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View Full Version : Baker: "It's not easy being Homer"



BRM
03-11-2008, 09:23 AM
Per C. Trent



"It's not easy being Homer," Baker started...

It's not. I've seen it 1,000 times, it's not easy being that Mr. Everything, Can't-Miss kid. No matter what you do... I learned a long time ago, the most dangerous word for a young kid is potential. If they don't do great, then no matter what they do, they don't reach that potential. Some guys take longer to get it than other guys, for whatever the reason.

What is Homer, 21? This dude's barely drinking age, you know what I'm saying? There are kids in college that haven't even signed a contract yet that are still pitching and Homer already has this experience already. That's the thing, let's not forget, this dude is three years ahead of whoever is going to be in this year's draft.

He may not be where you want him to be or where we want him to be or where he wants to be right now, but he's still ahead of the program. Three or four years from now, you might have another thought process, but right now...

I'm big on what a guy does compared to his graduating class. And you know, he's like a freshman playing against seniors. Some freshmen come in and play like seniors, and others have to wait until they're seniors.

Unassisted
03-11-2008, 09:31 AM
I'm big on what a guy does compared to his graduating class. And you know, he's like a freshman playing against seniors. Some freshmen come in and play like seniors, and others have to wait until they're seniors.I think Dusty has a case of March Madness. Maybe he can get counseling from Dick Vitale? ;)

rotnoid
03-11-2008, 09:48 AM
I think Dusty has a case of March Madness. Maybe he can get counseling from Dick Vitale? ;)

So for now Homer's a diaper dandy, but don't give out hope that he'll be a PTPer? I need some Digiorno.

M2
03-11-2008, 10:06 AM
Dusty's right. Bailey deserves exactly zero criticism for not being major league ready at age 22. Even if he spends another three years finding his way, he'll still be a relatively young man with a bright future.

Chip R
03-11-2008, 10:10 AM
Guys like Volquez and Cueto may be the best thing that has ever happened to Homer - professionally speaking. He can go down to AAA and work on his stuff without having all the pressure of being the Reds' savior like he was last year. There's not going to be any "Homer Watch" and Wayne's not going to get pressured from above and below to bring him up. It's going to put a little more pressure on the other two but it may be best in the long run for Homer personally.

lollipopcurve
03-11-2008, 10:15 AM
Homer doesn't have to be a #1 to be a success. If he can become a solid 200 inning #3 or #4, it'll be good for the Reds and it'll make him a ton of money. Give him time.

Chip R
03-11-2008, 10:18 AM
Homer doesn't have to be a #1 to be a success. If he can become a solid 200 inning #3 or #4, it'll be good for the Reds and it'll make him a ton of money. Give him time.


I agree and that's not a bad thing since the Reds haven't been able to even produce that kind of a pitcher for themselves or anyone.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 10:19 AM
Wow. For once I actually agree with Dusty Baker. Will wonders never cease? There's the competent half we know and love...

jojo
03-11-2008, 10:33 AM
It's not easy being green or Brett Tomko either... :cool:

Kc61
03-11-2008, 11:07 AM
You just have to hope that Homer is mature enough to handle going down to AAA, which seems inevitable now. Some of his fellow prospects will join him down there, but others will get the call and you hope Bailey can deal with that ok.

Fact is that Baker is right, Bailey is still only 21 and very, very few starting pitchers are successful in the big leagues at that age. Baker is also right that Bailey could spend three more years at AAA and still be on target to reach the big leagues at a reasonable age.

The obvious concern is that the Reds have created an expectation, for Homer and the fans, that he will be a big league contributor this year and that he (and fans) will have trouble dealing with Bailey at AAA.

Blitz Dorsey
03-11-2008, 11:13 AM
I think that was a very insightful comment from Dusty. (Of course, I've been saying the same thing for months... ;-))

But seriously, everyone is acting like Homer Bailey is suddenly this bust. He is 21 years old and if he was a junior in college right now pitching for Texas he would be everyone's No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and would have can't-miss written all over him. If Homer is 24 and 25 and still struggling, I'll worry. Right now, I'm glad we've got a big horse with a big arm who is as competitive as they come. I think Homer Bailey will come around. I know it's a different position, but Chris Sabo was, what, 26 when he won rookie of the year? Give Homer a chance. And in the meantime we can enjoy Johnny Cueto who is one of those "freshmen" who play like "seniors." Just because it might take Homer until his junior year to be a stud doesn't mean people should write him off.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 11:13 AM
Homer flashed some of his great potential ... but also his lack of command. He needs more time to work the kinks out.

Always Red
03-11-2008, 11:28 AM
Homer flashed some of his great potential ... but also his lack of command. He needs more time to work the kinks out.

yes, I agree- give the kid some time. He looked really good in spots last night.

Sandy Koufax couldn't hit the broad side of a barn until he was 25. He figured it out. Nolan Ryan only gained some command when he was about 32, believe it or not.

Not every pitcher has the ability to throw a strike whenever they like, and Homer may not ever have that kind of command. If he doesn't, he's going to need to be sturdy, and have the ability to pitch into the 110's on a consistent basis, to be of good use as a SP.

M2
03-11-2008, 11:35 AM
But seriously, everyone is acting like Homer Bailey is suddenly this bust.

Seems to me that a lot of the people you're putting in the "Homer is a bust" category are the ones who've been making the case that he's been overpushed and overhyped, which Baker has basically just confirmed.

The problem is a lot of people on this board have spent years acting like Homer Bailey was destined to be a major league stud by this point in his career. And when others have argued that Super Phenom Homer is not the pitcher we've got in front of us, we've been accused of calling him a bust.

The Reds put this kid on an absolutely ridiculous timetable. That's what most of his supposed detractors have been saying. Will he be a good pitcher in the future? He very well could be though it's going to be tough for the franchise to hold onto him if his transition takes a few years.

fearofpopvol1
03-11-2008, 01:42 PM
Seems to me that a lot of the people you're putting in the "Homer is a bust" category are the ones who've been making the case that he's been overpushed and overhyped, which Baker has basically just confirmed.

The problem is a lot of people on this board have spent years acting like Homer Bailey was destined to be a major league stud by this point in his career. And when others have argued that Super Phenom Homer is not the pitcher we've got in front of us, we've been accused of calling him a bust.

The Reds put this kid on an absolutely ridiculous timetable. That's what most of his supposed detractors have been saying. Will he be a good pitcher in the future? He very well could be though it's going to be tough for the franchise to hold onto him if his transition takes a few years.

You think? With Harang and Arroyo locked up for years and then Volquez and Cueto potentially being ready, that really leaves 1 spot in which Belisle can fill and maybe even Maloney. I think if anything, the franchise is in great shape to hold on to him and let him develop properly because there may not even be a roster spot for him anyhow.

princeton
03-11-2008, 01:51 PM
personally, I like how Baker talks.

I miss Billy Martin discussing the problems of s struggling young pitcher, though.

M2
03-11-2008, 02:35 PM
You think? With Harang and Arroyo locked up for years and then Volquez and Cueto potentially being ready, that really leaves 1 spot in which Belisle can fill and maybe even Maloney. I think if anything, the franchise is in great shape to hold on to him and let him develop properly because there may not even be a roster spot for him anyhow.

Except there will be new pitchers over the next few years. Who and when we can't say. The reality is almost no team hangs onto a kid as he spends two or three years in AAA mode (Gavin Floyd is a perfect example). Sooner or later that kid becomes trade bait.

Now, I'm not saying the Reds shouldn't show that kind of patience with Bailey, but if he burns up his options in 2008 and 2009 and still isn't quite ready in 2010 then the franchise will have a tough choice on its hands. Hopefully he'll pan out before that, but we shouldn't be blind to how uncertain the future of a young pitcher can be.

fearofpopvol1
03-11-2008, 03:38 PM
Except there will be new pitchers over the next few years. Who and when we can't say. The reality is almost no team hangs onto a kid as he spends two or three years in AAA mode (Gavin Floyd is a perfect example). Sooner or later that kid becomes trade bait.

Now, I'm not saying the Reds shouldn't show that kind of patience with Bailey, but if he burns up his options in 2008 and 2009 and still isn't quite ready in 2010 then the franchise will have a tough choice on its hands. Hopefully he'll pan out before that, but we shouldn't be blind to how uncertain the future of a young pitcher can be.

Yeah, I was more looking at it with the premise that he wouldn't be using up all of his options and that he would spend a lot of time there refining himself, but I see your point.

CrackerJack
03-11-2008, 06:44 PM
It's tough being a 22 year old millionaire born with a golden arm I tells ya.

OnBaseMachine
03-11-2008, 07:27 PM
Dusty's right. Bailey deserves exactly zero criticism for not being major league ready at age 22. Even if he spends another three years finding his way, he'll still be a relatively young man with a bright future.

Agreed 100%. You are a smart fella. :)

OnBaseMachine
03-11-2008, 07:44 PM
Bailey battling for rotation spot
Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

By Hal McCoy

Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SARASOTA, Fla. He walks into the clubhouse every day wearing Wrangler jeans, a camouflage cap, silver-buckled belt, cowboy boots and an eight-inch hunting knife strapped into a sheathe.

Meet Homer Bailey, a Cincinnati Reds pitcher disguised as Jim Bowie or Walker, Texas Ranger.

To say Bailey is a bit different is to say a banana is different from an onion.

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker understands and stole a line from Kermit the Frog, who sang, "It ain't easy being green," to describe Bailey.

Said Baker, "It isn't easy being Homer Bailey. It really isn't."

Bailey, trying to wiggle into the Reds rotation this year, pitched Monday against the New York Yankees and reached his pitch limit after only 2 1/3 innings, using up 59 pitches to give up two runs, six hits and three walks.

"I've seen it a thousand times and it is not easy being the Mr. Everything-Can't Miss guy," said Baker. "I learned a long time ago the most dangerous word for a young kid is 'potential.' If they don't do great, no matter what they do, they don't reach their potential. Some guys take longer to get it than other guys.

"What is Homer, 21 years old? This Dude is barely drinking age, you know what I'm saying, man?" Baker said. "There are kids in college who haven't even signed a pro contract yet and Homer already has this experience. That's what you can't forget. This Dude is three years ahead of whoever is going to be in this June's draft."

Hopalong Homer, at 21, finds himself not just trying to live up to his No. 1 draft pick hype, but to make the team, to grab one of the three spots that is being competed for by Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Josh Fogg, Jeremy Affeldt and Matt Belisle.

Of his struggle with command Monday, Baker said, "He was doing it until Monday. I've only seen Homer pitch three times in my life. I can only go on what I've seen and Monday was the first time he wasn't pitch-efficient.

"He may not be where we want him to be right now or he wants to be," said Baker, "but he is still ahead of most guys his age. I'm big on what a guy does against his graduating class. Right now Homer is a freshman playing against seniors."

If Bailey wanted a graduate course in pitching, all he needed to do was watch Aaron Harang scythe down the Houston Astros Tuesday in the first two innings, retiring the first six with a minimum of pitches.

Harang, though, gave up two homers in the fourth and the Reds went eight innings without a run on three hits, stretching their scoreless streak to 24 straight innings.

But a gaggle of minor-leaguers scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth, the game ending on catcher Alvin Colina's three-run triple for a 5-4 win.

"That was sweet right there," said Baker, acting as if the Reds won the first game of the 2008 World Series. "It matters to me when we win, but when we lose it's just spring training."

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2008/03/11/ddn031208redsweb.html

reds44
03-11-2008, 09:02 PM
To date I can only say positive things about Dusty and his handling of young players. We'll see what happens when he has to make cuts and the games really start.

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:12 PM
Homer carries a hunting knife??? :roll:

Highlifeman21
03-11-2008, 09:24 PM
Homer carries a hunting knife??? :roll:

It's a Texan thing, you wouldn't understand.

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:26 PM
It's a Texan thing, you wouldn't understand.

You never know when you're going to need to field-dress a deer or clean a fish on the way to the ballpark.

(I hunt and fish, btw)

RFS62
03-11-2008, 09:28 PM
You never know when you're going to need to field-dress a deer or clean a fish on the way to the ballpark.



Maybe he could whittle some custom toothpicks out for his new boss.

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:33 PM
Maybe he could whittle some custom toothpicks out for his new boss.

Personally, I'd like to see him go all Michael Myers on John Fay's laptop. :D

jojo
03-12-2008, 07:36 AM
Homer carries a hunting knife??? :roll:

Doesn't everyone?

Chip R
03-12-2008, 09:48 AM
Hal keeps capitalizing "dude". When did Homer turn into Jeff Lebowski?

KronoRed
03-12-2008, 02:02 PM
Doesn't everyone?

Certain places you can get arrested with one, in fact I bet you would be arrested walking into GAB if you had one ;)