REDS NOTES (4/26)
Weathers applauds Coffey's contributions
By Hal McCoy / Staff Writer
WASHINGTON | David Weathers is 36, a veteran of 14 baseball seasons as a pitcher-for-all-reasons, but has only 21 saves — six this season.
That's because most of his career with 11 teams (twice with Florida, twice with Cincinnati), the Alabama-born right-hander has been a starter, pitched in long relief or worked set-up.
Closing is relative new to him, so, of course, even though he is 6-for-7 in save situations, fans are nervous, fans want to know when the Reds will trade for a closer, when will Weathers go away.
"First of all, there is no closer out there anybody wants to trade," said manager Jerry Narron. "And Weathers has one blown save and that was to a pretty good hitter."
Yeah, pretty good — Albert Pujols, a walk-off home run in the ninth inning in St. Louis, his third homer of the game. And Weathers says his role now isn't as important as when he was a set-up guy, the role occupied these days by Todd Coffey.
"Nothing against today's closers, but I've always agreed with Rich Gossage, that saves in the 1970s and 1980s were much tougher because those guys came in games in the sixth and seventh and finished them," Weathers said. "What Coffey is doing now and what I did for seven or eight years, when you're throwing that seventh and eighth inning, I mean, you end up pitching 80 to 90 very tough innings.
"As far as pithing the back end (closer), they get all the glory and attention, but I've said from Day One, I don't care where or when I pitch. I just want to get three outs, wherever. The hardest thing about closing to me is if you blow a game, like I did in St. Louis, we have no reprieve, no coming back if you lose.
"They're all hard jobs and I try to approach them all the same — one-run game, three-run game, seven-run game," he said.
Reds wanted Day
Pitcher Zach Day was claimed off waivers from the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday by GM Jim Bowden of the Washington Nationals.
Since he was put on waivers four days ago, one other team showed interest in Day — the Reds.
Day's agent, Cincinnati-based Brian Goldberg, was set to file a grievance against the Rockies because Day said his shoulder hurt and the Rockies tried to send him to the minors.
Reds team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek checked Day and determined that, while Day was injured, he should be able to pitch in a few days.
Kent Mercker wore a baseball-sized red, blue, green and black circle on his buttocks Tuesday night after Washington's Matthew LeCroy ripped a line drive off Mercker's body Tuesday night.
"I have (baseball commissioner) Bud Selig's autograph on my butt and I didn't even ask for it," said Mercker. "My wife has hit me harder."
If she did, she used a shovel.
"I'll take it, though, I'll take 27 just like it," Mercker added. The ball ricocheted off Mercker and catcher Jason LaRue retrieved in time to throw out LeCroy at first base.
While Mercker was feeling the sting from the baseball after Tuesday's game, owner/CEO Bob Castellini was in the clubhouse chatting up the players.
"He was in our line shaking hands after the game," said Mercker. "He's happier about our start than we are. The guy is legit. Must be nice to hop into a private jet and fly to one game. He is a big fan or very rich or both. I'd say he's both."
Dunn makes good
When Wednesday's game began, Adam Dunn was 1-for-17 with nine strikeouts and said early in the morning, "I will get some hits today, dammit." He didn't get two hits, he had three — all singles.
Dunn was walking through the clubhouse carrying a black bat and Scott Hatteberg asked if Dunn was stealing one of his bats.
"Some teammate," said Dunn. "I'm scuffling and he is worried about one of his bats."
Said Hatteberg, laughing, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I was just asking."
"Aaron Boone used to steal my bats and it got him an All-Star game and a trade to the New York Yankees," said Dunn.