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View Full Version : Aurilia on the move(Position)



Willy
02-25-2006, 09:21 AM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060225/SPT04/602250334/1071

"Do I want to play at one position?" Aurilia said. "Sure. But I'm not going to let ego and pride get in my way."

Now that is funny stuff!!!!!!!!!!

TeamBoone
02-25-2006, 10:30 AM
02-25-2006
Just in case, Aurilia has several gloves
After frustrating year, he just wants to play
By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

SARASOTA, Fla. - To be perfectly frank, Rich Aurilia didn't expect to be in spring training with the Reds this year.

When the veteran infielder and the team mutually agreed not to exercise his 2006 option last fall, Aurilia made it sound like that was it. He was ready to move on from the Reds, preferably to a team closer to his Arizona home or the top of the standings.

It wasn't that he was miserable in his first year with the Reds. In fact, he said he enjoyed living in Cincinnati and he loved the guys in the clubhouse. It was more that a year that qualified as a bounceback season for the former All-Star was a running battle with dissatisfaction.

"There's more behind last year than people know," Aurilia said Friday. "I voiced my unhappiness, but I didn't really say why I was unhappy, what the reason was. But I never let anything affect my play. I pride myself on being a professional, and no matter what happens it shouldn't affect your play - and I don't think it did. I was probably more proud of how I bounced back last year and handled things than I am in any other year. I just hope to build on that and hopefully get a bunch of playing time."

Aurilia declined to shed any more light on his specific complaints, saying that was the past and he has moved on. Taking last season as a whole, uncertainty surrounding his role on a day-to-day basis seemed to be the biggest issue for Aurilia.

And wouldn't you know, he finds himself in a similarly unsettled situation now that he's back with the Reds.

This time, though, Aurilia is well aware of where he stands as he enters spring training. Before signing a one-year, $1.3 million deal to return to the Reds (with a mutual option for 2007), Aurilia said he had several conversations with manager Jerry Narron about how he might be used.

Narron made it clear to Aurilia that he wanted the veteran infielder on his team, but also shot straight with him. The Reds wouldn't just hand Aurilia a starting job, and he should come to camp prepared to move all over the diamond. When it came time to order new gloves the other day, Aurilia requested one for each infield position.

"I asked where I should get my work in and (Narron) told me to just kind of move around and get work pretty much everywhere," said Aurilia. "I even got a first baseman's glove, just in case. When it really comes down to it, I really don't care where I play as long as I play. You could throw me in the outfield, I don't care - anywhere but behind the plate, for now. I still enjoy playing the game, I still think I can contribute and be productive and help the team win."

That's why Narron kept lobbying Aurilia to return; he believes having the 34-year-old on the roster will bring tangible and intangible benefits.

"Richie knows how to play the game," Narron said. "He's an intelligent player, which I definitely like."

In some ways, Aurilia turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the Reds last season. Coming off an ugly 2004 campaign split between Seattle and San Diego, he took a minor league contract with the Reds in an effort to re-establish himself as a productive major leaguer.

After winning the starting shortstop job out of camp, he lost the position to Felipe Lopez when he hit .198 over the first five weeks of the season and went on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Lopez took off, making the All-Star Game and winning a Silver Slugger award in what came to be a breakout season, while Aur- ilia was shunted into a utility role.

Once he got comfortable in his new role, which saw him make most of his starts the rest of the year at second base, Aurilia's bat started to warm up. In 89 games after returning from the DL on May 29, Aurilia hit .306 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs. For the season, he led the Reds with a .343 average with runners in scoring position.

"Whether you're happy or unhappy, I can't imagine that affecting anybody's play," said Narron. "You've got to go out there and perform, you've got to get the job done no matter what's going on. That's what separates the pros from the other guys."

Throughout the frustrations of 2005, Aurilia never wavered in his on-field approach. Along the way, he developed an appreciation for the value he could have as a player capable of playing multiple positions. It was something he had never really done in an 11-year major league career spent primarily at shortstop.

As full-squad drills began at Reds camp this week, Aurilia could be found working on bunt plays at third base and taking grounders at second. He plans to get in some work at first base, where he has made one career appearance in the majors, for the Padres in 2004.

With such a variety in his future, Aurilia admitted that last year's bouncing around, which saw him start 64 games at second, 29 at shortstop and 14 at third base, prepared him well for this season.

"Unless you get the opportunity to do it on an everyday basis, you really never know if you can do it or be comfortable," he said. "I played a decent amount of games at third last year, and I felt like I improved a huge amount there from the year before just because I learned."

Aurilia will have no illusions this season. He still expects to start regularly, and probably will, but he said he won't be rattled by seeing his name on the lineup card at second base one day and third base the next.

"I'm at a point now where if you asked me, 'Would you like to play one position?' Well, yeah, of course," he said. "But I'm also at a point in my career where I feel I can play a bunch of different places, and I could play every day - a couple days here, a couple days there. As long as I play enough, I know now and I'm confident in myself that I can do the job at a couple different places."


http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060225/SPT05/602250377/1027

westofyou
02-25-2006, 10:42 AM
After winning the starting shortstop job out of camp,

Win he did, in a race that would have made Rosie Ruiz blush.

BUTLER REDSFAN
02-25-2006, 11:53 AM
Richie knows how to play the game," Narron said-------------is this all narron can say---he says "knows how to play the game" over,over and over--he's just another miley without the blinking

KronoRed
02-25-2006, 12:18 PM
"knows how to play the game" = Bad player.

westofyou
02-25-2006, 12:51 PM
"knows how to play the game" = Bad player.

Myth.

Al Kaline knew how to play the game, last week I met a former ballplayer (Dave Baldwin a pitcher in the 60's and 70's) during our talk I mentioned that Al Kaline was my all time hero.

His reply, Al knew how to play the game, if you had to pick a hero you couldn't go wrong with Al Kaline, he was a great ballplayer and an even better man.

IMO there is a "way to play the game right" but the phrase is often used as a BS statement to cover up ambiguous thoughts regarding the players real contributions to the team.

But in no way does it always mean the guy was a bad ballplayer, nor does it mean that he has nothing to contribute to the team.

Gainesville Red
02-25-2006, 12:55 PM
You know, I think I know how to play the game, a lot of people do. Does that mean Narron will give us a shot?

Little Alex
02-25-2006, 01:12 PM
Thats like your math professor saying "yep, he knows how to count." Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

But what do you expect? Aurilla is a joke anyway. I just hope his whining doesn't buy him anymore time off of the bench at the expense of our young guys.

KronoRed
02-25-2006, 01:27 PM
Myth.

Al Kaline knew how to play the game, last week I met a former ballplayer (Dave Baldwin a pitcher in the 60's and 70's) during our talk I mentioned that Al Kaline was my all time hero.

His reply, Al knew how to play the game, if you had to pick a hero you couldn't go wrong with Al Kaline, he was a great ballplayer and an even better man.

IMO there is a "way to play the game right" but the phrase is often used as a BS statement to cover up ambiguous thoughts regarding the players real contributions to the team.

But in no way does it always mean the guy was a bad ballplayer, nor does it mean that he has nothing to contribute to the team.You're right of course, but the phrase coming from this team makes me think bad player, never heard them say Dunn or Lopez "know how to play the game"

James B.
02-25-2006, 05:53 PM
When a coach says that a player knows how to play the game they are not talking about the rules or anything like that. When I here a coach say that I think of a guy that usually makes the right play when the ball is hit to him, knows how to get a bunt down, makes contact with two strikes instead of swinging for the fences. Things like this is what a coach means when he says that a player knows how to play the game.

traderumor
02-25-2006, 06:42 PM
You're right of course, but the phrase coming from this team makes me think bad player, never heard them say Dunn or Lopez "know how to play the game"
That is because they don't. They get by on raw talent, and if they ever increased their baseball IQ, just on the basepaths alone, then that might be something you could say about them.

Heath
02-25-2006, 06:59 PM
everytime I hear/read stuff on Richie, I just plug my ears with my fingers, close my eyes and yell at the top of my lungs.

One day soon, he will be away from here.

Falls City Beer
02-25-2006, 07:26 PM
You're right of course, but the phrase coming from this team makes me think bad player, never heard them say Dunn or Lopez "know how to play the game"

Exactly--the term has morphed into code for "I don't have anything much nice to say, but because he's a veteran and once had a career year, I'll say this about him." And coming from Narron, it loses any particular meaning altogether. Jerry Narron's a cardboard cut-out.

IslandRed
02-25-2006, 11:03 PM
Hmmm... if they're prepping Aurilia to be a supersub, maybe that means they're willing to give Freel a chance to start at second base... nah, that can't be it.

KronoRed
02-25-2006, 11:03 PM
Hmmm... if they're prepping Aurilia to be a supersub, maybe that means they're willing to give Freel a chance to start at second base... nah, that can't be it.
You mean Womack ;)

StillFunkyB
02-26-2006, 12:15 AM
One day soon, he will be away from here.

As a Cavs fan, I used to think this to myself about Danny Ferry.

He is now the freakin GM.

bianchiveloce
02-26-2006, 12:33 AM
Maybe the Reds should use him as a supersub at home, but not on the road. Last year his numbers at home were .332 avg/.380 obp/.561 slg/.941 ops compared to his road performance of .231/.296/.325/.621. Instead of a righty/lefty platoon maybe Narron could come up with a home/road platoon with Womack.:bowrofl:

But, seriously, Aurilia could be useful in limited role as a sub to spell the hopeful regulars of Freel (2B), Lopez (SS), or Encarnacion (3B) when needed. I don't think he is totally washed up as a hitter yet as evidence of his performance after coming off the DL. Quoting the above article from TeamBoone's post #2, after "May 29, Aurilia hit .306 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs. For the season, he led the Reds with a .343 average with runners in scoring position."

I don't see him duplicating that performance though. I think you will see his home numbers will drop significantly across the board while his away numbers will increase slightly across the board to come in around the .266 avg/.329 obp/.414 slg/.743 ops mark that Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projects. I'd take that as a regular sub, but not as a supersub as in Chone Figgins role the last couple of years.

kyred14
02-26-2006, 03:07 AM
Last year, he was the first Reds player I ever remember rooting against. This time around, I'll probably quietly root for multiple injuries. Wait, this would mean more PT for Womack. This is so confusing.

GridironGrace
02-26-2006, 09:19 AM
He still plays for the Reds... and contributes.. why you all bash aurilla all the time? I mean dont it get boring doing it over and over?

He produces when he's in the lineup and will provide days off for players this and make it so we dont really "lack" with a weaker player filling in for someone resting.

Depth.

Im gonna be happy as crap if he has an awesome season, same as i would for any Reds player.

TeamBoone
02-26-2006, 12:41 PM
He still plays for the Reds... and contributes.. why you all bash aurilla all the time? I mean dont it get boring doing it over and over?

He produces when he's in the lineup and will provide days off for players this and make it so we dont really "lack" with a weaker player filling in for someone resting.

Depth.

Im gonna be happy as crap if he has an awesome season, same as i would for any Reds player.

I think there are two major reasons he gets bashed:

#1 - his mouth... whiner, complainer, always feels abused. He wants to start and makes no bones about it, even when he's told he won't.
#2 - takes playing time away from younger players who need to play.

KronoRed
02-26-2006, 12:42 PM
#3 - Can't hit on the road
#4 - Bad D.

GridironGrace
02-26-2006, 12:50 PM
ha..

Bad D?

Guys i dunno He came on strong towards the end last season.

I feel he does his part.. and just tired of players getting bashed is all.

We are REDS fans.. That means we should cheer on ALL OF THEM.. main reason i wasnt on the forums during the off-season was i got tired of seeing these "Players I hate" threads lol

TeamBoone
02-26-2006, 12:56 PM
I cheer for all of them when they're on the field... but sometimes the wrong ones are on the field, IMHO.

creek14
02-28-2006, 06:51 AM
Aurilia adds veteran versatility
Associated Press
SARASOTA, Fla. - Rich Aurilia has a first baseman's glove, just in case.

The veteran infielder, who played third and second base and shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds last season, even could see time at first this year as the Reds get a new look there after trading Sean Casey to Pittsburgh.

Outfielder Adam Dunn will be tried at first, and newly acquired Scott Hatteberg also is available, but Aurilia ordered the glove to be ready if needed.

"When it really comes down to it, I really don't care where I play as long as I play," Aurilia said. "You could throw me in the outfield, I don't care; anywhere but behind the plate, for now."

The Reds re-signed Aurilia last month after his productive season last year, his first in Cincinnati. He batted .282 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs.
Manager Jerry Narron was pleased that the Reds could bring the versatile veteran back.

"Richie knows how to play the game," Narron said. :rolleyes: "He's an intelligent player, which I definitely like."

The Reds have loaded up on multi-position players, including newly acquired veterans Tony Womack and Quinton McCracken and the returning Ryan Freel, to give Narron more options and add to spring competition.

At this stage in his career, Aurilia knows that being ready to play different positions helps as he tries to carve out a regular role.

"I don't know what the game plan is, but I'm going to compete to play somewhere," he said. "This isn't the first time I've had to do it. I'm at a point now where if you asked me, `Would you like to play one position?' Well, yeah, of course.

"But I'm also at a point in my career where I feel I can play a bunch of different places, and I could play every day: a couple days here, a couple days there," said Aurilia, 34.

Aurilia said playing different positions last year while getting accustomed to a new team and ballpark helped build his confidence.

"I can come in one day and say `Hey, I'm playing third,' and the next day, `Hey, I'm playing second,' and have the confidence that I can do it now without worrying about what I'm going to do out there," he said.

redsmetz
02-28-2006, 07:35 AM
I have to concur with others. I understand that Aurilia whined alot and that is corrosive to a team, but I think he's coming in here ready to do what it takes. If he's somewhere in the line-up, I'm rooting for him.

On the same topic of the plethora of infielders, the guy I think will be the odd man out is Womack. The trade for him made no sense whatsoever. That said, I hope he does reasonably well in Spring Training so he has some trade value.

Red Heeler
02-28-2006, 08:33 AM
Aurillia would not be bad at all to have on your team if the following conditions applied:

a) Rich knew and accepted that his value is as a utility player.
b) The manager knew and accepted that Rich's value was as a utility player.
c) Your team was good enough to need veteran utility players.

None of the above conditions apply to the 2006 Reds.

Blimpie
02-28-2006, 08:52 AM
ha..

Bad D?

Guys i dunno He came on strong towards the end last season.

I feel he does his part.. and just tired of players getting bashed is all.

We are REDS fans.. That means we should cheer on ALL OF THEM.. main reason i wasnt on the forums during the off-season was i got tired of seeing these "Players I hate" threads lolRich "Came on strong?"...I think you first have to place where he "came from" into the proper context.

The guy has zero lateral mobility remaining and tries to disguise that fact by playing even with the outfield grass on nearly every play. Really, if any proficient opposing batter ever decided to punch a bunt past the pitcher's mound (towards the "Rich" side of the infield), he could basically walk to first EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only reason this didn't happen more often last year was because Milton and Ortiz were not missing too many starts.

I love it when George or Chris go bezerk fawning over Rich after he snares some Texas Leaguer. The only reason he was in position to make the play in the first place was because of his defensive shortcomings. Yet, they never fail to bellow--"That's what wiley veteran can bring to this Reds team..." It seems that those two guys (George and Chris) never seem to comment much on those slowly hit liners up the middle that Rich waves at just before Junior scoops them up.