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Sunday MLB on TBS: Comments from Red Sox/Reds Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 15 June 2008 14:57

MLB on TBSThe following is commentary and interviews from Sunday's MLB on TBS game between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds featuring Chip Caray, Buck Martinez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Dusty Baker, and Jay Bruce.

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Boston Red Sox (9) @ Cincinnati Reds (0)

Game announcers: Chip Caray and Buck Martinez


Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. on hitting back-to-back home runs with his father in 1991 while with the Seattle Mariners: “(My dad, Ken Griffey, Sr.) hit his (home run) and after he ran around the bases, he looks at me and says, ‘that’s how you do it son.’  I turned around and looked at him and just shook my head because he usually didn’t say anything.  Then I hit mine and got around the bases and he made sure I shook everybody’s hand and then we sat next to each other and he said, ‘do you know what we just did?’  And I said ‘no’ because when you’re 20 (years old) you don’t pay attention to the history of baseball.”

Griffey Jr. on hitting career home run #600 last week with his father in attendance: “Everybody said, 'Why don’t you (hit home run #600) on Father’s Day?  That would be nice.'  I wanted to get it over with before Father’s Day.  Once I hit it, ran around the bases and saw (my dad) and got to him…then it hit me.”

Martinez on the improvement of the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen: “There are a lot of really good arms around baseball.  If you look at the teams that have made really big strides this year, the Tampa Bay Rays (in particular) have dramatically improved their bullpen and that’s allowed them to stay on the heels of the Red Sox (in the AL East).”

Martinez on Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett: “Josh Beckett is a true ace in my mind.  (He is) a guy that can shut down anybody, anywhere.”

Martinez on Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips: “(Brandon Phillips) was a highly touted prospect.  He came (to the Indians) from the Montreal (Expos) in the big trade for Bartolo Colon that got (the Indians) Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips, but Phillips never really panned out in Cleveland.  They wanted him to hit like a little guy and he doesn’t do that, he hits like a big guy.  We’ve seen that (with the Reds).”

Martinez on Red Sox catcher and team captain Jason Varitek: “(Jason) Varitek is as well-prepared as any catcher in the game today.  He will study hitters, he will look at video and he knows his pitchers.  He will often times go to a pitcher’s strength than a hitter’s weakness.  He won’t put his pitchers in too many weak situations.”

Martinez on the altercation between Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez and first baseman Kevin Youkilis last week: “That’s just part of boys being boys.  They’ve been together for this many days and this many hours a day.  (The altercation) happened during the Tampa Bay series when they had a fight with (the Rays).  (The incidents like that) happen all the time with teams, too many personalities together every day from February to October.”

Martinez on Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and catcher Jason Varitek disagreeing on handling batters: “I’ve seen them butt heads at times while trying to get to the right pitch.  It’s easy to do when you have a pitcher as accomplished as (Josh) Beckett because he can do so many things with his pitches.  He can have one idea, (Jason) Varitek can have another idea and oftentimes when you have a catcher like Varitek who is also an offensive player, he will have offensive thoughts in his mind.”

Martinez on who wins out in disagreements between the pitcher and catcher: “The pitcher wins out.  The pitcher has to throw the ball with conviction.  If he doesn’t and he’s got doubts when he is winding up, it’s going to be poorly executed.  The pitcher wins out ultimately.”

TBS’ Chip Caray and Buck Martinez interviewed Reds manager Dusty Baker during the fourth inning.

Baker on why he enjoys managing young players: “I love the way (young players) go about their business.  I haven’t had this amount of young players of this quality and talent (as a manager).  I love young players, you can teach them how to play and teach them how to play winning baseball.  If you get them young, you can mold them in the right way to play.”

Martinez on the future of the Reds: “The Reds have hope for the future with (Johnny) Queto and (Edinson) Volquez in the (pitching) rotation.  And with (Jay) Bruce in center, ( Brandon ) Phillips at second, (Joey) Votto at first, there is a core of young players here that want to turn things around.  (The Reds) have lost for seven straight seasons.  There was a rich tradition of winning here for many, many years going back to the 1960s and ‘70s.  They have to get back to a foundation of home-grown talent to build around the kids.”

Martinez on Reds first baseman Joey Votto: “Many people around (the Reds) think they he will eventually be the kind of hitter that you can hit in the middle of the order and have an impact.  He is a very good student of the game.  He knows his (hitting) stroke very well and makes the correct adjustments.  With the two young, left-handed hitters in the lineup of (Jay) Bruce and (Joey) Votto, (the Reds) can build around those guys.”

Martinez on the Red Sox GM Theo Epstein wanted to re-build the team following their World Championship in 2004: “(Red Sox GM Theo Epstein) wanted to change the mind-set and character of this team (after the 2004 World Series victory).  (The 2004 Red Sox) were characterized as ‘the idiots’, (former Red Sox players) Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar led the charge and they had a bunch of free spirits.  They wanted to be more like (catcher) Jason Varitek, they wanted that professional attitude.  They went out and got (third baseman) Mike Lowell, who is a carbon copy of Jason Varitek in his professionalism and his approach.  They brought in (starting pitcher) Josh Beckett, another example of exactly what you want, a professional baseball player who gives you everything he has every time he is on the field.  They prepare very well and all of a sudden, the whole team takes on that personality.”

Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. on his relationship with MLB Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron: “(Willie Mays and Hank Aaron) are like grandfathers to me.  They have been through it all and they tell me that ‘things are going to be alright.’  When you’re struggling, they call you.  When you are going well, they call and say, ‘just keep it going.’  They are the people that keep pushing (me) and that means a lot (to me).  These guys have helped me throughout my career from day one.”

Martinez on how Griffey, Jr. could tarnish his legacy by playing too long: “I don’t think (Ken Griffey, Jr.) is the kind of guy to think ‘what-if.’  I think he enjoyed his days on the field so much.  The one thing I hope for with Ken Griffey, Jr. is that he doesn’t stay too long.  Willie Mays stayed a little too long when he played for the Mets (at the end of his career) and the lasting memories of the 1973 World Series were when Mays struggled defensively, it took some people a long time to get over that image.  Willie Mays was one of the best players to ever play the game.  (Griffey) Junior could be in that same category.”

Reds rookie outfielder Jay Bruce on the future of the team: “We’re going to try and make this organization the best organization in baseball.  I think that there is only one Big Red Machine, they were special people.  But we are going to give it our best shot and I think there are a lot of good things coming for this organization.  I hope to be a part of it.”

Martinez on the importance of having veteran players on the bench: “(Red Sox back-up first baseman) Sean Casey became very important to (the Red Sox) when (third baseman) Mike Lowell injured his thumb (earlier in the season).  Casey stepped in a played first base while (Kevin) Youkilis moved over to third base.  When you are a championship-caliber club, like the Red Sox, it’s important to get veteran players on your bench.  Guys that know that their playing time is going to be limited and they are going to have to come into situations that are going to be tough.”

Martinez on the potential of instant replay being introduced in Major League Baseball: “(Instant replay in baseball) has been a hot topic all year long.  There have been many plays that have become examples of why they are considering (instant replay).  I would say that umpires are in favor of it but they want to draw a line to include only boundary (fair or foul) plays.  Over the course of the regular season, the calls will probably even out.  The concern is when you get to the postseason with so much on the line in a short span…(questionable calls) can swing the balance in a playoff series.”

Source: TBS

 
 
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