Baker: Aaron 'raves about' Jr.
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM
SARASOTA, Fla. - Ken Griffey Jr.'s conversations with Reds managers from Jack McKeon to Bob Boone to Dave Miley to Jerry Narron always were pretty minimal.
Griffey was penciled in the lineup when healthy, and left alone.
That will change with Dusty Baker. Baker said he'll seek Griffey's opinion - not because of Griffey's star status but because he's been around so long.
"There's a lot there that people haven't tapped," Baker said. "You're not in the big leagues for 20 years if you don't know what's going on. You might not necessarily say it, but there's a lot there."
Baker has known Griffey for a long time. But he got another perspective on Griffey when he talked to Hank Aaron the other day. Aaron and Griffey spent time together as members of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs.
"Hank said what a pleasure it was to be around Junior and his wife," Baker said. "Hank doesn't give compliments too often. That meant a lot to me. Hank's met the superstars in this game, and that's the first time he's raved about someone to me - ever."
DUNN HERE AND GONE: Adam Dunn stopped in at the Ed Smith Stadium complex briefly with 15-month-old son Brady in tow.
"I wanted to make sure my stuff is here," he said. "I'll be back Monday."
Dunn was heading over to Daytona for the 500 today.
"I've never been," he said. "It should be fun."
INJURY UPDATE: Juan Castro, who had Tommy John surgery on July 31, says his elbow is about 80 percent.
"I think it will be ready before Opening Day," he said.
Ryan Freel, who had knee surgery Aug. 8, says he's 100 percent.
PHONE RINGING: When Baker got the job as Reds manager, he said players called him about coming to play for him.
"It's probably more the case now," Baker said. "There are a lot of quality guys out there trying to get a job. It's real late. It's tough sometimes when you have to say no."
POWER: Ten-game Power Packs, which include Opening Day, go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at reds.com. The package includes weekend series against Cleveland (May 16-18), Boston (June 13-15) and the Cubs (Sept. 5-7).