Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 11, 2012

Larkin press conference TODAY at 5 p.m.

Here’s a press release from FOX sports about a press conference they’ll be airing in a couple hours. If you’ll still be in the office, you can catch it on their website.

Tune in to FOX Sports Ohio or log on to today at 5pm to watch the live press conference with the newest baseball Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin. Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Broadcaster Jim Day will be live in FOX Sports Ohio studio to cover the press conference taking place in the FOX Sports Ohio Champions Club at Great American Ball Park.

At the conclusion of the press conference, time permitting, FOX Sports Ohio will have a one-on-one interview with Larkin.

For more information on the announcement, including a feature article and a video of Larkin expressing his excitement, click HERE.

January 11, 2012

Winning The Arms Race

Early this morning, news broke that the Cincinnati Reds had signed the best free agent closer on the market.

No, not you, Francisco Cordero. Instead, the Reds surprised everyone by adding to their growing collection of awesome arms, signing former Philadelphia Phillie closer Ryan Madson. The final contract amount hasn’t yet been confirmed–it’s being reported as anywhere from $8 million to north of $10 million–but the length has. Madson will be with the Reds for one year, just like Sean Marshall.

How does that help? Here’s how the Reds’ pitching was last year.

The Reds pitching staff was 12th out of 16 National League squads in 2012, combining for a 4.16 ERA.

This offseason they also added starter Mat Latos (9-14, 3.47 ERA) and reliever Sean Marshall (6-6, 2.26 ERA).

Yes, those three arms might help. Madson will combine with Marshall for one of the best one-two punches in any bullpen. The move shows again that the Reds think their window of opportunity has a great big “2012” on its sash.

This also means that Francisco Cordero will not be returning to the Reds. He did well with the team overall, although there were certainly moments and pitching habits that were trying. Madson, at 31, is 5 years younger than Cordero and has been a more effective pitcher the last few years. I think it’s an upgrade.

January 9, 2012

The Career of Barry Larkin

Congratulations, Larkin. You deserve it!Over at Hardball Times, Chris has put together a list of some of the high- and low-lights of the career of the newest inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame, one Mr. Barry Larkin.

I skipped ahead to 2000 and I found one I like:

April 20, 2001: It’s taken 1,823 games and 7,712 plate appearances, but Larkin finally collects his first career grand slam when he goes deep against Al Leiter of the Mets in the second inning. It’s his 142nd time facing a pitcher with the bases loaded. It proves to be the difference as Cincinnati wins by four, 9-5.

And this one:

Aug. 2, 2002: In the space of 19 pitches, Cincinnati Reds catcher Jason LaRue allows three passed balls. That’s right, a knuckleball pitcher is on the mound (Jared Fernandez). Larkin goes 0-for-3 with a GIDP as the Reds lose.

Not really sure what that one had to do with Larkin, but it’s funny.

Of course, for me, the most important moment isn’t found on this list. For me that most important moment is the one where Larkin led off the first Reds game I ever saw in person, and managed an infield hit. That’s the good stuff.

January 8, 2012

Big HOF Announcement on MLB

Tomorrow’s the big day when we find out whether Barry Larkin has finally gotten good enough to be put into the Hall of Fame. He fell just short last year, but I’m sure he’s been training hard for the last 12 months and has finally gotten himself up to snuff.

Secaucus, NJ, January 3, 2012 – The results of the 2012 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced on MLB Network and simulcast on on Monday, January 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET as part of a two-hour announcement show beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Featuring National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, coverage will include interviews with any electees and be anchored by Matt Vasgersian with MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. Hall of Fame coverage and reaction will continue on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk and Hot Stove starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) 2012 Hall of Fame ballot features 27 players with 14 holdovers from previous elections, including Barry Larkin, Jack Morris and Tim Raines, and 13 newcomers, including Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra and Bernie Williams.

Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was elected to the Hall of Fame in December by the Golden Era Committee. Santo will be inducted along with any candidates who receive votes on at least 75 percent of all ballots cast from Monday’s BBWAA vote.

Former Major League catcher Tim McCarver, who has served as a national television analyst for FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Toronto Sun journalist Bob Elliott has been named the 2012 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented annually to a sportswriter for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.”

The 2012 election marks the 69th Hall of Fame election held by the BBWAA. The 2012 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air exclusively on MLB Network and on July 22.

January 5, 2012

Miami is just getting crazy

I'm sure the heat of Miami will cool Zambrano downFrom

The Cubs’ roller-coaster ride with Zambrano came to an end Thursday, when the team dealt the volatile right-hander to the Marlins for fellow righty Chris Volstad.

Zambrano, 30, waived both his no-trade clause and the $19.25 million option for 2013 to join good friend and Venezuelan countryman Ozzie Guillen, the new Marlins manager, who will try to keep the pitcher’s emotions in check.

Emphasis mine because I want you to notice that the Marlins are calling on one Ozzie Guillen to keep Zambrano’s emotions in check. Guillen. Zambrano. In check.