When Nothing Is A Good Thing

I’m happy to report that nothing surprising is going on.

Nothing at all…

We didn’t over compensate and spend millions that we didn’t need to.

We didn’t add names to the roster that are half in the bag and are heading to retirement.

We didn’t do anything, that any other team wouldn’t have done.

For once in a long time we’ve done nothing…and I’m happy about it.

We got our Left Fielder, Ryan’s Ludwick is not the best out there, but by far he’s not the worst and he’s proven that he should be on this team. I’ll happily cheer him on in 2013 as long as he stays healthy.

Joey Votto is working his way back to his old self according to the talks he’s had with other writers. I believe that, he’s not the kind of guy just to sit back during the off season and do nothing. He is working those legs and getting that knee back. The early 2013 season will be a real tell for him and he needs to be aware of it. Everyone watches how a player recoups from a major injury, it’s the sign of how he will do later in his career. So he needs for that power to be on display during the first half.

Winter Is Coming, Winter Meetings That Is

As the winter meetings wrap up some new Reds fans would be concerned with the lack of moves made by management. I know I did during the past two meetings. I mean how can you get better if you are not shopping for new talent? This is where I started the phrase “In Jockety we trust” because if you can’t take the man who has rebuilt more than a few teams, put together the core of a World Series team like the Cardinals (that they are still enjoying) and team that has come in 1st place in the central a few times here recently. Then you are being too hard yourself and him. He’s earned the street cred to shop any way he likes, and that’s usually not at the Winter Meetings.

Some good news did come out of this time though. We dumped our multi-million tommy john case known as Ryan Madison to the Angels (I would use some profane language here, but I like keeping it clean when I can) We got Broxton figured out, and we get closer and close to getting Ludwick signed for another year. Ludwick will be an interesting one to see who caves, after a great year he’s proven that he’s got the talent to do big things, which means more money. If he was going to test the market this would be the time. In his case it’s not so much money as it is years in my opinion. As I don’t expect him to match this year’s run consistently in the years that come.

Now who’s got Baseball America’s Team of the Year? Oh that’s right we do! Simply put this means we are playing the game right and are doing things the way that they should be done. It means that real baseball people believe that the Reds are going to compete in the years that come. It’s no longer a fluke, but does it mean we can pull off a World Series or if the organization can finally land the plane on a All Star Game in Cincy? Time will tell.

Jonathan Broxton and Chappman

I first got wind of it on Ramsey’s Better Off Red Blog and I have to admit I was a bit surprised we had a payroll to keep him. Is he worth 7 million a year for 3 years? The answer to that question is yes he is. Did I think he was a casualty to all the money we spent locking up key personnel for this seasons World Series run? You bet.

This either tells me that the attendance and Reds financial streams are up which makes me wonder where the new salary cap is for us or the investors have been sandbagging the team until they knew they might have something to invest in. Naturally I hope it’s the first, winning teams do bring in more money which makes it easier to sign better talent. We all know that, but what we now need to look at is what we are getting for the money we spend. There are also plenty of stories of overpaid players (by MLB standards) that we should avoid falling into that trap.

With this signing we also have something else to think about. Where does Broxton go? Does this change where Chappy ( This always reminds me of Iron Eagle)
is?

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Do we keep things the way they are? Boxton setting up Chappman in the 8th and for him to close it out in the 9th? Do we let Broxton have another chance to be a closer and move Chappman to the starting rotation? All good questions.

In my opinion we don’t want to hurt the Cuban missile’s arm, his speed comes at a price and throwing 100 pitches every 4/5 days is too much. Have him prove me wrong in winter ball or spring training, but don’t let it effect the season.

What do you think?

A Little Bit Of This and That

The winter has just started and the hot stove is warming up. The good news is that it seems to be in ways we expected. The big shocker was the rumor that Jay Bruce is trying to extend his contract again, already. I never heard of a player who already has 3 years left on his deal go to his team and ask for an extension. Who doesn’t take a look at the market? The crazy thing is that I would say this would benefit the team, but with the money we’ve spent in recent years we could see a bigger, longer deal as a handcuff for us. I will be interested to see what comes of it.

Do you get baseball hangovers? I usually do, and they usually last longer than mine did this year. Much like and alcoholic loves booze,, I love baseball. Yet there is those weeks (and usually months) after the seasons over I’m like “Thank god that’s over” It’s when watching the World Series is like having just a few more drinks because your friends are sticking around at the bar, and not because you actually should have them. You’ll promise yourself the next morning..”I’ll just skip them next year” but you never do. For me this hangover usually last till at least the winter meetings, if not the first signs of spring training. Not this year, I’m already wondering what’s next. Maybe it’s another winning season effecting my attitude. Who knows.

Redsfest

To go to Redsfest or not? I’m really not sure for this year. Redsfest is our annual event. The one where the fans meet the players, and the players meet who they are playing for (ie the fans) It’s also a good time looking though a lot of baseball memorabilia. I always walk out thinking I spent a lot of money, but I never regret a dime of it. My goal going forward is to buy game used items instead of just a ball, poster, picture, or bat that they happened to have signed. I want stuff that has some history to it. This usually means more expensive, but in a sense it’s worth it. You are buying a memory after all, or in my reality a little bit of fantasy that I was there.

Something to ponder…what are your thoughts on going to your team’s convention?

The Hangover Is Over, Bring On The Cold Winter

I was too busy to post here for a while now, ironically it seems my best time to post is the off season. If takes care of my baseball fix while I don’t have games to watch.

So here I sit reflecting on the season, a couple weeks after the World Series. The Giants who beat us in an unheard of 2nd half of a series sweep managed to keep that going and take the whole thing. It really did take several weeks to get over the hangover of the Reds not going further in the championship series. I watched the League games and the World Series, but it was really like a fog.

Sadly what started out as “Man they got lucky when they beat us” turned slowly into…”No they are just that good” after seeing them take out the Nat’s and eventually the Tigers.

I could do what the rest are doing, blame Rolen, grump about Baker, and so on….I’m not doing that. You can’t look at one moment in a game or season and wrap them up in trash bags to throw in the river. This team overall had more good than bad, and with the youth of this team along with the longer term contracts that they have I see this happening again soon. So after the fall out, there is no regrets.

What I can say though is that we notched the level of play up to what we thought was a 8 or 9. I mean who can complain with our regular season numbers? Still in comparison with the league it really was a 7 or 8. Teams at this level do well regularly, but don’t deliver championships.

Jocketty did really well this year, but it’s going to take 10% more to bring the World Series back to where baseball began.

Hot Dog Monday’s: The New York Edition, because It’s Big

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So I went to the Indianapolis Indians opening day/night Friday with my new formed
Indianapolis Baseball Fan Society We watched the game, we drank, we laughed at my son’s jokes, we watched fireworks and then we called it a night. That’s what a time at the ball park is all about right? The Indians won with some questionable calls at 3rd, but overall it worked out nicely.

Saturday was supposed to be little league and then another Indians game, but the weather, my son sleeping till 3pm and a Reds game on at 4 put a stop to that. It rained, and rained so we watched the Reds game against the Nationals that I’d rather forget. Not so much because we lost, because we did, but there were just too many reasons to wonder what we were thinking during the game to watch.

Sunday, double header Indians game due to the rain out on Sunday. Which turned into 17 innings of baseball and listening to the Reds game on the radio. Let me just say 17 innings of baseball in front of me, and another 9 listening on the phone, and a couple hours of MLB 2K12 is a lot of baseball for one day. The Indians split the double header with the manager getting eject in the 10th of the last game on a “really it was a foul ball homer” The Reds finally win a game against the Nationals due to a grand slam by our new left fielder Ludwick.

And the dog? Let’s be honest Sauerkraut belongs on Rubens and pretzel rolls I’m just not sure what they are good for.
, an

Hot Dog Monday’s After Opening Week

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What a past few days!

My opening day post from Great American Ballpark for some reason didn’t take, so all I can say from that experience is that it was a great game.

Scott Rolen was great, Votto did ok, Bruce was on it, Cueto pitched like I’ve never seen him pitch before. This was the Reds team I drove 100 miles to see!

My negative (because yes there has to be one) The food spots at GABP need to be better prepared. They haven’t let me down in years, but today was the day.

Tried going to the new Food Network Hot Dog experience…they were out of baked beans, and fritos for their signature dog. Tried to get the mac and cheese…long since gone… Tried to get the sloppy joes…sure if I only wanted a half scoop as they ran out there too.

Tried to get some La Rossa pizza…same story

So I settled on a regular hot dog and a beer, saving me money in the end, but losing a considerable amount of time watching the game!

I’m doing my best to support Joey’s payroll by buying novelties, tickets, and FOOD at the game. This should not be a hurdle for me.

Enough on this.

Saturday’s game, we lost…but these things happen. No one goes undefeated in baseball, and it was nice to get it out of the way. It was a beautiful night game. I’m not going to dwell on this.

Sunday’s game, sadly I had family things to do (Easter and all) but I did watch the recap online and it looks like it was a good game with another good showing by Scott Rolen. Man I hope he can keep doing what he’s doing now.

Tonight is going to be a tough matchup, Reds vs Cardinals with Latos on the mound. We’ve seen him in Spring Training, now it’s time to see what happens when he hits the mound. Should be really interesting. I know I’ll be listening just as soon as little league practice is over.

My final random note of the day is that the Indianapolis Indians start up this Friday night at home. I’m going to do my best to blog from the park, but there may be some blogging on Monday to cover it…let’s be honest I love my seats, my hot dogs, and my baseball…

Hot Dog Monday’s And Baseball On My Mind

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I may not be a fan of the Cubs, but I do what they brought to food! Chicago deep dish pizza, dipped sandwiches, and of course the Chicago Dog.

This a good news kind of Monday

First up, The Reds minus one dumb pickup (aka Madson) are healthy and looking good for opening day. I always worry a bit of what injuries will come out of Spring Training. I think this year we came out ok. Now all we have to do is get our pitching rotation worked out and we will be off to races!

What’s my opinion on the rotation? It’s fine as is, if we put Bailey in the bull pen and Chapman as a starter. Bailey is trade bait in my opinion, we’ve given him every chance in Cincy to make it happen with little help in the win column for it. It’s time to give another team a chance with him and hopefully recoup some of the money or talent that we lost with Madson being out for the year. Will the Reds do this? Probably not, should they…absolutely. Beyond that I look forward to Opening Afternoon

Yes folks it’s not Opening Night, it’s not Opening Day, It’s Opening Afternoon this year. The Marlins will be in town at 4pm after a late night game opening their new stadium. This will go one of two ways for the Reds, either they will be worn out and it’ll be an easy win for the Reds or they will still be on a adrenaline high and it could be really bad. Time will tell, but I’ll be happy to be sitting in my seat with a slice of LaRossa’s pizza either way.

Next stop on the happy train is I HAVE FOUND A FANTASY TEAM TO JOIN!!

Sadly my bloggers have given up on me (and I don’t blame them) So I was looking elsewhere for a league. To tell you how desperate it got, I’m on a league with a bunch of guys who work for Subaru in their eco friendly division. I don’t work for Suburu or any car company, I don’t drive a Subaru, and my current vehicle is far from eco friendly. Random fate really did bring this team to me. My team is the Rambling Reds. I’ll be asking for help during the season, so feel free to give me advice.

At this point all I can say is… The boys are playing their last spring training game today, tomorrow they fly back to Cincy, they get a good night’s sleep and then they line up on the starting line of America’s Marathon…Baseball

I can’t wait.

Taco Salad Mondays…Sorry too many hot dogs over the weekend..

Not sure what the weather is like in your area, but in Indy it’s hot and working it’s way to muggy. Which means that the season is here.

This year I’m going to do some more blogging about the Indianapolis Indians than I did last year. The reason for this is that with my new job Victory Field is within eyesight and that was a huge plus to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still be watching my Reds games and/or listening to them on the radio (which can still at times be the best way)

So on to my baseball thoughts of the week.

First off, we are two weeks away from starting this marathon and we just cut down our roster. Talk about making sure we picked the right guys. This happens and I’m okay with it, but it makes me wonder if this was because the talent was just that good, or that we had some real questions and didn’t know who had the answers.

Scotty, Scotty, Scotty! I like seeing you heathy and hitting homers. Enough said.

Corky’s still the most under rated player in spring training. He’s picking off runners, hitting ok, it’s just sad to know this is his prime time.

How much longer till we really know the rotation? Will Chapman really make it full time before Homer Bailey…if so why so much loyalty to him?

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