Results tagged ‘ Gene Bennett ’
The Reds announced today that longtime front office man Gene Bennett retired. For most Reds fans, his name won’t be immediately recognizable but you’ll know many of the people he’s responsible for signing to the team. He’s been part of the Reds organization for 58 years!
I will write that part again….58 years. Wow.
Gene has long been one of my favorite people to know since I’ve started covering the Reds. He’s always been kind and will come up and talk. He knows the game inside out and I’ve always enjoyed running into him at Spring Training and chatting with him near the practice fields.
Here is a portion of the Reds’ press release:
He will be honored tonight during the Reds Caravan stop at Fannin Motors in Ashland, Kentucky and on Portsmouth Day in ceremonies prior to the Sunday, April 17 afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Gene has been an important part of the Reds’ family for almost 60 years,” said Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty. “He leaves a legacy not only here but also in baseball’s scouting fraternity. He made countless contributions to the success of our proud franchise.”
Bennett, 82, has been a senior special assistant to the general manager since October 1992. After signing as a player in 1952, he began scouting in 1958 and was promoted to scouting supervisor in 1975. His notable signings include Reds Hall of Famers Don Gullett, Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo along with Jeff Russell, Charlie Leibrandt and Paul O’Neill.
Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1995, said, “Gene not only is a great scout, as anyone in baseball will tell you, but he also is such a wonderful person. He will be missed by everyone in the game.”
How quiet have things been with the Reds at the Winter Meetings?
“I’d tell you to stay close to your phones but there is no reason to,” general manager Walt Jocketty said on Wednesday afternoon.
Like on Tuesday, Jocketty spent time talking to different clubs and agents. The quest remains for a pitcher and a left-handed hitting infielder that can play second base and shortstop.
I asked if they had reached out to free agent infielder Craig Counsell, who fits that bill. Jocketty confirmed the interest and that there had been talks with Counsell’s agent. He did not elaborate beyond that.
All is very quiet regarding Jonny Gomes contract talks and the sides appear no closer to a deal. The deadline to tender an offer to the arbitration eligible outfielder remains on Saturday. I called Gomes to see what he knew and he said he’s staying out of it. He has more enjoyable things to do like spend time with his four-week old daughter, Zoe.
“The agents are lawyers and negotiators. I’m just a baseball player,” Gomes said. “They are 100 percent trusted on that side. It’s up to them and I let them do it. My friends and family are three times more stressed about it than I am and they’re wondering why I’m not stressed.”
Gomes very much would like to return to the Reds.
“My thoughts on returning are still awesome,” Gomes said. “I had a great time in Cincinnati and appreciated being taken in with open arms. The fans, the ballpark and the city are second to none.”
Also — the Reds have no plans to talk with Jamey Carroll’s agent. The determination was he did not play shortstop enough to be a a fit.
Our session with Jocketty was held earlier than usual because the Reds are attending a banquet where Gene Bennett will be named Midwest Scout of the Year. Bennett has been with the Reds organization since 1952 and is one of the nicest people you will find in the game. He’s also made some great recommendations over the years.
To watch a video of Gene’s speech — it’s here:
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