-- Diamond Mind Baseball has released their predictions for the upcoming season. Here's what they have to say about the Reds:
I keep reading about the new level of excitement in Cincinnati. Apparently, fans and Reds players are encouraged by the flurry of offseason signings and trades that brought Joe Randa, Eric Milton, Ramon Ortiz, and several relief pitchers.
I just don't see it. Last year's Reds team was outscored by 157 runs and outproduced by 408 total bases and walks. In all of major league baseball, only Seattle and Arizona were worse on either count. Statistically, Cincinnati produced at a level that normally leads to about 62 wins, so their 76-86 record was more than a little misleading. In other words, the Reds have a huge hole to climb out of, and adding a bunch of mid-level players isn't going to get it done.
Lookout Landing pointed out that DMB picked the Mariners to win 87 games last year, so I'd take this with a truckload of salt.
-- More baseless Griffey rumor mongering, from the New York Daily News:
It may be too late to mean much, but Griffey, who has a no-trade clause, says he would no longer be opposed to playing for the Yankees.
"I was young," he said with a shrug, explaining his old stance. "I've got family in New York and they're always yelling at me because they want me to play there.
"I don't know if anything would ever happen now. I'm trying to win here with this team, but if it happens (with the Yankees), it happens."
It's not out of the realm of possibility, considering that Bernie Williams' contract runs out this year, and the Yankees don't have a center fielder in waiting. The Yankees would have to trade for Griffey, who will have three years and $38 million remaining on his contract after this season.
-- The Reds are going to be selling Lance Armstrong type bracelets:
Baseball: Reds Community Fund to launch "Go Reds" wristband initiative on Opening Day
The Reds Community Fund announced today it will introduce a unique baseball-themed wristband on Opening Day, Monday, April 4.
The wristband is the latest version of the craze that began last year with Lance Armstrong's "LIVESTRONG" campaign. With this new initiative, the Reds Community Fund hopes to raise awareness and revenue for its various baseball outreach efforts.
Go Reds was the best they could come up with? Do we root for a bland franchise at times or what?
-- Jose Acevedo really might not have the mental toughness neccessary to survive in the major leagues. Here he is reacting to his demotion:
"They told me I came in out of shape," Acevedo said. "They also said I took this job for granted."
Acevedo figured there was no way he'd get sent back to the minors this year.
"It never crossed my mind, the way that I pitched last year in the bullpen," he said.
"I don't want to say David Weathers is out of shape because he pitched bad last night and gave up six runs," Acevedo said, referring to the reliever's performance in Tuesday's 12-11 loss to Minnesota. "That's the way it is. Sometimes that happens in the game. I don't want to say I was out of shape. In my last three or four outings, I was doing a good job, so that proves my point that I'm not out of shape the way they say."
I felt bad for the guy before reading that, but it's pretty clear from his own comments that he did take his job for granted. I'm not a David Weathers fan either, but Weathers has proven himself quite a bit more than Acevedo. I've heard the mental weakness thing tossed at Jose before and shrugged it off, but I'm definitely thinking there's something to it now.