Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 31, 2013

Reds baseball is sprouting

Reds Spring BaseballEarlier this week when walking back to my house following a run in the unseasonably warm weather, I stopped by my lilac bush. It has buds on it. And my thoughts turned to baseball.

Today is the last day of January, and Spring Training will begin soon. Even now, the Reds are sprouting with activity.

The Reds’ equipment truck headed to Goodyear, AZ leaves Great American Ball Park on Monday (Feb. 4).

That’s right, next Monday, baseball equipment will be headed to Goodyear, followed quickly by the coaching staff and the most glorious words to be heard during the long winter: “Pitchers and catchers report.”

Here’s the Reds schedule starting in February and through the first game of the 2013 season.

  • February 4: Reds’ equipment truck leaves Cincinnati.
  • February 11: Dusty Baker and staff arrive in Goodyear.
  • February 12: Pitchers and catchers report.
  • February 15: Position players report.
  • February 22: First Spring Training game against the Cleveland Indians.
  • April 1: Opening Day against the Angels in Cincinnati.

Three weeks until baseball will be played. Two months until the Reds get a chance to defend their division title.

January 30, 2013

Reds Caravan: The Indianapolis stop

After getting Jay Bruce’s autograph the previous night in Bloomington, the RHM crew was up bright and early to head to the Indianapolis stop at Castleton Mall. This time, our target was Homer Bailey, who had replaced Bruce as the major league player for the day.

The Castleton line was super long. When we arrived, the autograph line was already moving. The Reds had apparently showed up on time and kept the opening comments brief. The number of people dwarfed the size of the crowd at last year’s event. I guess having a winning year is important in attracting fans.

January 28, 2013

Reds Caravan: The Bloomington stop

The Cincinnati Reds Caravan came to Indiana over the weekend, with stops both Friday and Saturday. Friday featured Jay Bruce, while Saturday featured Homer Bailey. The RHM crew decided that driving all over the state and standing in line for hours was a fun pastime and headed to both Bloomington to see Bruce and Indianapolis to see Bailey.

The event was well-attended, with the line at the mall stretching throughout the food court. The best moment came during the brief question-and-answer section before the autographs started. A fan asked Corky Miller if he could throw out notorious base-stealer Billy Hamilton.

“Yep,” Miller said. “I could definitely catch him. If he stole 100, he might get on two or three times, but that would be the pitcher’s fault.”

Miller, with his fu manchu facial hair is always a crowd favorite. I look forward to seeing him managing.

Here are some pictures from the Bloomington stop.

January 22, 2013

All-Star Game finally coming to Cincy in 2015

Panoramic view of Great American Ball Park

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the All-Star Game will be coming to Cincinnati in 2015. It’s about damn time.

Back when Great American Ball Park opened in 2003, it seemed like the Reds would be hosting an All-Star Game at any moment. But then, what with one thing and another, three years passed.

Then comes the new ownership, and surely Major League Baseball wouldn’t still be holding the Schott years against Bob-o and friends, but alas, no All-Star Game was forthcoming.

Then Yankee Stadium was going to close after all those years, so of course you had to have one more romp there before you lost the chance. And hell, Angel Stadium and Kauffman Stadium are pretty old too…might want to take another tour of those.

But the most irksome one, the one that is the cause of the bitter, hateful tone of this post, was when the damn Cardinals got the All-Star Game in 2009. Their stadium opened three years AFTER Great American Ball Park, and (having been to both myself) looks pretty much exactly the same, just with more expensive beer.

They had a better-looking team, of course, but if that’s what counted, we wouldn’t have been visiting Kansas City a couple years ago. It’s irrelevant now, in any event. At this rate, the Reds might not only be hosting the All-Star Game in 2015, but also managing the team. That’d show those damn Cardinals.

January 18, 2013

Phillips playing for Team USA; Votto, Cueto may be staying home

Also in the expanded kids' section was the opportunity to have your picture taken with Santa and Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips dressed as elves.The rosters for the World Baseball Classic were released yesterday, and Brandon Phillips will be playing for Team USA.

Phillips was hesitant, at first, but manager Joe Torre convinced him.

“My conversation with Joe Torre convinced me to really do it. I wanted to do it the past. But some of the players got hurt and started off real slow in the season. Talking to Joe Torre, he said representing the country was something I could always say to my kids — to say I played for the country.”

Phillips is the only member of the Cincinnati Reds named to any of the WBC teams. Neither Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto were on their respective country’s rosters. At first, I wondered what the deal was. It’s not like there are any Canadian first baseman blocking Votto.

But it turns out that both Votto and Cueto, because of their injuries during the 2012 season, are on a chronic injury list. That means that the two must pass physicals before being cleared to play.

I wouldn’t mind if neither of them didn’t end up playing in the WBC. I understand there’s some national pride involved in playing for your country, but I’d hate to see any player get seriously injured playing a meaningless game.