Daily Archives: February 26, 2008

February 26, 2008

Peering into the Crystal Ball: ST 08

So the boys played 1 game, an intrasquad contest that pretty much equates to playing a game of sloshball with your buddies at your local elementary school yard on a weekend.

Hmmm, not sure if they allow that sort of thing in this day and age, but that’s what we used to do back in college in the early 90s. Put the keg on second base and everytime you round the bag you chug one. The game usually ends when players can’t find a nearby bathroom.

Based on the play by play account of today’s game I am prepared to go on record with some bold — very bold — fearless predictions. Here we go:

  • Scott Hatteberg and Norris Hopper both get the starting nod on opening day. Jay Bruce begins the year in Louisville. Votto makes the roster but sits against Brandon Webb. I want professional at-bats from Hatteberg vs one of the leagues toughest pitchers and I am guessing that is what Dusty will want as well. Doesn’t mean Votto isn’t a starter, mind you, but he is gonna get eased into the job.

    This will surely cause an anti-Dusty uproar amongst certain fans who can’t wait to see Bruce and Votto become perennial all-stars, but wait, don’t go berserk yet because in a surprise development Volquez wins a slot in the starting rotation. Affeldt becomes a situational lefty in the bullpen, the same role in which he excelled for the Rockies last season, and Fogg and Belisle fill out the rotation with anchors Harang and Arroyo. Bailey and Cueto start the year in AAA. Cueto will have a strong spring but his inexperience and lack of a full season at AAA will incline management to give him a couple starts in the minors before tossing him into the fire. Bailey will struggle with control this spring and require more time in Louisville as well.

  • No surprises anywhere else on offense unless Alex Gonzalez’ knee issue doesn’t go away in which case Keppinger gets the starting nod at SS. If AGON winds up on the DL you will have either Castro or Janish as back up. Maybe both make the roster. They might very well carry 3 catchers again if Bako has a decent Spring. More backlash against Dusty over this issue, no matter which way he goes because this is likely a decision that takes place at the end of camp.
  • The bullpen is what can make or break this team as we have witnessed before. Its no surprise that the last time the Reds were in serious contention they had a young hard throwing successful set up guy in Todd Coffey. Will we ever see that Todd Coffey again? I don’t know to be honest but I see him making the club along with Burton, Weathers, Cordero (obviously) and Coutlangus. Stanton gets released, and Mercker’s comeback is not convincing enough to take a chance on him. Roenick wins a job with a good spring and Majewski… I don’t know. Does he have options left? He might get traded. I guess that’s wishful thinking.
February 26, 2008

Reds Start Off with a Kinda Win

The Reds were the first team to take to the field this year in a thrilling intrasquad game. Reds scrimmageWait, or is it intersquad? No, no, it’s definitely intra, just like the opposite of the highway system. Those go between states, you see, which means that when the Cubs play the White Sox, it’s intra. Or something like that.

Anyway, isn’t it great to see some baseball action? Or at least read about it hours afterwards, considering there was no radio or television of this non-event. The score of the game, in case you’re wondering how long I was going to bury the lead, was home-Reds 8, visiting-Reds 2.

Sadly, no quotes from manager Dusty Baker about “clogging the bases” or any other moronic things. Instead, he sounds like every other manager upon seeing young players for the first time.

“I saw good things. Jerry Gil looked good. Anderson looked great. (Chris) Dickerson looked good. Janish made the three nice plays. No missed signs. That’s what I like.”

And I like seeing Janish do well. My son got his autograph on a baseball last Spring, and it would be nice for Janish to still be around when we make it down to Florida next month.

Proceeds from tickets to the scrimmage went to the Reds Community Fund. Real spring training games start tomorrow afternoon.