Notes: Narron moonlights with hoops

Notes: Narron moonlights with hoops

ST. LOUIS -- When Jerry Narron was promoted from bench coach to interim manager back in June, his hometown paper put a different spin on the headlines that ran in other sports sections across the country.

"Cincinnati Reds Hire Rosewood Girls' Basketball Coach," the headline in the Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus read.

Say what?

While most Major League players and coaches use the offseason for rest and relaxation, Narron uses his for refs and rebounds.

That's right. The 58th manager in the history of the Reds is also the head girls basketball coach at Rosewood High School in Goldsboro.

Narron, who had the interim tag removed from his managerial title Thursday, said he isn't sure he'll be able to continue the moonlighting gig for his daughter Clare's team this offseason, given his new duties.

But he hopes to.

"This would be my third season," Narron said. "You have no clue how tough that is. This [the Reds' job] is a piece of cake when you compare them. Because there you're dealing not only with the girls, but the parents. If they had sports talk radio, I would have been out a long time ago."

Narron had been coaching a middle school team when the head coach of the varsity Lady Eagles left the job when she became pregnant.

The 49-year-old Narron has been doing it ever since, though he had to miss the team's playoff appearances the past two years because of his Spring Training duties with the Reds.

Narron's been thinking a lot about those duties now that he's the full-time manager. He'll take part in the team's organizational meetings, which will be held Wednesday through next Saturday in Sarasota, Fla., to help lay out a plan for the spring.

Narron will also be getting a good look at the club's Instructional League squad.

"I want to make sure the younger players respect the game," he said. "There might be somebody in our Minor League system that could make more money someday than they would playing in the Major Leagues, but I doubt it. I want to make sure they go about it the right way and appreciate the opportunity they have."

That's been Narron's mantra since he took over for Dave Miley on June 21.

"It's important for our Minor Leaguers to understand it's not about the numbers," he said. "They should concentrate on improving every day. I know you have to have the numbers to move up, but if you play the game the right way, the numbers will take care of themselves."

Sounds like good advice for any athlete, be it a member of the Reds or the Lady Eagles.

Pena still in pain: The Reds still won't say whether Wily Mo Pena is done for the season, but don't count on him playing this weekend.

Though he felt better than a day before, Pena's lower back was still pretty sore Friday.

"He's not going to swing," head athletic trainer Mark Mann said. "He's improving every day, but we're going to give him a day off and see how he feels [Saturday]."

Pena hyperextended his lower back Wednesday night when he dove headfirst into the center-field wall at Miller Park while chasing down a line drive hit by Bill Hall in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Chris Denorfia held down the fort in center for Friday's series opener against the Cardinals.

Griffey watch: Ken Griffey Jr. has begun the initial stages of his rehab from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which was performed Monday in Cincinnati.

"He's trying to get some quadriceps strength," Mann said. "He's trying to reduce the swelling in the knee from the surgery."

Griffey will remain in Cincinnati through next week before heading home to Orlando for the offseason. He's expected to be done with his rehab by the end of October, and he should be ready to go by the time Spring Training begins.

Setting the record straight: In Wednesday's edition of the Reds notes, it was incorrectly mentioned that Adam Dunn will be entering his final round of arbitration this offseason. Dunn, who is wrapping up his fourth full season with the Reds, has two rounds remaining.

Reds report: Dunn came into Friday's game one RBI shy of 100 for the season. He could become the first Reds player to notch consecutive seasons of 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks. ... The Reds' 38-33 record since the All-Star break is the fifth-best in the National League.

On deck: The Reds continue their final series of the season with Saturday's 4:15 p.m. ET game against the Cardinals. Right-hander Ramon Ortiz (9-11, 5.23 ERA) will face right-hander Jason Marquis (13-14, 4.03 ERA).

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.