Narron: Bailey's OK in spotlight
By Hal McCoy
Thursday, February 22, 2007
SARASOTA, Fla. — For Homer Bailey, a laptop is a laptop. Every morning at about 8:30, he is seated in front of his locker with a white Mac iBook on his lap.
"Four years old and been all over the world with me," said Bailey, working on e-mails. "Even though a key is missing (the letter 'j'). I just hit it hard and it still works."
Is Bailey the missing key in the Cincinnati Reds rotation? He certainly is a focal point for visiting media, a 20-year-old kid receiving a lot of attention.
Manager Jerry Narron believes the Reds' No. 1 draft pick in 2004 can carry it on his broad shoulders.
"It doesn't concern him because he knows he is pretty good," Narron said. "He knows he has a chance to be pretty good. He also is smart enough to know he isn't going to come right to the major-league level and dominate right from the beginning. He is smart enough to know that and seems very level-headed.
"He works hard, has great stuff and has great makeup and will get every chance," Narron added.
As far as Bailey starting games when the exhibition season begins, Narron is playing it coy and said, "If he starts, I'm not going to tell anybody until the day before. If we have a spot where we can work him in, we'll do it. But we have other guys ahead of him in that regard.
"We'll give him a chance to pitch some this spring, with nothing more defined than for any other pitcher. Hopefully he'll do well and get some more innings. It all depends on how he pitches early, how he throws, how he commands his stuff.
"I told all the pitchers the first day that I'm sorry to say that everybody will not get the same opportunity," Narron added. "I won't lie to them and say they'll all get the same chance, but they're not. Everyone is not going to get the same opportunity, but if they do well they'll be back
Listen to the radio
Marty Brennaman and his son, Thom, begin their work together on the Reds Radio Network on March 1 in Bradenton, Fla., against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team's first exhibition game.
Newly hired broadcaster Jeff Brantley and Thom Brennaman will do the second game, a night game March 2 in Fort Myers, Fla., against Minnesota. Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, health permitting, are scheduled for the Sarasota home opener March 3 at Ed Smith Stadium against Minnesota.
Paging Mr. Wilson
Pitcher Paul Wilson realizes this probably is his last hurrah after a litany of injuries the past two years. Nobody is pulling harder for him than Narron.
"He works so hard and will be as prepared as well as he possibly can," Narron said. "It's a matter of whether his arm comes back to where it was. He deserves a chance and he'll get an opportunity. If he comes back we'd have our No. 1 starter from a couple of years ago be our No. 5 starter."
Wilson was the team's best starter in 2004, going 11-6 with a 4.36 ERA, leading the team in starts (29), quality starts (16) and innings pitched (183.2). He was the Opening Day starter in 2005.