Walt Jocketty was just interviewed on the MLB Radio Network by former major league general managers Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette.
There was only one moment of the interview where Jocketty conspicuously got a little tight with his response. When asked point blank by Jim Bowden if Ben Zobrist wouldn’t be a perfect fit for the Reds since he plays 1B, 2B and LF, Jocketty said:
“That’s a really good name. Heh, heh. That’s all I’ll say.”
Here are few other highlights (paraphrased unless indicated by quotes):
++ This is one of his favorite times of the year because he’s a competitive person. “We all thrive on competition.” “You get the adrenaline going.” “It’s harder to make deals now.”
++ When the team has battled to overcome everything they have you want to show them you support them by bringing in reinforcements. If you could add someone it would “really help boost the morale of the clubhouse.”
++ The second wild card makes trades at this time of year more difficult because “so many teams” feel they have a chance to win and don’t wan to disappoint their fans. They don’t want to send up a white flag saying they are surrendering because they want fans to show up for the games and concern for TV ratings.
++ Lots of teams are looking for the same things.
++ Injuries have set the team back and have continued throughout the year. Bryan Price, staff and the team have done a great job of staying in it. Seems like when one person gets back, another person gets hurt. Had everyone back for less than ten days and that’s when the Reds started making their move back. “Thought we had a very solid club going into the spring.”
++ Timeline for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips is 4-5 weeks away, hopefully both back by end of August or first part of September. “Still both about five weeks, four-to-five weeks away.” “For the stretch drive.”
++ Know Votto and Phillips will be back, so don’t want to trade for players who “primarily” play 1B or 2B.
++ Trying to “add offense, add pop” someone who will “add a little life” to the lineup that has been “a little flat.” Looking for someone “with power” who will “drive in runs.”
++ Definitely there are “probably a handful” of players in the organization who are off limits. Given the size of the market, have to develop from within and can’t afford to give up our top guys.
++ Robert Stepheson and Jesse Winker (“pretty impressive, aren’t they”) should both finish the year in AA, no sooner than end of 2015 for them to reach the Reds, possibly 2016
++ When discussing honoring Derek Jeter, said he thought Larkin and Concepcion were the only Reds captains ever (this is false, Sparky named Pete Rose the first Captain of the Reds)
++ Will attend the HOF induction ceremony. Asked about LaRussa’s speech, joked “I hope he keeps it short. He likes to talk.” Also said he joked with Joe Torre this morning that if he (Jocketty) hadn’t fired him (Torre) in St. Louis, he may never have gotten to the Yankees.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.