Dusty counters all the Chapmania with a bit of levity
When asked if the team's plans have become clearer after Chapman's impressive first two outings Dusty said:
"It's hard to plan an unknown entity. You don't know what things may arise. He still has to get a driver's license and a Social Security card. There are a lot of things he has to get. I think baseball and pitching are probably a sanctuary from all of the other stuff."
I think this brings into perspective a little better just how steep Chapman's learning curve is here. It's probably best for him to learn all the life-living stuff somewhere like Zebulon instead of Cincinnati.
Sheldon says having Barry Larkin and Sean Casey in camp as guest instructors is a blast
Larkin still looks fit enough to play, though he says "looks can be deceiving". The Mayor of course lit up the place, exchanging hugs and handshakes and such. Both of these fellas work for MLBNetwork now and I would feel remiss if I didn't start banging the drum again to have these guys join the organization in an official capacity. The team and city couldn't ask for better ambassadors.
Most folks 'round here believe the Reds won't score many runs this season
unless Jay Bruce really turns it on. "I think the adjustments that I made last year are really going to carry over and help this year," said Bruce..."Spring Training is about getting ready and getting locked in. I am getting some hits, but I am confident about what's been going on so far." It's kinda weird because it seems he's been around a while, but Bruce is not yet 23.
"Clutch-Man-Monie" had a decision to make regarding where he wanted to play this year
Ramon Hernandez wanted to come back to Cincy because he's comfortable and knows the team. And I'm sure the wildly exuberant and irrational support of the manager was a big factor too. "I know Ramon," Baker said. "I saw him in the beginning. (The Giants) played the A's all the time. Ramon is a clutch man. I call him 'Clutch-Man-Monie.' He's probably the second best we have to Joey (Votto). I'd just as soon have him up as anybody on the team."
Dusty Baker had some interesting things to say about the team yesterday
He was asked why Yonder Alonso hasn't gotten any work in anywhere else but 1B yet: " The other spots he’s going to go to is when he goes to minor league camp. He’s been working in left field. But I’m having a tough enough time getting guys time. That’s one reason we have the B game this morning. No. 1, you’ve got to try to get the guys most ready that you know are going north with you – not that you hope are going north with you. Or I should say east."
Hall o' Famer Hal gives us another "Ask Hal" piece
Here's a few of the better ones:
"Q Did you experience baseball in the days of train travel and how was it? — Michael, Arlington, Va.
A Some folks think I covered baseball when teams traveled by stagecoach or wagon train. Yeah, and I always rode shotgun. I love trains and used Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Diego or Philadelphia to New York. No security checkpoints, carry your own luggage and it never gets lost, no seat belts, large La-Z-boy chair in the club cars. Heaven on wheels.
Q Alex Gonzalez missed a lot of the season two years ago because his infant son was hospitalized. How did that turn out? — Laurie, Bellbrook
A His son was born with a birth defect and nearly died a couple of times. I admired Gonzalez so much because he tried to play through it. His son has survived, but needs to be closely monitored."
It seems like Gonzo's kid is doing ok, relatively speaking. All the best to him and his.
Juan Francisco and Homer Bailey each had solid games on Saturday
El Nino Destructor crushed 2 home runs and Ol' Hoss gave up an earnie in 3 innings with 2 strikeouts. He's happy to have Aroldis Chapman on the team, mostly because he's good, but also because he's taking all the heat now: "I'm glad I'm done with that period now and focus on the game and the results," Bailey said. "He (Chapman)'s going through a lot and he's throwing really well. That's good to see. I don't know what the plans are for the fifth spot and it's none of my business. He is definitely going to help this team out very soon."
The Fay says Dan O'Brien deserves much credit for the talent the Reds have on the field now
The whole story is only in the print edition of the Enquirer, but he lists Bailey, Janish, Craig Tatum, Phillippe Valiquette, Cueto, Francisco, Bruce, Travis Wood, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure, and Logan Ondrusek all as guys O'Brien either drafted or signed as amateurs.
Matt Maloney threw 3 scoreless innings yesterday
Speaking about the competition for the 5th rotation spot: "There’s a lot of dynamics between all the guys," Maloney said "The competition will be good for the team. You see what guys are made of."
Aaron Harang threw 4 1/3 in the B game
and was even better than Maloney, giving up zero runs and striking out two.
Jon Heyman adulates Junya for being the "real" home run king of his era
Sanctimony aside, it's a really good read. The Griffey Era in Cincy has been over for a few years now and the unfulfilled dreams have largely been let go, at least for me. But the good times will never be forgotten. Junya says the whole steroid thing needs to be put to rest. "To me, it's time to turn the page. Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn ... all these are great young kids people can relate to now and put their energy into, and not get worked up about what happened 10, 15 or 20 years ago. Let it go." Nice of him to give a shout-out to his home boy Dunner.
Would you trade Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard?
Buster Brown says the Phillies have talked about making an offer of that nature, but the Phils said he's a liar. I'm not normally one for wild rumors like this, but this one made me nearly faint dead away. The thought that Ryan Howard is even in the same area code as Albert Pujols is dangerously stupid. That's why I wouldn't be at all surprised if Ruben Amaro thought such a think.