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Thread: Good article about Gonzalez

  1. #1
    Member Reds Fanatic's Avatar
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    Good article about Gonzalez

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- Free agent acquisition Alex Gonzalez arrived at Reds camp on Thursday. His sterling reputation for defense had already preceded him.
    "He's a great player," Reds second baseman and new double-play partner Brandon Phillips said. "He's one of those shortstops you like to watch take ground balls and you can learn a lot from him."

    The Reds ranked second in the Majors last season with 128 errors, had the second-lowest fielding percentage and were prone to mistakes not reflected in stat books. Improving in the field was a high offseason priority for management, which was why Gonzalez was signed to a three-year, $14 million contract in November.

    Although Gonzalez has never won a Gold Glove, he is regarded by many as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. His former team, the Red Sox, were keenly aware that their loss was the Reds' gain.

    "I think Gonzo is the greatest shortstop I've ever seen, including growing up and watching Ozzie Smith," Boston starting pitcher Curt Schilling said. "I don't think there's anybody who's ever played the position better than he played it."

    "The thing we're going to battle is that the guy who was here last year played maybe the best shortstop we've ever seen, maybe the best shortstop I've ever seen," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Nobody in the league is going to do that, unless Gonzo does it again in Cincinnati. That's how good he is."

    Perhaps the endorsement for Gonzalez that Reds fans would most care about comes from shortstop legend Davey Concepcion. Gonzalez grew up with Concepcion's son in Venezuela and played ball with him as a kid. Concepcion, who will come to Reds camp on March 8, told a reporter over the winter that Gonzalez is better than he was.

    "It's exciting. [Concepcion is] one of the best shortstops in the world," Gonzalez said of the compliment. "For a guy to say that, you have to be proud and live up to it every day."

    Gonzalez played for the Marlins from 1998-2005 and won a World Series with Florida in '03. The 30-year-old went to Boston under a one-year deal before last season. His lifetime fielding percentage is .970 and he was at .985 last season with a career-low seven errors committed in 475 total chances.

    There are only four shortstops in the Majors who have committed fewer than 17 errors in at least 100 starts over the past four seasons. Gonzalez is one of them, along with Derek Jeter, David Eckstein and Jimmy Rollins.

    "I'll try to help this team the best that I can with my defense and all things," Gonzalez said. "I'll try to play every day, be healthy and try to help this team."

    The Reds pitching staff isn't loaded with a bunch of strikeout guys. Many of them put the ball in play and will benefit from having Gonzalez behind them.

    "It should give our pitchers more confidence," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "It should give our other infielders more confidence. It should give our manager more confidence."

    Last season after it acquired Phillips to play second base in an April trade with Cleveland, Cincinnati lacked stability on the left side of the infield. Offensive-minded Felipe Lopez didn't concentrate as much defensively. When Lopez was traded to Washington in July, veteran replacement Royce Clayton didn't click well with Phillips.

    Poor defense can lead to extended innings, which definitely leads to opponent rallies.

    "There were like four or five times last year, we had double-play balls we should have turned and we didn't, and they hit a home run after it," Narron said. "It was unreal. It seemed like 40 or 50."

    Phillips has his own solid reputation as an athletic second baseman. Narron couldn't help being optimistic about the new double-play combo up the middle.

    "I'm hoping [Gonzalez] and Brandon can work together extremely well," Narron said. "If they do, we'd have something special up the middle for the next three-four years. They could be as good as anybody."

    Strong shortstop-second base duos aren't usually forged overnight, but Phillips believed the learning curve could be shortened during camp while working with Gonzalez.

    "I think we'll make a good double-play combination, honestly," Phillips said. "We'll go out there and make the fundamental plays and maybe some spectacular plays also. It might not take as long because we're both athletic and can do some things out there. It's all about communication. If you can't communicate, things aren't going to get done. I'll try to build a friendship with him so it'll be easier."

    A third excellent glove man could also be sharing the field with Gonzalez and Phillips. Narron indicated that utility player Juan Castro, also one of the slickest fielders in the game, will get some chances at third base. Castro would often likely replace regular Edwin Encarnacion late in games when the Reds need extra defense to hold leads.

    The compliments have been less bountiful when Gonzalez's hitting skills are brought up. He batted .255 with nine home runs and 50 RBIs last season and is a .246 career hitter who strikes out a lot more than he walks.

    "Right now, no one talks about him offensively," Narron said. "That's kind of a plus in his favor, to be honest with you. He could kind of sneak up on everybody."

    Maybe, but Gonzalez knows why he was brought to Cincinnati and aims to make good on his reputation.

    "If I do nothing with my bat, I'll do it with my glove," Gonzalez said. "You can win games with the glove and make a difference. That's part of my job."

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  3. #2
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    A third excellent glove man could also be sharing the field with Gonzalez and Phillips. Narron indicated that utility player Juan Castro, also one of the slickest fielders in the game, will get some chances at third base. Castro would often likely replace regular Edwin Encarnacion late in games when the Reds need extra defense to hold leads.


    Improving in the field was a high offseason priority for management
    I'll believe this one when I see Junior playing RF.

  4. #3
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    How many extra inning games will we go into with Castro at 3rd this year? I say all of em.
    Go Gators!

  5. #4
    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post




    I'll believe this one when I see Junior playing RF.
    Exactly. I think that is the whole problem with adding a guy like Gonzalez. It's not really anything to do with him, but the fact that if your going to improve your defense up the middle you have to do it in CF as well. JR in RF would be a great asset to this team. You still have his bat, and it might keep him on the field for a few more games during the year.

    DO IT JUNIOR! Do it for the team, and yourself!
    "And the fact that watching him pitch is like having someone poop on your soul." FCB on Gary Majewski

  6. #5
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    A third excellent glove man could also be sharing the field with Gonzalez and Phillips. Narron indicated that utility player Juan Castro, also one of the slickest fielders in the game, will get some chances at third base. Castro would often likely replace regular Edwin Encarnacion late in games when the Reds need extra defense to hold leads.
    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

    Did we not learn from last year?????
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

  7. #6
    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

    Did we not learn from last year?????
    Don't blow a gasket yet! The season hasn't started.

    I still remember in chat one time last year, when Narron put in Castro someone commented "Somewhere, reds44 just threw something at the TV!" or something like that...
    "And the fact that watching him pitch is like having someone poop on your soul." FCB on Gary Majewski

  8. #7
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by StillFunkyB View Post
    Don't blow a gasket yet! The season hasn't started.

    I still remember in chat one time last year, when Narron put in Castro someone commented "Somewhere, reds44 just threw something at the TV!" or something like that...


    I need to go into chat more often. That's great.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

  9. #8
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    This is why even though I think Jerry Narron is a good guy, I cant wait to see him out of Cincinnati.

  10. #9
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    The Alex Gonzalez signing will be completely pointpless if Griffey is the centerfielder this season. The signing will be OK if Griffey is moved to RF and Encarnacion is allowed to play 3B all season long. I agree with the above poster, Jerry Narron is a terrific guy but I want him let go if he starts replacing EdE late in games again this season. Encarnacion will be a gold glove 3B someday...his range is unmatched, allow him to show it off.

  11. #10
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    The Alex Gonzalez signing will be completely pointpless if Griffey is the centerfielder this season. The signing will be OK if Griffey is moved to RF and Encarnacion is allowed to play 3B all season long. I agree with the above poster, Jerry Narron is a terrific guy but I want him let go if he starts replacing EdE late in games again this season. Encarnacion will be a gold glove 3B someday...his range is unmatched, allow him to show it off.
    Well let's face it, the Gonzo signing will be the same regardless where Griffey plays in the field.

    However, it shows that the team is still not willing to put the best defensive team on the field possible, even though it was originally meant to be reflected through the Gonzo signing.

    If Griffey is moved to RF, it shows Krivsky's desire to put the best defensive team on the field.

  12. #11
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    The Reds ranked second in the Majors last season with 128 errors, had the second-lowest fielding percentage and were prone to mistakes not reflected in stat books.
    Will Gonzo at SS, Brandon at 2B, and a maturer EE at 3B, help to improve that? I think it will. Castro as a late inning replacement, when we have the lead, just to be getting some playing time here and there, doesn't bother me a bit. He's not going to be a starter.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  13. #12
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    That was nice to hear about Gonzalez.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

  14. #13
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    Will Gonzo at SS, Brandon at 2B, and a maturer EE at 3B, help to improve that? I think it will. Castro as a late inning replacement, when we have the lead, just to be getting some playing time here and there, doesn't bother me a bit. He's not going to be a starter.
    Juan Castro doesnt have to be a starter to wreak havoc on a team. He will get into close games late and as I have said before even when the defense is solid the bullpen will blow leads. Then late in key situations we will be sending Juan Castro to the plate in place of Edwin, it doesnt make sense. One more point, how is Edwin ever suppose to mature if he doesnt play in pressure situations? Castro being a late inning replacement wont put the Reds over the top in 2007, but it could slow the development of a player who could help put them over the top soon.

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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    The Alex Gonzalez signing will be completely pointpless if Griffey is the centerfielder this season.
    I don't understand this statement at all.
    "Strickland Propane... Taste the meat, not the heat." - Hank Hill

  16. #15
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Good article about Gonzalez

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30 View Post
    I don't understand this statement at all.
    I'm pretty sure that his point is you cant justify spending 14 million on Gonzalez, claiming you want to put the best defensive team possible on the field. Then turn around and leave Junior Griffey in CF. Not trying to speak for OBM but I think thats his point, and if it is I think he has a valid one.


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