McCoy: The tale of the temporary tattoos continues for Reds

The Tale of the Temporary Tattoos involving the Cincinnati Reds is spreading like butter on a hot ear of corn.

And it all goes back to Jeb Miley, 4-year-old son of pitcher Wade Miley. Before Miley pitched his no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, Jeb applied a temporary Hulk tattoo on his dad’s forearm.

Amir Garrett’s wife is in on it full-go, too. She purchased a box of the Cartoon Network’s Super Hero Squad Show tattoos and they were dispersed in the clubhouse.

Sonny Gray wore a Thor tattoo Monday night against the Giants. Didn’t work. He pitched five innings and gave up four runs and five hits, including two home runs in a 6-3 loss.

“He wore it on his shoulder,” said Miley. “I explained to him that it doesn’t work if you hide it from the world. You have to put it on your forearm. Maybe Jeb will put it on him for before his next start and we’ll see if Jeb has super powers.”

When Luis Castillo takes the mound Tuesday night against the Giants, he’ll carry the baggage of as 1-5 record and a 7.71 earned run average.

And he will have a Hawkeye tattoo on his forearm.

“Luis going to wear it tonight,” said Miley. “I’m going to try The Hulk again tomorrow, I’ll let Jeb put it on me and we’ll see what happens.”

Miley said he never gave the Hulk tattoo on his forearm a second thought, “Never thought it would lead to this. I probably could have hidden it if I hadn’t said anything that day.”

It was during his post-game Zoom interview after the no-hitter and it wasn’t planned to talk about the tattoo.

“It was spur of the moment,” he said. “I just looked down when I was taking my headset off and I saw it. I thought, ‘I have to give my little buddy a shoutout here.’ I did and now it is where it is.”

And it became a national phenomenon due to Miley’s many TV appearances when he gave credit to Jeb.

“He told me when we got home from Colorado, ‘Dad, I’m famous,’” said Miley.

Jeb, though, isn’t all in. He’s holding back. “He’s a little selfish,” said Miley. “He doesn’t want to give anybody Spiderman and doesn’t want to give anybody Iron Man. The cool characters? The man ain’t ready to give ‘em up.”

Miley said he likes Iron Man and is trying to talk Jeb into using that tattoo and I said to him, “Maybe I can use Iron Man, but he’s not there yet.”

When Miley took the mound in Colorado, six days after the no-hitter, the temporary but fading Hulk was still on his forearm. Evidently, the Hulk was napping. Miley survived only three innings and gave up eight runs, 11 hits and three walks in a 9- loss to the Rockies.

Miley insists he felt physically better before that start the before the no-hitter.

“You never know how you’ll feel and it doesn’t necessarily come from your performance in the bullpen (warming up),” said Miley. “I physically felt great going into my last start. I felt clean with my delivery, felt good, but obviously it didn’t work out.”

Miley checked the video and the charts and they confirmed the way he thought.

“My command chart? It’s crazy but it wasn’t very different from the no-hitter game,” he added. “As far as mistakes, I didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. That’s just baseball.”

The one difference was that Miley’s change-up was missing, a pitch he needs to complement his cutter.

“I didn’t have the change-up that day and it makes it much tougher to pitch” he said. “It’s crazy how this game works. You look at the numbers and you say, ‘He stunk,’ but if you dig deep and look at the quality of the pitches, I wasn’t that far off. The Rockies did a really good job.”

Miley, already a media favorite for his candid comments, his sense of humor and his self-deprecation, won major points during his Zoom interview before Tuesday’s game. Due to Covid-19 protocol, the media are not permitted in the clubhouse or on the field. There are no one-on-one interviews.

“I miss the media in the clubhouse, I miss it, I really do,” he said. “Seeing media around the cages during BP? I miss that. It’s really cool. It’s all a part of being in the big leagues.

“And if y’all talk or write crap,I can get my hands on you,” he said with a laugh. It’s a part of baseball that is missing. It is a pain to sometimes have to stand in front of your locker and answer questions? Yes. But I miss it. And you get to know people.”

So it will be Castillo and Miley wearing superhero tattoos on their forearms the next two nights, with the hopes that the Giants won’t tattoo them.