Dickerson knows about the Reds rivalry


BRADENTON, Fla. — Chris Dickerson made his big league debut with the Reds in August 2008 and played for them two more years until he was traded to the Brewers straight-up for Jim Edmonds. He’s aware of the intense rivalry that has developed between the Pirates and Reds. Dickerson, who on Monday agreed to a minor league deal with the Pirates, said it would be “interesting” to be part of the battle from the other dugout this summer.

“I just talked to (Reds first baseman) Joey (Votto) yesterday,” Dickerson said — adding that he purposely neglected to tell Votto that he’d signed with the Pirates. “I’ve been back there (Great American Ball Park) since the trade (in 2010) and it’s always weird. That was my first home. There’s still a lot of the same fans (sitting) in the outfield as when I was there. It’s going to be interesting, going back to Cincinnati. It always is. I’m looking forward to it.”

Dickerson said that even when he played for the Reds, it was hard to see the Pirates endure their 20-year stretch of losing seasons.

“Seeing this organization struggle … it was so sad and disappointing, knowing that this team has such a great heritage and tradition and Pittsburgh is such a great sports city,” Dickerson said. “To see that all turn around (last) year, I was watching from afar and silently cheering this team on. I watched those playoff games and saw (PNC Park) and thought it must be incredible for the city of Pittsburgh and the Pirates. Every other team has succeeded in the last few years. It’s about time the Pirates did what everybody expects them to do. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

– Rob Biertempfel