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Red Reposter - 2/18/09

Here's a look at what the internets are talking about this morning:

Hall O' Famer Hal spoke with the new millionaire, Edwin Encarnacion (he just signed a 2 year, 7.6 mil contract in case you hadn't heard yet).  Encarncion is now the 3rd-most tenured Red, behind only Harang and Weathers.  I wonder if Dusty is still claiming "these aren't his guys"...

EdE wants to be a more consistent hitter this year, and he's confident he can do it.  He says he was trying to pull the ball too much last year (like that wasn't obvious) and wants to hit the ball up the middle more.  Most importantly though, he wants to get better on defense.  He says:

“That’s one of the things I worked hard on during my off-season,” he said. “It’s my throwing. I know that. I catch everything, but sometimes I throw it away. I’m working hard to keep those errors down.  That’s the first thing you have to do to win games, play good defense,” he said. “If you don’t play good defense, you are not going to win games.”

Here's hoping.

Apparently someone asked Pete Rose about the team this year (hat tip to RLN) and of course he had plenty to say:

They aren't as good this year as they were last year (74-88, fifth place). They didn't do anything this winter to really help themselves. They acquired a catcher (Ramon Hernandez) who hit .257. Stevie Wonder could hit .230.

They need to put some money in pitching, get a left-hander. They don't even have a left-hander in the rotation. I told (owner) Bob Castellini a couple of years ago to sign as much pitching as he can get. Pitching wins.

I won't even comment on this myself.  I'll save that beachball for you folks to kick around.

Joey Votto is fully prepared to play for Team Canada in the WBC.  By my count, there are 3 Reds likely playing this year, as Edinson Volquez will suit up for the Dominican team and new catcher Ramon Hernandez (you know, the one who doesn't hit much better than Stevie Wonder) will play for Venezuela.  Votto will likely DH for most of the tourney, as Twins 1B and fellow Cannuck Justin Morneau will handle those duties. 

The Seattle Times is reporting that Ken Griffey Jr will soon be signing with the Braves.  This has been going around for a few days now, but I guess nothing has been finalized.  If Jr ends up in Atlanta, he'll likely platoon in LF.  This is probably best for Jr, as his family is in Orlando.  Godspeed, Kid!

Mark Sheldon says Alex Gonzalez is looking good and is ready for some baseball.  He says, "Right now, I feel good. I've been moving side-to-side, back and front. I'm running and hitting. I'm doing all that kind of stuff."  That is really good to hear, as I don't know if I could take another game with Jeff Keppinger flat-out sucking out there.  Also, apparently Billy Bray has a sore shoulder and has yet to throw.  Probably nothing to worry about right now, but he does have a history of shoulder problems. 

The Fay has some notes on the first workout, where Joe Morgan was a guest instructor.  Barry Larkin was asked to help as well, but he's busy being a big TV star now.  Fay was very impressed with 3B prospect Juan Francisco, saying he "moves very well for a big man and has a gun for a throwing arm."