In a town that has brought the sports world such colorful characters as “Charlie Hustle”, “Sparky” and the “Nasty Boys”…reliever Jon Adkins is prepared to stake his claim.
“From now on I will be known as Ocho Uno for I will be wearing #81 in Spring Training with the Cincinnati Reds!!” Adkins said recently via his Twitter feed.
“I am very happy to be back with the Cincinnati Reds,” Adkins told The Hall exclusively in December after signing a deal with the organization. He added to that sentiment Tuesday night, “just being with the guys here in the United States will be great again.”
Last season with the Lotte Giants, Adkins was 3-5 with a 3.70 ERA and a Korean Baseball Organization leading 26 saves. In 119 Major League appearances, he has compiled a 5-5 record and a 4.54 ERA.
“I had it great in Korea,” Adkins continued, “I had an American manager but if I were on any other team wow it would’ve been really tough.”
Adkins thinks it’s the difference in attitude between American ball players and those overseas.
“Korean players play a little uptight because in their culture, the managers are very strict with them. They will pull them in the middle of an at bat when pitching and if they make an error sometimes they call timeout to yank them on the spot.”
Adkins is expected to start the season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats, but what remains to be seen is whether or not the newly dubbed “Ocho Uno” can make it back to the Majors with the “Big Red Machine”.
Regardless, Bats Vice President/General Manager Dale Owens is hopeful.
“If Jon can save 20 games or more we'll put whatever he wants on the back of his uniform,” Owens said of the team’s 2008 co-MVP. “I can't wait for ‘Ocho Uno’ to arrive in Louisville!”
Right now, Adkins is busy getting ready to begin spring training at the Reds’ beautiful new facility in Goodyear, Arizona. No word yet if Bengals’ superstar Chad Ochocinco will be showing up to greet the Queen City’s newest Ocho.
I guess we’ll have to wait to see if he’ll make that trip down Second Street from Paul Brown Stadium to the Great American Ballpark when Adkins hits Cincinnati for his second tour with the club.
And yes, he has been contacted.