Q: What are some of the best Reds fights you’ve ever seen? – PATRICK, Englewood.
A: Some may say there is no fight in the Reds, but three field brawls come to find. First there was Amir Garrett, who attacked the Pittsburgh dugout and challenged the entire pirate team. And there was the 1973 NLCS skirmish with the Mets, ignited by Pete Rose’s slide into shortstop Bud Harrelson. The highlight was Red’s pitcher Pedro Borbon, who mistakenly donned the hat of Mets outfielder Cleon Jones after the fight ended. Realizing his mistake, Borbon took off his cap and took a little off the bill. My favorite, however, was a dog poop on the hill with Reds pitcher Rob Dibble on the ground. Astro’s first basic trainer, Ed Ott, had Dibble in a stranglehold and his face turned yellow, red, and purple before they detached Ott’s arm from Dibble’s neck.
Q: Which players you treated sounded different when the ball fell off the racket and a playing field hit the catcher’s glove? – LARRY, Washington Twp.
A: I always knew without looking when Eric Davis was in the batting cage. The bat meeting ball sounded like a lumberjack attacking a huge tree. During the spring there is a bullpen with six hills lined up in front of the clubhouse. Six pitchers can throw at the same time. Without looking, it was also easy to see that Aroldis Chapman was one of the six pitchers that had thrown. When the ball hit the catcher’s glove, the echo could be heard in downtown Phoenix.
ExploreMcCoy: Red’s manager takes solace from the baseball family on opening day
Q: “Most consider 1976 the best Reds team ever, but I consider the 1975 team the best because winning the World Series tore the monkey off the team’s back.” Agree? – DAVE, Hattiesburg, miss.
A: While the 75 team is one of my favorites, I don’t have to agree. The ’76 Reds won 102 games and won the National League West by 10 games. It then defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in three consecutive games in the NLCS after the Phillies won 101 games and the NL East won by nine games. Then it swept four straight off the New York Yankees in the World Series after New York won 97 games and the AL East won 10 1/2 games. It’s a close call. Flip a coin.
Q: What is the most important attribute for being a successful MLB referee? – Brian, Bellbrook.
A: I’m not sure I have never attended referee school before. I would expect perfect eyesight to be required, though on replay challenges a referee can only guess and the guys on replay in New York may get it right. I would say knowing the rulebook, as complex as it is, is at the top of the list. And they should all have really nice chest protectors.
Q: What hot prospect was the Reds’ biggest disappointment? – STEVE, Owensboro, Ky.
ExploreIndia appreciates the first big league game with the Reds
A: There have been many, especially high draft picks that never made it to the majors, including many pitchers. Most disappointing was third baseman Brandon Larson. In 1997 he hit .381 with 40 home runs and drove 118 runs at LSU. The Reds drafted him to # 1 in 1998. He made the Triple-A All-Star Team in 2001 and 2002. He played 40 games for the Reds in 2004, hitting .212. Some say he never got used to wooden bats after using aluminum at LSU. It’s best remembered when he broke his arm in the dugout and fell to the ground to duck a lazy ball.
Q: You were pretty accurate with your predictions for the Spring Crystal Ball where the reds will end, but what year did you really miss the ball and it ended differently than predicted? – GREG, Beavercreek.
A: I retired my crystal ball years ago because it was very cloudy. I do not keep a record of my predictions (guesses) to avoid embarrassment. However, I suspect I was very absent in 1990 when the Reds went from wire to wire. And my prediction / guess for this year? Fourth, ahead of just the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are Triple-A this year.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Q: People often ask why Dave Concepcion and Joe Nuxhall aren’t in the Hall of Fame, but what about former Reds manager Bob Howsam? – JON, Washington, Mon.
A: I am with you on this one. As a two-time member of the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, I have made passionate pleas to Howsam, the architect of The Big Red Machine. But I ran into opposition from Bill DeWitt Jr., the executive director of the St. Louis Cardinals. If the name sounds familiar, then he’s the son of former Reds CEO Bill DeWitt, Howsam’s predecessor. And he insisted that his father start the BRM with the signing of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez.
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