Yearly Archives: 2008

December 25, 2008

Yanks Should Get a Warranty on the Championship they’re Buying

The Yankees have landed Mark Teixiera, according to ESPN:

The New York Yankees swooped in Tuesday and hooked prized free agent Mark Teixeira, reaching agreement with the first baseman on an eight-year contract worth $180 million, three sources involved in the negotiations said.

The agreement, which is subject to a physical, includes a signing bonus of about $5 million paid out over the first three years of the contract, no opt-out clause and a complete no-trade provision, the sources said.

It’s nice that the Yankees have some shiny new players to go in their new stadium, and it would almost be nice to see the effort to buy a winning team work. Can’t help but notice that it hasn’t worked for quite a while, though.

December 23, 2008

Redsfest Apparently Successful Even Without RHM

Brandon Phillips signs a baseball for a young fan at Kahn\'s Redsfest XI. Credit: The Cincinnati RedsThe night before Redsfest was my company holiday party, and affair that notoriously extends into the wee hours, long after the bars are closed, usually ending up in one or more hotel rooms that have been reserved for this purpose by employees. The day of Redsfest was my son’s basketall team pictures, followed by a game.

In the pre-Dusty Baker days we might have found the will to neglect our son’s budding sports career and hauled our hung-over selves 3 hours to Cincinnati, but this year it seemed like Redsfest would probably be OK on its own.

And so it was, as indicated by this email, mysteriously missing a subject line, that I received from Michael Anderson, Public Relations Manager for the Reds. There were even photos attached, which is the first time I can ever remember the Reds–heck any MLB team–intentionally sharing media. The Christmas spirit must be alive and well. But don’t tell Selig. Though I am supposed to tell you that the photos are property of the Cincinnati Reds.

Redsfest XI raises over $100K for Reds Community Fund

Almost 50 current and former players were together on stage to kickoff Redsfest XI. Credit: The Cincinnati RedsCINCINNATI (Dec. 18, 2008) — Kahn’s Redsfest XI raised a record total of more than $100,000 for the Reds Community Fund.

Proceeds from the annual fanfest, held Dec. 12-13 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, will help the Reds Community Fund continue its mission to connect kids and baseball.

Since its inception in 2001, the nonprofit Reds Community Fund has used baseball as a vehicle to reach out to kids. Whether it’s renovating baseball fields, providing opportunities to kids with disabilities, underwriting expenses for inner-city teams or hosting its “Reds Rookie Success League,” the Community Fund is dedicated to improving the lives of youth through baseball.

Also at Redsfest, the Reds Community Fund presented a check for $50,000 to the Cincinnati Public Schools that will help fund 11 inner-city high school varsity baseball programs along with field renovations at two of the schools and a commitment to add six junior high RBI baseball programs.

Reds great Lee May greets newest Reds reliever Arthur Rhodes. Credit: The Cincinnati RedsReds prospect Todd Frazier emerged from more than 530 poker players to win the third annual Reds Community Fund Celebrity Poker Tournament. Frazier was awarded the $10,000 guaranteed first prize and agreed to donate his winnings to the Reds Community Fund.

Rich Standridge of Riverside, Ohio won the $5,000 second-place prize, and Angie Weiss of Augusta, Kentucky took home $3,500 for finishing third. Another Reds player, pitcher Daniel Ray Herrera, finished 6th in the poker tournament and donated his $2,000 prize to the Reds Community Fund.

In addition to winning the poker tournament, Frazier also won the Redsfest XI Wiffleball Home Run Contest.

Heather Roush of Delhi Township, Ohio and Brandon Weiss of Vandalia, Ohio tied for first place in the Reds Idol karaoke contest.

“3 Up 3 Down” won the Redsfest Wiffleball tournament.

Two-day attendance for Redsfest XI was 17,038.

December 22, 2008

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: The Game that Fun Forgot

Almost as much fun as really rowingI’ve signed up for two weeks off work this holiday season, but I other than a visit to see Bellyscratcher this weekend, I don’t really have any plans. So it seems like I ought to be able to pull off at least a post a day for the next couple weeks. And yet, before I can turn my brain to baseball matters, I’ve got to clear out some of this holiday junk that’s cluttering things up.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for Wii is a game we got last year for Christmas, and this year it’s a game we’ll be selling for credit at the game store. The premise is that the giants of Nintendo and Sega gaming are together at last to face off in Olympic events. And total props for the list of characters: it’s about damn time I’ve been able to play something as Dr. Eggman.

Trying to put into words why this game is so boring throws me into an existential quandary. Every Wii game is played by pushing buttons and waving your hands around in a more-or-less meaningless way. In this game, though, it actually feels like that’s what you’re doing. The controls are frustrating to use and frequently don’t actually mirror the real event. Unless the trampoline event really does require you to press A-A-B-A in rapid succession and I’ve just never heard about it.

Also, unlike Wii Sports, which has games like baseball that you’d actually play with your friends, Sonic and Mario at the Olympics has events that in real life require years of hard work and sacrifice that people put in for the accomplishment rather than the fun. Maybe the world would be a better place if teenagers played cosmic 40 yd dash or stopped hanging out at the IHOP to run some hurdles, but it just isn’t the way of things.

December 19, 2008

Merry Last Friday Before Christmas!

May Walt Jocketty bring us all something wonderful for our stocking. I recommend left-handed power hitters.

December 19, 2008

When Sponsors Hurt

Remember when the Reds opened their new park in 2003? They chose what seemed like the perfect sponsor to grace it’s name, too: Great American Insurance Company. Well, maybe not anymore.

Apparently, there was an office fire in Texas that killed 3 people. The company had insurance through Great American. When it came time to pay the claim, Great American went to court, reportedly claiming “smoke that killed three people was “pollution” and surviving families shouldn’t be compensated for their losses since the deaths were not caused directly by the actual flames.”

Wow. The trial is still pending, but it will make me have less favorable impressions when next I see or hear about Great American Ball Park. There are risks in signing away your company’s main image to another, as the Astros found out with Enron fairly painfully.