Coaching changes afoot?
After questioning Dusty Baker's ridiculous use of Francisco Cordero and Nick Masset for five consecutive days, Ken Rosenthal hints that there could be changes made to the Reds' coaching staff, including our favorite whipping boy: Hitting coach Brook Jacoby, meanwhile, presides over an offense that ranks 14th in runs per game even though Great American Ballpark is one of the best hitters' parks in the majors. Yet Jacoby, too, would be little more than a scapegoat — injuries and poor roster construction helped compromise the offense. I think the question should be which hitters have developed or regressed under Jacoby's tutelage. As an outside observer it's tough to say. Has Joey Votto blossomed because or in spite of the coaching? Has Jacoby affected Jay Bruce's development?
Reds raise presence in Arizona
The Reds' Instructional League starts today in Goodyear, Arizona. Fay reports that the minor leaguers are excited about the new and improved facilities, which is great to hear because so much is riding on our prospects. This marks the beginning of the Reds presence in Arizona after spending the last 63 years in Florida.
'Stros can Cooper
Cooper has been managing the Astros since Aug. 27, 2007, and compiled a 171-170 record. As of Monday, the Astros had lost seven straight to fall to 70-79 and 16 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central. Cooper may be a poor tactician, but it's not as if this team was going anywhere with a rotation that falls off a cliff after the first two spots. It's a strange roster in that they have a number of legitimately good players (Berkman, Lee, Pence, Rodriguez, Oswalt) and a few decent role players, but very little after that. Their failure to construct a deeper roster is hardly the fault of Cooper.
MLB Players Association considering grievance for Milton Bradley
The Cubs will first have to "officially" suspend Bradley and provide its reasons before the MLBPA can appeal. At this point it's not even clear if the suspension is without pay. Things might be bad for Bradley, but at least his mother is still in his corner: "Milton sounded fine," Charlena Rector told the Chicago Tribune from her home in Long Beach, Calif. "He was raised in a Christian home. He believes that God don't make mistakes. ... And if that door in Chicago closes for him, he thinks another one will open. It always does."
Perhaps the greatest pitching prospect in the world is about to become a free agent.
Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is awaiting MLB's decision on his application for free agnecy. Chapman is 21, a lefty, and reportedly throws a 102 mph fastball (at this year's WBC). Everyone gather around your TV sets while your favorite team watches the teams from New York, Boston, and Los Angeles throw enormous amounts of money at him.
Obama Leaps Into Olympic Fray
President Obama presided over a White House extravaganza to promote Chicago as the site for the 2016 Olympics, putting heft behind his hometown's bid. The other major contenders are believed to be Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid. I'm a big fan of the Olympics and would love to see Chicago receive the games. It would at least be nice to make up for the shoddy Atlanta Olympics.