What time is it?
Holy crap it’s February 11th! Ok….ok…ok lots to do, things to prep! Baseball starts in a week!
So here we are, the long off season is just about over and where I said before that the Reds needed to get moving on making trades and changes even though the owners were saying that wasn’t going to happen. Well Walt surprised us. Let’s see some of the highlights both good and bad.
I’m a pessimist so let’s start off with the bad.
1. No more Rosales
Yep… That’s pretty much it.
Ok now with the good.
1. Orlando Cabrera : As reported by the fantasy news on MLB “At no point in his career has Cabrera been a top-tier shortstop, but few have been able to match him for consistency. The veteran journeyman will always play a full slate of games, bat around .280, score at least 80 runs and collect a fistful of steals.”
I don’t think I could have said it better myself. After our time with all stars that fail to produce a man known for his consistency is exactly what this team needs. He’s a strong defensive player with a batting average that plays with .300. So for a team with one of the worst offenses in baseball this is good news.
2. Aroldis Chapman: He is the 30 million dollar mystery man. Was he a great addition, an awesome addition for the future or a grave mistake? No one knows. What I do know is that it took some guts for us to go out there and get him. For now that tells me we are not laying down this season, and that’s a good thing.
3. Willy Taveras: (he’s not even worth linking) WE GOT RID OF HIM!!! And good riddance. We didn’t come out clean of scars from what was supposed to be a great leadoff hitter and the leader of our new small ball, young and fresh team with steals on the brain. We lost Rosales and we picked up Aaron Miles . He’s going to have to prove his worth or I’m going to stay on the bandwagon I started on. Which was to dump him quick! Why?
a. `He’s a Cub
b. There’s nothing stat wise that is better than Willy, and well that’s not good.
c. He’s on the rebound from a horrible year, overachievers never do well coming to Cincy to reclaim what they lost. Also I don’t like the reputation of this being the place you go when you are trying to find yourself again. We don’t need it.
Who was the real winner in this?
How are why? Simple, the fans were getting restless and another year like the last few and attendance was going to go down. The battle was on and this year is either going to be the year the Reds have a positive .500 season or something big was going to have to change. Be it Walt or Baker. Walt knew it and has put his best foot forward. This puts everything back into Dusty’s hands to make it happen. If he doesn’t and if it can be pinned on him I could see this being one of his last years as a Red. So 2010 is the year he has skin in the game. This should be interesting.
Most people would look and say…”You’re happy with 2nd place? First is only a couple games away why not go for the big win?”
This Reds fan says “Eh” (pronounce with a kinda jersey accent eeeh)
You’ve got to remember our goal is a winning season, you get us all pumped up that we might actually be a contender and this will only lead to disappointment. True Reds fans know that there are plenty of teams better than this one in it’s current setup. This is a building year, we know it, we’ve said it, and we’re right. We’ve got to stay strong and not over commit.
But…while I got a winning team it’s nice be be able to talk about the good things like
“How about this Votto guy!” Holy smokes!
“If you didn’t know who Bruce was before you do now!!”
We’ve got some defensive problems that I know Baker will get smoothed out in time, but this fan is happy to see good batting (that’s not home run batting) winning games as predicted. We’ve got a pitching staff that is just on the bubble of being great. This more than makes up for the almost baseball leading errors that we’re at.
I’m off to do what the Cob does best (watch baseball, coach little league, and look at fantasy stats!)
The 2009 Reds Winter Caravan came to Indy today. My team (my son Matt, Wendy, and well..me) all decided to go and see who showed up and to also get a good feeling of how much Reds pride there is in central Indiana.
We got to the Castleton Square Mall about a half hour after it started, but the lines hadn’t start moving yet for autographs. Jeff and George were still talking to the crowd looking to gather support for the 09 season. I was happy to see that there was a good representation of Reds pride there. Although the winter caravan reporter says there were 400 people at the mall to see the Reds. I would like to think they were just being hopeful and not actually that bat at guesstimating as it was really was more like half that.
We moved through the line fairly quickly while talking to others in line about how the off season was, kids, and the like. While in line we worked on survey’s, chances to win trips to opening day, all the things you would expect from a marketing ploy to rally more money from the fans.
Once we got closer we enjoyed listening to the stars (Jeff, George, Chris Dickerson, and Dusty Baker) having fun talking baseball with the kids and signing autographs. They were very easy going and didn’t mind signing multiple things or strange items as I watched someone pull out a full sized home plate to sign or a nascar hat. They were happy to pose for pictures, and honestly were just taking their time with it. The negative side of me was really thinking they would be pushing you along through the line, but really it didn’t happen that way. It honestly seemed like they didn’t mind being there and were actually okay with hanging out with the fans for a while. It was kinda refreshing.
In the above shot in case you were wondering my son just explained to Dusty that he could play left field for them for $5 a game. The only thing Dusty would have to figure out is how to fit his full name on the roster (my son has 4 names, 1 first,2 middle, and 1 last) At that point the deal was off. My son was heart broken, but he’ll try again in 13 or so years.
I only have one sad thing to report…and it’s my fault. I’m new to being a fan again so I am really lost about this whole autograph idea. Do you have them sign just a piece of paper, your hat, your jersey, a baseball? ..I’m kinda lost.
If you have them sign a piece of paper, it seems impersonal and well boring.
If you have them sign your jersey then you can’t wash it ever again, and do you really ever wear it again once it’s been autographed? Don’t you take the chance of it fading off?
If you choose a baseball it’s mobile and easy to carry around, you don’t have to worry about it washing off and it maybe the all around best choice, but I didn’t have $16 dollars to blow on one today so that was out.
So that left me with my 08 Reds hat (from previous blogs you’ll know I get a new hat every year as a part of a tradition to hopefully get the Reds out of this decade long slump) A hat is good, but where do you have them sign it? I was thinking on the inside so I can still wear the hat till I get my new 09 hat (which I don’t get till I visit Cincy on opening day, and is a long time away), but I didn’t flip it over for him and I’m not one to speak up at these kind of things as I’m just appreciative that they’ve actually taken the time out to come see us so Chris Dickerson and Dusty signed the top bill of my hat. So comes the question, can I still wear the hat till baseball season starts? My opinion is so far that I don’t think so. I don’t see other people wearing hats that have been autographed. That’s kinda the last hurrah for the hat. The hat’s in good shape so I don’t need to wash it which is a good thing. So I can work on figuring out how to preserve the hat and get ready to retire the 08 jersey as well. It just makes me a little sad. I wasn’t really ready to give up 08’s hat yet. I’ve got months before the season starts and no clean hat to wear and it was also my thought that as the years go on the previous years hat would be my hat to wear around town while that years hat would be worn only on game days. This whole thing is changing my idea for this tradition!
Now after thinking about all of this, maybe I should get a grip on reality, have a beer and realize that traditions, especially 2 year old ones can change. Who knows maybe there is a better one out there. What do you think?
I’ve read what they have written professionaly about him on the reds website, but who is Dusty Baker? I know he was a coach for the cubs, I know he was a coach for the Dodgers, and yes I know he’s known for liking veterans over rookies.
What do you think I should expect from him in 09?
He came with a lot of strong praise from the fans in the beginning of 08. I still have a ringing sensation in my ear hearing the cheers when he took the field at opening day this past year.
While we’re on this topic, what does a coach really bring to the team at the major league level? On a day to day basis what do you think the coach does? I mean really does, with hitting coaches, fielding coaches, pitching coaches, and a mess of other advisers is he really just a funnel for all of them and is the unified voice? That would just make him a figure head and not really a leader. If this is true why does it matter who we have there? Could I do the job just as well?