Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-14-07. Marty is doing the show from Sarasota from now till the end of Spring Training. Marty said that ST begins on Saturday morning when pitchers and catchers report. (They are reporting in the morning so the bullpen can get to Dennys for the Early Bird Special.) Marty said a few players like Freel, Milton, and Hamilton come in early to work out on their own.
After commercial, the first caller asked Marty about the Kerry Ligtenberg signing and how it related to the possible signing of Dustin Hermanson. Marty said he talked to Wayne and he said that Hermanson didn't throw as hard as he will once he gets on a regular throwing schedule. Marty thinks he could help but other clubs are in the mix too. Marty said he's more concerned about the rotation than the bullpen and while he's of the opinion that there should just be one closer, sometimes you have to do it by committee. He said that he has to be sold on Milton and Lohse and he's not impressed with either one. He thinks the trump card could be Homer - maybe not at the beginning of the season but possibly later on.
The next caller asked Marty how he prepares for the season. Marty said he worries every year that before the first ST game he won't be able to do it any more. He also said it takes him about 5 games to get ready for the season. The caller asked him what he does when the season starts. Marty said that they do a lot of that in ST and the internet helps a great deal as far as getting information on other teams.
After commercial, the next caller asked Marty what he expected out of Josh Hamilton. Marty thinks he will make the team for sure because of his potential. He thinks that once they get into the season and they see enough of an improvement to justify him staying here, then the situation takes care of itself.
If he doesn't show improvement, then they have a decision to make. He believes he's ready to play in the big leagues defensively but he takes a dim view of a guy who has hardly played above A ball and has lost time due to injury and suspension being able to hit big league pitching. The caller asked if the Reds hope Dunn plays well enough to be traded and Hamilton can step into his spot. (I'm not making this up, folks) Marty said he didn't know but he'd be interested in it because Dunn could leave here and the Reds wouldn't get anything for him except a draft pick. He said to not put a lot of stock to how Hamilton hits in ST cause a lot of guys have hit well in ST and couldn't do the job once they went north. The caller said he likes Weather and Santon but asked why they make Coffey the closer in ST and if he struggles, you have the old farts. Marty said they will give Coffey a chance.
The next caller said DeWayne Wise was a perfect example of how a guy hits in ST but can't hit once the season starts. Marty agreed and the caller said that you can't help to pull for Hamilton and he might be able to be the RF since the only options they have are a committee. Marty said they may put Jr. in RF too. The caller said you won't be able to get any more than 80-90 games from Freel (or 132). He said you have Conine in there and Deno and asked Marty what he thought of Deno's chances. Marty said he thinks Deno has to play well in ST to make the team. Marty said Hopper looked impressive too last year.
The next caller asked why are the Reds bringing a guy like Hamilton in with his lack of experience but they are so timid with Homer and also wonders if the Reds are getting problem players in here like the Bengals have. (Yes, I'm sure the Reds are wanting to emulate the Bengals in that way. Where do they find these people at?) Marty said that Homer is 20 and Hamilton is 26. Hamilton is on the fast track and they can afford to take their time with Homer because they don't want to do anything to hurt his chances. He said this is Hamilton's last chance and he doesn't have a problem with him. He said it doesn't mean they are going to start getting problem players and just because they signed Hamilton doesn't mean a pattern is developing. Marty said his hat's off to him because of how he has overcome his problems and he'd like nothing better than to see Hamilton come in and make the team on merit.
After commercial, the next caller asked when WLW was going to broadcast Sportstalk from Sarasota Marty said that Seg said it it's going to be the 3rd week in March.
The next caller said that Ryan Freel can't play every day cause he's accident prone. (Yeah, he's a real klutz) She said they don't make contact with runners in scoring position, there is no speed, they make too any errors and they can't bunt. She said they have a lot of problems they hae to work on. Marty agreed and said that is what ST is about. The caller said that Dunn isn't playing baseball, he's playing golf. Marty said that Dunn hardly plays golf during the season. She said that what she meant was that he hits long shots instead of knocking runs in. Marty said that Dunn either strikes out, hits a homer or walks. The caller agreed and said she wished that the Reds could have a player like Juan Pierre who can run and he is a good leadoff hitter. Marty said he's there and not here. (gO rEdz!)
The next caller asked if Castro and Clayton were still on the team. Marty said Castro is here and Clayton isn't. The caller also wanted to know who are the 3rd and 4th starters (I can tell this guy really pays attention) Marty said they are Milton and Lohse. The caller said that is what he was afraid of. Marty said if all things were equal there would be competition for 3 or the 5 rotation spots.
After commercial, the next caller asked if Marty was surprised that the Reds didn't bring another LH OFer in to back Freel up like Burnitz or (here it comes) Steve Finley. Marty said that there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in Finley and he's surprised by that but Marty thinks he can play because Thom said so. (I thought it was nice that Marty professed his man-love for Finley on Valentine's Day). Marty said just because he is over 40 doesn't mean he can't play and that one bad year was a fluke.
The next caller asked Marty's opinion of the Ligtenberg signing. Marty said he assumes he's healthy (a pretty large assumption, knowing Wayne's history) and he was effective for a while in the big leagues. He thinks it can't hurt to take a look at him. The caller said he was reading the opinions on RedsZone about the signing and mentioned that he's a hard thrower. Marty asked if that boob Pedro was still on there (Just kidding ) Marty reiterated that it can't hurt to take a look at him and sometimes you take a shot with a guy like that and you are pleasantly surprised.
After commercial, the next caller said that the Reds should have Jim Maloney and Jim O'Toole as pitching coaches he said he thinks they could still help out some. (They would fit right in with the bullpen) Marty said they were winners.
The next caller asked about Joe and Marty said he was doing fine. The caller asked about Steve and Marty said he didn't get the Milwaukee or S.D. gigs. The caller asked about O'Toole's health and Marty said he hadn't heard anything more than he did last week.
Thus endeth the Banana phone - I mean the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-14-07. So let it be written. So let it be done.