For Arroyo, the zip is back (right?)
Tales of optimism are par for the course at the outset of Spring Training. And if there's anyone who should be looking forward instead of backwards, it's Bronson Arroyo. Naturally it's thumbs up on his health coming into camp: "This is as healthy as I've been in a long time. My arm's always been healthy. But my back's been banged up for years. I think that's affected flexibility." But is the zip back? Bronson's hopeful, but he's not making any guarantees: "If I'm throwing, 85, 86 like I did last year, I've got nothing else to give it. I gave myself this entire offseason to try to rejuvenate some of that zip. If it's not there, it's not going to be there. Between now and mid-spring, I should be able to see - by the time I throw three, four innings."
Paintball, swimming, bowling, track, and karate have all been part of BP's workout regime
Which from this point forward will be known as "El Beeperino's modern pentathalon." On his bowling game: "They call me 'Kingpin.' I've got three perfect games in bowling. I average over 200, and it is something I just love to do." BTW, this is the latest feature from youth correspondent Meggie Zahneis, who continues to do impressive work.
Chapman has a clean bill of health
Pitching Coach Bryan Price: "I saw him throw a bullpen the other day. He looked pretty good. His breaking ball was good. He's been in Florida throwing since he got the green light from Dr. (Tim) Kremchek after that shoulder tightness."
New guy optimism - Madson edition
Ryan Madson fell in the Reds' lap this winter after a long-term deal with Philadelphia never reached fruition. But he's plenty happy to be in Goodyear: "As expected, it's been great. There are a lot of great guys that have performed well over the last four or five years. That's a good base. We can put something together that I've had in Philly. It's that jell. Back there, we kept our own garden tight." Also, ashersky points out that Fangraphs has named Madson's changeup one of the best in 2011.
A dozen years later, Brett Tomko is back with the Reds
On a minor league deal, as reported (!) by MLBTR. Last year, Tomko shuttled between the Rangers and their Triple-A affiliate. Did you know that Tomko is the winningest pitcher drafted & signed by the Reds in the last 28 years? He pitched three years for the Reds - in the 1990s. He reportedly rolled into Goodyear this weekend listening to Flagpole Sitta on his Discman.
Grab a chair, because Hal's spinnin' some Spring Training yarns
There's an alligator named Marge, who started out well enough. Paul O'Neill and The Nasty Boys got rowdy; Tony Fernandez got surly. And Jack Morris cried.
- Reds fan seeks Fan Cave crown
There's a few more days to vote for the MLB Fan Cave contest. And let's face it, you're not going to watch all 50 videos, so you may as well vote for the lone Reds fan - Dayton's Emily Szink. She's a firecracker with a slick, entertaining video.
- Blue Wahoos owner pumps in $500K to Maritime Park
If you're roadtripping to Pensacola this year to catch the Reds' new
high AAA affiliate, you won't get shortchanged on ballpark fare thanks to the latest capital infusion from new owner Quint "did I" Studer. The extra 500 large will be plowed towards concession equipment and furnishings at the stadium.
- John Franco's kid is chasing the dream in college ball
Nothing makes you feel old like the son of a ballplayer you remember become a player in his own right. JJ Franco may never make the bigs, but if Brown University's 2B does he'll at least be able to ask his dad, John Franco, about the ins and outs of being a young major leaguer.
- So long, Mike Cameron
The one-time Red, famously shipped along with others for Ken Griffey Jr., announced his retirement over the weekend. Chronically underrated, Cameron led the surprising '99 team in bWAR and then put up several fine seasons in Seattle, among other places. He was also involved in one of the scariest outfield collisions I've seen when he bumped noggins in New York with Carlos Beltran. Happy trails, Mike.