Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 16, 2013

SABR Analytics Conference

It was something other than excellent list segmentation that caused Major League Baseball to send me an announcement of the SABR Analytics Conference that is coming to Phoenix in March, but I was glad to get the email anyway. It’s nice to know that people attending the Cactus League in the second week of March also have the option to drop in at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown for $595 worth of stat-crunching fun.

SABR Conference Banner

Or if you don’t want to shell out the registration fee, you could just hang around in the lobby and try for autographs from front office types, such as Derrick Hall (President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks), Jon Daniels (General Manager of the Texas Rangers), or Rick Hahn (General Manager of the Chicago White Sox).

According to the conference website, some topics that will be covered include:

  • General Managers Panel on how analytics shapes front-office decisions (with Jon Daniels, Rick Hahn and Jed Hoyer)
  • Measuring Player Performance
  • New innovations in baseball analytics
  • Player Agents — their view of analytics
  • Advances in medical information and its impact on decisions
  • New applications of PITCHf/x data
  • The use of analytics in scouting
  • Player panel — the impact of data and information on performance
  • The International Game — the next hot spot for talent development

If you can’t make it in person, you can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #SABRanalytics. See pictures of how much fun they had last year in the daily photo galleries at

January 15, 2013

Reds announce non-roster spring training invitees

Via John Fay’s blog, I learned that the Reds have announced their non-roster invitees to spring training, which is just around the corner. Here’s a list for you:

  • RHP Nick Christiani – 25 year old who’s been in the Reds’ system all along. He had a 3.34 ERA last year in AAA Louisville.
  • LHP Wilkin De La Rosa – 27 year old who’s been bouncing around minor league teams for the last 8 years. He rocked a 2.49 ERA in AA Pensacola last year, so maybe this is finally his shot.
  • RHP Justin Freeman – 26 year old who’s come up through the Reds’ system. He had a 2.91 ERA in AA Pensacola last year.
  • RHP Drew Hayes – Another 25 year old coming up through the Reds’ system. 3.41 ERA in AA Pensacola last year.
  • RHP Chad Rogers – Ooh, a youngun at just 23. Also home grown. 2.92 ERA in AA Pensacola last year.
  • Cincinnati Reds catchers Corky Miller, left, Devin Mesoraco, center, and Chris Denove catch during a bullpen session during baseball spring training Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • C Nevin Ashley – This 28 year old came up with the Rays before becoming a free agent and signing a minor league deal with the Reds in November. He’s got a fairly active Twitter account. He’s a fellow Hoosier and apparently likes yoga.
  • C Tucker Barnhart – Just 22 and another Hoosier. Tucker spent last year in AA Pensacola.
  • C Corky Miller – What could I possibly say about Corky Miller that hasn’t already been said? I’m just hoping to get a good picture at the Reds Caravan.
  • IF Emmanuel Burriss – 27 year old who actually logged some major league experience in the middle infield with the Giants over the last 5 or so years.
  • IF Cesar Izturis – Izturis has been the name out of this list that everyone’s been talking about. My take: they’re tempting Dusty Baker with a light-hitting, 32 year old shortstop? Heaven help us.
  • IF Kristopher Negron – We saw Kristopher in 5 games with the Reds last year. He even got a hit in one of his 4 ABs.
  • OF Billy Hamilton – I heard that Hamilton will be wearing #6–pretty bold for a spring training invitee who’s so young to choose such a low number. I wonder if it’s in honor of the Reds’ last best base-stealing threat (not Drew Stubbs).
  • OF Ryan LaMarre – 24 year old who’s come up through the Reds system. He hit .263 in AA Pensacola last year. He’ll also be on the western leg of the Reds Caravan this year.
  • OF Denis Phipps – We saw this 27 year old in 8 games in Cincinnati last year. Hit .300. Way to handle the pressure.
  • OF Derrick Robinson – This 25 year old switch hitter came up through the Royals’ system and most recently played for the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers. Clearly, they’ve run out of good minor league team names.
January 14, 2013

Pete Rose’s “reality” show

We tuned in for the sneak peek of Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs last night on TLC. I was fully expecting it to be the latest headshaker in the line of headshake-inspiring activities that we’ve come to expect from Rose.

In fact, the program was quite mundane. The episode I watched contained:

  • Multiple references to how sorry he was for his mistakes
  • A short scene in a batting cage, but no other baseball that I noticed
  • Plenty of his super-hot, surprisingly intelligent, and unduly tolerant fiancee

Pete Rose talking on his new reality show on TLC.There were also several mildly racist comments (to explain how nice the Mexican restaurant where he proposed was, Rose said “I don’t think any Mexicans go there”) and some really sophomoric behavior (like showing a picture of his scantily clad fiancee to her mother) but that’s where the outrageousness ended. Pretty bland for reality television.

Rose says he wants the public to get a chance to know him through this show, but unless his stepkids-to-be turn into Honey Boo Boos, I don’t see people taking the time to tune in to this one. That being said, his own kids haven’t shown up; there might yet be plenty of emotionally stunted drama to come!

The show is Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs. It is on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC. Check out TLC’s website for more information.

January 10, 2013

Reds Caravan is coming to town

You know the drought of baseball news is about to break when you start hearing about the Reds Caravan. A couple weeks after that it’ll be pitchers and catchers reporting, then the drama of who’s going to make the roster, then, before you know it, Opening Day.

The dates, stops, and players on the tour have been announced, and it is an impressive line-up. Kudos to the Reds for convincing these guys to come out; it’s a good enough line-up that I’m thinking I’ll be heading to two of the locations.

Here’s the low-down:

Northern Leg

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 24 Athens, Ohio (The Market on State) 6:30 – 8:30pm

Friday, Jan. 25 Parkersburg, W.Va. (Grand Central Mall) 5:00 – 7:00pm

Saturday, Jan. 26 Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena)
Lima, Ohio (Lima Mall)
10:00am – 12:30pm
Sunday, Jan. 27 Dayton, Ohio (National Museum of the U.S. Air Force) 10:30am – 1:30pm

In attendance will be:

  • Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman
  • All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips
  • broadcaster and former pitcher Chris Welsh
  • minor league catcher Tucker Barnhart
  • Assistant General Manager Bob Miller
  • mascot Gapper

Southern Leg

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 24 Huntington, W.Va. /Ashland, Ky (Fannin Motors)
Charleston, W.Va. (Charleston Town Center)
3:00 – 5:30pm
7:00 – 9:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 26 Cincinnati, Ohio (Select-A-Seat event at GABP)
Bowling Green, Ky. (Greenwood Mall)
11:00am – 1:00pm
3:30 – 5:30pm (CST)
Sunday, Jan. 27 Lexington, Ky. (The Shops at Lexington Center) 10:30am – 1:30pm

Masset, Frazier, and Hamilton on the western leg last yearIn attendance will be:

  • broadcaster Jim Kelch
  • broadcaster and former pitcher Jeff Brantley
  • infielder Todd Frazier (a more powerful draw this year than he was when he was on the western leg last year)
  • pitcher Logan Ondrusek (Thurs. and Fri. only)
  • 2012 minor league Player of the Year Billy Hamilton (see note on Frazier above)
  • VP of Baseball Operations Dick Williams
  • mascot Rosie Red (the best of the mascots)

Western Leg (and the only one I really care about)

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 24 Louisville, Ky. (Louisville Slugger Field) 6:00 – 9:00pm
Friday, Jan. 25 Bloomington, Ind. (College Mall) 6:00 – 8:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 26 Indianapolis, Ind. (Castleton Square Mall)
Muncie, Ind. (Stoops Automotive)
9:30 – 11:30am
5:30 – 8:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 27 Hamilton, OH – (Parrish Auditorium) 10:30am – 1:30pm

In attendance will be:

  • broadcaster Thom Brennaman
  • President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty
  • All-Star outfielder Jay Bruce (Thurs. & Fri. only) – Don’t forget to congratulate him on getting married
  • pitcher Homer Bailey (Sat. & Sun. only) – Let’s start calling him Mr. No Hitter
  • veteran catcher Corky Miller – I hope he brings the ‘stache
  • minor league outfielder Ryan LaMarre
  • Reds COO Phil Castellini
  • mascot Mr. Redlegs

There’s some fine print about the even at GABP and other details available on the Caravan post at

January 9, 2013

No new Hall of Fame members this year

Player (Years on ballot) Total Votes Percentage
Craig Biggio (1) 388 68.2
Jack Morris (14) 385 67.7
Jeff Bagwell (3) 339 59.6
Mike Piazza (1) 329 57.8
Tim Raines (6) 297 52.2
Lee Smith (11) 272 47.8
Curt Schilling (1) 221 38.8
Roger Clemens (1) 214 37.6
Barry Bonds (1) 206 36.2
Edgar Martinez (4) 204 35.9
Alan Trammell (12) 191 33.6
Larry Walker (3) 123 21.6
Fred McGriff (4) 118 20.7
Dale Murphy (15) 106 18.6
Mark McGwire (7) 96 16.9
Don Mattingly (13) 75 13.2
Sammy Sosa (1) 71 12.5
Rafael Palmeiro (3) 50 8.8
Bernie Williams (2) 19 3.3
Kenny Lofton (1) 18 3.2
Sandy Alomar Jr. (1) 16 2.8
Julio Franco (1) 6 1.1
David Wells (1) 5 0.9
Steve Finley (1) 4 0.7
Shawn Green (1) 2 0.4
Aaron Sele (1) 1 0.2
Jeff Cirillo (1) 0 0
Royce Clayton (1) 0 0
Jeff Conine (1) 0 0
Roberto Hernandez (1) 0 0
Ryan Klesko (1) 0 0
Jose Mesa (1) 0 0
Reggie Sanders (1) 0 0
Mike Stanton (1) 0 0
Todd Walker (1) 0 0
Rondell White (1) 0 0
Woody Williams (1) 0 0
This is the first time since 1996 that no one was inducted. Here’s the list of candidates and their votes, swiped from

The Hall of Fame voting results were released today. Apparently, it was no huge loss when the fine men who retired at the end of 2007 left the game, because not a one of them was voted in this time around.


Hall of Fame logoI didn’t watch the program that was on the MLB Network today at noon with the results. I wonder how Bob Costas filled up all that time.

And the winner is….no one!<lack of thunderous applause>

There are some pretty big names on that list, but of course the rumors that that these guys used steroids keeping these guys out of the Hall.

I don’t know: on the one hand, they should have known better. On the other the whole Major League environment was begging them for more and more home runs. Punish the players, sure, but how are you going to similarly punish all the other people who contributed to this fustercluck?

Thankfully, this is a temporary problem and eventually their names will roll of the ballot, one way or the other. Then self-righteous reporters who managed not to notice the steroids at the time when reporting on it might have actually done something productive can shut up about how morally superior they are for refusing to vote these guys in.