The Waiting Game

March 13, 1995|By Buster Olney

Harold Reynolds

What he would be doing if there were no strike: Reynolds, 34, would be doing exactly what he is doing -- trying to prove, as a non-roster invitee to spring training, that he still can be a regular player in the big leagues. The former Oriole is in camp with the Colorado Rockies in Tucson, Ariz., although he is steadfast in his refusal to play against replacement players. Last year, Reynolds signed with the San Diego Padres in January before being traded to the California Angels at the end of spring training for pitcher Hilly Hathaway. In 74 games for the Angels, Reynolds batted .232 with 33 runs, 11 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. By the end of the year, he was being used as a platoon player, which bothered Reynolds. The Rockies would like second-base prospect Roberto Mejia to step up and win the job whenever major-league play resumes. But manager Don Baylor says that if Mejia can't win the job outright, then Reynolds is Plan B.

Why he's helped by the strike: "Whether it's two days or one week or a month [before the strike is settled]," Reynolds said, "I'll have had an advantage in that the Rockies will have already seen me. The main thing for me is getting on the field and letting them see I'm healthy, letting them see I still have the range, letting them see if I can still hit. If I had waited [for a settlement] and had only 10 days of spring training, it wouldn't have given me a fair chance to make the club."

Why he won't play in replacement games: "I'm not a replacement guy. . . . I back the union strongly."

Reynolds on Reynolds: "I'm not your average 34-year-old. They don't know that yet."

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