Monthly Archives: January 2010

January 13, 2010

Hoping to See Kearnsy in Goodyear

If the Red Hot Family is, indeed, able to make it out for a long weekend or (unlikely, but a girl can dream) a week to take in spring training baseball in Goodyear, AZ, we may be treated to an Austin Kearns sighting. He’s just signed on with the team who will be sharing the spring training facility with the Reds: the Cleveland Indians.

I don’t see the details of the deal, but it’s probably not terribly notable, since it’s a minor league deal with a non-roster invite to spring training. But all it’ll take is one game like the one I saw in Victory Field to get him in the starting nine. Of course, that was in 2005, before Ray King’s fat ass came into the picture.

January 12, 2010

Reds Don’t Fulfill My One Offseason Desire

Walt Jocketty and Aroldis ChapmanAll off-season I’ve been hoping the Cincinnati Reds would do nothing before the next season starts. It’s not because I think they have the perfect team that just needs another chance, or because no one else better is available. No, it’s mainly because I’m terrified that they’ll screw things up and sign another Willy Taveras. Imagine my surprise and delight upon their biggest signing.

It’s been very clear since Dan O’Brien was the General Manager–probably even before then, but that’s when I started following the team again, so that’s what counts–that the Reds need to upgrade their farm system and then use those players instead of veterans. They’ve done a bang-up job of drafting players. Probably better than at any point in the team’s decades-long history. It’s the second part of that plan they’ve been struggling with.

Given that fear, I am absolutely thrilled with the Reds signing of Aroldis Chapman. Holy crap, did they do something awesome here.

The top-rated pitching prospect in the world! A lefty-with plus speed and control! And the best part is the future isn’t even mortgaged! Sure it’s a $30 million deal, but it’s spread out over 10 years. The details are complicated, but it does insure that even if Chapman is a bust, the team isn’t hamstrung with an albatross every year.

The Reds bloggers seem to be quite happy about it, too.

Of course, the answer to the real question remains to be seen. Will they actually play him? Dusty Baker is not exactly known for fielding teams filled with rookies. With this being the only signing of note before the 2010 season, when Chapman is ready, Baker may not have a choice.

January 11, 2010

News Flash: McGwire was Juicin’

mcgwire_armsDUHSVILLE, MO — Mark McGwire admitted today that he did, in fact, use steroids during the era when his arms were as big as watermelons and his testicles the size of the seeds (presumably).

Response across all of baseball fandom was shock and horror. Residents of St. Louis were heard to say, in unison, “If we can’t believe in the purity of the Big Mac, what CAN we believe in??”

In related news, we have also discovered that grass is green, water is wet, and snow falls in the winter.

January 10, 2010

Reds Actually Do Something: Sign Cuban Lefty

For a change, my “So have the Reds done anything yet” question to the CTS was answered with something other than “nope, not yet.” From

In a stunning move, the Reds have landed prized Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, outbidding several other Major League clubs that were in the running for the left-handed pitcher.

Major League sources told that Chapman’s deal is likely to be worth $25 million over five years, with an option for a sixth year that could push the value of the contract to $30 million. Payment would likely be spread out over several years to minimize the financial hit.

Don’t get too excited yet. Even if the new pitching coach the Reds were so freaking anxious to put on payroll can handle Chapman’s 100 mph fastball, it’s still an “if” whether he’ll even sniff the majors in 2010.

Still, it’s nice to have something to talk about, and it’s nice to see the team investing in some young blood rather than signing another old dude to a couple years of mediocrity.

January 8, 2010

What Causes HOF Vote Inflation?

You know that the Hall of Fame votes for a player tend to go up as the years of eligibility pass. But, as Chad pointed out, it’s not exactly like these players are putting up good numbers to improve their hallworthiness. They’re retired for cripes sake.

So, what causes Hall of Fame vote inflation? I’ve got a few theories:

Theory 1: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
You know that friend who only comes into town a couple times a year? You look forward to hanging out, but then he gets get seriously annoying after a few hours. So you bail, maybe a little disappointed that the evening didn’t live up to your expectations, but a couple weeks later you’ve forgotten how he can’t stop talking about high school politics or Nintendo DS games and you’re remembering the fun times fondly again.

Maybe retired players are like that. Maybe the more time that goes on the more sports writers forget how players were injury prone or clubhouse cancers or just a-holes to have to interview.

Theory 2: I Like Old Coke Better than New Coke because It’s Old…Like Me
It’s only natural that people identify with people that are like them. Newspaper sports writers aren’t exactly renowned for being young and hip, ergo, maybe they’re more compelled to vote for players who are also not young and hip…the not younger and the fewer hips the better.

Theory 3: Misty Water Colored Memories
If you aren’t actually old enough to remember the blizzard of 1978, you’ve probably heard a story about it. Over and over again. And each time you hear that story, the amount of snow dumped on the midwest may well go up and up and up, until entire houses were covered with only the tippy-top of the chimney poking out of the banks through which the inhabitants could breathe and there was no bread within a 500-mile radius. This is why, to this day, all of the bread will be gone from your local grocer if so much a three inches of snow are forecast. A lack of bread is truly a traumatizing event, especially when your deprivation grows year-over-year in your memory.

If this phenomenon carries on to baseball, maybe writers’ impressions of how awesome players were in the past just keeps growing and growing. Players hit harder, ran faster, jumped higher, and made humanly impossible circus catches to completely change the fate of the whole team–no, the whole league–and the game would never be the same.

Of course, this would never happen if they gave the vote to the bloggers. Why, I remember one young go-getter–Jose Guillen–who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Back in those days, players were classy. Not like today.