Everyone seems to be pleased with the road trip out west
which is a welcome change, as the Reds have gone 27-43 out left over the past six years. "We split in San Francisco, which you’ll take," Scott Rolen said. "We came here and played well. A 5-2 trip, I think we’ll take that 10 out of 10 times." At the beginning of the trip, Cy Schourek was feeling optimistic and hoped for a 5-2 result. Me, I figured a 4-3 trip would be worthy of praise. This is definitely the kind of momentum they need going into the crucible of the AL East portion of the schedule.
Joey Votto says that 90% of what he knows about baseball he learned from his mentor, Bob Smyth
Smyth is humble about it, saying "You've got to understand, he had a whole bunch of natural talent too, so I wasn't dealing with clay pigeons. It's all right to work hard, but same as anything else, you've got to have a lot of natural talent, and he certainly did. He was very inquisitive (too) - if he didn't understand something, he would ask you to explain it to him. But I didn't have to do that too much - he was a pretty quick learner." You gotta love that good old-fashioned Canadian humility. Take some credit every once in a while, ya hosers!
SI.com's power rankings have the Reds one spot after the Pirates
But no worries, it won't be that way for long: "The Reds have scored an NL-best 345 runs, but they've also allowed 311 runs, the most among the 15 major league teams with a record above .500. But Cincinnati is trending in the right direction: In its last 10 games Cincy hasn't allowed more than four runs in a game and has gone 7-3, capped with a three-game road sweep of the Dodgers. Even last Sunday's loss was encouraging as Edinson Volquez, the Opening Day starter recently demoted to Triple-A, logged a quality start against the Giants."
Amazin' Avenue compares Jose Reyes' season so far to his 2008 season
and he's looking pretty good so far this year. Despite a drop in home runs, Reyes is getting more production at the plate this year than he did in '08 when he posted an impressive .366 wOBA. His BABIP is up, but even regressing it to his career average nets a more impressive performance. The folks at AA seem to be leaning towards re-signing Reyes, but if I'm Walt Jocketty I'm leaving voice mails for my old friend Sandy Alderson every single day.
Daniel Moroz of Camden Crazies likes what the team has gotten so far from JJ Hardy
He's playing terrific defense at SS for the O'Birds and is slashing a very impressive .299/.366/.514 in 162 PAs. That's better than his career line, and Moroz admits that he's due for a regression. But that doesn't mean he won't continue to produce at an awesome pace:
"The only difference is that he's hitting the ball in the air more than at any point in his career, which is resulting in more of them going over the fence. Slightly dampened flyball tendencies would probably have left Hardy with, say, 6 homers instead of 7. Then his line would be .271/.342/.458 - and if that's what he provides the team going forward, I have to think they'd take it in a heart-beat (even missing some playing time that's around a 4 win player)."
I've been a fan of Hardy's for a while, and if the Reds are looking to upgrade the SS position via trade this summer he and "The Outlaw" Jose Reyes would be the two options I would seriously consider. And the fact that Hardy costs half as much money (and probably half as much prospects) as Reyes makes me like Hardy even more.
Looks like 'creds is moonlighting over at Bleacher Report now. Good for him, I guess.
The Moneyball trailer is out
Miguel Tejada sure looks familiar. I expect the movie to stray considerably from the book, which it will have to do to reach a mainstream audience. But it also doesn't look like The Blindside, which abandoned the analytical angle altogether to push the more compelling social story. Anyways, I'm looking forward to it. This is the biggest baseball movie to come out in some time.
The best part, to me anyway, is that Paul DePodesta refused to allow the use of his name in the film due to "factual" and "ephemeral" problems, whatever the hell that means. Have you ever played that game with your friends where you try to cast a movie about your lives and you have to pick an actor who would play you on the screen? Nobody ever - in the history of forever - would ever choose the fat one from SuperBad to play themselves. I guess that's what "ephemeral issues" means.