05/18/12 7:40 PM ET
Cozart upbeat while weathering first slump
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Reds enjoying time in NYC, despite quirks
NEW YORK -- To go from their previous series vs. the Mets to the current series against the Yankees, the Reds merely had to go across town.
Friday marked the club's third of five straight days in New York. Although seven teams have played back-to-back series in the same area since Interleague Play started in 1997, it's the first time it's happened in New York."It's cool. I had never been to New York in general," rookie shortstop Zack Cozart said. "Just being in the city and getting to play here and playing the Yankees -- we don't do it often, and I wasn't here when we played them last year at home." "A disadvantage for us has been night game, day game, night game, day game," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The advantages are you don't have to change hotels. You just go across town. It's the first time I've done this. I'd rather do this than go somewhere else and come back." The extended Big Apple stay was welcomed by New Jersey native Todd Frazier, who's had dozens of family and friends attend games. And for recent callup Mike Costanzo, he's had family and friends come up from his hometown of Philadelphia. "It's pretty awesome," said Costanzo, who expected 50-60 of his people to have tickets this weekend. "It's so close to home. Everybody is so excited. It's cool being able to have your kid here. He's 2 years old and he doesn't get it, but it's still cool for me." This marked the Reds' first visit to the new Yankee Stadium. The team last played in the Bronx in 2008.
"Last time I was here, it was the last year of the old stadium," Baker said. "I felt a whole lot more of a kick and nostalgia then. This is some building here."
Baker talks his way into Yankee Stadium
NEW YORK -- With the Reds making their first trip to the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Friday, manager Dusty Baker had an interesting experience upon his arrival."It's hard to get in this bad boy," Baker said. "Some guy asked, 'Hey, can I help you?' I was in the front trying to get in. I said I was here for the game. He told me, 'The gates aren't open yet.' I told him, 'I'm the manager.' He was like, 'Of what?' I said, 'Of the baseball team.' He said, 'What's your name?' I said, 'Dusty Baker.' He still didn't know me. Another guy came over and recognized me."
Chapman reportedly being sued for $18M
NEW YORK -- Two Spanish-language newspapers in Miami -- Cafe Fuerte and El Nuevo Herald -- are reporting that Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman is being sued for $18 million.
The lawsuit alleges that Chapman was an informant for Cuban state authorities after a failed defection attempt and helped turn in another man in order to get back on the country's national baseball team. The suit was filed by the family of a Cuban-American named Danilo Curbello Garcia and alleges that Chapman is responsible for Garcia's arrest.Reds spokesman Rob Butcher said that Chapman was aware of the lawsuit, but that the left-hander had no comment.
One of Baker's favorite players, Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, retired after facing one batter on Friday and striking him out."He could have gone other places. As a matter of fact, we were trying to get him here," Baker said. "He loved Chicago, and Chicago loves him. He wanted to retire in Chicago. I thought it would be the end of the year. When the time calls, it's time to go."