Blog Archives

January 17, 2014

Reds Caravan is next weekend

The Cincinnati Reds annual caravan across the Midwest begins next Thursday. Two new stops were added this year: Evansville, IN and Nashville, TN.

The caravan is divided into four different tours: North, South, East, and West.  The North tour will go through the Cincinnati area, the South tour travels through Kentucky and Tennessee, the East tour goes to West Virginia, and the West tour visits Indiana.

The RHM crew will likely stop by one or two of the Indiana stops, although the star power is noticeably lacking this year. At the original announcement, catchers Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart were the only players on the schedule. That’s right. A backup catcher and a minor league prospect. Nothing like a lackluster caravan to drum up interest in a lackluster team’s offseason. Thankfully, former Red great Eric Davis was added later to make it a little less empty.

Details of all the tours are listed below.

North Tour Bus Fan Stops (Free and open to the public)

The North Tour includes broadcaster Jim Kelch, broadcaster and former pitcher Jeff Brantley, outfielder Billy Hamilton, Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning, minor league outfielder Jesse Winker, VP of Baseball Operations Dick Williams and mascot Rosie Red.

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 23 Columbus, Ohio (Polaris Fashion Place) 6:00 – 8:30pm
Friday, Jan. 24 Lima, Ohio (Lima Mall) 4:00-7:30pm
Saturday, Jan. 25 Dayton, Ohio (National Museum of the U.S. Air Force) 11:00am – 2:00pm
Hamilton, Ohio (Parrish Auditorium/Miami-Hamilton University) 3:00-6:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 26 Cincinnati, Ohio (Select-A-Seat at Great American Ball Park) 12:00pm – 2:00pm

South Tour Bus Fan Stops (Free and open to the public)

The South Tour includes broadcaster Thom Brennaman, broadcaster Jim Day, GM Walt Jocketty, pitcher Mat Latos (Thursday & Sunday only), Sam LeCure (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), catcher Corky Miller, minor league outfielder Ryan LaMarre, COO Phil Castellini and mascot Mr. Redlegs.

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 23 Louisville, KY (Slugger Field) 5:30 – 8:30pm
Friday, Jan. 24 Bowling Green, KY (Greenwood Mall) 4:30 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Jan. 25 Nashville, TN (RiverGate Mall) 10:00am – 12:30pm
Lexington, KY (Alltech Arena @ Kentucky Horse Park) 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 26 Cincinnati, Ohio (Select-A-Seat at Great American Ball Park) 12:00pm – 2:00pm

East Tour Bus Fan Stops (Free and open to the public)

The East Tour includes broadcaster Jeff Piecoro, broadcaster and former pitcher Chris Welsh, manager Bryan Price, pitcher Logan Ondrusek (Thursday only), pitcher Homer Bailey (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), 2013 Minor League Player of the Year Seth Mejias-Brean, Director of Player Development Jeff Graupe and mascot Mr. Red.

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 23 Athens, OH (The Market on State) 5:15 – 7:45pm
Friday, Jan. 24 Charleston, WV (Charleston Town Center) 6:30 – 9:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 25 Vienna, WV (Grand Central Mall) 11:00am – 1:30pm
Ashland, KY (Fannin Motors) 4:00 – 7:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 26 Cincinnati, Ohio (Select-A-Seat at Great American Ball Park) 12:00pm – 2:00pm

West Tour Bus Fan Stops (Free and open to the public)

The West Tour includes broadcaster Marty Brennaman, catcher Brayan Pena, Reds Hall of Famer Eric Davis, broadcaster and former player Doug Flynn, Assistant GM Bob Miller, minor league catcher Tucker Barnhart and mascot Gapper.

Date Location Time (EST)
Thursday, Jan. 23 Muncie, Ind. (Stoops Automotive) 5:30 – 8:00pm
Friday, Jan. 24 Evansville, IN (Eastland Mall) 5:00 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Jan. 25 Bloomington, IN (College Mall) 10:30am – 1:30pm
Indianapolis, IN (Castleton Square Mall) 3:00 – 6:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 26 Cincinnati, Ohio (Select-A-Seat at Great American Ball Park) 12:00pm – 2:00pm
December 14, 2013

Paranoia, abuse, and the Reds

Yesterday here at RHM, Zeldink wrote up a post about a funny little weirdness that was going on in the Reds’ Twitter-verse. A guy using the handle @SeeHearTell was claiming to be at the winter meetings, reporting on Reds activity, and annoying Jamie Ramsey, which is always fun to watch because he so just so easy to rile up.

The first report, about Brandon Phillips going to the Yankees, did seem to be correct when news came out that it fell through. That could be a lucky guess, though; BP is flashy, expensive, and in the second half of his career–he just screams “Yankees.”

The second report about Homer Bailey and Brandon Phillips being traded to the Dodgers hasn’t come to fruition, but shortly after it was posted, suddenly the Reds sprang in to action to shut down the Twitter account, even though it had been active since December 6.

The Reds’ Director of Digital Media, Lisa Braun, says “This person pretended to work for the Reds & said he was right there in the meetings. MLB security issue.”

I don’t know what the real reason was why they targeted this Twitter account with such sudden and extreme prejudice, but I do know that “security issue” ain’t it. There are at least three glaringly obvious reasons this is complete and utter bullshit:

#1 – There is no security risk involved with someone claiming to be a Reds employee on Twitter
Show up to Great American Ball Park with a bright yellow security jacket and a badge on a lanyard? That is a security risk. You could march right in with a gun or let all your friends in with reasonably priced beer hidden in their backpacks.

Imply that you’re a Reds insider on Twitter? What precisely is going to happen? You can’t get access to anything on the strength of tweets. I’ll provide it: next time you’re pulled over and asked for your ID, offer to show that you can post to your Twitter feed instead as proof of your identity.

Reds reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, @ctrent, defended the Reds’ actions by saying:

@ctrent was standing up for his friend, but he was also illuminating the much more likely reason for taking down the account: protecting the brand. But brand misuse is a question of intellectual property, definitely not a question of security.

#2 – Lisa Braun said herself that’s not why the account went down
Before she got cold feet and started deleting tweets, Braun said straight out why she got the account deleted:
annoy

There are two ways I can interpret this tweet: 1) the real reason is Braun’s kills Twitter account on a whim, or 2) this is just a bit of bravado that she dashed off without thinking about what an outrageous overreach it implied. Either way, next time you have trouble with your Twitter account, you’ll have to wonder whether you pissed off someone in Reds’ marketing. Apparently they have that kind of power.

#3 – @SeeHearTell never said he was a Reds’ or MLB employee
I couldn’t verify this for myself because the account had already been disabled, so I asked:

The response I got was a question. Here’s a screengrab of it, since the original seems to have since been deleted:
lisa_braun_convo1

That sounded to me like a 144-character way to say “only MLB employees are here; therefore, all you have to say is that you’re here and you’re impersonating an MLB employee.” So, I said:

Which I realize now sounds kind of sarcastic, but I didn’t mean it that way. I was intending to verify my understanding of what she’d said. I didn’t really get verification, though, just another question response, again no longer available on Twitter:
lisa_braun_convo2

To sum up: no, @SeeHearTell never claimed to be a Reds employee. The best they can say is that it was implied. So even if you bought the idea that claiming to be a Reds’ employee on Twitter could somehow be a security threat, the fact that the claiming didn’t actually happen sort of undercuts that whole thing.

So…Why Do I Care?
Hey, remember when this was just a mildly entertaining “is it real?” discussion about a random Twitter account that was predicting trades? Suddenly it’s a story of intrigue, questions answered with questions, and evidence destroyed.

It’s apropos of nothing; the Reds overreacted ridiculously and then tried to pretend like they were being rational about it all along, like a high schooler who stumbled and then tried to strut it off like nothing happened.

But MLB and the Reds do too much strutting. It’s not OK to scream “security!” because you’re annoyed or because your brand is being played with. It’s an abuse of power, and it needs to be identified that way. I want them to be ashamed of themselves because they’ve been acting shamefully.

Of course, you can’t rule out the possibility that this has all just been a J.J. Abrams-esque scheme to keep us talking about the Reds even though they haven’t done jack at the winter meetings. In which case I will have played right into their devious plot!

December 13, 2013

Jamie Ramsey and the mole

One of the disadvantages to not really paying attention to the Reds or baseball at all this off-season is that I occasionally miss some things. And apparently, I’d missed a doozy of a Twitter account until this morning.

At the beginning of December, an account named Seeall Hearall appeared with this as its first tweet.

Starting with a double negative is an inauspicious beginning. Seeall Hearall made up for it, though, proceeding to divulge all manner of information on purported negotiations the Reds and General Manager Walt Jocketty were having. The majority of the updates focused on the Reds’ attempts to trade Brandon Phillips to the New York Yankees.

Throughout all of this, people were asking both Seeall Hearall and Reds public relations spokesperson (and would-be rock star) Jamie Ramsey questions attempting to verify the account.

Seeall Hearall ignored the questions for the most part.

Ramsey, fanned the flames of controversy and kept it going by answering a question with a question.

Seeall Hearall had long been saying the Phillips trade to the Yankees was going to happen. But yesterday, it all fell apart.

Seeall Hearall doubled down on the trade rumors, though, and posted this bombshell last night.

It’s unlikely the account is real, but anything that whips up Jamie into a fit is hella entertaining. The off-season is long, and we need something to watch.

October 2, 2013

It’s easy to know whom to root for now

The Reds could have won last night. The spark they would have needed is something we have seen from time-to-time all throughout the season. There was a chance it would reappear last night–when better?–but it was clear after just a couple innings it just wasn’t there.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well oh well.

Starts to sound like “LOL” after a while, but we certainly haven’t been doing much of that. You know, when we started RHM back in 2005, I’d never seen a winning team. I quite gleefully tripped along enjoying year after year of really crummy baseball. There wasn’t much worth talking about on the field, so I talked about personalities and hair styles and never missed what I’d never seen.

In a way, I pity Pirates fans. Now that they, too, have tasted fruit from the tree of winning, goofing on the team’s choice of hats and mascots will never be the same.

To be clear, though, in most ways, I do not pity Pirates fans.

For the first time, I can maybe understand why people follow the Cubs. The glorious victories a Cub fan imagines are never muddied with the painful shortcomings of actually happening. Much easier to enjoy that baseball that comes after you’ve made the shift to “maybe next year” when that shift happens before October.

Still, I wish the Major League affiliate of the Indianapolis Indians the best of luck in their upcoming series. I’d rather see them take it than anyone else. May their spark continue to shine bright.

Not quite done mourning yet? The Reds actually made a video embeddable. It’s a little group therapy for us all.

September 30, 2013

Commies battle swashbucklers on TBS (very funny)

Poster implying that the Reds-Pirates wild card game is the newest comedy on TBS.