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creek14
03-27-2006, 09:36 AM
'I told them I didn't care if I wasn't the closer,' he says
By Hal McCoy

Dayton Daily News

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. | While the Cincinnati Reds enter the 2006 season without a designated closer, their old closer is in camp with the Cleveland Indians, his mullet-style hair flowing toward his shoulders and another piece of ever-present body art snaking up his left arm.

Danny Graves is on a path toward making the Indians' relief staff after he was nearly exiled out of baseball last year by the Reds, some of it because of a sudden and lasting siege of ineffectiveness and more of it because of an unfortunate finger-flashing incident with a vulgar fan.

Told the Reds were devoid of a closer, Graves said, "I don't think that city is ready for me to come back just yet. Maybe down the road, you never know."

Graves, 32, is in Cleveland's camp on a minor-league contract but is the front-runner in pursuit of the last spot on the pitching staff, where he will pitch in the seventh or eighth inning.

He pitched a 1-2-3 inning against the Reds earlier this spring, but his former teammates turned ugly Sunday, punching him for three runs in the fourth inning, including a home run by Austin Kearns during Cleveland's 9-4 victory.

"I told them I didn't care if I wasn't the closer," said Graves. "As long as they don't start me, I'm good."

That was a not-so-veiled reference to 2003 when then Cincinnati manager Bob Boone reeled in him into the starting rotation and he went 4-15 in 26 starts with a 5.33 earned run average.

He was not the same as a closer after that.

This spring, he is thinner of body and wiser of mind.

"I got prepared for spring training this year before spring training began," he said. "The previous eight years with the Reds I used spring training to get ready for the season. I had to do it this year because I didn't have a spot on the roster. I wish I had done it with the Reds, but when you are young and dumb, that's the way it is. You think everything is easy and it isn't."

Graves said the Indians coaching staff, particularly bullpen coach Louie Isaac, in his 42nd year with the Tribe, has resurrected his career.

"Louie has made a couple of adjustments of mechanical flaws he spotted," said Graves. "When he saw me throw this spring, he said, 'That's not how you used to throw.' I'm using my legs more and I'm going straight at the the plate rather than fall off side stuff I didn't realize I was doing or not doing."

Of the coaching help, Graves added, "I've never been around so many coaches who want to help rather than see their names in the papers. They've helped me get the movement on my fastball back and my sinker has been good. I'm getting action on my pitches again."

Before giving up three runs Sunday, Graves had made 10 appearances and was 1-1 with a 2.31 earned run average, giving up three earned runs in 11 2/3 innings, walking none and striking out five.

"Mentally, I'm back together again," he said. "I feel like I'm a baseball player again, and I haven't felt like that since before I left Cincinnati. Being in a winning atmosphere, like here, got me back on track."

The Reds, though, may have derailed him. Graves' main competition for a spot is Steve Karsay, who pitched a scoreless inning Sunday.

Karsay gave up a double to Brian Buchanan, but that doesn't count. Buchanan had a double off Graves, too, and nobody gets him out. In fact, he saw four pitches Sunday and had four hits.

For the spring he is 20 for 33 (.606) with eight doubles and a home run bringing a smile to manager Jerry Narron's face and the words, "He has done everything in his power to make the club. He is hitting and playing defense, done well to help himself not only here but throughout baseball."

Dunner44
03-27-2006, 09:53 AM
"I've never been around so many coaches who want to help rather than see their names in the papers."


Poor Don....

RFS62
03-27-2006, 09:55 AM
"I got prepared for spring training this year before spring training began," he said. "The previous eight years with the Reds I used spring training to get ready for the season. I had to do it this year because I didn't have a spot on the roster. I wish I had done it with the Reds, but when you are young and dumb, that's the way it is. You think everything is easy and it isn't."


You know, when I see a quote like that, as a Reds fan during those breezy, lackidasical days, it makes me feel really small.

MrCinatit
03-27-2006, 10:22 AM
"I don't think that city is ready for me to come back just yet. Maybe down the road, you never know."

don't hold your breath, danny.

TRF
03-27-2006, 10:38 AM
You know, when I see a quote like that, as a Reds fan during those breezy, lackidasical days, it makes me feel really small.

Makes me wonder why young and dumb players didn't have closer supervision in the offseason. Like regular checkups, and a stricter training regimen.

DG had an awful season and a half, and it was likely because of the failed starter experiment without the proper buildup.

I'm happy the guy is pitching. I wish him well.

deltachi8
03-27-2006, 10:42 AM
Danny Graves is on a path toward making the Indians' relief staff after he was nearly exiled out of baseball last year by the Reds, some of it because of a sudden and lasting siege of ineffectiveness and more of it because of an unfortunate finger-flashing incident with a vulgar fan.


Actually, reverse the emphasis there and it would be an accurate statement.


"Mentally, I'm back together again," he said. "I feel like I'm a baseball player again, and I haven't felt like that since before I left Cincinnati. Being in a winning atmosphere, like here, got me back on track."


Carefull, Danny, Winning brings pressure.

In all fairness, I hope Danny makes it. He was a stand up guy 99% of the time. I just feel the ill fated starting experiment trashed his arm.

PTBNL
03-27-2006, 11:09 AM
He has a clause in his contract that if he doesn't make the 25 by April 1, he can opt out of any ties to the Indians.

westofyou
03-27-2006, 11:16 AM
ome of it because of a sudden and lasting siege of ineffectiveness and more of it because of an unfortunate finger-flashing incident with a vulgar fan.

2003-2005 as a Red



DANNY GRAVES

CINCINNATI REDS

YEAR TEAM AGE W L PCT G GS CG SV GF IP H R ER BB SO ERA RSAA
2003 Reds 29 4 15 .211 30 26 2 2 3 169 204 108 100 41 60 5.33 -20
2004 Reds 30 1 6 .143 68 0 0 41 59 68.1 77 39 30 13 40 3.95 0
2005 Reds 31 1 1 .500 20 0 0 10 18 18.1 30 18 15 12 8 7.36 -6
TOTALS 6 22 .214 118 26 2 53 80 255.2 311 165 145 66 108 5.10 -26
LG AVERAGE 14 14 .502 1 22 255.2 257 132 122 97 189 4.29 0

YEAR TEAM HR H/9 BR/9 SO/9 BB/9 SO/BB SHO WP IBB HBP BFP BK NW NL
2003 Reds 30 10.86 13.42 3.20 2.18 1.46 1 2 6 7 741 0 8 11
2004 Reds 12 10.14 12.12 5.27 1.71 3.08 0 2 6 2 290 0 4 3
2005 Reds 4 14.73 20.62 3.93 5.89 0.67 0 3 3 0 99 0 1 1
TOTALS 46 10.95 13.59 3.80 2.32 1.64 1 7 15 9 1130 0 13 15
LG AVERAGE 30 9.04 12.81 6.66 3.40 1.96 0 9 9 11 1106 1

Dunner44
03-27-2006, 11:26 AM
Yeah, his last year wasn't helped by a sub 1 SO/BB ratio either... and his K rate, which was abnormally high in '04 (for him), went back down.

RedsFan75
03-27-2006, 02:00 PM
I really hope Graves succeds. I find it the comments about the coaching very interesting.


"Louie has made a couple of adjustments of mechanical flaws he spotted," said Graves. "When he saw me throw this spring, he said, 'That's not how you used to throw.' I'm using my legs more and I'm going straight at the the plate rather than fall off side — stuff I didn't realize I was doing or not doing."

Of the coaching help, Graves added, "I've never been around so many coaches who want to help rather than see their names in the papers. They've helped me get the movement on my fastball back and my sinker has been good. I'm getting action on my pitches again."

Make you continue to wonder what was going on with the Reds Pitching coach the last few years.

deltachi8
03-27-2006, 02:02 PM
I really hope Graves succeds. I find it the comments about the coaching very interesting.



Make you continue to wonder what was going on with the Reds Pitching coach the last few years.

In NY, the theory was he was tipping his pitches.

Danny also seems to have changed his tune regarding his pitching coach from his Reds days. Per the Post, last July:


Graves was particularly upset at the firing of Gullett, whom he credits with much of his success in his career.

"He's had all these different guys come in during his time and they keep saying, 'Gully can fix him, Gully can fix him,'" Graves said. "Give him a top-notch guy where he doesn't have to fix him and he's going to look like a better pitching coach. I was the only one there with him for so long, there were always other guys coming in and out, in and out with him trying to fix them. There are a lot of pitching coaches that have great staffs and don't have to fix them."


OK, I sepent way too much time on a guy who doesn't pitch for the Reds anymore...when does the season start?

savafan
03-27-2006, 02:04 PM
For as "highly regarded" as the Cincinnati press made Don Gullett out to be the "pitching guru", it is hard to believe he hasn't been offered a coaching job in major league baseball.

tsj017
03-27-2006, 02:33 PM
For as "highly regarded" as the Cincinnati press made Don Gullett out to be the "pitching guru", it is hard to believe he hasn't been offered a coaching job in major league baseball.

That does say a lot, doesn't it?

As for Graves, the way I remember it, he was starting to be ineffective as a closer BEFORE the move to the starting rotation. That was part of the reason they tried to make him a starter--he wasn't getting it done in the bullpen. (The other part of the reason they tried to make him a starter, of course, was that they were desperate for starting pitching.)

Chip R
03-27-2006, 02:37 PM
That does say a lot, doesn't it?

As for Graves, the way I remember it, he was starting to be ineffective as a closer BEFORE the move to the starting rotation. That was part of the reason they tried to make him a starter--he wasn't getting it done in the bullpen. (The other part of the reason they tried to make him a starter, of course, was that they were desperate for starting pitching.)

You're exactly right.

KronoRed
03-27-2006, 03:18 PM
I thought the Indians wanted to win ;)

paulrichjr
03-27-2006, 03:40 PM
I have to say that based upon his spring (not counting yesterday), he has done really well. It does appear that he has improved tremendously. Which leads me to believe 1. that Gullet was ineffective and 2. Graves was not in shape. I personally hope he does very well this year. I have always liked Graves until he came in to pitch for the Reds in the 9th inning the last couple of years.

Sea Ray
03-27-2006, 04:04 PM
I have to say that based upon his spring (not counting yesterday), he has done really well. It does appear that he has improved tremendously. Which leads me to believe 1. that Gullet was ineffective and 2. Graves was not in shape. I personally hope he does very well this year. I have always liked Graves until he came in to pitch for the Reds in the 9th inning the last couple of years.

You're basing this off of 3 weeks of Spring Training?:confused:

If you recall he had an even better Spring last year. He didn't even give up a run until the last week. If Don Gullett was the problem why didn't he improve after going to NY?

I totally agree with your point #2. The problem lies solely with Danny. Look at him now vs 1999. He's let himself go bigtime. He has not kept himself in shape and that catches up to you when you reach your 30s.

If Danny makes the team by the skin of his teeth, he won't last the year.

TRF
03-27-2006, 04:28 PM
If Don Gullett was the problem why didn't he improve after going to NY?

Because by then the damage was done?

Sea Ray
03-27-2006, 05:44 PM
Because by then the damage was done?

What damage are you referring to? My comment was in response to the remark that Gullett was ineffective as a pitching coach

BUTLER REDSFAN
03-27-2006, 07:43 PM
im tired of hearing graves bring up being a starter for one season..3 years ago...is he always going to use that as an excuse for how bad he's pitched since then?

Ravenlord
03-27-2006, 07:51 PM
2. Graves was not in shape.
we saw that when he was DLd in 04. he was forced to do some intense work on a stationary bike for two weeks, and when he came back his velocity was up a bit, and his sinker was actually sinking. too bad that lasted for about a week and a half.

westofyou
03-27-2006, 08:06 PM
1. that Gullet was ineffective and 2. Graves was not in shape.

Number 3. He ran the course that most short RH's are able to accomplish but his career met the data and that's where they'll leave the game hand in hand.

Ravenlord
03-27-2006, 08:07 PM
Number 3. He ran the course that most short RH's are able to accomplish but his career met the data and that's where they'll leave the game hand in hand.
wasn't Graves the most durable of those RHP 5'10" or under?

westofyou
03-27-2006, 08:11 PM
wasn't Graves the most durable of those RHP 5'10" or under?
He had the most IP of guys under 30

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35371

REDREAD
03-27-2006, 08:32 PM
For as "highly regarded" as the Cincinnati press made Don Gullett out to be the "pitching guru", it is hard to believe he hasn't been offered a coaching job in major league baseball.

I'm not sure Gullet has been looking. Doesn't he live in Kentucky? Maybe he's had enough and is ready to enjoy retirement.

gilpdawg
03-27-2006, 11:28 PM
Nobody scores on Danny Graves!!!:D
Sorry, I had to.

TeamBoone
03-27-2006, 11:44 PM
Monday, March 27, 2006

Graves trying to catch on with Cleveland
Reds notebook BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Danny Graves says he's just trying to fit in. If having a neck-length mullet helps, Graves is moving in the right direction. Graves, the erstwhile Reds' closer, is trying to win a job with the Cleveland Indians.

Graves is still Graves - the mullet and two additions to his tattoo collection show he's a free spirit.

But last year taught him a lesson. He was basically fired by the Reds for a poor performance coupled with his infamous No. 1 sign to a fan.

He was picked up June 11 by the New York Mets. But things didn't go much better there. He had a 5.75 ERA and allowed 29 hits in 201/3 innings. The Mets designated him for assignment, and he spent two weeks the minors. The Mets brought him back up, but he pitched only two innings in September.

That prompted him to change his offseason routine.

"I used to come into spring training to get ready," he said. "This year, I started early. I threw off the mound before I got here.

"I knew I had to win a spot so I better come in ready. There are a lot of younger guys with good arms here."

Graves wishes he had followed such a routine earlier.

"I wish I had done it the last eight years," he said. "I was young and dumb. It sucks that it had to work out that way."

Graves, 32, does not have the Indians made. He's one of three pitchers competing for the final spot in the bullpen. But the Indians like the fact that Graves has experience as a closer. So this last week is critical for him.

"I try not to think about it," he said.

"It's in their hands. That's the business side of it."

Graves was having a great spring before his old teammates beat up on him Sunday. He gave up three runs on four hits, including Austin Kearns' solo home run. That pushed his ERA from 2.31 to 4.26. He has allowed 14 hits and five walks, while striking out five in 122/3 innings.

Luis Isaac, the Indians' bullpen coach, made a mechanical adjustment with Graves. Isaac knew Graves from his days as a minor leaguer in the Cleveland organization.

"He walked me through and said, 'you never used to throw like that,' " Graves said. "I said, 'Show me how I threw.' "

Graves says he doesn't know what his velocity is.

"But I feel like I've got the action back on my sinker," he said.

The biggest difference, he said, is in his head - and he wasn't referring to the mullet.

"I feel like I'm back to being a baseball player again," he said. "That's the biggest thing."

Graves figures even if he doesn't make the Indians, he'll get a job somewhere.

What about Cincinnati?

"I don't know if that city wants me back yet," he said. "But I don't hold any grudges. The Reds gave me my chances."



http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060327/SPT04/603270369/1071

biggestREDSfan
03-27-2006, 11:58 PM
I would like to see Graves catch on with the Cleveland Indians. I hope he makes it back again. Maybe one day he will be back to help the Reds.

kyred14
03-28-2006, 12:07 AM
I would like to see Graves catch on with the Cleveland Indians. I hope he makes it back again. Maybe one day he will be back to help the Reds.

Well, we play the Indians six times this year. If they let him pitch, the only team he can help is the one he is pitching against.

paulrichjr
03-28-2006, 01:37 AM
You're basing this off of 3 weeks of Spring Training?:confused:

If you recall he had an even better Spring last year. He didn't even give up a run until the last week. If Don Gullett was the problem why didn't he improve after going to NY?

I totally agree with your point #2. The problem lies solely with Danny. Look at him now vs 1999. He's let himself go bigtime. He has not kept himself in shape and that catches up to you when you reach your 30s.

If Danny makes the team by the skin of his teeth, he won't last the year.

Yes I am. Which is why I said based upon spring training... I think he is better, possibly good enough to pitch in the majors again. He was not last year. I think the problems with Danny were just what I said along with the number 3. that someone else said...basically he doesn't have a lot of talent. Do I want him back on the Reds? No.

savafan
03-28-2006, 02:24 PM
Not sure what effect this has on Danny making the Tribe, but they just signed Felix Heredia.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/baseball/3753519.html

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. Relief pitcher Felix Heredia, released by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, signed a minor league contact Tuesday with the Cleveland Indians.

The 30-year-old Heredia is 28-19 with six saves and a 4.42 ERA in 511 appearances. He allowed six runs in five innings with Arizona this spring training.

He pitched only three games with the New York Mets last season before surgery to remove a blood clot in his shoulder. On Oct. 18, Heredia was suspended for the first 10 days of the 2006 season after testing positive for steroids.

Heredia began his big league career with the Florida Marlins in 1996 and also has pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Toronto, Cincinnati and the New York Yankees.

Red Rover
03-31-2006, 12:10 PM
Anthony Castrovince, of Indians.MLB.com, reports Cleveland Indians RP Danny Graves won the team's last bullpen spot.

TeamBoone
03-31-2006, 01:09 PM
Yeah, Marty mentioned it during yesterday's game.

Good for Danny!

Chip R
03-31-2006, 02:37 PM
Now the real question will be if Danny can stay on the Indians by the time the Indians play down here.

KronoRed
03-31-2006, 03:24 PM
I hope so.

BOooooo ;)