Results tagged ‘ Johnny Bench ’

No HOF for Concepcion

Davey Concepcion did not get into the Hall of Fame during the latest opportunity. Longtime Blue Jays and Phillies executive Pat Gillick was the lone person elected by the Expansion Era Committee, it was announced on Monday.

Needing 75 percent of the 16 votes, Gillick received 13 (81.25%). Marvin Miller was next (11 votes, 68.75%) and Concepcion had eight votes (50%). He needed 12 votes.

“I was pulling for Davey, obviously. I knew it was a 50-50 chance,” said Reds great Johnny Bench, who was on the committee.

Bench said he joked with Ozzie Smith — also was on the committee — that it was “his fault” Concepcion won five Gold Gloves while while Smith won 13.

“When you think about it, Davey would have won 10 Gold Gloves or more (without Smith),” Bench said. “That was what I was trying to convey and I think I probably swayed some pepole. Had I not been there, I don’t think Davey would have gotten a quarter of the votes [he got], quite honestly. but I was passionate about it.” 

As far as other Winter Meetings stuff, Dusty Baker is holding a media session at 2 p.m. After that, there will be some time with GM Walt Jocketty. More later…

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Bench, Morgan, Perez on Studio 42

From MLB Network press release:

HALL OF FAMERS JOHNNY BENCH, JOE MORGAN AND TONY PEREZ FEATURED ON STUDIO 42 WITH BOB COSTAS ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3
 
Secaucus, NJ, November 30, 2010 – Hall of Famers and former Cincinnati Reds teammates Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez – members of the “Big Red Machine” – are featured in a new episode of MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas on Friday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Throughout the hour-long interview filmed in Cooperstown, New York in July 2010, Bench, Morgan and Perez discuss playing for the late Hall of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson, winning the 1975 World Series against the Boston Red Sox in seven games, where the Reds’ dynasty of the 1970’s ranks in Major League Baseball history, and if former teammate Pete Rose should be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

As teammates from 1972-1976, Bench, Morgan and Perez won four National League West division titles and back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976. Bench, the 1970 and 1972 National League MVP, played his entire 17-year career for the Reds and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Morgan, elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, had a 22-year playing career with the Houston Astros (1963-1971 & 1980), Reds (1972-1979), San Francisco Giants (1981-1982), Philadelphia Phillies (1983) and Oakland Athletics (1984). Perez, a seven-time National League All-Star, spent his 23-year career with the Cincinnati Reds (1964-76 & 1984-1986), Montreal Expos (1977-1979), Boston Red Sox (1980-82) and Philadelphia Phillies (1983), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. The ‘Great Eight,’ including Bench, Morgan, Perez, Rose, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Ken Griffey Sr. and Cesar Geronimo had a 69-19 record as a starting lineup from 1975-1976.

Prior to Studio 42 with Bob Costas, MLB Network’s live nightly studio show during the offseason, Hot Stove, will air at 6:00 p.m. ET with updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season. Studio 42 with Bob Costas is presented by Travelers.
 
Highlights from the interview include:
 
BENCH ON THE “BIG RED MACHINE”:
“Joe Morgan was the one guy that absolutely put our team really over the top. … Then we had George Foster come in, Ken Griffey Sr. was as good a two-place hitter as there has ever been in the game, and Cesar Geronimo won four Gold Glove awards. I mean, how could you ask for a better team?”
 
MORGAN ON PLAYING FOR HALL OF FAME MANAGER SPARKY ANDERSON:
“Sparky Anderson made sure that not only these three guys [Bench, Perez and Morgan], but everybody on the team knew that we were only a little small spoke in the wheel. We weren’t the wheel. Everybody in here is part of this wheel. And you do your job, and he didn’t care whether Johnny Bench drove in the winning run, or Pete Rose or whomever. He just said, ‘Get it done.’ And we did.”
 
BENCH ON LOSING GAME SIX OF THE 1975 WORLD SERIES TO THE BOSTON RED SOX:
“Sparky Anderson was so mad. He said, ‘Was this great? Was this the greatest game you’ve ever seen? What the hell are you talking about? We just lost the game. We could have won the World Series.’ But we didn’t lose that night. We didn’t lose the World Series that night.” 
 
MORGAN ON WINNING THE 1975 AND 1976 WORLD SERIES:
“We were a complete team. We could do more than just pitch and hit. We could run the bases, we could play defense. And I’ve said it before, we were the smartest team I’ve ever been around. … Bob Howsam was the General Manager who put this team together. He said to me after we won in 1976, ‘Joe, there will never be another team like this.'”
 
BENCH ON WINNING THE 1975 WORLD SERIES:
“Sparky Anderson wanted that World Series so bad. I don’t blame him, we all did. But after winning that World Series, I found out what it meant to be part of a World Championship. Walking into that clubhouse after the game, seeing 25 players, and it didn’t matter about stats or anything else. We were all World Champions, including the sponsors, coaches, equipment men, trainers, everybody, and all the fans, millions and millions of fans.”
 
BENCH ON PETE ROSE BEING INELIGBLE FOR INDUCTION TO THE NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME: 
“If Pete Rose got help and came out and said, ‘I have a problem. I realize now that I have a problem.’ And if he fell on his knees and said, ‘My gosh, I’m sorry to all of America and all of baseball.’ I think it would have been two years, three years, five years at most”

Bray close, Bench and Casey visit

Lefty reliever Bill Bray threw two innings worth of live batting practice on a back field Wednesday afternoon, totalling 40 pitches. It’s possible he could get into his first game as soon as Saturday vs. the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Bray has been behind all spring because of a sore left shoulder.

“I’m going to wait until [Thursday] to decide to see how he is and how his arm reacts,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “If it’s good, it’ll likely be Saturday. If he’s a little sore, maybe Sunday.”

Just from my rudimentary scouting eye — but Bray seemed to be doing well while facing Drew Stubbs, Norris Hopper and Danny Richar.

“He’s throwing good,” manager Dusty Baker confirmed after Bray finished.

Bray was satisfied with the session, his third live BP stint in camp.

“I felt good,” Bray said. “I just worked on hitting my locations and throwing strikes was the biggest thing. Being the third time I’ve thrown to batters, I was throwing strikes and keeping the ball down. I’m starting to get the slider working and moving properly, which was big.”

Other notes:

  • Reds legend Johnny Bench made his first appearance of the spring. Bench put on his No. 5 jersey and watched batting practice inside Ed Smith Stadium. He is in town while the team hosts corporate partners this week.
  • Recently retired 1B Sean Casey visited the Reds clubhouse today. Casey is in town with MLB Network while it shoots video and does interviews for the 30 Clubs/30 Days series. One regret is that Casey was traded to the Pirates the day after I started on the Reds beat in December, 2005. I never got to regularly work around one of the all-time nicest guys in the game. 
  • I talked to friend and Twins pitching great and broadcaster Bert Blyleven, who is the pitching coach for the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team. The Dutch squad features Reds Minor League pitchers Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran – both will benefit from working with Blyleven, who had one of the best curveballs ever and 3,701 career strikeouts.

“He’s got a good arm, a live arm,” Blyleven said about Sulbaran, a 30th round pick in last year’s Draft. “He’s young though. He’s just 19.”

Sulbaran also pitched for the Dutch National team in the 2008 Olympics.

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