is defined by being willing to be the bad guy. One thing we heard about Price is “accountability”… that’s sounds like what you’re hoping for. Maybe the clubhouse culture will have changed from the top down so players aren’t spending energy taking care of what the manager can.

      • OhioJim

        @Matt WI: I think there has to be a guy with an edge to himself. Supposedly a number of the younger guys on the 1999 team were actually afraid of how Greg Vaughn would react to stupid plays, TOOBLANs, chasing sliders that start two feet outside and end up 2 yards outside etc.

        Votto clearly has an edge about him. All that is needed is a believable perception that it might ever be directed at anyone aside from himself.

        Let me be clear. This is in the clubhouse where nobody sees or hears except the other players. In the 1970’s, Pete and especially Tony were the needles. A smile was often on their face but the players knew they meant business.

    • Shchi Cossack

      @OhioJim: The Old Cossack believes that Devin may very well be the clubhouse ‘voice’ you reference, but he hasn’t even stepped on the field as a starter yet. It’s pretty hard to lead from the bench. He certainly has the personality to get in someone’s face if necessary, but he has to have the performce to back it up. This season is his first real opportunity as the man behind the plate.

      • Johnu1

        @Shchi Cossack: This tends to presume that there are players whose face needs to be gotten into. I would hope that for 162, plus more, that nobody is slacking off. It is a long season, however.

      • OhioJim

        @Shchi Cossack: The question was put to him about the last week of the season. He had every opportunity to say it wasn’t acceptable in the future without naming names or throwing anyone under the bus. Sooner or later somebody has to do this for them to move beyond.

      • CP

        @OhioJim: “Sooner or later somebody has to do this for them to move beyond.” Why? It sounds like YOU need this for YOU to move on.

      • OhioJim

        @CP: Everyone wonders how they led a best of 5 series 3-0 in the 2012 playoffs and failed to close it. Or how they folded in the last week in 2013 (not to mention played so sloppily all year).

        And most want to blame it on the departed manager. However, it was the players that did or did not get the job done on the field. That they didn’t is a sign of lacking mental focus and toughness. The remedy can only can from within the 25 men in the players area of clubhouse; and it will take a player or two with edginess and the willingness to appropriately project it onto others.

      • CP

        @OhioJim: And you think Mesoraco shows them leadership qualities by making generic leadership quotes on Lance’s talkshow?

        Mesoraco has nothing to gain, and a bunch to lose by mouthing off to the crappy Reds’ media. Scoring brownie points with 700WLW’s listeners means nothing to the guys on the field.

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    Justin Turner to the Dodgers on a minor league deal……I can’t believe we couldn’t swing that.

    Now the asking price for Arroyo is 2 years/$22mil. For that amount, should we have kept him?

  9. Matt WI

    Boy, I don’t know if there will be a thread on the Votto interview that Johnu posted above… but WOW. Any and all comments this season about Votto “not being a leader, too quiet, too selfish” needs to be redirected to this interview. Accessible. Thoughtful. Complimentary of his teammates. Kind to the fans. Asked to take fan phone calls. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe Joey Votto. Do not paint a player by what you see between the lines folks.

    He directly addressed the leadership issue… talked about being impressed by rookies much less being focused on being the leader because of who he “is.” Said tenure has nothing to do with it, that Todd and BP and others all help each other and it’s a team issue. I cry tears of joy. 🙂

    • CP

      @Matt WI: Votto gives the best, most thoughtful, and most articulate interviews in baseball.

      People want stupid catch phrases and want players to fit into their predetermined mold of what a star player should do and say. Votto has a unique skill set, and his personality doesn’t match up with other guys, so people, especially old timers don’t know what to think about him. I mean, Reds fans keep bringing up Tony Perez, but Perez couldn’t hold Joey’s jock strap. The Big Red Machine had 3 no brainer HOF players (2 of them, arguably the best ever at their positions), yet they needed Tony’s LEADERSHIP. Right…

      • OhioJim

        @CP: And who was gone from the 1977 team (Perez) and what happened despite the fact at mid year they added a better starting pitcher (Seaver) than they had had at anytime prior in the 1970’s?

        If you want to draw the analogy, Bench was Votto. He did run the team on the field because that was what catchers did back then. He wasn’t really a clubhouse leader.

      • CP

        @OhioJim: Pitching. Seaver was a huge upgrade, but everyone else besides Norman was below average. The Reds gave up 725 runs, the Dodgers gave up 582.

        The Reds gave up 586, and 633 in 1975 and 1976, respectively. I wasn’t alive in 1977, but those are some staggering numbers.

        The pitchers must have really missed Perez’s leadership. The truth is that, in 1977, the Reds won exactly as many games as you’d expect their pitching to allow them to.

      • Johnu1

        @CP: I guess I don’t get the overwhelming desire to posture up “leadership” inside a clubhouse where we have never been on gameday. What exactly does this “leader” do other than kick water coolers when the team loses 3 in a row? That’s hardly leadership — it’s immaturity.

  10. Johnu1

    I thought Votto’s comment about where he hits in the order is interesting.