View Full Version : Notes: Weathers, Bengals take BP (6/14)
06-14-2006, 05:42 PM
Notes: Weathers resumes throwing
Reliever expected to return Friday; Bengals take BP
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Out with right shoulder tendinitis all week, reliever David Weathers could be ready to resume pitching for the Reds on Friday.
Weathers threw for the first time since leaving Sunday's game against the Cubs after losing the feeling in his arm. He was instructed by the club's medical staff to rest and not pick up a baseball for two-to-three days.
"He threw some and he said he felt pretty good," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
Weathers is 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA and nine saves in 28 appearances this season. His return could be a boost to the Cincinnati bullpen, which has struggled during the club's losing streak.
Come on over: The Reds opened their home to their neighbors down the street on Wednesday morning. The entire roster of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals made a short walk over to Great American Ball Park to have some fun.
Every player lined up to take batting practice and several shagged flies in the outfield. Did anyone have the skills to become two-sport athletes?
"I don't think so," Narron said emphatically. "Every sport at the highest level is much more difficult than it looks on TV. I don't care what sport it is."
Narron spent several minutes talking with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. It was the first time the two had met.
"I've heard a lot of great things about him. He's outstanding," Narron said.
Wearing bright orange T-shirts that said simply "team" on the back, several Bengals players milled through the Reds' clubhouse.
"They're killing the (food) spread," one Reds player joked.
Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. said he spent time talking with popular Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson. The two had exchanged jerseys recently.
Griffey signed his jersey "To Chad: No. 3 can cover 85."
Johnson sent one of his jerseys to Griffey's son, Trey. "To Trey, 7-11, Chad Johnson," it said.
7-11? "It means he's open 24 hours (like the store)," Griffey said.
After several years of reportedly cool relations between the city's two major professional sports franchises, there appears to have been more goodwill shared between the clubs in recent years.
Griffey said he experienced it first-hand as early as 2001 when he was allowed to rehabilitate a torn hamstring at the facilities inside Paul Brown Stadium.
"They gave me full access," Griffey said. "Any time I needed to go over there."
Rockin' Reds: The Reds have a scheduled off-day Thursday and many players are expected to turn out to watch teammate Bronson Arroyo perform in a benefit concert in Covington, Ky. Arroyo sings and plays guitar. Raquel Aurilia, wife of infielder Rich Aurilia, will also be headlining. At the Madison Theater, the show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with proceeds benefiting the Reds Community Fund and its outreach programs.
Felipe Lopez, Adam Dunn, Griffey, Brandon Phillips and Todd Coffey are among several players expected to be in the audience.
Stars and stripes: In conjunction with Flag Day, the U.S. Army celebrated its 231st anniversary at 14 Major League ballparks on Wednesday. Members of the service were honored on the field before the Reds played Milwaukee. Sgt. Angela Frost sang the National Anthem.
Coming up: Interleague Play returns Friday when the Reds host the World Series champion White Sox for a three-game series. Brandon Claussen will start the 7:10 p.m. ET opener against Chicago right-hander Freddy Garcia.
06-14-2006, 06:04 PM
June 14, 2006
By GEOFF HOBSON
Bengals take batting practice
Just hearing two great Cincinnati voices, the cool Hall of Fame diction of Reds announcer Marty Brennaman and the spikes-on-the-gravel passion of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, tells you what season it is. On Wednesday at Great American Ball Park, they were talking to each other as the Bengals took batting practice in a power summit on the river.
“I’m a big fan of yours. It’s good to see you out here,” Brennaman said as he shook hands.
“Same here,” Lewis said. “We’re going to have you guys over to the stadium on a Friday for celebrity field goals.”
“I’ll be there,” said Brennaman, who will no doubt bring along “The Bad Boy,” sidekick Steve Stewart himself.
It truly is a new day. The National League Central-contending Reds have a plan and the defending AFC North champ Bengals have the man and Cincinnati’s two professional sports teams hope to work a little more hand-and-glove. So when Lewis called Phil Castellini not long ago with the idea of bringing his team over to take some hacks, the deed was done.
“It’s always nice when both the Bengals and the Reds are doing well," said Castellini, the Reds senior director of business operations and the son of Bob, the club’s new owner. “We’re big fans. Dad has had season tickets for years and Marvin’s done such a great job.”
In his never ending quest to bring the team closer together, Lewis came up with a Riverfront Walking Tour for Wednesday, the day before the Bengals three-day minicamp closes the spring sessions.
Call it the Long Orange Line.
Wearing black shorts and orange T-shirts with simply “Team” written on the back, about 70 players and coaches trekked from Paul Brown Stadium next door to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
(Just imagine what Aunt Bertha visiting from Pittsburgh would have thought.)
After about a 45-minute tour, they kept walking to Great American to take the Reds’ batting practice time before the 12:35 p.m. Business Day special against the Brewers.
“A dream come true to get down there and hit. I bet it was for a lot of guys,” said left tackle Levi Jones, most certainly the biggest pitcher-first baseman in Eloy, Ariz., history. “It’s cool when we do something like this as a team. You get to know guys a little better. I bet a lot of guys didn’t know that Kelley Washington played some ball.”
Washington, the fourth-year wide receiver, played 295 minor-league games to be exact as a 10th-round pick of the Marlins. He may have hit .213 lifetime, but on Wednesday he rocketed a few deep shots off World Series hero Billy Hatcher and admitted a part of him will always miss baseball.
“It’s something you always love,” said Washington, who hadn’t picked up a bat in two years. “You don’t forget it.”
Funny what baseball does to you. For guys already living the dream, walking on a big-league greensward is still special.
Like he was a third-grader back in Staten Island going to Yankee Stadium, secondary coach Kevin Coyle brought his glove from home. Shaun Smith, the tough 320-pound defensive tackle, said his day would be made if Ken Griffey Jr., signed his baseball. Linebacker David Pollack, the star of the day who hadn’t picked up a bat since seventh grade, ripped five homers that included an upper-deck job.
“Can’t explain it. I just gripped it and ripped it,” said Pollack, who looked like a Junior Jose Canseco with the jet black hair and quick chop stroke. “Hey now, he’s only throwing about three miles per hour.”
But Tim Burman, the Reds long-time lefty who has been serving up BP homers since Pete Rose made out the lineup card, wasn’t throwing underhand, either.
“Pollack’s got a nice smooth swing. He didn’t jump at it. He stayed back,” Burman said. “The ball went off Kelley Washington’s bat like he knew what he was doing. It sounded like when the Reds hit it. I couldn’t recognize a lot of them. Yeah, I saw Chad.”
How could Burman miss Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson? He was first in line and although he’s made the celebrity tour with these things, he had trouble lifting the ball.
“Contact, but I can’t get it in the air,” Johnson said, shaking his head.
“He’s a guy that likes to hit and run,” Burman said, but when Johnson tried to leg out a grounder, he had to stop to adjust his cell phone.
The Reds’ star power remained in the clubhouse, but the Bengals found their way to Griffey’s locker. Griffey, it should be no surprise, turned out to be the gracious host. The Cincinnati Kid has long followed the Bengals, so Smith had no trouble getting his signature. And neither did anyone else.
“Great player. Hall of Famer. Laid back guy. Nice dude,” Smith said. “He wanted to know if anybody knew T.O., and what kind of guy he is.”
Safety Anthony Mitchell has been looking for something for his basement to go next to the Brett Favre helmet, the Julius Erving jersey, and the Deion Sanders cleats. Now he’s got it with an Adam Dunn bat signed by the Reds outfield of Dunn, Griffey and Austin Kearns, left to right.
“I’m going to come over and bum-rush you guys two hours before you have a game,” Griffey joked.
“Good guy,” said Mitchell, who also left with a signed hat and ball. “Oh yeah, he’s a fan. He had a Bengals hat in his locker.”
Linebacker Marcus Wilkins got a chance to catch up with Dunn, his former Texas teammate, and it’s amazing how time flies. They found out both are living in Houston.
“The only reason he didn’t play quarterback is because they gave the job to Chris Simms,” said Wilkins of Tampa Bay’s current quarterback. “They moved (Dunn) to tight end and the next thing you know, he’s outside the dorm one night packing up his truck. Then the next thing you know, he’s in the major leagues hitting home runs. It didn’t take him very long.”
Wilkins, who also left with a Dunn bat, is a Lewis veteran who buys into this sort of day.
“I like being a fan,” Wilkins said. “I like being a fan with these guys. We don’t get much of a chance to do it. It’s fun.”
The two franchises haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. But the Reds long ago replaced the Indians in Bengals president Mike Brown’s baseball heart, and whether it has been at Wilmington or Georgetown, a day at training camp isn’t complete until you hear Brennaman’s baritone wafting through his dorm room. The Bengals own a luxury suite at Great American, and on Wednesday they bought about 50 to 100 tickets so players could watch from the new Front Gate section high behind the third-base line.
And on Wednesday the Reds rolled out the Redlegs carpet. While manager Jerry Narron huddled with Lewis, his bench coach, Bucky Dent, politely had his picture taken with a long-suffering Red Sox fan now working for the Bengals.
(It will be recalled that Russell Earl Dent, the one-time Yankee shortstop, personally kept alive “The Curse of the Bambino” with his three-run homer into the Fenway Park net during the 1978 playoff game that ignited New York’s 5-4 victory over Boston.)
But 28 summers later, Dent couldn’t have been nicer to the pathetic soul next to him yammering about how it was a routine fly ball in Yankee Stadium. Plus, he also took time to shake hands with some of the Bengals coaches who double as Yankee fans.
When Lewis got into the cage against Hatcher, the players got a chance to double as coaches and yell some of the things Lewis yells at them.
“Move your hips,” said tight end Reggie Kelly after Lewis missed a low pitch.
“Sacrifice," screamed Chad Johnson as Lewis ticked one off the roof of the net.
Thankfully, Lewis’ day went off better than his hitting. The visit to the Freedom Center had added significance since the museum plans adding an exhibit in September that honors the roles of Marion Motley, Bill Willis, and Bengals founder Paul Brown in the integration of pro football.
“It’s something different. It’s good to get out and do something different as a team," Lewis said. “We’ve got a great relationship going with the Freedom Center and that’s an important thing coming up in September, so it was good to get over there at this point and see what’s going on.”
By 11 a.m., the day campers were done. The Long Orange Line headed out the centerfield fence to Mehring Way under a hot sun, and back to PBS.
“Good workout,” Lewis said to some of the guys. “Low impact.”
Maybe low impact. But, as always, it was a day Lewis made some kind of impact.
06-14-2006, 06:07 PM
Cincinnati a two-sports-team town, that hasn't happened since 1990, providing the Reds don't go on their inevitable slide. ;)
06-14-2006, 06:47 PM
I heard Marty saying that David Pollack slammed three balls out of the yard, one in the upper deck. Maybe Pollack could be a 2-Sport star. He would be very useful in bench clearing brawls as well.
06-15-2006, 08:22 AM
That's a good team building experience for the Bengals and good co-operation from the Reds. It's nice to see them working more closely together.
06-15-2006, 01:24 PM
By Sara Normand / Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI -- For nearly three decades, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals shared a home in Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field, but they never really had a relationship as one community of Cincinnati's finest athletes. That barrier began to dissolve Wednesday afternoon, when more than half of the 70 Bengals in attendance teamed up to take on Reds pitchers and coaches, the 80-degree weather and their own egos in a round of batting practice at Great American Ball Park prior to the Reds-Brewers game.
Just days before their final mandatory full-squad mini-camp, the Bengals welcomed the idea of a little change in routine. From Paul Brown Stadium, they took a short hike down Mehring Way to check out the home of their baseball neighbors.
John Allen, Chief Operating Officer for the Reds, said that this was the first time the teams have really come together for an event.
"Occasionally, we've had one or two [Bengals] come over for batting practice," said Allen. "But the whole group? It was Marvin Lewis' and Bob Castellini's idea."
In turn, Lewis said, "We welcome [the Reds] to come over any Friday and spend a day with us [to play football]. It'd be great."
But Allen didn't seem too fond of the idea and joked, "I'm not sure I want our guys out there banging around too much."
The one-hour batting session provided an afternoon of smiles, some solid hits and even more laughter at players who couldn't even make contact. Reds Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman said it was "really nice that the Bengals showed up in the numbers that they did" and that it could be the "beginning of a new era of détente" between the teams.
Several Reds pitchers and coaches took turns pitching to the Bengals, including relievers Rick White and Esteban Yan, as well as first base coach Billy Hatcher. Even Lewis managed to get in a few tosses to his own players. He and Reds manager Jerry Narron are in their fourth and second years, respectively, at the helm of their teams. Among other duties, they've been trying to revive a fan base that's watched the two teams struggle in years past. Recently, though, the two teams have taken great strides with their on-field success.
Dressed in orange T-shirts with "TEAM" written on the back, the 2005 AFC North Champions were fully confident that they could knock some home runs out of a park known for its advantage toward hitters. Some Bengals were successful, whereas others learned that hitting a home run is a lot harder than it seems.
Before getting into the cage, loquacious Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson joked, "He ain't got nothin' on me," about Ken Griffey Jr. and his finesse for hitting the long ball. After hitting a few soft liners to the outfield, Johnson said, "I did good, so-so. I did good enough I know I can play."
However, the Pro-Bowler did say that no one on this Reds team could beat him in a one-on-one matchup in football.
"It's impossible. Just impossible," Johnson said with a confident smile.
Lewis said he didn't know if any Reds player could take on Johnson but that he'd be interested in seeing what multi-talented pitcher Bronson Arroyo could do on the gridiron.
The most impressive Bengal taking cuts was by far Kelley Washington, the 6-foot-3 wide receiver from the University of Tennessee.
Washington was actually drafted out of high school by the Florida Marlins in the 10th round of the 1997 draft and played 295 games in their system as a shortstop and third baseman. However, despite the career nine homers and 98 RBIs, he looked at his .213 career batting average objectively and decided to make the switch to football.
Brennaman also thought it was nice to see the two teams embracing each other in Cincinnati, "especially because these teams have basically the same fan base."
For those Cincinnati fans, nothing was better than seeing both teams for the price of one ticket on Wednesday, and maybe, just maybe, the luck from the Bengals 2005 season will rub off on the diamond for this year's Cincinnati Reds ballclub.
06-15-2006, 01:32 PM
No wonder Chad didn't hit well, he didn't have his goldies in. :D
As a lifelong Reds and Bengals fan, it was great to finally see some camaraderie between the two teams. Kudos to Bob C. and Marvin. :thumbup:
06-15-2006, 02:42 PM
Was Chris Henry there, or was he getting a record 5'th arrest in 7 months???
06-15-2006, 02:52 PM
He has to notify Kentucky authorities in order to leave the state.
06-15-2006, 02:54 PM
My son called me and told me to check out the story on Bengals.com - great story, great event, good comraderies. It was interesting to hear about the Bengals player who was a teammate of Dunn's at Texas. And if the Reds reciprocate, I guess Dunn can throw some long ones to Chad.
I liked too that they took in the Freedom Center - great place.
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