Dusty Baker: Seriously
Dusty had some supportive words for his embattled closer, Francisco Cordero
"He's probably the most scrutinized guy here," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "As closers go, they get the wrath of everybody when they're here. Some day, when they're gone, people wish they were back. You have to be careful of what you wish for. Replacing them is very hard in this game." Coco has thrown three straight perfect innings thus far this spring, and four straight scoreless. He's certainly been a good pitcher since coming to Cincy, but that $12 mil yearly paycheck is nearly impossible for anyone in his position to live up to. I doubt I'll miss him when he's gone, but I think I should appreciate him more while he's here.
Being a relief pitcher is much like working in customer service
The only time people say anything about you is to complain that you did something wrong. People expect you to do it right every time, so no one ever thanks you for a job well done. So Nick Masset was a little surprised when Sheldon approached him for a positive interview. He had a tough go of it to begin last year, but he stuck it out and ended up with a 1.29 ERA over his last 48 appearances. Dusty says "When I talked to hitters in the league, almost every one of them said Masset was the nastiest guy they could face." Keep it up, Bright Eyes.
Mike Leake ("Mike Leake!") threw four scoreless innings yesterday
It was the best outing of this up until now disappointing spring. The Fayplacement says he looked like he did early last season, when he was efficient and effective. Still, he's probably on the outside looking in on the 5th starter race.
If you are in the mood for reading too much between the lines
Homer Bailey is starting the minor league game today and Sam LeCure is starting for the big club. The company line is that Homer is "working on some things", but perhaps LeCure, who hasn't allowed a run yet this spring, has pitched his way ahead of Homer on the depth chart?
Paul Janish's cousin Joe (I'm assuming) has a list of obscure baseball films you probably haven't seen
There are a dozen lists a year topped by "Major League" or "Field of Dreams", depending on whether you lean comedy or tragedy, but it's good to expand your horizons a bit every now and then. The one that I moved to the top of my Netflix queue is "It Happens Every Spring". Here's Joe's take on it: "This is the unlikely story of a dorky high school science teacher who accidentally discovers a substance that repels wood -- and when applied to a baseball, makes him an unhittable pitcher. It's a hokey plot with horrific attempts at athleticism in the action scenes, but enjoyable nonetheless. As a Mets fan, I couldn't stop thinking while watching this about the uncanny similarity to R.A. Dickey's real-life story."
Adam Morris at Lone Star Ball takes a look at the paucity of 3Bs in the Hall of Fame
This started with a piece at FanGraphs about Scott Rolen's chances at making the Hall, which you can find here. Basically, Morris sees a pattern of discrimination against fellas who can really pick it at the hot corner. Rolen compares to neglected third basemen like Ron Santo, Buddy Bell, and Graig Nettles, who all were deemed unworthy of Cooperstown. Scotty will definitely make for an interesting conversation a few years from now, but if history is any indicator, he'll fall a bit short.
For all you sabrnerds out there who are hungry for some red meat
here's a condescending piece from the San Francisco Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins. "It won't be long before we get the first wave of nonsense from stat-crazed dunces claiming there's nothing to be learned from a batting average, won-loss record or RBI total. Listen, just go back to bed, OK? Strip down to those fourth-day undies, head downstairs (to "your mother's basement and your mother's computer," as Chipper Jones so aptly describes it) and churn out some more crap. For more than a century, .220 meant something. So did .278, .301, .350, an 18-4 record, or 118 RBIs. Now it all means nothing because a bunch of nonathletes are trying to reinvent the game?" This retort at McCovey Chronicles is a better response than I can muster in my post-St Patrick's Day/NCAA Tournament hangover state.
Craig Calcaterra discusses the Greatest Living Ballplayer for each team
Of course, the Reds representative will be chosen from a pool of nominees populated exclusively by Big Red Machinists, and Calc goes with Joe Morgan. Arguments could definitely be made for Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, and I'll even throw in Barry Larkin. What say you, RRs?
And now it's Friday, so tuck your napkin into your collar, pull your chair up to the table, sit up straight, get your elbows off the table, follow after the jormp jomp, and eat your Red Retweeter like a good kid.
Finally got news I've been waiting for. I'm gonna be the in-booth statistician for FSOhio home #Reds games this year! I'm pumped! This is excellent news for Reds fans in general and Red Reporters in particular. We all know how good Slyder is with the numbers and it's great to see him getting the opportunity to flex that big brain muscle on something more substantive than a Thursday morning blog post. Congratulations pal, and good luck!
Willis triples to right, scores on single to CF by Negron. #Reds lead 2-0, 5th inning. Big hand for pitcher Willis as he scores.