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OnBaseMachine
03-31-2006, 08:27 PM
Harang, Reds usher in new era
Chicago (0-0) at Cincinnati (0-0), 2:10 p.m. ET
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

Paul Wilson, Cory Lidle, Jimmy Haynes, Joey Hamilton and Pete Harnisch.
These men have two things in common. They were the Reds' last five Opening Day starters. And they were part of the past five losing campaigns in Cincinnati.

When they commence the 2006 season against the Cubs on Monday at Great American Ball Park, the Reds will have their sixth different Opening Day starter in six years in Aaron Harang.

But under new ownership and front-office regime that took over in the offseason, the club has been hopeful that its run of disappointment will end.

It's no surprise that Harang was tapped for the opener. He was Cincinnati's most consistent pitcher on a rotation that was often badly beaten up last season. The 27-year-old right-hander was 11-13 with a 3.83 ERA in 32 starts while striking out 163 in 211 2/3 innings.

"It's the oldest franchise in Major League Baseball," Harang said earlier in Spring Training. "For anybody to get that Opening Day start, it's an honor."

Harang was the only Reds starter from 2005 to cross the 200-inning benchmark and he led the staff in several statistical categories -- including wins, ERA, strikeouts, innings and quality starts with 19.

This spring, Harang seemed ready to build off last season. He's gone 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts. While striking out 12 overall, he didn't allow his first run until his fourth start and didn't issue his first walk until his final outing.

"He's looked very good," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "I've been very pleased with the way he's thrown. I've been very pleased with his poise and just the confidence he's shown on the mound. At this level, a huge part of it is knowing that you're a Major League pitcher and a good player. I think he knows that."

Harang believed that confidence came from having more experience.

"Before I got over here, [the Athletics] were very tentative with me," Harang said on Wednesday after his final spring start. "I got over here and every time out it's, 'Here's the ball, go to work and get the job done.' I've kind of learned more of the hitters around the league. I know what to expect of myself and what I need to do to improve."

As for taking part in his first Opening Day as Reds manager, Narron was excited.

"I look forward to it every year whether it's as a coach, player or manager. I love it," Narron said. "Opening Day in baseball is special. It always has been and always will be. The intensity of Opening Day is like the postseason. That one regular-season game is like the postseason. That's awesome."

Harang said he was trying not to get caught up with the buzz that comes with pitching the opener.

"It probably won't hit me until we get to Cincinnati," he said. "It probably won't hit me until that day.

Pitching matchup
CIN: RHP Aaron Harang
11-13, 3.83 ERA in 2005
3-0, 3.68 in 2005 vs. CHC
4-0, 3.99 lifetime vs. CHC

CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano
14-6, 3.26 ERA in 2005
0-0, 7.59 ERA in 2005 vs. CIN
5-3, 2.33 ERA lifetime vs. CIN


Reds probable lineup
Pos. Name
1. 2B Tony Womack
2. SS Felipe Lopez
3. CF Ken Griffey Jr.
4. LF Adam Dunn
5. 3B Edwin Encarnacion
6. 1B Scott Hatteberg
7. RF Austin Kearns
8. C Javier Valentin
9. P Aaron Harang

On the Internet
MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
Gameday
Official game notes

On television
CIN: FSN Ohio
CHC: WGN

On radio
CIN: WLW 700-AM
CHC: WGN 720-AM

On deck
Tuesday: Off-day
Wednesday: vs. Cubs, 12:35 p.m. ET
Thursday: vs. Pirates, 7:10 p.m. ET
Friday: vs. Pirates, 7:10 p.m. ET

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060330&content_id=1374250&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

wheels
03-31-2006, 08:36 PM
What started out as a good article about Aarron Harang devolved into a puke fest when I saw Womack's name in the leadoff slot.

Whatever...I love Harang. That big ugly guy is the closest thing the Reds have had to a real horse in a long time.

It's good to have him, and two or three more like him would put our team over the top.

jmac
03-31-2006, 11:43 PM
i may be in the minority here but this womack thing is getting old.
when i first found this site i would check it every day for reds news and informative discussions.
then it was constant womack bashing.i understand if you dont like him as a player that is your right.however with opening day next week,i was reading several threads and it is hard to believe how this is still going to such an extreme.even the "sticky" to ease up has 90 responses.
to me i would rather read everyones thoughts on a article such as the one above rather than 25 responses on womack.
you guys dont like womack......i understand that.

jmac
03-31-2006, 11:50 PM
What started out as a good article about Aarron Harang devolved into a puke fest when I saw Womack's name in the leadoff slot.

Whatever...I love Harang. That big ugly guy is the closest thing the Reds have had to a real horse in a long time.

It's good to have him, and two or three more like him would put our team over the top.
btw......you are right on money with harang comment !:thumbup:

wheels
04-01-2006, 01:01 AM
i may be in the minority here but this womack thing is getting old.
when i first found this site i would check it every day for reds news and informative discussions.
then it was constant womack bashing.i understand if you dont like him as a player that is your right.however with opening day next week,i was reading several threads and it is hard to believe how this is still going to such an extreme.even the "sticky" to ease up has 90 responses.
to me i would rather read everyones thoughts on a article such as the one above rather than 25 responses on womack.
you guys dont like womack......i understand that.

Meh.......Sorry.

I haven't been one to do much Womack bashing, but sometimes it just happens.

Last time I checked, we could voice opinions, and I haven't been beating a player or subject to death.

An overwhelming opinion is just that.

biggestREDSfan
04-01-2006, 01:30 AM
2006! A new year! A new beginning! And yes Aaron Harang is a workhorse and he has had a great spring! The Reds have made some steps in the right direction and alot of our young guys now have another years experience under their belt.
Also, the Reds have had an excellent winning record this spring. And Griffey sure looks good so far this year.
To me there seems to be a little more excitement about the team this year. And that is a good sign. Fans are noticing alot of the good changes this year. I also believe there will be some new players stepping up to the plate more and showing their true potential. I don't know if the Reds will win the pennant this year or not. They may surprise us this year.
In my head and in my heart, I believe the Reds will be more exciting to watch and listen to this year.
Let's GO Reds!!! :thisyear: :dancingco :dancingco :dancingco