Yearly Archives: 2009

December 17, 2009

Reds Sign an Old Fat Guy

Reds_christmas_card_2009Or at least that seems to be what they want you to think from their Christmas card to the fans this year. But then you read the horrible, horrible poem and you realize that Walt Jocketty had nothing to do with this deal. You can tell just but looking at Jocketty that he’s got a talent for rhyme and meter.

If you haven’t been out to check out the Reds’ holiday greeting for you, you can see it here or by clicking on the image.

December 16, 2009

Reds Dodge Bullet as Counsell Re-Signs with Brewers

Craig Counsell and his irritating batting stanceThe Cincinnati Reds narrowly avoided making another minor roster mistake this week when Craig Counsell signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Counsell signed a 1-year, $2.1 million deal to serve as the Brewer’s utility infielder again. He had a productive 2009 season as a backup, getting on base almost 36% of the time. Apparently, he reduced the obnoxiousness of his batting stance, too. No longer did he reach to the sky as if in vain attempts to over-compensate for shortcomings.

The Reds had expressed interest in Counsell, but I, for one, am happy that he stayed away from the Queen City. My guiding hope for the Reds in this off-season is that they do nothing. Absolutely nothing. First, they’re less likely to make mistakes *cough*Willy Taveras*cough*. And second, they have a ton of young, talented players. The best way to overcome Dusty Baker’s hardcore veteran fetish is to not give him any. And free agents are generally veterany.

We’ll see if it’s a good deal for the Brewers. It probably will be, considering he’s a backup and it’s only for one year. I do know that it would have been a disaster for the Reds. So for that, thank you, Walt Jocketty.

December 8, 2009

Hyper-Inflation Hits Missouri as Penny Worth $7.5 Million

How much is that Penny in the window?Facing a loss of 3/5ths of their starting rotation, the St. Louis Cardinals obviously had to do something about it. As good as Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are, they can’t carry the team through the entire season. Heck, they couldn’t even carry the team through the playoffs.

So the Cardinals turned to Brad Penny, the former Marlin, Dodger, Red Sock, Giant. At first blush, $7.5 million dollars might seem like a lot for a pitcher who’s been just a tick above league average on his career. (And not even that since 2007.)

But I like the deal. In this day and age when teams seem to so readily throw multi-year deals at injury-prone pitchers, it’s nice to see a team pay for only one-year. It gives the team a solid chance at having a killer stating rotation, without mortgaging the future. Given pitching coach Dave Duncan’s history, I have a feeling this won’t turn into another Junior Spivey. Or even a Mark Mulder.

It’s something that other teams should do more often.

December 8, 2009

The Winter Meetings

Literally blocks from where I spend my days at work in downtown Indianapolis and across the street from Victory Field–home of the Pirates’ AAA affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians–the representatives of the 30 major league baseball teams are spending their days right now, as they hold their Winter Meetings at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

That’s right, the home of Star Wars Celebration two AND three is now hosting your favorite front office personnel.

Even as close to the action as I already am, I’ve considered walking the half-mile down there to see if I could jump up high enough to see in the windows. But then it occurred to me that I don’t actually have to go that far to see middle-aged men in suits pushing paper around and occasionally yelling at each other.

December 7, 2009

Before they Were Stars: Joey Votto

joey_votto_18I was idly Google Image searching Joey Votto just now (Why, you ask? Shut up, I say. It’s my lunch hour and I’ll can use it to Google-stalk research players if I want.) and I came upon a most wonderful resource:

Not only did this site provide the Votto-too-tough-at-age-18-to-smile-for-a photo you see here, but also such gems as:

Votto made a name for himself at Tropicana. He is a good looking athlete with a strong baseball body and a nice arm. Most importantly he has a beautiful left-hand swing that projects to hit with plus power. The ball jumps off his bat and sounds a bit different than most wood bats.

Good looking? Beautiful? Strong body? Wood bats? This is a passionate report indeed. I may have missed my calling as a scout.