The empathetic Mets organization cut their fans a break in the game's final season, modifying the smoking ban to "smoke 'em if you got 'em."
BP will be the first Reds batter of 2012
After setting career highs in AVG and OBP, keeping Brandon Phillips at the top of the batting order is an easy decision. Or is it? Jocketty: "Yeah, I think he is (the leadoff man) - until we find someone better. He's demonstrated that he can handle it well." For his part, Phillips is happy to lead off: "I'm going into the offseason to get ready to be the leadoff man. I was happy with the year I had, especially after I started hitting leadoff. I did it to help out the team. That's what I want to do."
BtB named its Post-2011 NL Central All Star Team
There's a fairly even representation of every team in the Central aside from Houston, though the lack of any Cincinnati pitcher is telling. The selected 2B, Brandon Phillips, finished the year with an even 6.0 fWAR. This may shed some light on El Beeperino's decision to sit out game 162. You wouldn't want an error or oh-fer to knock that figure down. Players work hard to achieve statistical milestones over the course of a long regular season, and I don't have any particular problem with them sitting out of a meaningless game for the sake of said milestones. Actually, I agree with Hal that Phillips sat out because of a legitimate injury. Also, check out Hal's story about Griffey Sr. and the lost batting title of bicentennial season, if you're into that sort of thing.
Breaking news on Brandon Phillips: BP appears at Greenwich Village "Fan Cave"
During the segment, BP said about the season: "It's been totally different. I didn't think the season was really going to go the way it did this year, but all you can do is adapt and learn from this year and just take it into next year." Will he re-sign with the Reds? "I hope so. I hope so. If not, I just got to go where I need to go ...."
If you think you saw a lot of bad baseball this year, you're right
As calculated by Flip Flop Fly Ball, the Reds played more baseball by total time than any team aside from NYY and BOS. This surprised me, but maybe it shouldn't have. The high-scoring Reds had the second most PAs in the NL and were towards the top in total runs allowed and innings pitched. I suspect that the Reds also had more reliever appearances and outings than most teams. HT to Slyde.
The fallout from the end of the regular season has come
The first victim was Terry Francona, who resigned/was fired from Boston. It was rumored this weekend that Theo Epstein could be next on the chopping block. Here, Rob Neyer speculates that Epstein may "simply [be] ready for a change. I've had two great jobs in my life -- before this one, I mean -- but at some point it's just time to try something different. And what else, really, is there left for Theo Epstein in Boston?" The oddsmakers put an Epstein move at 50/50 "for the right situation." Eeps. Epstein controlling the ship of the wealthiest franchise in our division scares me.
The fallout is less pronounced in Atlanta, which has only canned hitting coach Larry Parrish so far.
Angels GM Tony Reagins also resigned, so there could be a game of musical GM chairs this winter.
Votto looks to defend his Hank Aaron Award
While the Reds' record puts Joey Votto out of contention to win a consecutive MVP, he still has an outside shot at the Hank Aaron Award. The Hank is awarded based on
a formula considering only offensive statistics, as well asthe votes of fans and select HOFers [the formula was apparently canned years ago]. In a perfect world, the best position player would win the Hank, the best pitcher the Cy, and the voters could do whatever they want with the MVP. You can vote here.
OMGreds reviews ESPN's ‘Catching Hell’ documentary
Which goes into some detail about the Steve Bartman game. I'd forgotten Dusty's quip after the game - "The only words I have is, maybe he was a Marlins fan." May as well add this to the DVR queue for this winter.
Doug at Reds Minor Leagues has a few notes
BakersfieldDayton's 2011 catcher Tucker Barnhart was named the Minor League Catcher Gold Glove Award Winner. This is a big honor because the award covers the entire minor leagues, so kudos to Barnhart. He had a .998 fielding percentage as well as a 47% caught stealing rate against.
There's a lot of mediocre beer at stake in the PHL-STL series
The cities' mayors have made one of those non-monetary bets on the series outcome, with this one focusing on beer. The St. Louis mayor has offered Budweiser, while the Philly mayor is cobbling together a number of microbrews. If you think this is bad, wait until the Cards-Brewers NLCS.
New episodes and movie for Arrested Development announced
Sweetness! With the potential for a new generation of memes, it's reported that there will be a new season of AD as well as the long-rumored movie in 2013. Paul Janish (Milford Acad., '98) was spotted, but could not be heard for comment.