Monthly Archives: March 2007

March 31, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the NL Central…

On the even of baseball's Opening Night on Sunday - here are some last-minute tidbits from around the rest of the division.

The Pirates start the year with reliever John Grabow on the 15-day DL, and as of Friday it wasn't known whether 2006 NL batting champ Freddie Sanchez will start the season on the DL or not. Even if he plays, he had only seven ABs during ST so he might show some rust. Also, their closer, Salomon Torres, had a brutal ST with a 14.21 ERA over 6-1/3 innings.

In St. Louis, it looks like Edmonds will avoid starting the year on the DL. But the Cardinals have replaced three of their five starters since the end of last season. Two of the new starters have never started a game in the majors. The third hasn't won in double figures or posted an ERA lower than 4.55 since 2003. One of the two returning starters has yet to pitch his 100th Major League inning. Their right-handed setup man was shut down for the year due to elbow surgery. And the guy who was expected to start in RF will open the year on the DL. So LaRussa must not only battle the bottle and the pitching problems, but juggle a RF-by-committee situation as well.

In Milwaukee, Corey Koskie's return from post-concussion syndrome continues at a brutally slow pace. Several Brewers relievers struggled in ST. Still, the Brew Crew starts the year mostly healthy and could get off to a fast start in the division race.

The Astros are also healthy for the most part, although Brandon Backe is probably through for the year. The main question marks in Houston are in the back end of the rotation after the loss of Pettitte and, probably, Clemens.

That leaves the Cubs. For 99 years that's been the ultimate goal of almost everyone who has played for them - to leave the Cubs. In case you haven't noticed, I do love to pick on the Cubs. Popular Communications Magazine, April 2007 issue, page 76, last paragraph on the page, in a discussion about the chronology of disasters, part of an article dealing with radio communications during disasters:

“Not all disasters are of the 'natural disaster' genre, of course. We humans have time and again proven that we can conjure up some pretty serious disasters on our own, and I'm not just talking about FEMA's response to Katrina, or the last 99 years of Chicago Cubs history.”

This year, things were going to be different, they said. So now, with the Cubs presumably already on their way to Cinci for Opening Day, Prior starts the year at AAA. Wood starts the year on the DL. Oh, wait, this is supposed to be about news. Sorry. Oh, how I do love to pick on the Cubs.


March 31, 2007

Going Home

Our week is up and it's time to head back to Indiana. The countdown of minutes until Opening Day is begun!

Go Reds!

March 31, 2007

ST Game 28: Devil Rays 4, Reds 5

Ryan Freel on the basepath

The regulars were out of the game earlier than usual, but got the job done before they left in this 0-5 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday.

What, does Adam Dunn stink or something?

Matt Belise got the start, or rather, the first start of the game. His line isn't so hot for just two and two thirds innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and a walk on five hits. But he did strike out four, including the batter immediately prior to his being pulled. The crowd was a mite confused.

Kirk Saarloos gets a try

But in came in Kirk Saarloos, who perhaps was getting an audition. His line looks better: zero runs on one hit in two and a third. To be fair, though, the further you get into a spring training game, the easier it is.

Everyone wants Josh Hamilton to succeed

Rheal Cormier, David Weathers, Mike Stanton, and Jared Burton also each got an inning apiece. Cormier was the only one to allow a run. Honestly, is he trying to hurt his trade value?

Bubba Crosby at the bat

The first inning was fun. Even when the Reds have won these spring training games, it doesn't feel like they've strung together a lot of offense consecutively. John Fay has an odd take on the inning:

Ryan Freel singled. Adam Dunn popped out bunting (maybe the No. 2 spot is going to his head). Brandon Phillips singled. Ken Griffey Jr. singled in Freel. Juan Castro, in the lineup because Edwin Encarnación is sick, doubled in Phillips and Griffey. Scott Hatteburg doubled in Castro. Alex Gonzalez singled in Hatteberg. Chad Moeller then mercifully ended the inning by grounding into a double play.

“Mercifully”?? The Reds were doing well! How jaded to you have to be to this game to complain about this inning? Oh, please stop the bleeding! I just can't take any more scoring by my own team!!

I guess that's why he's a reporter and not a fan.

Brandon Phillips and his smile

Personally, I thought it was great. It's always nice to see the Reds walk away with a victory. The win brings the Reds' spring training record to 18-10. They'll play the Florida Marlins today in Dayton at 2 pm.

Reds win!
March 31, 2007

Spring Training Videos

Our camera can do some unusual things. It can take photos in rapid progression, record audio, and record short video clips. In a pinch, you could probably open your beer with it. The CTS recorded a few videos from the game yesterday to help give you the full feel for the spring training experience.

Bronson Arroyo Pitching

Brandon Phillips' Homerun Trot

Javier Valentín At Bat

March 30, 2007

ST Game 27: Twins 10, Reds 2

The guys coming to work

Since this game is a day old and Opening Day is painfully close, it's clearly old news. Plus, it was a horrible, painful loss. So, here's the pictures with little-to-no commentary. I hope to have the photos from today's game up later.

Arroyo gets ready

Isn't this a cool picture? The CTS might as well have lined him up to have a halo. But that's really much more like something that Church of Baseball would do.

Grumpy old men

This is a picture of Jeff Conine chatting with Jerry Narron. What do you think they're talking about? Strategy for the game? Golf scores? Their favorite recipes for prunes?

Sarasota Reds Ralli Gator

Mr. Red and the Sarasota Reds' mascot Ralli Gator were very much available throughout the games this week. My son really liked the Gator, especially when he plopped himself down in seats near us to entertain the nearby children. Does make you wonder though: what did they do with The Gapper?

Paul Janish tosses

Paul “Soft J” Janish tossed to get ready for his appearance in this photo. He hung around after today's game to sign autographs, including my son's Smokey the Bear baseball. They were the free giveaway, and we did take time to talk about campfire safety. We did not talk about the fact that RHM's primary freebie is a book of matches.

I want a catcher, not a Billy Hatcher

Billy Hatcher chats with Dewayne Wise here. Hatcher has been a crowd favorite lately, making trips to the wall to chat with the fans.

The End

The CTS took this photo. I claim no responsibility.

This game kinda sucked. It'll be good to move on to today's game instead.

Reds lose. Boo.