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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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Padres Manager Andy Green And Starting Pitcher Christian Friedrich Bring Bluegrass Background

San Diego Padres first year manager Andy Green hails from Lexington Kentucky.  Padres starting pitcher Christian Friedrich is a product of Turkey Hughes Field on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

Green was the valedictorian of his 1996 class at Lexington Christian Academy and a former Reds farm hand where his roommate was Adam Rosales, who played for the Reds in 2008 and 09, with the Louisville team.  Rosales is a player on the Padres and is starting at secondbase.

Green grew up a Reds' fan and can recall his father bringing him to Riverfront Stadium to watch the Reds.  Born in 1977, he missed the Big Red Machine's World Series run but his father made sure he knew the history.

"(This series) has a homecoming feel to it. It would have been very special to have worn a Reds uniform at the major league level. I was thrilled to play for the Diamondbacks and the Mets," Green said.

"I was here when Tony Perez had his statue unveiling here. That was very special. Davey Concepcion took the lineup card out and I was fighting for it because he was my favorite player in the early 80s. They didn't let me, so it was kind of disappointing. Nobody can stop me this year, so we'll have to see who takes the lineup card out." 
Green also happens to be here when the Reds' officially retire Pete Rose's number on Saturday.
"It's hard not being a Pete Rose fan growing up in this area," Green said. "So it's going to be special to watch that happen on Saturday. I paid more attention to the shortstop and second baseman. I watched Ron Oester play second base. That's who I was focused on when I was playing."

Friedrich was born in Evanston Illinois but the left-hander matriculated to Eastern Kentucky University where he set the schools career record in strikeouts with 327.  As a freshman in 2006, Friedrich pitched the fifth no-hitter in EKU history.

The 28-year old was the first round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2008, the 25th player chosen.

Friedrich pitched in the Rockies system for nine seasons and had a 5-16 record with a 5.81 ERA in 100 games, 19 of which were starts.

Friedrich was released by the Rockies on February 19. He was signed by San Diego on March 3 and finished the spring on the disabled list.  He was reinstated on April 21 and made two starts at Lake Elsinore.  Friedrich advanced to El Paso and made two starts with an 0-1 record and a 4.66 ERA.

The Padres picked up Friedrich's contract on May 13. He started the same day and pitched six innings of one-run baseball in a 1-0 loss to Milwaukee.  Friedrich won three straight before a loss in his last outing to Washington.  He is 3-2 with a 3.15 ERA to begin the game against the Reds.

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