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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jay Bruce Hits First Home Run of the Spring

Jay Bruce hit his first home run of the spring off Jonathan Sanchez of the Kansas City Royals.

Bruce lost 16 pounds to help him make it through the season and be a little quicker and more agile.  Although the home run is his first, Bruce has looked good at the plate.  He was hitting .500 with a pair of doubles and four RBI in 12 at bats.

His batting practice group partner, Joey Votto, has been riding him all spring about losing weight.

"You hit 33 home runs last year, why did you drop the weight?" Votto said.  During batting practice Bruce hit a ball that landed on the warning track,  "See now you only have warning track power,"

Unfortunately for Bruce, he can't pull a "take that" on Votto.  Votto is working out at the Goodyear complex.  Votto didn't play on the road trip to Mesa yesterday and didn't make the trip to Surprise today.

"He's just working on some things in Goodyear," Dusty Baker said. "He is going to play in the night game tomorrow.  There is plenty of games left."

Baker is concerned about a guy with a short swing like Votto's peaking too soon.

"He's like Barry Bonds," said Baker who managed Bonds in San Francisco.  "They have a short stroke and if they peak too soon, they get bored.  I've seen it happen."

Baker also talked about timing for working on base stealing and hit and run plays.

"You don't do too much of that early in the spring before their legs get used to playing," Baker said.  "You take your risks in the middle of spring and then take fewer risks toward the end.  I don't care how much you train in the off season it takes awhile to get your legs in playing shape."

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