No smoking, but you can still chew on cigars
Hal McCoy enjoyed his trip to Arizona last week, although a three-hour delay at the airport made him wish he were still hanging out at his hotel's pool.
Q Can you smoke in the Arizona (Chase Field) ball park press box? — Bill, Villa Hills, Ky.
A Only if I set myself on fire. As for smoking my beloved cigars, that's a no-no in every major-league press box. That doesn't stop me from sticking unlit ones in my mouth. Josh Hamilton loves to ask if he can use one of my Churchills to hit with in batting practice, "Because it's bigger than my bats."
Q Not only do the Reds have three catchers on their roster, but the Class AAA Louisville Bats have four. Isn't that ridiculous. Miguel Perez isn't even assigned a uniform number. I thought he was going to be the next big thing? — Banjo Jimmy, Dayton
A Well, Banjo, if Miguel doesn't make it in baseball, he can join you in a concert. He once played the violin with the Venezuelan national orchestra. The reason he doesn't have a uniform is that in November he had his first right rib removed to relieve pressure on an artery. He is expected to miss the first half of the season. And why are so many people concerned about the Reds having three catchers? Last I checked, they have enough players to cover all the positions, so don't worry how many catchers (or pitchers, or infielders, or outfielders) are on the roster as long as every position is covered.
Q They still show segments on the GABP scoreboard of Kent Mercker interviewing teammates. Is he still part of the team or is this left over from last season? — Sharon, Dayton
A Mercker is comfortably retired and the segments you see are from last year. Mercker, one of the most intelligent and most humorous players I ever covered, made up a lot of the questions. Knowing that David Weathers was not happy with me about something I wrote, Mercker spotted me with other writers in the dugout during an interview with Weathers and said, "Of all the writers you see, which one would you like to shoot a poison dart at?" Weathers said, "Hal McCoy." Made me proud.
Source: Dayton Daily News