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Former Dirtbag Jeremy Reed Is The "Go 2 Guy"


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at dirtbagsfan@yahoo.com.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Former Dirtbag Jeremy Reed Is The "Go 2 Guy"

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Go 2 Guy: Penciled in at center, Reed intends to get the lead out

By JIM MOORE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER COLUMNIST

RENTON -- This is all very cool to Jeremy Reed.

Last night he was signing autographs and posing for pictures at DJ's Sportscards.

This year he is supposed to be the Mariners' starting center fielder, playing the same position for the same team of his childhood idol, Ken Griffey Jr.

"A lot of guys are penned in," said M's general manager Bill Bavasi. "We've penciled him in."

To which the Go 2 Guy replies: "Get out the Sharpie, Billy boy. This kid's ready."

Or at least he sounds ready. And last September, he looked ready, batting .397 in his first 18 games as a major leaguer.

That was when Bob Melvin was still the manager, calling Reed "a steal" in the deal that sent Freddy Garcia to the Chicago White Sox.

The Mariners also acquired catcher Miguel Olivo and minor-league shortstop Mike Morse, but Reed could be the one who makes M's fans forget about Garcia. Although I'd venture to say Reed could hit a buck-60, and Garcia would be forgotten about anyway.

"I'm the type of guy who loves to play, loves the competition," Reed said. "I can't wait to go out and earn the position. You can say I'm penciled in, great, I hope so. But I still want to have the mindset to make the team."

If you didn't already develop a liking for Reed last year, you will this year. He's the anti-prima donna. He will play the game the right way. He will always have dirt on his jersey. He will look you in the eye and earn his paycheck.
Well, what else would you expect from a Dirtbag!
"I'm hard-nosed and will give it my all," he said. "I'll do everything I can to win and leave it all on the field."

There are a bunch of clich├ęs in there, but I don't care -- if this kid cares that much, I'm hoping he plays center field at Safeco Field for the next 15 years.

But what about the millions he stands to make if he ends up being as good as everyone thinks he will be?

"I don't think anything could change the way I think about the game and respect the game," he said. "I love the game, and I play the game hard."

He started sliding head-first into every base at Long Beach State and still does.

I remember seeing him and thinking, "That guy just looks like a baseball player." And that's what he is, one with a knack for hitting and making the right first step on contact, compensating for his lack of blazing speed.

"Everybody talks about (my) instincts," Reed said. "I don't pay attention to that. I just try to catch it."

If Griffey and Mike Cameron are 10's defensively on a 1-to-10 scale, Reed's a "7 or 8 with upside," said Bavasi, comparing him favorably to St. Louis' Jim Edmonds.

At the plate, Reed has already proven himself, and he wasn't surprised.

"When I got hot, I believed in myself," he said. "I knew I had the ability to do what I was doing, but that's not to say I could do that all the time.

"Everybody was saying I'm not supposed to be doing what I'm doing. I loved proving people wrong and doing it again the next night. It shows how much I believe in myself."

His father always told him to be greedy.

"If you have two hits, get three. Three hits, get four. Never be satisfied," he said. "When you can get 'em, get 'em all at once."

Reed rarely strikes out and plans to bat .300 this year. He hits to all fields and is projected to clear the fences with more regularity in time.

More importantly, Reed's an 8-handicapper who loves to golf but, disappointingly, when asked what he orders from the beverage cart girl, he said: "A Coke."

"C'mon, really?

"I'm serious," said Reed, who "very rarely" quaffs a beer.

A Southern Californian who grew up in LaVerne, Reed doesn't surf but likes going to the beach to get some sun. Bad news for Mariner groupies: He's got a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend in New York.

This winter Reed has been working out in Newport Beach with major leaguers Adam Kennedy, Darin Erstad and little brother Mark, a Chicago Cubs' prospect.

Erstad is one of his favorites because of the way he plays the game, down and dirty, just like Reed plans to be here.

posted on 1/25/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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