Joe Morgan was interviewed on KJR in Seattle yesterday. When asked about what made the Big Red Machine special, he gave us a taste of exactly what we’ll be missing this summer when he is no longer on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball:
We did things, we gave up our own individuality to make the team better. You know I could have stolen a few more bases at times. I think Bench [Johnny] could of hit a few more home-runs, but there was a time for a single to right stuff like that and he did it. So I think we all gave up a little bit of ourselves to make the team better and I think that’s what made it such a great team because we all knew what we were supposed to do.
And really, sometimes you just don’t want your home run hitting catcher to hit home runs. They kill rallies, you know. Better to have him single Rose in from second and then hit and run with Bench on first and Ken Griffey up to bat …
The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.
Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.
Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.