Dragons duo savors short day with Reds
Denove says exhibition game, flight, dinner with Reds stars was 'awesome.'
By Marc Katz
DAYTON | Major-leaguers for a day in Cooperstown, N.Y. What could be better than that?
Apparently, not much.
"It was awesome," Dayton Dragons catcher Chris Denove said. "An amazing experience. It was pretty much like being a big-leaguer for a day."
Denove and Dragons infielder Eric Eymann were part of a Reds minor-league contingent that joined the big-league club for an exhibition game against Pittsburgh in Cooperstown on Monday. Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsky, in town to watch the Dragons for the first time Tuesday, said players were randomly chosen for the trip.
"It was cool," Dragons infielder Eric Eymann said. "It was a different experience. It gives you even more drive."
Because of rain, neither of the Dragons played Monday, although Eymann was warming up at shortstop when the game was called in the third inning.
"I threw two balls to the first baseman and they called the game," Eymann said. "I wanted to play. But that night, we flew to Pittsburgh with the team, and Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Scott Hatteberg and Quinton McCracken took us to dinner along with Brandon Roberts and Abe Woody (players from the Reds' high Class A Sarasota, Fla., team)."
Eymann said Dunn picked up the check, which "was a hefty one."
Eymann and Denove had to leave the Dragons in Wisconsin and fly to Albany, N.Y., where they stayed overnight Sunday. They bused to Cooperstown on Monday, arriving during a home run hitting contest. They dressed in their Reds jerseys from spring training (a good thing since the rest of their baseball gear was lost in transit), and Eymann borrowed spikes from Hatteberg while waiting for the game to start.
"They didn't 'big-league' us," Eymann said. "(The players) could have ignored us, but they didn't. They even said we could have any extra stuff they had, like (baseball) shirts and belts and stuff."