05/22/2008 12:51 PM ET
Francisco Cordero: Reviving the Reds
Closer is happy that he chose to sign with Cincinnati
I feel good about my decision to sign with Cincinnati this offseason because we have the ability to turn this into a winning franchise again. We have good players, a good manager and a good coaching staff. We've started slow as a team this season, but now that we're starting to win some games -- we're having some fun too.
Some players get stressed, I suppose, but I enjoyed the free agent process. It was the first time in my career I've been on the market, so it was interesting. Every day my agent would phone me and tell me what was going on. It was kind of exciting, really.
During that period, I was back home in the Dominican and my family shared the experience. I got a lot of extra attention. My friends and family kept asking what was going on and where I was going to end up. I was in the newspaper everyday -- everybody was talking about me. It was fun.
One of the best parts was dictating where I was going to play. I had come up with Detroit and got traded to Texas. Then I got traded to Milwaukee. I had no choice in those transactions. I made the decision to sign with Cincinnati because I believe it's a good fit for me.
The feeling of security was important for me. I knew, more or less, that I would be in the same place for four or five years. Anything can happen of course, but I should be here for a long time, and I can get set up in Cincinnati. It gives me an opportunity to buy a house and enjoy my time there. That is what I'm doing now.
But there's also a feeling of responsibility that comes along with my contract to pitch for the Reds. When you sign a big contract, there are a lot of expectations. It made me want to get off to a good start for my new team and my new teammates. You want the city to welcome you and your teammates to have confidence in you. That's difficult to establish if you start off on the wrong foot.
Getting off to a good start has helped me get comfortable with the fans and my teammates. But now that I've started the season well, I want to finish well too.
I've enjoyed Cincinnati in my first couple of months with the club. It's a good city. We may not have the most fans in baseball right now, but we saw how our city can react when we won six games on our last homestand. The support level grows each game.
The Reds used to be a winning team, and that's what the fans expect now. When any team loses, the fans can go away, but when you are winning, everybody shows up, cheers and supports the team. That can happen again in Cincinnati. I believe we will have a lot of fun during my time here.
I got to experience some of that last year with Milwaukee where we began to win and, all of a sudden, we had a lot of sellout crowds. We can do that here. Not only can we bring more fans to the games, but we can win a lot of those games.
Francisco Cordero was successful in his first seven save opportunities with the Reds and is nine for 10 overall. Cordero has saved at least 37 games on three occasions in his career, including last year when he saved 44 games for the Brewers.