Daily Archives: May 1, 2006

May 1, 2006

Non-Baseball Stuff

Michael Jason LaRue was born in Houston, Texas on March 19, 1974. He graduated from Smithson Velly High School in Spring Branch, Texas. He attended Dallas Baptist Univeristy and Northeast Texas Community College.

Jason is married to Heather and they live in Bulverde, Texas. Jason missed the final two games of the 2005 season to attend to Heather in the birth of their son Brayden. I thought I read something official at the time making reference to other children, but I'll be darned if I can find it now.

May 1, 2006

Jason LaRue

It's time again for another Human League/Better Know a Red combo. This one is about Jason LaRue, whom you may remember was the first Human League I ever wrote. And it shows. I added a Non-Baseball Stuff section about him, because I apparently wasn't writing those yet when I wrote his profile.

Check out the Human League entry, then go read his Better Know a Red profile.

P.S. - There's a new super-close up photo of Felipe's dragon tattoo, and a couple smart-alec quotes from Adam Dunn in the Human League too.

May 1, 2006

Reds Notebook: Narron has Options; Castellini an All-Star

CINCINNATI, OH -- All along, Reds' General Manager Wayne Krivsky has talked about providing enough players to give Manager Jerry Narron “options.” Today, he revealed that those weren't the options he was talking about.

“There's an obscure little rule in baseball that says if you have enough second basemen, you can send down your manager,” explained Krivsky.

It's not likely to come to that, as Narron's team has been performing very well so far.

“It's just an insurance policy,” said Krivsky. “I don't realistically foresee us calling up [triple-A affiliate Louisville Bats manager] Rick Sweet any time soon.

Castellini On All-Star Ballot
The All-Star game is widely regarded as a venue for the biggest impact players in the game of baseball. For the first time, the Reds have a good chance of having their owner voted in.

While past Reds' owners have certainly made an impact, none has made such drastically positive changes so quickly as Bob Castellini. It's been widely noted that Castellini has changed the tone of the Reds and set an expectation of winning.

“He's made a huge difference to this team,” said Reds' utility man Ryan Freel.

If Castellini is voted in, he vows to make his influcence felt.

“I want to bring a tradition of winning to the National League,” said Castellini.

May 1, 2006

Let’s Hear It for Chris Chambliss

John Fay has a story in the Enquirer about the effect that hitting coach Chris Chambliss has had on the Reds since he joined the club in 2004. Fay's story focuses on patience at the plate with a special emphasis on walks.

I liked this table that appeared in to story showing the Reds' National League Ranking in some important offensive categories:

2003 15 13 16 6 13 11 16 13 14
2004 13 10 12 6 10 3 16 9 9
2005 8 1 1 1 1 2 16 1 4
2006 5 1 1 1 1 2 13 2 1

I think the walks are great, but I think there's even more to it than that. It's impossible not to notice how the Reds trip over hitters these days, how questionable players come to the Reds and almost magically find their stroke.

Also impossible not to notice how well the Yankees have done since they fired Chambliss in 2000.

So let's hear it for Chris Chambliss and for the Reds for keeping him around. I love to see them do things right.

May 1, 2006

Episode 9: Game 11, Part 2

Way back in Episode 7 you got the pre-game and first inning of game 11. It's been a while, but the Cards are in town tonight and it seems like a good time to get the rest of the game out there for your listening enjoyment. Game 12 will be posted tomorrow.

You won't be able to follow the game or anything from the audio, but it was a crappy game anyway. Pretty much, it's just a preview of the on-line sass that we'll be enjoying here at RHM tonight.

Lots of people have asked what I thought of Busch III, and I guess I thought it was just OK. Many of the problems that it had were transient because it isn't really done yet. The speaker system wasn't working in our section, so we couldn't hear the announcer properly. The scoreboard (or scoreboard operator) was usually behind or just plain wrong. It's utterly undramatic to see Pujols hit homers into an empty section of the stands that doesn't even have seats yet. Stuff like that.

Other things were problems with the design that seem like they're just a result of thoughtlessness. The seats are not angled toward home plate, so by the end of the game you have a stiff neck from looking off to the side for three hours. The foul poles and guard rails obstruct your view of the field. Though there are a million souvenir shops, bathrooms, and beer stands, they all still have lines.

And then there's the eerie way that sound falls dead around you, such that your cheers seems to hit a wall and go flat. I stood in the middle of a crowd of 40,000 screaming fans, feeling the stadium shake under my feet, and could still converse with the person beside me.

Of course, there are lots of good things about the stadium, too. It's got some neat historical stuff up on the walls for your perusing enjoyment before the game starts. There's some cute architectural details on the concourse. And, of course, the view is fantastic.

It's just too bad about the team.

Episode 9: Game 11, Part 2. (16.5 MB, 22:55)

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