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OnBaseMachine
08-25-2009, 12:22 PM
Eric Davis talks baseball, Reds
By Mike Grant • The Louisville Courier-Journal • August 24, 2009

Eric Davis still looks like he could pinch-run and steal a base.

The former Cincinnati Reds star and current special assistant to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has kept his athletic build. It’s hard to believe he’s 47.

“Looks can be deceiving,” he said. “I have a 2009 body with a 1962 engine in it.”

Davis was in Louisville this week to observe the Bats. He acts as an additional set of eyes and ears for Jocketty, who hired him in November. He travels through the Reds’ minor league affiliates and works with the players on the major league club.

“I just try to give our young kids as much insight as I can to help them develop their talents,” the 17-year veteran said. “Hopefully I will give them an opportunity to learn what it’s like in order to get to the major leagues and stay in the major leagues.”

Davis knows what it’s like to be a highly touted prospect. His combination of speed and power made him one of the most exciting players in baseball in the 1980s and earned him the moniker “The Next Willie Mays.” In 1986 he stole 80 bases and hit 27 home runs. The next year he had 37 homers, 100 RBIs and 50 steals.

He was also famously plagued by injuries. He never played more than 135 games in a 162-game season. By his estimation he lost five years of production.

Davis had Hall of Fame talent but never was healthy enough to string together Hall of Fame numbers. He made the All-Star team just twice and finished with 282 home runs, 349 steals, was a career .269 hitter and 13 surgeries.

“I never got hurt playing offense,” Davis said. “I was regarded as the best defensive player for years. I took a lot of pride in it. I wanted to make that play. Unfortunately at the time we had a lot of artificial turf and walls that didn’t have pads.”

Injuries didn’t stop him from owning a special place in the hearts of Reds fans. His home run off Dave Stewart in the opener of the 1990 World Series set the tone for a stunning four-game sweep over the Oakland A’s. Stewart said the home run overshadows his other accomplishments, but he understands why people always ask him about that home run.

“I understand that,” he said. “I also understand that Riverfront (Stadium) only held 54,000, but I think over 300,000 people have told me they were at the game.”

Davis is also a colon cancer survivor. He said he feels healthy and had not seen a recurrence of the disease. He retired after the 2001 season but has stayed in the game to help mentor younger players.

Much has changed — especially financially. He signed as an eighth-round pick in 1980 out of Los Angeles for $18,000 — and it was non-negotiable. Stephen Strasburg, the top choice in the 2009 draft, signed a record $15.1.million deal.

Davis wonders if today’s young players are amply motivated.

“It’s unfortunate that kids are demanding major league contracts, that (they) have to be in the big leagues at a certain time,” he said. “What ever happened to your performance dictating that? There’s no sense of motivation, determination. That’s why you have a lot of guys who come to the big leagues who aren’t ready or can’t play.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090824/SPT04/308240109/1071/Eric+Davis+talks+baseball++Reds

HeatherC1212
08-25-2009, 12:30 PM
I just love Eric Davis. Thanks for posting the article. :)

WMR
08-25-2009, 01:48 PM
Why not give ED a shot at being GM? He couldn't do much worse than Sleepy Walt.

Bumstead
08-25-2009, 02:05 PM
Eric Davis was probably my all-time favorite Red (ahead of Pete, Foster, and Griff). I tried to name my son Eric The Red or Eric Davis but my wife thought that was silly...Willie Mays Aikens Mom was ok with his name! :p:

I hope he is able to work within the Reds organization as long as he wants.

Bum

NJReds
08-25-2009, 02:09 PM
ED is one of my favorite Reds, too. I miss the 1990 team.

Reds4Life
08-25-2009, 02:35 PM
Ask if he wants to play. Not like he coud do any worse than some of the people Dusty is running out there now.

Dan
08-25-2009, 02:44 PM
I would love to talk to him about "The Play" sometime. Seems like a really great guy.

Most folks on here are too young to remember he was vilified in Cincy for awhile in the 80's because he seemed aloof, stand-offish, and always was getting hurt. Still, he was amazing to watch.

BrooklynRedz
08-25-2009, 02:51 PM
Why is this dude not the hitting coach of the 'major league' squad? Is there some business obligation (similar to Soto) that is preventing this move?

What I wouldn't give to see Soto and Davis announced pitching and hitting coaches (respectively) heading into next season. Of course, it will never happen.

George Anderson
08-25-2009, 03:11 PM
Most folks on here are too young to remember he was vilified in Cincy for awhile in the 80's because he seemed aloof, stand-offish, and always was getting hurt. Still, he was amazing to watch.

Davis was a daily whipping boy on WLW. People didn't like him because of his injuries, the hype that came when he was brought up that he really never fulfilled and that he didn't get his uniform dirty like Pete did.

RichRed
08-25-2009, 03:14 PM
Davis was a daily whipping boy on WLW. People didn't like him because of his injuries, the hype that came when he was brought up that he really never fulfilled and that he didn't get his uniform dirty like Pete did.

Don't forget the strikeouts.

westofyou
08-25-2009, 04:48 PM
Why not give ED a shot at being GM? He couldn't do much worse than Sleepy Walt.

That's the sort of thinking that has given us the last 20 years of reds baseball.

Ray Knight why not?

Resign Bowden why not?

Bob Boone why not?

Jerry Narron why not?

Dan O'Brien why not?

Dave Miley why not?

and so on and so on and so on...

traderumor
08-25-2009, 05:06 PM
That's the sort of thinking that has given us the last 20 years of reds baseball.

Ray Knight why not?

Resign Bowden why not?

Bob Boone why not?

Jerry Narron why not?

Dan O'Brien why not?

Dave Miley why not?

and so on and so on and so on...Tony Perez would make a great manager, and let's check with JB before we sign this Gruler kid. Dang, look at that "Seaver" curve. :evil:

WMR
08-25-2009, 05:13 PM
That's the sort of thinking that has given us the last 20 years of reds baseball.

Ray Knight why not?

Resign Bowden why not?

Bob Boone why not?

Jerry Narron why not?

Dan O'Brien why not?

Dave Miley why not?

and so on and so on and so on...

Yeah let's stick with those proven winners Dusty and Walt. :lol:

westofyou
08-25-2009, 05:18 PM
Yeah let's stick with those proven winners Dusty and Walt. :lol:

I value experience, both have it, dimiss their accomplishments all you want, know your history is all I'm saying.

Most Reds fans think running a baseball team is an easy job, I don't by any stretch of the imagination, your scenario was just played out by the Dallas Stars last year when they gave Brett Hull the GM job.

That worked out well.

WMR
08-25-2009, 05:23 PM
I value experience, both have it, dimiss their accomplishments all you want, know your history is all I'm saying.

Most Reds fans think running a baseball team is an easy job, I don't by any stretch of the imagination, your scenario was just played out by the Dallas Stars last year when they gave Brett Hull the GM job.

That worked out well.

I agree with you in principle, WOY.

I was only half-serious with my ED suggestion.

Would I like to see a complete organizational purging? I know folks want continuity, and I do too, but continuity for continuity's sake when the personnel (both on-field and upstairs) is poor and/or not getting the job done isn't going to get the Reds anywhere...

For the record: I don't believe running a baseball team is easy at all.

Would I prefer someone with a fresh perspective who is also intelligent, understands the game, and is willing to do some house cleaning? Yes. And I'm not even saying that ED is that guy...

where's our Theo? :cry:

15fan
08-25-2009, 06:36 PM
Davis was a daily whipping boy on WLW. People didn't like him because of his injuries, the hype that came when he was brought up that he really never fulfilled and that he didn't get his uniform dirty like Pete did.

Eric Davis was Junior before Junior was Junior.

RedEye
08-25-2009, 06:45 PM
I saw Eric Davis in person when I went to Sarasota this spring and I felt like I was stuck in a time warp back to 1987. He looks exactly the same, and I look much, much older.

RedEye
08-25-2009, 06:50 PM
It's fun to look back at ED's stats now after reading a lot more about stats. I never realized how high his OBP was at the time because, well, I didn't know what OBP was at the time. Some of those seasons he had in his mid-twenties and mid-thirties were legit HOF-level performances. Had he maintained them over a longer period of time, I think he'd be at Cooperstown for sure.

BCubb2003
08-25-2009, 08:40 PM
"Last year, in 415 at bats, he had 27 homers and 80 steals. That's 40 home runs and 120 steals for a full year. [...] This year, in 93 at bats, he's hitting .409 with those 12 homers, 27 RBI, 28 runs and 13 steals. For a full year, that projects to ... well, it doesn't project to anything. It's nonsense. More than 70 home runs, 170 RBI, 180 runs, 80 steals. Wayne Gretzky stats for baseball." - Thomas Boswell on Eric Davis

redsfandan
08-26-2009, 04:28 AM
Most folks on here are too young to remember he was vilified in Cincy for awhile in the 80's because he seemed aloof, stand-offish, and always was getting hurt. Still, he was amazing to watch.
Yeah I remember. Much ado about nothing.

Davis was a daily whipping boy on WLW. People didn't like him because of his injuries, the hype that came when he was brought up that he really never fulfilled and that he didn't get his uniform dirty like Pete did.
Sometimes a fan is a fanatic. And a fanatic is an irrational thinker.

....where's our Theo? :cry:
I've been waiting for that question for awhile now.