Facing Reds is 'just baseball' for Cueto

Facing Reds is 'just baseball' for Cueto

NEW YORK -- If any resentment, bitterness or extra motivation was building up within Johnny Cueto's soul over facing his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants right-hander concealed it well.

Cueto acknowledged he "got a little excited" when he realized he would face the Reds, his employers during most of his previous eight big league seasons, in Monday night's series opener at Cincinnati. But, Cueto added through an interpreter, "it's just baseball."

Asked to share special memories of being a Red and name anybody with the team he remains fond of, Cueto couldn't single out any event or person.

"I don't have anyone in particular," said Cueto, who cited "the whole organization, starting from the manager, the general manager, the trainer, the pitching coach."

Cueto maintained this benign attitude toward the Reds despite being cast aside by them. Aware of Cueto's impending free agency, they sent him to Kansas City last July 26 for three players -- including Brandon Finnegan, the left-hander who'll oppose the Giants on Monday.

"That's part of baseball. A lot of teams go through that rebuilding process," Cueto said. "Take Houston, for example. They went through that and look what they ended up doing last year. So I'm hopeful that's the same thing that's going to happen to Cincinnati."

Cueto couldn't pinpoint how Cincinnati fans will receive him.

"I do know that when I was there, the fans liked me a lot," he said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.