Newark Bears Fan:
Congratulations on winning the player of the month trophy for the month of
Reggie Harris: Iím very pleased to win the
award. I know one of the players who won the award before. I
havenít gotten a trophy since high school, so Iím happy about that,
Iím pretty excited about it. It makes me feel that I got something
accomplished even though the season didnít go as well as we wanted it to.
But we started to play better here the last month but we just ran out of
time. I wanted to come here after being out all last year with a groin
injury -- come here and get myself back on the mound and get something
accomplished, and I think Iíve done that. Itís been one of those crazy
years -- it was hard to look at the individual stats when your teamís
losing, but when the seasonís over you look back and you appreciate what
youíve done and what youíve accomplished. Iím happy with the way Iíve
played, Iím not happy about the way our team played, but you know,
Iím part of the team, Iím part of the problem -- I only get to pitch in the
ninth inning and I donít get to hit so [there's only so much I can do].
Hopefully next year will be a better year for Newark. I donít know
what my situation will be, if Iíll come back next year, but if the situation
arises Iíd have no problem coming back to Newark. The fans here have
been very good to me, they take care of the players the best that they can
under the circumstances. Itís a great place to play. If you want
to play independent ball, Newark would probably be one of the better places
You joined us in the middle of
the season -- can you tell us how you found your way to Newark?
At the end of the 2001 season I was here in Newark.
That month, I pulled my groin. I went to spring training with Tampa
Bay the following year in 2002, and ended up tearing it completely, the
groin and the ab muscle, and I was out the whole year rehabbing -- up until
December. And by that time, I couldnít get a job in winter ball, so I
went to spring training with the Red Sox. I get to camp, I get food
poisoning, Iím in the hospital for four days. Once I got out, the team
wouldnít release me for another week, and by that time, minor league camp
was over and I was out of luck. I got released, came home, worked out,
and actually, I called here probably a month before I got here. But I
think that people in the front office here this year didnít have the numbers
on me on the computer, so they werenít familiar with me, until the message
finally got to [Bill] Madlock and Pete Filson, who did know me, and then
they got me here and then I joined the team.
Prior to being in Newark two
years ago, you played at the major league level, is that right?
I have four years of major league service. I got
drafted by Boston, played the major leagues with Oakland, Boston,
Philadelphia, Houston, and Milwaukee from Ď90 all the way up to 2000.
There were a couple of arm surgeries in between -- the shoulder and the
elbow -- but I bounced back from that and havenít had any problems since
then. The last couple of years the groin has just been my nemesis, but
here in the last couple of weeks it feels 100%, and I think a lot of good
things will be coming from me, coming up soon. Iím looking forward to
next year. Iím happy I did come here and got some things accomplished,
and Iím satisfied.
Do you have any idea whatís
going to happen next year?
Right now Iím trying to get into winter ball in Mexico
and go from there. Like I told Madlock, if the situation comes where I
donít get into organized ball, thisíll be the first place I look, and he
told me he would welcome me back with open arms. I told him I
appreciate that, and I couldnít give him a 100% answer that I will come
back, that it depends on what happens with organized ball. I have to
put myself back on the mound, let everybody know Iím healthy again, and that
I can still pitch -- the numbers that I put up, and just looking for an
opportunity to make the best of it like I did here, come back and get myself
back on the mound.
What is it about Newark that
makes it your it your first choice if youíre not back with affiliated ball?
Iím just comfortable here! I played here in 2001,
Iím familiar with the city, Iíve got some friends here now, [and] the fans
here treat me well. Itís just a comfortable place to play. Itís
not like being in New York or Philly, where if you lose you get ragged on.
Itís a family atmosphere and itís a great place to play, and bring the
family if you have to come here and play.
Itís been tough this season, a lot of things happened on
the team. Sometimes management canít control those things.
I think we could have played harder as a unit, but when you got guys coming
in and going out all the time itís hard to have a collective unit and stay
together all year -- I think thatís been part of the problem, too.
But next year itís going to be a lot different from what I understand.
Weíre going to try to get some more talent in here and boost this team back
up to where it should be playing -- weíre accustomed to being in first place.
Going to the playoffs in this league without Newark in it just doesnít seem