Mark Sheldon says the real JNMSotG last night was Ramon Hernandez
He caught two runners stealing and nailed the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt (with a great snag by Rolen). In a close, low-scoring game, those precious few baserunners are especially important. The Padres only had eight baserunners all night, and Monie took care of almost half of them.
Dusty hit a nice milestone last night
He is now the 11th manager in baseball history to tally 250 wins with three different clubs. Dusty was humorous and humble in his assessment of the achievement: "It's some pretty good company," Baker said after the game. "It was also pretty good company to be fired by a team or two to get to that third team. At least somebody wants to employ you. I just thank God I've been around this long and had the opportunity to get this situation."
Johnny Cueto threw a bit in an extended spring training game yesterday
and reported no issues. He threw 34 pitches over two innings and will report to Louisville for a rehab start in Saturday.
More injury news
Jose Arredondo made his debut in Carolina last night, striking out two in a scoreless inning. His rehab assignment can last up to 30 days, and I have to believe the Reds will take all the time they can with him. He's still working his back from Tommy John and they'll want to see him pitch as much as possible in the minors before they put him on the big league roster. Unless there is an injury in the Reds' bullpen, I wouldn't expect to see Arredondo at all until mid-May.
Aaron Harang has worked a good bit with the Padres to regain his lost form
His first two starts of the season have been an unqualified success, as he's posted a 1.50 ERA so far. "When I got over here, we looked at a lot of stuff," he said. "I had a couple of good games last year. I had a game against Houston where I went seven and gave up one run. I don’t know if it was before or after I was hurt. But we looked at a couple of those games. The good games, not the bad ones. We saw such a difference mechanically from ’06, ’07 compared to the last year and the last couple of years." Part of me would have liked to see him face the Reds in this series, but the other part of me is glad we are missing him. I really want to see him succeed with the Padres, but obviously not at the Reds' expense.
Chris Sabo's Goggles equates that last loss to the Diamondbacks to last year's meltdown against the Braves
You remember, the one that ended with the grand slam by Brooks Conrad? "You know what I hate? Getting out of the car after a long, boring drive from Cincinnati to Chicago — with the Reds winning 5-0 — only to check the score an hour later and find that the Reds are losing 10-7." Hopefully last night's win in San Diego was sufficient to salve that anger.
Some of yous guys are totally in hate with Albert Pujols
and I get that. He absolutely kills our Reds and he's the best player on our biggest current rival. But man...I just can't bring myself to dislike this guy. He's just so...likeable. Check out this 60 Minutes profile of him that aired on Sunday.
Daedalus went to the Dodgers-Rockies game on the 5th
and came home with a bunch of beautiful pictures. It looks like a great place to catch a ballgame.
BtB's Power Rankings, previously administered by our boy JinAZ, have released their first edition of the new season
Our Redlegs come in at #6, behind the Phillies and Giants in the NL.
Nippon Professional Baseball celebrates Opening Day today
two weeks late. The devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear troubles led NPB officials to push the season back and impose a number of limitations. No games will continue after the 3.5 hour mark, which will invariably lead to a number of cumbersome ties. Many games have been rescheduled for the afternoon to conserve energy, and night games will be played under restricted lighting.
Many are hoping that baseball can rally the national zeitgeist, much like it did after the 1995 Kobe earthquake and after 9/11 in New York. But some are incredulous, like Kozo Abe of the Fuji-Sankei media group: "Watching baseball is not the first thing on anyone's mind in Tokyo either. The Japanese feeling at the moment is that they are not ready to root for the revival of Japanese baseball from the bottom of their heart."
NPB is in a really tough position here. It's imperative that life return to a semblance of normalcy, and that includes recreational escapism like baseball. But a number of folks are still living without electricity, clean water, and heat, and those things should really come before baseball on the list of priorities. I think this quote from Hiroki Allen, an equities trader in Tokyo, sums it up pretty well: "The 2011 quake was so large and the deaths were so many, this is going to be nothing like 9/11 or '95. Rakuten may be Tohoku's team ... but I don't see them becoming the rallying point for people in these trying times. It's going to take a long, long time for things to get back to normal. And for me, normal is beer and night baseball with all the electricity used for bright lights, neon signs, electronic scoreboards, blaring music and cute girls in miniskirts selling draft beer and octopus snacks. Until night baseball returns in force, I don't think we can say that the baseball season has really started."