- Congrats to JinAz for the second day in a row, this time for being published in the Hardball Times 2007 Season Preview (which you can order here). JinAz wrote all of the Reds stuff, so I'm sure it'll be a good buy, and I'll be picking up a copy. It certainly can't hurt to have a Baseball Prospectus competitor out there when it comes to preseason annuals, and I think this qualifies. I've never bought one of the Hardball Times season wrap ups, possibly because I'm not usually in the mood to relive a Reds season once it's finished, so I'm glad to see them starting a preseason guide.
- Five sleepers for the 2007 Cy Young Award, with no mention of Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo. I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt and assume those two wouldn't qualify as sleepers, but I'd include Harang on a list like that just because nobody outside of Cincinnati seems to know who he is. That makes him a sleeper to me, and he's a hell of a lot better than any of the five pitchers that Beyond the Box Score lists. I do like Clay Hensley though.
- Remember Rob Bell? Things haven't worked out so well for him.
- I'm sure you've all seen Daugherty's column on Homer Bailey by now, but I just love this quote:
The difference between pitchers and throwers, Bailey explained patiently to a hopeless scribe, is "finding your weaknesses and trying to make them strengths. You always hear the greatest pitchers (being) students of the game. I'll be the first to tell you I'm not,'' said Bailey. "But I will do whatever it takes to be the best at what I do, whether it's learning how to command a changeup or breaking ball (or) making adjustments like getting the fastball down in the stretch.''
Sky's pretty much the limit for Bailey at this point. I don't think the hype can get any louder. I've gone back and forth and back and forth on the issue, but I wouldn't mind seeing him make the team out of spring training at this point. And if he doesn't then I' love to see him up by the All Star break.
- I try not to read the MLB.com mailbag, but for some reason I clicked earlier, and saw this:
With Ryan Freel and Juan Castro (in my opinion, two of the best utility guys in the game right now), should the Reds really be starting Edwin Encarnacion at third base?
-- Michael B, Sharonville, Ohio
Really. That was a real question. The fact that someone that dumb is nonetheless smart enough to type out an email and send it off to Mark Sheldon really impresses me.
I like to pretend that fans like Michael B. don't exist, that Cincinnati fans are a somewhat savvy bunch. So,you know, I'm going to go ahead and do my best to avoid mailbags in the future. I should know better.