Dragons show respect to batting guru, each other
By Marc Katz
Saturday, July 07, 2007
DAYTON — A lot of baseball years were sitting across from each other in Dragons manager Donnie Scott's office the other day when Ken "Squeaky" Parker, 70, was talking about something he had never seen before.
"Every player on this team looks you in the eye when you talk to them," Parker said. "Every one. They listen, and they try to do what you tell them. I've never seen that before."
Parker has been in baseball about 50 years, mostly as a pro scout. He was hired a year ago by the Reds, reporting not only to General Manager Wayne Krivsky, but also farm director Terry Reynolds.
He is considered a sort of batting guru, often stopping players in the cage to correct flaws he has spotted.
He says players — often at the Class A level — can show some disrespect during those sessions.
Not the Dragons.
"All of them look at you like they want to get better," Parker said. "And I like the way these guys play together. It's not like they're out there just for themselves."
Scott, 45 and in baseball since the Texas Rangers made him a second-round draft pick when he was 17, agreed, and said the Dragons get along even off the field.
"Usually, when you go into a restaurant (on the road), you've got groups," Scott said. "You've got the white guys over here and the black guys over there and the Latinos. Not this team. They all mix together."
Drew Stubbs, a white player from Texas, said the Dragons have become close.
"We've got the right mix," Stubbs said. "We've got some clowns and some serious players. A lot of us knew each other before. The language barrier is huge; it's hard to interact. But we all get along. You don't find that with too many ballclubs."
Location, location, location
Pitching coach Doug Bair, who spent 15 years in the majors, said a pitcher can make it to the majors with average pitches as long as the location is precise. "Ninety percent of the time the pitch is not right or wrong," Bair said. "It's location."
Hurry up and wait
Reynolds said he was in no hurry to fill the Dragons' open roster spot unless it was absolutely necessary. In other words, he doesn't have anybody to send.
A walk's as good as a hit
Amazingly, Stubbs was the only position player who didn't collect any hits in the 18-2 Tuesday bashing of Great Lakes or the 20-3 whomping two days later. He did, however, walk three times in each of those games, and score five runs overall. That's what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do, get on base.