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TeamBoone
02-17-2006, 08:27 PM
02/17/2006 2:37 PM ET
Hatteberg arrives at camp; Valentin expected Monday
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With a vacancy at first base coach, the Reds identified a list of internal candidates for the job on Friday.
Among the internal candidates are Ken Griffey Sr., who interviewed for the position Friday, Ed Napoleon, Lynn Jones and Pete Mackanin. Manager Jerry Narron indicated the search could be expanded to people outside the organization.

Cincinnati is seeking a replacement for former coach John Moses, who called Narron and abruptly quit on Thursday because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

"We've got some very qualified guys right here," Narron said. "We don't have to do it right now. Shoot, it would have been nice to have done this a month ago or whatever but we're not there. We just have to do the best we can with where we are."

The Reds would like the new coach to also work with the outfielders and on baserunning skills.

Griffey Sr., the father of center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., is a team consultant. A star outfielder for the club in the 1970s, the elder Griffey was a coach on former Reds skipper Bob Boone's staff before abruptly quitting midseason.

Also the first base coach for Team USA's entry in the World Baseball Classic, Griffey Sr. has let the Reds know those duties wouldn't hinder him from accepting the job.

"That's something we'll talk with him about, and to Major League Baseball about, if it comes down to it," Narron said.

Napoleon is entering his third season with the Reds organization as outfield/bunting instructor. He has a long resume of Major League coaching stints, most recently with the Rangers from 1995-2000.

Jones was hired this winter as the Reds' Minor League outfield/baserunning coordinator after spending the past three seasons working for the Red Sox. He was manager Terry Francona's first base coach in Boston from 2004-05. A former big league outfielder with the Tigers and Royals, Jones was originally a 10th-round draft pick of the Reds in 1974.

Mackanin was just named the Reds' Major League advance scout on Friday after spending the last five seasons with the Pirates organization, the last three as a big league bench coach. A former big league player from 1973-81, he worked with outfielders while a third base coach for Montreal from 1997-2000 and managed the Reds' old Triple-A affiliate in Nashville in 1991-92.

Hatteberg arrives: More early arrivals trickled into Reds camp Friday, including recent acquisition Scott Hatteberg. The former A's and Red Sox first baseman was signed as a free agent on Sunday.

Hatteberg, 36, spent the entire offseason working out at his home in Washington State not knowing if he'd land a job for 2006.

"It was getting harder and harder as the day got closer to keep it up," said Hatteberg, who batted .256 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs in 134 games last season with Oakland. "It came together. That's what I kept telling myself -- 'Just be ready. It can happen.' And it did."

Hatteberg is behind Adam Dunn on the depth chart at first base. Narron was pleased he was still available so late in the offseason.

"He gives us tremendous insurance at first, if Dunn can't play or somebody gets traded or somebody gets injured," Narron said. "He's a professional hitter. He's a guy that can put the ball in play and a tough out when he comes to bat. He's not going to give away at-bats."

"I know who is playing first base. I'm aware they're solid over there," Hatteberg said. "I want to be able to get in there. They sound like they wanted me to get in there. I know [Dunn] plays outfield also, so maybe it's a matchup type of thing. However they cycle me in, I'll be ready."

Breaking away: As part of his offseason workout regimen, pitcher Aaron Harang spent a lot of time riding his mountain bike on roads near his San Diego home. A couple of years ago, Harang took a spinning class on exercise bikes and then bought the mountain bike last year. It didn't get much use until this winter.

"I rode that a lot this year," said Harang, who was 11-13 with a 3.83 ERA in 32 starts last season. "It's not too much different. But it was different being on the road than in a room. I was doing a lot of hill work and stuff."

Harang said the bike work, plus running three times a week, was to condition his legs to handle the endurance of a lot of innings and work. With 211 2/3 innings in 2005, he was the only Reds starter to cross the 200-innings benchmark last season.

[B]Odds and ends: There were no formal workouts held on Friday as Reds players underwent their annual physicals. Pitchers and catchers will have their first workout Saturday morning.

So far, 37 of 38 Reds pitchers and catchers are in camp. Backup catcher Javier Valentin, whose wife delivered a baby boy in Puerto Rico, remained excused. Narron said Valentin was scheduled to be in uniform on Monday.

With Mackanin on board as the Major League advance scout, former Reds advance scout Gene Bennett was shifted to a professional scouting position.

After just over a month as a Cubs' special assistant to the general manager, Chris Buckley was named the Reds' senior director of scouting. Buckley worked in the Toronto organization from 1989-2005 in a variety of roles.


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