Yearly Archives: 2010

December 8, 2010

The Bronson Arroyo Extension

A haloed Arroyo stretchesLost in our posts about RedsFest was the fact that the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a contract extension with Bronson Arroyo.

The deal is for 3 years and $35 million, keeping Arroyo under contract through 2013. Earlier in the off-season, the Reds had picked up Arroyo’s $13 million option for 2011. This contract replaces that and adds on two more years. Also, John Fay has reported that a portion of the extension includes deferred money that will keep paying Arroyo until 2021.

Presumably, between the deferred money and the contract reworking, the Reds have shaved several million dollars off of payroll for next season. With the raises their arbitration-eligible players are set to receive, this will allow the club to meet their $80 million payroll target.

As for the extension, I was initially very skeptical about it. Of course, at first I misunderstood it’s details, assuming that a 3-year extension meant Arroyo had added 3 years to his the end of his current option. Finding out that it simply overwrites and replaces 2011 makes it better. A 3-year deal is always less risky than a 4-year deal, even with Arroyo’s spotless injury history.

Arroyo will be 34 starting next season, which means he’ll be 36 when this contract is up. Even with the Reds surplus of young pitching, I think this deal makes sense. All of the other starters are young and inexperienced. Given Arroyo’s track-record, I think it’s a reasonable expectation for him to maintain what he’s done next year, before dropping off a bit for the next couple years. By then, the young starters should be established and able to take on the veteran leadership for the next crop of pitchers.

Also, it does cement the Reds position of having what every major league baseball team desires and what I don’t believe the Cincinnati organization has ever had: a surplus of good, young starting pitching.

December 7, 2010

RedsFest: In Pictures

Here are my photos from RedsFest. It was a fun year, and the first time we’ve made it out for both days. I do hope they figure out ways to optimize lines next year, though. Either that or move to a bigger location, if Cincinnati even has one. Another year of success by the Reds, and the Duke Convention Center will be completely bursting at the seams. Saturday already seemed to present some safety issues.

Janish signing autographs.

Janish signing autographs.

Hanigan signing autographs.

Hanigan signing autographs.

The Reds Dream Room seems to be missing a certain MVP.

The Reds Dream Room seems to be missing a certain MVP.

Votto signing for the kiddies.

Votto signing for the kiddies.

Votto handing a kid his autographed item.

Votto handing a kid his autographed item.

Ondrusek signs a jersey.

Ondrusek signs a jersey.

Maloney does his signing under the table.

Maloney does his signing under the table.

Chris Welsh presenting Votto with the Ernie Lombardi award.

Chris Welsh presenting Votto with the Ernie Lombardi award.

Brantley, Bruce, Hanigan, Volquez, Votto, and Welsh on the main stage.

Brantley, Bruce, Hanigan, Volquez, Votto, and Welsh on the main stage. I thought I had a great shot until I got home and realized the odd face Joey was making. Kudos to everyone for arranging themselves in alphabetical order, though.

December 6, 2010

Padres Ink Harang for 2011

The San Diego Padres have signed Aaron Harang for a one-year deal in 2011 with a mutual option for 2012. The press release on has lots of cool facts about the Harangutan that made me say, “oh yeah, I remember that” and/or “he pulled _that_ off? Even with the team that was behind him?”

Since joining the Reds in 2003, Harang ranks among National League leaders in wins (T13th, 75), starts (5th, 213), innings pitched (5th, 1343.0) and strikeouts (5th, 1,125). In 2006, he led the NL in wins (16), complete games (6), starts (35) and strikeouts (216). The right-hander followed his 2006 performance with another 16-win campaign in 2007, finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young voting.

Born in San Diego, Harang is a 1996 graduate of Patrick Henry High School. He attended San Diego State University, where he majored in graphic design. In Cincinnati, Harang was one of the club’s more active members of the community, having been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award (2007, 09), Branch Rickey Award (2007) and Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award (2007, 08, 09).

I’m glad to see the big guy signing on in a place that seems to be such a good fit. That last pitching appearance of his was a pretty emotional one for me. To think: no more goth.

December 6, 2010

Winter Meetings Today

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! The day when all those letters we’ve been writing to Jocketty Claus get answered.

Dear Jocketty Claus,
I, like the team, have been ever-so-good this year, so please bring me a shiny new pitcher for my rotation. Anything you can deprive the Cardinals of would be great.

I understand that there will be live coverage of the Winter Meetings on the MLB Network today starting at 3 EST. From the press release:

On-site coverage from the Winter Meetings headquarters will be anchored each day by Greg Amsinger and Chris Rose, with analysts Peter Gammons, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams. Hot Stove will feature interviews with team personnel, including managers and general managers on the latest news and rumors from around the league.

Enjoy your visions of sugar plums, everybody.

December 5, 2010

Redsfest iPhone Photos: Day 2

So, yesterday I put up the iPhone snapshots I grabbed on Friday night, our first day at Redsfest. The place was jumpin’ and everyone was having a good time in a reasonable way. We were so naive then.

On Saturday we went down to get some breakfast around 10 am…well before Redsfest was opening at 11, but our trip down the elevator included multiple stops to pick up Redsfest goers who were already on their way to the event. Was there something to do before 11? There might have been. I didn’t actually check. But they had the look about them of rock concert groupies looking to stand outside parking garages and elevators hoping to get a glimpse of their celebrity heroes.


We, on the other hand, were hungry for breakfast, so we ventured through the snow to the First Watch cafe. (A a side note, we didn’t realize it until we got there and saw the sign for ourselves, but the First Watch logo has been featured on RHM before…in this Sarasota spring training post from 2007 it appears behind Bronson Arroyo.)


Then back to Redsfest, where the crush of people was intense on the way to the Yonder Alanso autograph line. The chilled out family vibe from the day before was overwhelmed with an intense fanatic air. With the increased traffic, the Reds made the children stand in line without their parents for the kids-only autographs, which was a horrible idea. Not only do you have hundreds of kids wantonly hitting each other with souvenirs bats, but you also have hundreds of parents crammed together blocking traffic just outside, desperately trying to keep a visual line on their kids in the sure knowledge that they’ll never be able to find them again otherwise.


We managed to sneak into the Ondrusek line with our child before crowd control began enforcing the rule.


But we were back on the outside for Matt Maloney.


Of course there are other things to do besides getting autographs at Redsfest, so we made sure we’d hit all the fun activities before we took off for the day. The Reds find themselves with an enviable problem: after a year of modest success and with a hottie of an MVP on the team, the fans are mobilizing in droves. At this rate, the Duke Energy Convention Center will not be able to contain Redsfest in a year or two, and there isn’t a better location, that I know of.

There is, however, a world-class convention facility that has just been built in Indianapolis. I’ll be happy to show everyone around, if the team wants to bring Redsfest here 🙂


We wrapped up everything we wanted to see a tad early and thought we’d get a jump on the traffic. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The hotel valet took our ticket number but forgot to write it down, which delayed us just enough to be caught in the frenzy around the New Orleans Saints arriving at the Hyatt across the street.

I know what you’re going to ask, and no, they did not appear to be marching as they got off the bus.