Hal McCoy
Hal McCoy

Hal McCoy is a former beat writer for the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio), covering the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which is awarded annually "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." He has won 52 Ohio and national writing awards and was the first non-Cincinnati newsperson elected to the Cincinnati Journalists Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame and the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame. He has a stone on Dayton's Walk of Fame and the press box at Dayton's Howell Field is named the Hal McCoy Press Box. McCoy has been the Cincinnati BBWAA Chapter Chair 22 times and was the BBWAA national president in 1997. He is the third writer from the Dayton Daily News to win the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, joining Si Burick (1982) and Ritter Collett (1991). Residing in Englewood, Ohio, McCoy is an honors graduate in journalism from Kent State University.

CONTACT

Got a question for the ‘famer’?  Send it to us and Hal McCoy will give you a more-or-less educated answer from his 50 years of covering the Reds and major league baseball.  But hurry, because where has the summer gone…along with the Reds?

From Dave in Beavercrick:  When a team does the paperwork to place a player on the DL does the list of reasons include, “Fell off of a boat?”

DAVE: In all my years I’ve never seen the disabled list paperwork. I would guess all they to do is report the injury: sore shoulder, sore knee, torn fingernail, upset stomach. I don’t think they need to reveal how the ‘injury’ occurred. There are things teams frown upon a player doing: riding motorcycles, water skiing, bungee jumping, para-sailing, racing cars, walking across an interstate. Boating accidents, though, are no laughing matter. Cleveland Indians pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin were killed in a boating accident during spring training in 1993. And then there was the boating accident that took the life of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez last year. Then there are the weird ones, like Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan falling at home and injurng his non-pitching shoulder. Maybe teams should frown upon players going home, too.

From Joe B, on the beach:  What has happened to baseball nicknames, because I’m wondering after all this time if anyone on the Reds simply calls Eugenio Suarez, “Gene”?  E-u-gen-i-o is a mouthful.

JOE: Nicknames are still around. They just aren’t as colorful as they once were, like Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, Ted ‘The Splendid Splinter’ Williams, Rapid Robert Feller, Willie ‘Say Hey’ Mays, Wee Willie Keeler (and that’s not an insult), Ty ‘The Georgia Peach’ Cobb, LeRoy ‘Satchel’ Paige, Harmon ‘The Killer’ Killebrew. Some of the Reds do have nicknames. Instead of calling Suarez Eugenio, they call him Gene-o. And, of course, there is Scooter Gennett. Most of the nicknames, though, are just shortened versions of their real names: Mez for Devin Mesoraco, Duvy for Adam Duvall, Scheb for Scott Schebler, Disco for Anthony DeSclafani. Where’s the originality?

Baseball_thumbFrom Kyle Palmer:  If the baseball truly is ‘juiced’ this year, as they say, why is there so much inconsistency with the manufacture process from one season to another?

KYLE: That’s the $64 million question. And if anybody has the answer, nobody is saying it. Commissioner Rob Manfred says there is no difference. If not, why the proliferation of home runs this year, especially by guys who never did it before. What Scooter Gennett did, four home runs in one game, was awesome. And he has 19 home runs this year, five more than his career high. Have you looked closely at Scooter? He is barely tall enough to ride ‘The Beast’ at Kings Island. He has muscular arms, but c’mon, four home runs in one game? Hey, maybe it has something to do with global warming or maybe the atmosphere is thinning out. Whatever it is, not only are there a record number of home runs being hit, but some of them go so far they need clearance from air traffic controllers to land.

From Gerry:  I know that you like him, but what are the chances that Homer Bailey is done?  Your best guess is….?

GERRY: Done with what? He’ll never quit his beloved bow-hunting. And he’ll never quit his horse rope-riding. If you mean pitching, no I don’t think he’s finished. He missed nearly three years due to three surgeries. He still has his velocity. He is still struggling with command and control, which is understandable. That control and command stuff might be infectious and he is catching it from the rest of the Reds pitching staff. My best guess, and it is just a guess, is that he will bounce back next year and pitch well the first half and be traded. And, yes, somebody will take him.

PressProsMagazine. com.

From Richard in Indy:   First-time reader of the Press Pros site, and very impressed with its coverage of high school sports.  I grew up in Dayton.  As a long-time Dodger fan I wondered what your impression has been, and whether they can maintain that consistency in the post-season?

RICHARD: Welcome aboard. We welcome everybody, even Dodgers fans. As for the Dodgers this year, well, at least they don’t have the Big Red Machine to worry about. Back in the mid-70s, when the Reds and Dodgers were both in the National League West, both teams were very, very good. But the Dodgers couldn’t get past The Big Machine. Right now the Dodgers look like the best team in baseball to me. But the best teams doesn’t always win in the playoffs. Anything can happen in a short series. Look how many wild card teams have won the World Series. The Dodgers, though, are the best and I believe their pitching will carry them to the World Series. But they’ll lose to the Cleveland Indians (that’s a personal prejudice speaking).

From Bob Galloway:  I recently read where one of the major league umps claimed that replay shows they right about 99% of the time.  However, I kept track for a week recently and the replays proved they were wrong about once in three plays.  Do you believe the 99% figure?

BOB: I believe that one like I believe the check is in the mail, it don’t rain in Indianapolis and my dog ate my homework. I don’t know which umpire said that, but he obviously has a warped sense of humor. They aren’t anywhere close to getting it right 99 per cent of the time. If he means all the calls, he might be close to being right. But if he meant on all the replay challenges, his mask is blocking his brain.

From David Waller:  Can you name every Reds starting pitcher this season off the top of your head?  Or would you have to go to the book?

DAVID: Why would I want to waste my time doing that? And that’s my way of dodging the question because of course I can’t I doubt that manager Bryan Price can do that without a cheat sheet. Here are the ones I can remember: Scott Feldman, Tim Adleman, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, Homer Bailey, Sal Romano, Luis Castillo, Bronson Arroyo (almost forgot him), Asher Wojciechowski, Robert Stephenson, Jackson Stephens, Rookie Davis, Lisalverto Bonilla. That’s 14. I nailed 13. I forget Lisalverto Bonilla, who is very forgettable.

From John in Troy:  So how do the Reds’ starters get better before next year?  They have to pitch to improve?  But they have to rest, as well.  And you know they’re not going to spend any money.  So…what?

Hal_thumb0607JOHN: You answered the question yourself. They have to pitch. With the Reds it is on-the-job training. The problem is that they have so many suspects to check out that there aren’t enough spots in the rotation to accommodate them all. Those in the majors have to pitch-and-learn and those in the minors have to pitch-and-learn and earn their way to a trial in the majors. They don’t need rest. Starters pitch every fifth day and the Reds have used to many starters that none is going to pitch too many innings this year. You know what it is? It’s a mess. And I don’t have a clue how they are going to fix it and I don’t think it will be fixed by 2018.

From Tom in Loveland, Oh:  When you complete a particularly good story have you ever tossed your hair back with a jerk of the head, like Bryce Harper does when he hits a home run?  Or does someone ceremoniously take your laptop away, the way they take Harper’s helmet off his head?

TOM: When I finish a story — good, bad or indifferent — I pop the top on a Yuengling, unwrap a Montecristo White Label Churchill, put my feet up on the table and tell myself, “I’ll do better next time.” Ted Williams once said, “I don’t rate ’em, I just hit ’em.” For me it is, “I don’t rate ’em, I just write ’em. And if anybody touches my laptop they get a knuckle sandwich.

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