The Reds Winter Caravan gets underway tomorrow, fanning out in three Cardinal - no, how about "Compass-y?" - directions. The events at each stop are free and present a chance for fans throughout the hinterlands of Reds Country to meet and greet players, coaches, executives, broadcasters and a seemingly endless parade of mascots. The Reds will also be pedaling tickets to Game 2/Opening Night at each appearance.
Here is a partial list of Reds mascots accompanying the caravan:
- Mr. Redlegs
- Rosie Red
- Mr. Red
- Dr. Cincinnatireds
- Reds Lobster
- P&G presents: Crimson Tide
- Vanessa Red-crave
- Trent Reds-nor & the Downward Speier-al
- The Reddleman (inspired by Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native)
The locations, personnel and other details by leg are available on the Reds' official Caravan page (there's also a custom Yahoo! map). Brandon Phillips, a fixture on the yearly tour, is probably the player with the biggest star power participating. Dusty is headed West toward Louisville (no, he's not being demoted) along with Red Reporter 2012 #3 Prospect Billy Hamilton and Todd Frazier. Marty, as I believe is customary, heads south through Thundering Herd territory and Devin Mesoraco will be snacking his way North through Columbus and Dayton.
With the team having settled with its arbitration-eligible players, the Caravan signals the last major landmark in the off season before pitchers and catchers voluntary report date on February 19. Kiss some babies, sign an underwhelming free agent (or trade for one) and then head to Arizona with the winds of an ambitious and successful winter at your back.