05/18/12 7:40 PM ET
Baker talks his way into Yankee Stadium
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Cozart upbeat while weathering first slump
NEW YORK -- It's been largely unfamiliar territory for Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart, who is dealing with his first hitting slump in the Majors.Cozart entered Friday in a 1-for-22 skid, with his double vs. the Mets on Wednesday snapping an 0-for-13 stretch. "Every year people go through this," Cozart said before the Reds played the Yankees. "It's a matter of how quick you can get out of it. That's what the good hitters do. You see Joey [Votto] -- he doesn't let 0-for-10 become 0-for-20, which is why he's such a great hitter. For me, I just have to keep going at it. Facing Johan [Santana] the other day, I had some good at-bats and hit some balls hard. I've got to build on that." Cozart came in batting .236, with three home runs and nine RBIs. As recently as May 8, when he had a five-game hit streak, he was batting .277. "I feel good at the plate," Cozart said. "I feel like I'm going to get a hit every time up there. I am missing balls by 'this much' and popping out and hitting balls to center when I don't have that kind of pop. It's just a matter of time, at least in my eyes, when everything turns around and it's like earlier in the year." Reds manager Dusty Baker is contemplating resting Cozart, possibly on Saturday. "He's up in the air too much right now chasing bad pitches sometimes," Baker said. "When you're going through a period like that, you're taking one as a strike and swinging at ones that are a ball. ... Especially when you're not going well in the leadoff spot, they pile up quickly. He just needs a little cheap hit and he'll start rolling." Much of Cozart's success this season has come from the second spot in the order, where he's batting .354, and ahead of Votto. In the leadoff spot, where he's been lately, he came in batting .172 in 21 games. "I take the same approach leading off as I do in the two-hole," Cozart said. "It's obvious I'm not up to bat with people on base as often, but it's one of those things. I don't think wherever I'm hitting makes much of a difference. I'm just not getting hits right now. A week ago I had a five-game hitting streak and felt fine."
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."
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."