Who has the best hair so far in 2011?
David Schoenfield has taken over Rob Neyer's old gig after Rob joined the good guys. In this entry, Schoenfield polls the readers for the major's best hair. The former Cornrroyo is first on the ballot: "In the past, Arroyo has worn cornrows, gone short, sported a goatee, and grown long, wavy locks. This season he has a straight mullet that makes him look like he should be lacing up his skates for the 1985 Edmonton Oilers."
Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus runs down the closer situations around the NL Central
He notes the three blown saves out of four chances on Opening Day, as the Brewers' John Axford, Cardinals' Ryan Franklin, and Astros' Brandon Lyon all coughed up the lead in the 9th inning. Also, fun fact: the Reds are tied with the Astros and Mets for fewest closers since the 1997 season. Danny Graves, David Weathers, and Francisco Cordero have proven stable if nothing else.
WARP projections see the Reds' bullpen as the 4th best in the NL
but Jay Jaffe isn't so confident in the wisdom his robot overlords. "I've already pointed out that PECOTA isn't terribly sanguine about the Cincinnati rotation even without knowing that it's Dusty Baker calling the shots, and the same goes for closer Francisco Cordero (0.4 WARP, 3.86 ERA). Count me as somebody who will take the under on Aroldis Chapman's projection for 112 innings and even 11 starts; it's his 1.8 WARP that's driving this ranking, more than he'll contribute if he's confined to a setup role. Bill Bray for 63 innings as their third-most valuable reliever? He's managed just 75.1 innings over the past three seasons, and has never topped 47."
A very un-scientific Facebook study proves irrefutably that Reds fans are the best fans in America (and so by default, the world)
"The Facebook study was based on number of people who "liked" a particular team, or post updates about their teams. Facebook also created a "fair- weather fan" index for fans who follow their team only when it is winning. According the index, the least "fair-weather fans" were supporters of the Reds, Rays, and the Mets. The most fair-weather were fans of the Indians, Yankees and Blue Jays." HT to Blog Red Machine, "a Cincinatti Reds Blog"
Q If I pay my money, I’m entitled to boo manager Dusty Baker for bad decisions, so does that mean I can boo team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek because the Reds have five players on the disabled list? — Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek
A Dr. Kremchek is offering you a free lobotomy, but realizes somebody beat him to it. Blaming a doctor for injuries is like the Greeks killing a messenger bearing bad news.
Take THAT, Dave!
Q If Dusty Baker sticks with Drew Stubbs at leadoff, how many games do you think it will last, and I’m saying 15 games? — Deck, Beavercreek
A Did you check the Opening Day box score? Home run. Double. One strikeout in five at-bats. Would you say Bobby Bonds was a good leadoff hitter? In six full seasons with the Giants he never struck out less than 134 times and had back-to-back years of striking out 187 and 189 times. When the Reds make the playoffs this year Stubbs still will be batting leadoff. Right now there are no alternatives and Stubbs is my pick to click this year — and I said that before Opening Day.
While I'm certainly satisfied with his production so far, I'm still less than enthused by the prospect of Stubbs batting lead-off. Hal makes a good point in saying there are no alternatives, and I'm hopeful he will click as Hal says, but I'd really like to see Stubbs keep his OBP up above .340-.350 if he's going to lead-off. If he clicks, he'll be fine. But until then, I'll be slightly uncomfortable.
Ryan Hanigan wants "to be a dangerous guy"
I would argue he already is, posting a .400+ OBP last season. His one weakness is his durability, as he slows down dramatically after the All-Star break. He's a career .336 hitter pre-ASB, .239 after.
David Schoenfield picks the Reds to win the Central primarily because of their depth
Naming Mike Leake, Sam LeCure, Ryan Hanigan, Chris Heisey, Edgar Renteria, Yonder Alonso, Devin Mesoraco, and Dave Sappelt as notable and capable fill-ins just-in-case. I think it's easy to overlook the strength that these back-ups provide. Every single spot on the diamond is reinforced by a better-than-replacement-level replacement, which is something that I'm confident in saying no other team can boast. Few teams can survive a full season if one of their superstars goes down (Cardinals), but I'm much more confident our team can survive something like that than any of our competitors.
Red Hot Mama makes her picks for new intro music for a number of current Reds players
I think the Jay Bruce pick is particularly inspired.
Chris Sabo's Goggles reminds us to enjoy this fun while it lasts
It's still early, and we may be whistling a different tune next week, but going into the game tonight against the Astros they are playing inspired and fun baseball.
Aroldis Chapman was in West Chester last night signing autographs
Here's a nice slideshow of the event.
10 truths about Drew Stubbs (and one lie)
He's an intelligent guy. In high school, Stubbs was class salutatorian and a member of the National Honor Society, Calculus Club and the Young Republicans.
If the Reds needed somebody to play music between innings, Stubbs might be an option. He took piano lessons for several years.
Stubbs was once wounded in a knife fight in a bazaar in Calcutta.
Stubbs was drafted by the Astros in the third round (89th overall) of the 2003 draft and had hoped to sign for $900,000. When the commissioner's office stepped in, the Astros slashed their offer by half and Stubbs chose to attend the University of Texas.
Matt Holliday asked the Cardinals not to put him on the DL
and the team obliged him. Hopefully playing a man short will be just as frustrating for them as it so often is for us.
In case you haven't seen it yet
Snookers was a special guest at Wrestlemania this past weekend. She won the match, and if you follow the link you can witness her surprising athleticism (she was a cheerleader in high school). I am endlessly fascinated by this. Just imagine if other sports had special guests like this. Charlie Sheen comes out of the bullpen for the Reds to close out Game 4 of the World Series. Will Ferrell comes off the bench for the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Steve Carrell comes on for the Blackhawks to kill a penalty. I'm only half-joking.