Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 5, 2012

Want to give up your life for a year to live blog baseball?

Remember a few years ago when there was a drawing to win tickets to the World Series on the condition that you live-blogged the whole thing? I entered that contest, but I didn’t ever actually see the blog. I assumed it was because the winner was too beer-soaked to type, but today I learned about another contest that results in blogging responsibilities that I’ve never heard of, so maybe I’m just out of the loop.

I’ve gotten several emails about this “Fan Cave” contest but they fail to use inverted pyramid structure and I got lost before the end of the center-aligned press release, so I had to ask what the heck a “Fan Cave” was. Here’s what I learned:

So the MLB Fan Cave is a 15-000 sqaure foot location in Manhattan that houses a Cave Monster wall of TVs designed for watching baseball. In 2011, two fans were assigned with watching every game from the Fan Cave while blogging about their experiences. The Cave also hosted numerous player and celebrity visitors who appeared in video content that lives on its website,

In 2012, multiple contestants will begin the season in the Cave for the chance to remain in the space all season and to hang with MLB stars.

Definitely check it out. Phillips came last year as well and did a Facebook interview with Reds fans from the space.

I didn’t ask what “Cave Monster” is. Nor did I ask what made the TVs specifically designed for watching baseball. There are some things man is just not intended to know.

Anyway, if you’re free from May to October this year to join the cast of “Big Brother — Blogger Edition,” you can enter to win the honor. Apparently some major leaguers are scheduled to come for a visit, including Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and–wait for it–Bronson Arroyo. Grunge guitar for everyone!

I’ll spare you the lengthy press release, but here’s how you can enter:

MLB is accepting entries now at and has moved the deadline back to January 31 to allow fans more time to enter.

January 4, 2012

Who’s ready to call the Reds WS champs in 2012?

At least the right side of the field is good.You probably already saw the week-old Inside Baseball post on predicting, among other things, the Reds to win the World Series in 2012. But even if you have, I bet you’d like to read it again:

10. The Reds will win the World Series. The AL has, arguably, the five best teams in baseball. The NL has that kind of parity at the top, though at a lower level of performance. In a short series, though, that doesn’t really matter — and we’ll see that again in 2012, as the Reds, winners of a weak NL Central, ride the bats of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce into the World Series, where rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco and a deep bullpen dispatch Texas in six games. The Rangers, winners of 94 regular-season games and the AL West, become just the third team — and the first since 1913 — to lose three straight Fall Classics.

I know people were talking about it last week, but I didn’t have a coworker email it to me until today, so you enjoy it again. Mmmm…savor the flavor.

I love to hear people talking like that, but I’m not sure I’d be prepared to go this far myself unless we get some depth on the whole left side of the field. But I can’t disagree that this is the year to go for the NLC: the Cards won’t take more than a couple seasons to get their legs back under them, Epstein might actually turn the Cubs around, and after this year there’s no more beating up on the Astros.

But the other prediction in that article that caught my attention was this one:

9. The A’s, and their ongoing attempts to relocate to San Jose, will be the big off-field story as the team loses 100 games.

I didn’t know the A’s were trying to move. Between the Dodgers’ ownership problems, the Angels’ city identity crisis, and now this, I’m thinking those California baseball teams maybe need to chill out a little and get away from it all. I’ll have the week-old news ready for them when they get back.

January 3, 2012

Hardball Times Predicts the Hall for Larkin

Larkin, finally famousChris Jaffe, the big giant brain behind The Hardball Times, has a whole system he uses to predict the likelihood of candidates getting voted into the Hall of Fame, based on things like how they polled last year, how many guys are on the ballot, and how many guys are in their last year of eligibility.

It’s apparently a pretty good system, since his predictions last year for all 18 candidates had an average margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. I doubt I could guess that close.

So, if this Sugar Bowl match up is making you gag and you just gotta get some baseball before the results are announced on Monday, check out Chris’s post and see Next week’s Cooperstown results today. And then go buy a cigar and bottle of bubbly for your Larkin induction party.

January 2, 2012

Adding some sass to the starting rotation

Mat LatosWhen I went to make the Christmas card with the photos of the new guys, I did a Google search for Mat Latos and that was basically my first impression of the guy. I’ve been pretty swamped with an MBA program for Latos’ whole career, so I wasn’t exactly in the know.

“This Latos guy looks like he thinks a lot of himself,” is what I said to the Crack Technical Staff. See for yourself…this fella oozes cockiness. A little bit of research backed up my impression. Latos’ Wikipedia article says that he would have been a first-round draft pick if not for his attitude in high school, and this article from ESPN last years talks about how Latos has, fairly or otherwise, a bit of a reputation for being disruptive.

Which got me thinking about the rest of the rotation and how this Latos character is going to fit in. Bronson Arroyo surely has an attitude, but he doesn’t care what anyone thinks and he doesn’t lash out at others. I don’t have a good read on Johnny Cueto or Aroldis Chapman, but Mike Leake seems like kind of a laid back surfer dude. Homer Bailey may be the closest match, and comparing their stats shows a lot of similarity in their first year in the majors. Unfortunately, Bailey hasn’t really backed up his early attitude with the performance like Latos has.

I’m not sure. I hope that the change of scenery and the easy-going personality of the pitching staff as a whole will be a good mix. I also suspect, though, that even if Latos has grown up some, he’s still going to be pretty intense. If he goes off on Rolen for booting a ball, he might find the whole infield beating down on him. Which could be interesting to watch, too.

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, Reds Fans

Marshall is a good, and perhaps less arrogant, addition this yearIt’s 2012 now and with the turning of the calendar page we Cincinnati fans also get to ring out the disappointment of last year and ring in the promise of a couple big splashes in the hot stove arena this year.

Mat “Matos” Latos certainly upgrades the starting rotation, and again we find ourselves in the enviable position of too many adequate starters for just five spots. We were in this enviable position last year, too, though, and this time around we’re wiser about the possible effects of injuries and age, and we won’t be so surprised when all of the candidates plus more find their way onto the mound before too long.

It’s the infield that worries me. Scott “Brings New Meaning to ‘Intangibles'” Rolen is slated to come back to the hot corner, which I’m super happy about, but it’s kinda hard to imagine he’s going to be durable for the whole season. Between him and Zach Cozart, Paul “My Bat’s Not that Bad, for Crying Out Loud” Janish is going to have a big backing-up job ahead of him. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too expensive for the team to fortify the left side if they are, indeed, making a run for it this year.

And, to my mind, this is a heckuva year to make a run for it. The Cards are still regrouping after losing Pujols and LaRussa, Epstein hasn’t had a chance to undo all the damage in Chicago, and the Brewers won’t have Ryan Braun till almost June. Next season the dynamic changes, and being the last champion of the six-team NLC wouldn’t be too shabby a new year’s resolution.