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Reds plan moves for stretch run

With the All-Star break last week, teams were briefly away from their offices. That small window of time allowed me to slip into Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty’s office and plant a hidden microphone.

Before the teams resumed play, Reds’ president and CEO Bob Castellini, manager Dusty Baker and Jocketty met to discuss possible moves for the final half of the season pennant run.

Here are the transcripts from that meeting:

Castellini: Walt, we’ve got a few problems on our hands. Have you got any solutions?

Jocketty: Well, our pitching problems can be solved by the pitchers just getting healthy. We need Broxton, Marshall and Cueto down the stretch.

Baker: I’ve got an idea. Let’s have the hitters all swing at the first pitch.

Jocketty: They’ve been doing that, except for maybe Votto. He’s the only one who looks for his pitch to hit until he has two strikes and then chokes up. How I long for the old school days of hitting.

Baker: Yeah. He won’t listen to our hitting coaches. Now that he’s won an MVP and batted over .300 every year, he thinks he knows better than us.

Castellini: The pitching has been the main thing that has carried us. What about a big bat in the middle of the lineup, someone who is consistent?

Jocketty: Well, we could try again to get David Wright from the Mets. If he hadn’t tweeted he was coming to the Queen City and that he was really pumped back in December causing the Mets’ season ticket holders to flood their front office with threats they wouldn’t buy tickets if they traded Wright, we would already have him.

Baker: Do you think Wright would be willing to swing at the first pitch?

Castellini: What about Ludwick? When will he be ready?

Jocketty: He’s a little ahead of schedule. He’ll be starting some rehab assignments in the minor leagues, but it’ll be like spring training all over again for him. And who knows how he’ll respond. He’s 35 years old.

Baker: Yeah, but he’ll swing at the first pitch.

Castellini: What about that Giancarlo Stanton with the Marlins?

Jocketty: He’s good, but not that good and they’d want a bunch of guys. It’s not worth the deal.

Baker: Maybe we could teach him how to swing at the first pitch. That might help.

Castellini: I think you should explore all options. We made winning a pennant this year our top priority.

Jocketty: I know, and the trade deadline is July 31, so we have less than two weeks to make some kind of move.

Baker: Just don’t upset the chemistry of this team. They really get along well.

Jocketty: I fully agree with you. I’ll try my best.

Baker: And they really love me. They want to win this thing for me, and I appreciate them. Maybe we could get Tony Danza. He pitched really well for the Angels in their pennant drive.

Jocketty: That was the movie “Angels in the Outfield.” And the players wanted to win it for their manager who was played by Danny Glover, not you.

Baker: Oh yeah. That was a good movie. I liked it because the players didn’t mind swinging at the first pitch.


Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.