By WILL SPRINGSTEAD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, July 17, 2006 6:49 AM EDT
Queensbury High School graduate Brendan Harris admitted he was surprised at being traded by the Washington Nationals, but thinks it might be a good thing in the long term.
On Sunday, Harris said the instability of the Nationals' management was difficult on players. Harris was part of an eight-player deal Thursday that sent four teammates and him to the Cincinnati Reds. He reported directly to the Reds' Triple-A team, the Louisville Bats.
"I got a call from our farm director on the last day of our All-Star break and I said, 'It's nice to hear from you, but what's up?' He told me and I was, like, 'no way,' " Harris said. "So, there is a period of shock, but once the dust settles, I'm probably better off here than I was there."
Harris said while Nationals General Manager Jim Bowen continues to try to shape the organization his way, some of his actions have been puzzling to the players and fans.
"With Jim Bowen, it's what have you done for me lately? And by lately, I mean yesterday," Harris said. "You're either one of his guys -- either from his days in Cincinnati or his draft picks -- or you've got a short lease there."
Harris, 25, started at second base and went 0-for-4 in his first game with Louisville on Friday, a 3-2 win over Norfolk. He did help turn a double play. He also appeared in Saturday's game against Norfolk, a 9-1 loss, but did not register an at-bat.
Harris said his adjustment to Louisville has gone fairly smoothly since he knows a couple of players on the Bats' lineup.
One of the things that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsky said he liked about Harris was his ability to play second base, shortstop or third base. Harris thinks he'll be doing just that.
"I think I'll be playing kind of all over the place, but that's OK. I'll try to get some at-bats here and see what happens," Harris said.
Naturally, Harris would love to be called up, but he's not counting on it.
"We're in the race for the wild card now, so (Krivsky) is going to do what's best for the team," Harris said. "If they see me as helping the team, great.
"It seems like an organization that's going in the right direction," Harris added.