Aroldis Chapman pitched in his first game situation as a Red yesterday
and apparently he already has down pat some of the finer points of American culture. He made fellow top-prospect Todd Frazier his bitch, beaning him in the thigh with a 95 mph fastball. The Todd will be fine, though I'm sure that bruise will be a Hall o' Famer.
Tony Phillips, a special instructor in Reds camp this year, has taking a shinin' to Frazier
Phillips started 150 games or more at 5 different positions in his 18 seasons, so he's a terrific role model for Frazier. "I (Frazier) told him to get on me because I need as much work at every position possible. I haven't played at one position all year round. The more knowledge I can get, the better." Hopefully Phillips is also gleaning some of his knowledge of the strike zone. Dude posted a lifetime OBP of .374.
PDoc admits to disliking Opening Day in Cincinnati
"OD is softball. Hardball starts two nights later, when it’s about 35 and there are 12,000 people in GASP." Can't argue with that one. Everyone here at RR knows Real
sFans Go to Game 2.
THT - Escape from the press box
Last year, Nationals beat writer Chico Harlan became the enfant terrible of sportswriting when he told another reporter that he was ashamed that he had to write about something as low as sports. When those remarks were published, the outcry was predictable and loud. But it sounds like it was ultimately the best thing for Harlan. He connected with some of the Nats, who shared "now you know how it feels to be burned by a reporter" or "I'm not so crazy about this job myself" (Adam?!) talks with Harlan. At the end of the year, Harlan told his boss at the Washington Post that he wanted a different assignment. And he got it - he's now an East Asia correspondent based in Tokyo. He quickly realized that covering a big league team was not his dream job: "I woke up every day scared out of my mind (by the competition, by the need to have fresh blog ideas for a 7:30 a.m. post, by the need to always keep an eye on… everything… at every moment), and fear is an intense motivator. Fear=energy."
ESPN - Nats blogger follows C. Trent's trail
Unlike Harlan, Mark Zuckerman wanted to keep writing about the Nationals. Problem was his employer didn't want to do sports any more, period. The Washington
PostTimes got rid of their sports section at the end of last year. The 33 year-old Zuckerman decided to start his own Nats blog called Nats Insider. After conferring with C. Trent, he raised money from his readership and went down to ST. How does he find blogging versus writing? "It's been refreshing to ask readers what stories they're interested in, to deal with them directly and do it on my own," Zuckerman says. "In a way, they're my editors and bosses. I've had more fun the last three weeks doing this than anything I've done in my professional career."
A grown man named Buster says the Reds are interested in Gary Mathews Jr. Thankfully, the good ol' Fay refutes the whole thing.
Jeff Zimmerman (TucsconRoyal) has ranked the farm systems
based on his amalgamation of 13 different rankings. The Reds system shows up 8th. I really like his methodology on this one, so I'm putting a lot of stock in this ranking. And it reflects my gut feeling too, so all the better.
JapanBall.com - Wakefield demonstrates knuckler on young Japanese female
Female pitching prodigy Eri Yoshida worked with Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield at the Sox ST in Florida. Yoshida will soon return to Japan and pick between the Outlaws or the Mie Throw Arrows of the new independent Japan-Future League.
Top 100 Prospects | THT Fantasy Focus
THT has their top 200 prospect rankings. 7 Reds crack the list, which is about average for an organization. Alonso #51, Leake #60, Chapman #61, Francisco #103, Wood #156, Frazier #158 (surprisingly low given that he was the consensus #1 Reds prospect), Heisey #183.
Someone over at the KYPost (they didn't have their name on the article)
thinks giving Aaron Harang the start on Opening Day "sets a bad precedent". They don't seem to know much at all about the situation though. They think Bronson Arroyo should have been given the start but, as we informed Reds fans know, Arroyo turned it down because he likes to par-tay on OD rather than work.
How many more HRs would Adam Dunn have hit in GABP last year?
Being a good nerd who still holds a candle for counting stats, I rooted for Adam Dunn to reach the 40 HR mark for the sixth consecutive year last season. Alas, he fell two short after a September power outage. Would it have been different had he played in Cincinnati? According to this little toy, yes. He would have actually lost one of his Nationals Park HRs, but three of his doubles and one of his flyouts would have been goners in GABP. (HT to The Book Blog).
Jared Burton Ernie says he started throwing a bit later this winter than last
"I'm a little further behind as far as being game ready," he said. "I was almost too ready in spring training last year. I felt I was midseason locked in at spring training. (This year) I started throwing later. I wanted to take my time. I'm little behind but we've still got a long, 30-game spring training. I've got plenty of time."
Burton struggled some early last year, but turned it around in the second half. For whatever reason, I'm much more optimistic about Burton than I am about Nick Masset.
This ain't Chuck Hustle's first rodeo though, as he's been to Wrestlemania a few times.