Results tagged ‘ Homer Bailey ’

My time with Homer Bailey

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but it bears repeating with Homer Bailey’s second career no-hitter tonight: One of the best things about my job covering the Minors and the Draft is seeing guys that I’ve covered from high school on up accomplish things at the big league level.

My coverage of Homer Bailey started during our live video coverage of the 2004 Draft. That’s right, long before the Draft was on television, we here at MLB.com did live video coverage of the event. We paved the way to what you see on MLB Network these days. But I digress…

On our broadcast, it was myself, Fred Claire and Darryl Hamilton. And I have to say, we did a solid job providing coverage of the Draft that year. But if you watch the first round (I’ll save you some time… move ahead to about the five-minute mark after you click on the Round 1 link on that Draft landing page), you’ll see the less than stellar work on announcing the No. 7 overall pick of the Draft.

I had done a good amount of research before the Draft, knew all the top names. But I was thrown for a loop when I was told that David Bailey had been taken by the Cincinnati Reds. I eventually was able to put it together and realize it was Homer Bailey, but it wasn’t exactly a stellar start.

I was able to make amends the following season. I drove to Dayton, Ohio in early 2005. I wanted to see the stadium they had in Dayton, sure, but I really wanted to spend time talking with Bailey, who had just made his 2005 debut. It was an interesting interview, not your typical one with a high schooler. Bailey was confident and opinionated, and showed no fear in voicing those opinions. He butted heads early on with the Reds about his workout regimen, though he surprisingly didn’t protest the tandem pitching system the organization had set up at the lower levels. You can read the story that came out of that interview right here.

There is one more layer to that story. Back then, I was doing a regular Around the Minors show on MLB Radio, our internet-only station. I was just getting in the habit of taking my mini-disc player and recording interviews to use for those shows. I got through the entire interview with Bailey that day, only to realize at the end that it hadn’t recorded. And here’s the amazing thing. Bailey allowed a re-do. That’s right, without complaint or even a grumble, we did the entire interview over again, and this time I made sure we were recording.

I’ve covered Bailey on several other occasions, from the 2006 Reds organization preview to the 2006 Futures Game when Bailey came in and hit triple-digits to a stretch when I filled in for Mark Sheldon covering the Reds for a few weeks in Spring Training 2009. He’s always been a slightly different kind of guy. And I mean that in a good way.

He’s also always had absolutely ridiculous pure stuff. The fact that he was still throwing 97 mph in the ninth inning of his second no-no should surprise no one. It was always a question of him putting it together. He really started to last year, particularly in the second half of the season (when his first no-hitter came). He’s been a little up and down this year, but is still very capable of completely throttling an opponent. Just like he did with the Giants. And he’s only 27. So those of you waiting for those high school draftees to pan out in your organization, have some faith. And some patience.

Vegas baby

It’s certainly an interesting locale for the Winter Meetings, isn’t it? I mean, where else could be better for wheeling and dealing?

Already one deal made — and I’ll be back with some detailed info on Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo, the two Minor Leaguers sent to the Rangers for Gerald Laird — and I’m sure more to come. I’ll be providing analysis on any and all prospects involved in deals while were here.

And it doesn’t even have to be direct involvment. Think about the Edgar Renteria signing in San Francisco, announced a while back. That was, on the surface, just a free agent signing. But it does directly impact some young players in that system. So much for Emmanuel Burriss being the shortstop of the immediate future, right? Maybe now he gets a shot to play second base. If that’s the case, then what happens to Kevin Frandsen? Could there be a competition at second, or will Frannie have to battle it out with Eugenio Velez for a utility spot? Frandsen does have the ability to fill in at three infield position and probably would sell hot dogs if it meant he could help the team and get his name in the lineup. Should be an interesting spring there…

The other big rumor involving a young player so far has been Homer Bailey to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye. I know GM Walt Jocketty has denied it publicly, but don’t be shocked if Homer does get dealt at some point. Some folks I’ve talked to have told me that there is some truth to the Dye-for-Bailey rumor and here’s why: The Reds need a right-handed No. 3 hitter to put between the young guys (Votto and Bruce). Dye and Reds manager Dusty Baker know each other well and get along. The Reds are not sure Bailey will ever throw strikes consistently because of too much length in his arm action. That also might keep him from finding consistency with his breaking ball. Add into the mix that there’s pressure from Reds ownership on Jocketty to make something happen and it’s possible this isn’t done yet.

Plenty more later…

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