Shots Fired: Former Red Latos Rips Cincinnati Clubhouse

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Apparently everything was not all hunky dory during Latos’ stay with my Cincinnati Reds.

The newest member of the Marlins rotation opened up in a Q&A session with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about his new, and more critically, former teams.

When asked what was appealing about Miami, Latos suggested that he could be a veteran presence on a young team that makes a difference and helps propel them to the playoffs. He then took to finger pointing about what he perceived as problems within the Cincinnati clubhouse that prevented those talented Reds teams from achieving any type of lasting success.

The most stinging quote from the interview:

“You look at the Reds after we lost Bronson (Arroyo, after the 2013 season). Everything went to s—. You look at it after we lost Scott Rolen (after 2012). Everything went to s—. When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

“After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that … it turns into a circus.”

He didn’t name names, but based on the account of what took place, you can narrow down the identify of some of the offenders.

Latos went on to back-handedly criticize Cincinnati for their handling of his and Jay Bruce’s injury recovery, suggesting that the organization has been rushing players back from injury much too soon.

It wasn’t all negative. Latos also expressed his sincere fondness for some of his now former teammates, with special nods to reliever Sam LeCure, first baseman Joey Votto and outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

A spokesman for the Reds declined to comment when asked to respond to some of Latos’ remarks. But veteran Skip Schumaker didn’t shy away from responding.

“It’s really disappointing because we have a really good training staff, one of the best I’ve been around,” Schumaker said. “I’ve been around a long time. I’ll just say it’s addition by subtraction and I’ll leave it at that.”

Other players have come forward to call Latos’ claims “a bunch of tabloid B.S.”

It sounds like there’s a new National League rivalry a-brewing.

You can read the entire Q&A by following this link. I’m of the belief that there’s some truth behind what Latos is saying. I’ve always found Latos to be genuine. And anyway, what reason does he have to lie?

The Reds have seemingly had bad luck with the injury bug, so if there is an issue with how they are working players back from the disabled list, that needs to be addressed. And the culture of the clubhouse, that’s something that can make or break a franchise (remember the whole beer, video games, and fried chicken situation in Boston a few years ago).

Though they’re not commenting, I hope there are people within the Reds clubhouse and front office listening and taking notes.

Latos was traded to the Marlins in mid-December. In return for the 27-year-old right hander, the Reds received right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani and minor league catcher Chad Wallach. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season.

In light of the attention his recent remarks have garnered, Latos told writers in Florida yesterday that he was going to take a break from talking to the media. Probably a good call.

About Matthew George

Matthew George graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a bachelor of science in journalism. He spent three years writing sports for the Kentucky Kernel, the university's daily paper, and served as assistant sports editor. After undergrad, Matthew attended Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University where he earned his juris doctorate. He is now admitted to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana.

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