CINCINNATI — On September 23, the Cincinnati Reds will honor Bronson Arroyo in a pre-game ceremony, then after the game Arroyo will honor the fans with a personal concert called Kickin’ It With Bronson.
“It will be a mini-concert. A real concert is three hours long and Bronson Arroyo ain’t got six hours in him,” Arroyo said with a laugh as he sat in the home dugout at Great American Ball Park Wednesday afternon.
“Three hours? That’s Bruce Springsteen. That’s Pearl Jam. That’s a real show,” he added. “I’m just going to give them an appetizer, some shrimp cocktail, 45 minutes worth. Then they can watch the fireworks.”
THEN ARROYO TURNED serious and, as always, thought about the fans.
“It is going to be fun, really fun,” he said. “I can’t contribute on the field so at least I can contribute in another way. People come to the ball park to be entertained and in a lot of ways we (players) lose a little perspective. We are entertaining out there, even though we are thinking internally about wins and losses all the time.
“That’s what drives the machine but at the end of the day, it’s all about amenities at the ball park — the overall experience is still what matters to the fans and that’s what brings them back. I’m just trying to do my part by playing some music.”
ARROYO’S LOVE FOR THE guitar and his singing will continue. His love for baseball will continue, too, but he can’t play it. He can play the guitar.
“With the Boston Red So (for whom he pitched before pitching for the Reds) that will be a nice cap to my career, in a way. This is moving in the direction of things I’ll be doing a lot more of than throwing a baseball.”
Arroyo has written songs, but won’t include them in the concert and said he’ll be doing all cover songs.
“If I wrote stuff that I was happy with I would sing them,” he said. “But that’s doesn’t generally happen. I’ll just play songs that people know and stuff that spurred me on throughout my career and I hope people enjoy it.”
REMEMBER ANTHONY DESCLAFANI, the guy who was supposed to pitch Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds but hasn’t thrown a major league pitch in anger this season due to a sore elbow.
Well, he threw 20 pitches, mostly fastballs, on the side Tuesday and played catch before Wednesday’s game. He will accompany the team this week to Pittsburgh and threw off a mound on Friday.
“He has to keep getting better so he can possibly face some hitters,” said manager Bryan Price. “Before the end of the season we want to see how much workload he can handle.”
Price said the team is more concerned about his availability for next season than for any appearance this season.
“We have to get his elbow to a good enough spot to go into the off-season optimistic that he can handle a workload next year,” said Price. “The focus isn’t so much to get him back on the mound to pitch this year as it is to get back on the mound and pitch competitively so he can build up a body of work to build up enough confidence to get through this elbow issue.”
THIS IS WHAT MAKES Jay Bruce the person that he is. Bruce’s native Beaumont, Tex., is under water from Hurricane Harvey. Bruce and his wife, Hannah, are undertaking a fund raiser and he will match the first $100,000 donated.
“Beaumont is why I am who I am and why I am where I am,” he said. “I had to do something. If I could, I’d be right there in boats helping rescue people. I can’t be, so this is something I can do to help out.”
Also, when Bruce was traded from the New York Mets to the Cleveland Indians he said, “The Indians already are a great team. They don’t need me. But I’m very happy to be here.”
MAYBE THIS ONE IS poetic justice. The New York Mets were scheduled to play in Harvey-ravaged Houston Friday and the Mets were going to pitch Matt Harvey. Some irony, huh?
But the game has been postponed and instead will be part of a doubleheader Saturday and Harvey is still expected to pitch.