Hall-of-fame baseball writer Hal McCoy knows a thing or two about America’s pastime. If you’d like to tap into that knowledge, send a question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Don’t you think fans should take matters into their own hands and stay away from games in droves until the PED penalties are way more severe? — BILL, ENGLEWOOD
A: Why penalize the majority for the acts of a minority? Most players play it straight and they are strongly in favor of severe penalties for cheaters. They are disgusted with Ryan Braun and his ilk. They want the game as clean as you and I want it. Yes, make the penalties fit the crime, but let’s cheer and support the guys who do it right — and that’s most of them.
Q: Is there a budding connection between Bronson Arroyo and Devin Mesoraco, because I fear if that’s true the Reds will get rid of Ryan Hanigan if they can’t re-sign Arroyo? — MARTHA, ENGLEWOOD
A: The only reason Mesoraco has caught Arroyo recently is because Hanigan is on the disabled list. While Arroyo-Hanigan is a combination, even Sonny & Cher broke up, as did Martin & Lewis and Simon & Garfunkle. Nothing is forever and Hanigan’s injury is just giving Mesoraco a wonderful opportunity. Is Mesoraco moving toward being the No. 1 catcher, making Hanigan expendable? It’s getting closer.
Q: What do opposing players talk about at first base, because I always see Joey Votto laughing and talking with guys from the other team. Whatever happened to the rule against fraternization with the other team? — BOB, SPRINGBORO
A: How’s the wife? How’re the kids? What’s your dog’s name? Anything and everything. What do you talk about when you run into an acquaintance in the grocery store? It’s just people with common interests making small talk. There has never been a rule against talking to opponents during games. The old fraternization rule was to discourage players from congregating in groups on the field before games and talking. They used to get fined and an umpire would sit in the stands during batting practice and take notes. That’s no longer the case. Why? Probably something called free speech.