I was at the newsstand the other day to find some baseball material and came across Cincinnati Magazine, which had a cover "story" on the Reds. It's not really a feature, but I think it was worth the $4.95 I shelled out for it.
In this fanpost, Freel will explain Farney, Dusty will explain his toothpick and Joey Votto will compare himself unfavorably with Jay Bruce.
The spread includes a short (100 words, maybe) blurb about each player with an interesting tidbit and a photo shoot. There's also a Q and A with Dusty Baker, which is pretty insightful and is examined at the bottom of this post.
It's all online here. You have to enter an "access code", which is just "baseball", so I don't think they really want to keep folks out of the online content. Here are some excerpts:
On Belisle: "I want to be a reliable workhorse for the squad."
On Fogg: "This is the place I wanted to end up," says Fogg, who signed a free agent deal just a few days into spring training. "I know the group of guys they have here really enjoy playing. We’re all here to play baseball and to win, which you don’t find everywhere. When you do, you want to stick around."
On Votto: "I’m not one of those guys like Jay [Bruce] who can just pick it up and hit," says the prized Toronto-born prospect. "I have to work hard."
On Sea Bass: Gonzalez grew up just five minutes from (Dave Concepcion's) home in Maracay, played youth ball with his son, and eventually became a good family friend.
On Freel: "(Farney) was a joke gone bad," he says. "Do I talk to myself? Yeah, but who doesn’t?"
On Junior: "To win a championship in the same uniform that your dad won one in," he says, "that would be a dream come true."
On Edwin: "(Barry Larkin, in 2004) just told me not to try and do anything to change my style in how I hit or how I play the game."
On Cordero: "(Cincinnati is) going to be my town. It’s going to be my home."
On Dunn: His relationship with Reds fans is more complicated. "It comes with the territory," he says.
On Harang: "I’m trying to improve upon what I did last year. That’s my goal every year. And it seems to be working."
On Arroyo: "If we can get what we had in the beginning of ’06, but do it for an entire season, so that when people come to the park they feel like they’re going to a rock concert, that would be gratifying."
On Ross: "During that first month after the season is over, I'm a big fan of going out to eat and saving room for dessert."
On Phillips: He has a couple perfect games in bowling under his belt.
The Q and A from Baker is here. Check it out. A few snippets:
The coolest uniform I wore in my career was the Dodger uniform.
When I was young I always liked the Reds sleeveless uniform. Vada Pinson looked cool in that uniform.
(See what he did there, Caleb?)
What’s the most important contribution a manager makes to a team? Well, you have to have good players.
I couldn't have said it better.
I try to remain as positive and consistent as possible.
Is it true Pete Rose told you it was impossible to win in Great American Ball Park because the field is so small?
Pete Rose took us over to his house. He came over to my house. We had pork chops and rice and beans and salad. When he asked for seconds that was a big thrill for my wife.
On his toothpick:
I don’t want that to be my trademark. I’m not proud of it. ... I started doing that when I stopped dipping smokeless tobacco. ... They’re Australian chewing sticks. They’re good for your teeth, so I’m killing two birds.
And finally, this:
What are Reds fans going to learn about Dusty Baker over the course of this season that they don’t know already? You’ll probably know a lot of stuff that’s been written has been exaggerated and is untrue, especially the part about not wanting young players. That’s all they say. But it’s just not true. You look at my teams in Chicago. All I had was young players. I love being around young people. The thing of it is, you play what you’ve got.
The more I read about Dusty, and as the season has begun without any major manager faux pases (?), in my opinion, the more I like the guy. I hope the players are more interested in working hard for him and have career seasons under him. I might be ready to fire him by May, but right now he isn't ruining the team.
There's also a bonus online gallery here. There's a bunch of other stuff I didn't quote, so check it out. The magazine's really worth buying for the art alone, I think, so justify my cyber theft of their material by laying down five bones for it at your newsstand.