07/14/05 — Narron enjoys All-Star break at home

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Narron enjoys All-Star break at home

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on July 14, 2005 1:47 PM

Jerry Narron's to-do list included watering plants, some yard work and pitching batting practice with his son.

And he loved every minute of it.

The Cincinnati Reds interim manager and Wayne County native spent his All-Star break at home, enjoying the normal stuff a grueling baseball manager's schedule does not allow. He admitted he didn't watch the Home Run Derby and All-Star game. That was work. He was taking a break.

"I like being home any time. It's good to have a break," Narron said during a phone interview Wednesday. "I've been throwing a lot of batting practice to Conner (his 13-year-old son). He's been taking a lot of BP the last couple of days."

And spending time with Conner was just as much fun as his days in Cincinnati with players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Sean Casey.

Managing a baseball team doesn't leave a lot of room in the schedule for father-son time, especially when the son has a baseball career of his own on his mind. So, Conner's upcoming visit will be special.

"He's coming to Cincinnati this week, then he's going to play in an AAU tournament in Florida," Narron said.

Narron, who is 8-9 since taking over for Dave Miley, left for Ohio Wednesday as the Reds geared up for a 10-game homestand, which begins Friday with a three-game series with Colorado.

He's ready for the challenge. He still has something he wants to prove.

"It's always nice to be home, but I'm looking forward to getting back. I'm trying to have a big impact in a short length of time," Narron said. "I've got over 20 years experience, and I've been able to see things that work and don't work. Hopefully, we can put all those things together in Cincinnati."

When play resumes in the second half, the Reds (33-53), will be 21 games behind first-place St. Louis in the National League Central Division. Their record is their worst at the break since 2001, when they went 33-54. Most of Cincinnati's difficulties have been on the road. The Reds own one of the worst records in the league away from home at 11-31, while they are 24-22 at the Great American Ballpark.

"I think a big part of it is how they prepare. I believe no matter what you compete at, you play like you practice," Narron said. "With the girls basketball team at Rosewood, we talk about practice perfect to play perfect. Prepare the right way. Give yourself the best chance to be successful."

Make no mistake, Narron wants to win and win now.

"I want to win every game, but the big thing is to play it right. If we do that, things will take care of themselves," he said. "We're doing everything we can to get people to play it the right way ... fundamentally right, concentrating on the small things, getting back to the back to playing the game correctly.

"That's all we have been concentrating on."

With the MLB trade deadline approaching, Narron doesn't see Cincinnati acquiring any free agents, but didn't rule out the possibility that someone could be moved from the Reds roster. With depth in the outfield, Adam Dunn, currently hitting .239 with 23 home runs, is one of several players to be rumored on the trading block.

"I know there are a couple of players some teams are interested in. I can't see us adding anyone, but we will probably trade somebody," Narron said.

Narron, who will wear the "interim" tag the rest of this season, would not speculate on being rehired in 2006.