Monthly Archives: October 2005

October 28, 2005

Reds Decline Aurilia’s Option

Ortiz, too (but who didn't see that coming?), so says Mr. Lancaster:

The Reds and Rich Aurilia have mutually agreed to decline his $2 million option for 2006. The Reds have also declined their $4.55 million option on Ramon Ortiz, though he remains arbitration-eligible. Barring something completely unforeseen, I imagine they'll non-tender Ortiz by December.

Apparently, the Reds are leaving the door open to bringing Aurilia back as a free agent, depending on what else is out there.

Decline the $2 million but possibly bring him back later for less? Why didn't I think of that??

October 27, 2005

October Reds Round Table, Part III

Once again, a handful of Reds bloggers got together this week to discuss matters of deep, deep importance. And, once again, it ended in me utterly failing to make the rest of the guys see the error of their ways.

Maybe one of these days I'll make them understand. In the meantime, enjoy part III. Links to the rest below.

RHM: Look, Freel can't handle 2B every day
sweaver: They were all untested at one time…until someone tests them
RHM: And Bergolla's not ready to do it all by himself, maybe not even half time
Blade: Then we keep Aurilia and only play him against righties, at home
Chad -- RN: Freel has twice as much range as Aurillia (though I'll concede his hands aren't as good)
RHM: But this infield is already carrying Encarnacion and Flopez
Blade: Someone could buy Narron Stratomatic or something
sweaver: No, Freel can't play everyday…..but if Aurilia is at second, Freel is pushing Encarnacion out
Joel: my thinking is that the Reds should do whatever they can to improve the defense up the middle
sweaver: Freel is good for about 120 games
sweaver: Defense would help a lot
Joel: and I don't think the Freel or Aurilia are the answer to improved defense
Chad -- RN: Aurilia doesn't improve the defense up the middle.
Blade: Who's available out on the market at second base this year
RHM: What makes Freel special is his versatility
sweaver: We need a Morgan-style trade
JDArney: whoa, whoa whoa, EdE and Felipe are both plus defenders
RHM: And both kids
Chad -- RN: Agree, JD!
Joel: you can get the defense cheap ($1.5-2 million)
JDArney: errors don't tell the whole story, or even much of the story
sweaver: Kids and defense go together…because of range
RHM: I didn't say their defense was bad
RHM: I'm saying they need role models
JDArney: you said the infield was “carrying” them
RHM: You're right. Poor choice of words. “Containing”
Joel: I think she meant that there was already a bunch of youth in the infield
Chad -- RN: Whining Aurilia is a role model? No thanks. I don't want Encarnacion emulating him.
RHM: Chad - What's wrong with Aurilia as a role model?
Chad -- RN: He did nothing but complain all year long.
JDArney: Aurilia complained quite a bit this past season about playing time
JDArney: Much of it while he was hitting under .200
RHM: He wanted to play
Chad -- RN: Good. Don't whine in the papers about it.
Joel: the only thing I would say to that RHM is that Felipe didn't complain once during April, even though he outplayed Aurilia in Spring Training
RHM: Complaining doesn't make a person a bad player or a bad person.
RHM: If it did, you'd all be in a lot of trouble 😛
Chad -- RN: I don't want EdE emulating him.
Joel: ouch
sweaver: No, but Aurilia is 35, and has little range. He is not the player the Reds need
JDArney: I don't mind complaining, and I give athletes a ton of leeway to act however they want, but when you're flat out sucking then it's probably a good idea to keep your mouth shut
RHM: 1) What's wrong with 35?
JDArney: 35 is on the down side of a career, Aurilia is more likely to decline from here on out than to improve
RHM: 2) Do you have numbers to back up this “range”?
RHM: 3) Who *does* the Reds need then?
Blade: What about Olmedo, what's the story on him
sweaver: For second base…Jorge Cantu from Tampa, Chris Burke from Houston,
RHM: I don't know those characters.
Chad -- RN: I don't mind Olmedo as a backup.
JDArney: im fine with giving Bergolla a shot
Blade: BP actually has Aurilia above average in the field in 2005
JDArney: he's not going to be terrific as a hitter, but he's going to be a solid fielder
JDArney: or olmedo, same story
Blade: FRAA of 2 at second base
Chad -- RN: Bergolla and Olmedo strike me as the same player, but Bergolla probably has a higher upside
sweaver: Aurilia had a low Zone Rating, and a low range factor especially for someone on a bad team
RHM: Don't get me wrong, I'd be open to someone else at 2B
sweaver: (long link)
RHM: But I would want to see someone who's not a rookie
RHM: Someone who's a better value for the money
RHM: Someone who's just a flexible
sweaver: “Not rookies” are not cheap
JDArney: what's wrong with rookies?
RHM: Exactly!
RHM: That's why I think Aurilia's not such a horrible choice.
sweaver: Marcus Giles would be too expensive
JDArney: as long as you only have one (or two if you count EdE) starting I don't think rookies are bad
sweaver: Dreamcasting: Reds sign Furcal to play SS, move Lopez to 2B.
sweaver: Never happen
JDArney: I'd rather they spend the money on pitching than Furcal
JDArney: Or Giles
Chad -- RN: Rookies are underrated.
JDArney: Yep, you want to spend your money on future performance, not past performance.
RHM: They need guidance

Part I on Red Reporter
Part II on Shawn's Cincinnati Reds Blog
Part IV on The Cutting Edge
Part V on Reds and Blues
Part VI on Redleg Nation

October 26, 2005

World Series Smack

Tonight bellyscratcher and I join up to discuss the finer points of game four of the World Series that might just see the Chicago White Sox sweep the Houston Astros.

We saw the Astros play all season, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to learn that they're not the best team in the land, but swept? In the World Series? I mean, when was the last time that happened?

October 21, 2005

Friday Night Raps

She kicked her shoes off onto the floor
She said, “Drive fast, speed turns me on”
She put her hand on my knee, I put my foot on the gas
We almost got whiplash, I took off so fast

The sun roof was open , the music was high
And this girl's hand was steadily moving up my thigh
She had opened up three buttons on her shirt so far
I guess that's why I didn't notice that police car

We're doing ninety in my Mom's new Porsche
And to make this long story short - short
When the cop pulled me over I was scared as hell
I said, “I don't have a license but I drive very well, officer”

I almost had a heart attack that day
Come to find out the girl was a twelve-year-old runaway

By-and-large, I think that Will Smith's contribution to society is underrated.

Not a whole lot of Reds news to catch up on this week. Quick props to Felipe Lopez and Ken Griffey, Jr for being honored by Sporting News, of course, but we already knew they were awesome.

I did finally get around to watching the episode of Don Fransisco Presenta featuring an interview with Sammy Sosa.

I had seen the previews for this interview on Univision while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, and I could have sworn that they were implying that it was going to be a tearful, heart-wrenching affair. Maybe some secret sins would be revealed? I guess that did, at first, seem unlikely from Don Fransisco of Sabado Gigante fame, but you never know. Maybe Wink Martindale would be Barbara Walters under the right conditions.

Well, that was *not* what the interview was like. It was a downright Sammy Love Fest. It began with a long soliloquy by Don Fransisco talking about Sosa's humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic. About how he was the fifth of sixth children, how his father died when he was only 7, how he had to sell orange juice and shine shoes and work in a car wash to help support his mother and siblings. About how, of the first $3,500 he made, he sent $3,300 to his mother and used the other $200 to buy himself a bike just so he could get around. About how he had overcome all that to achieve the American Dream.

Sosa responded with a minor soliloquy of his own about how the most important influence in his life is his belief in God, and that he thinks is mother is just great. When asked what he would say to the people back home in the Dominican Republic, he told them that he is like them and that they can have whatever they want in life because God will give them the opportunity. They just have to forget the negative in their life and go forward.

Don Fransisco didn't make even the remotest reference to any discussion of steroids, but apparently enough time had passed since the corked bat incident to bring it up. Sosa explained that he is human and made a mistake, and that he needed a second chance. Don Fransisco mentioned that the rest of the bats had been inspected and were normal, to which Sosa replied, “I have natural strength. I don't need any substances or anything negative to be myself.” (Translation mine and undoubtedly poor.) And the crowd went wild.

The interview continued as Sosa tutored Don Fransisco on his batting stance. Meaningful stuff.

They briefly discussed Sosa's wife of 14 years (sort of; I guess 12 of those were civil marriage). I didn't follow the story very well, but I guess Sosa met her in a gymnasium and promised to make her a queen if she would marry him. And now he describes her as “more than a queen.”

Gloria Trevi, a Mexican pop star from the 80s with a rather checkered past, was also a guest on the program that night. Ms. Trevi is apparently friends with Sosa, having attended his wedding, and she thanked him for not discriminating against her family. I didn't really follow that part of the interview very well. My crack research department has been looking up stuff about Trevi this evening, in part because the story of her checkered past is fairly interesting, but mostly, I suspect, because there are many nude photos of her available around the Web.

There were a couple commercials on the program that were highly entertaining, including what I believe was a service to buy love poems on your cell phone and send them to people and another for a book on tape about how to make love all night. The tag line was “La mejor manera de perder al sueño” (“The best way to lose sleep”). Ooh la la.

Unfortunately, I'm not coming away from the program with the top-secret scoop, but it was a good time anyway, and I would certainly recommend any future beísbol-related interviews on Don Fransisco Presenta. Don't try to watch them with your parents, though; they just wouldn't understand.

October 19, 2005

From The Mouths of Babes

I've learned a valuable lesson tonight: before you agree to answer vaguely provocative questions posed to you by complete strangers, first make sure that those complete strangers aren't all still in high school.

You can now read my answers to questions from the kiddie pool of Strike 3 Forums.

I hope I didn't scar them for life.

Go Astros! I guess!