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Red Reposter - Chapman's already putting fannies in the seats

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Ticket sales up
Glad to see that even in this economy, the Reds are seeing a surge in ticket sales. I have to think that the positive buzz surrounding the Chapman signing has something to do with it.  2009 saw the lowest Reds attendance figure since 1986, but hopefully the Reds' young stars will lead an attendance rebound during the next few years.
"I think that we've done a really good job of retaining our client base out there right now, which is the lifeblood of what you do in any sports organization," said John Davis, the Reds' senior director of ticket sales. "You try to retain your season ticket base and grow it. This year, we budgeted a 78 percent renewal and we're coming in now at right around 82 percent. Last year, for comparison, we were at 74 percent. We do feel good."  Although no specific sales totals were revealed, Davis also noted that new season ticket sales are two and a half times better than where they were at this point last year.

Sheldon checks his inbox
We always hear about Cincinnati trying to make payroll and trading players. How is it that St. Louis (a town of equal size) can sign players like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, etc ... but we look to trade when players get valuable? -- Harold B., French Lick, Ind. Sheldon responds that the Reds have not dumped salary recently and of course just splurged on Chapman.  With a few winning seasons, I can see a revenue bump that would enable the Reds to spend about the same as the Cardinals.  As it is, the gap isn't too great at the moment.  The Reds had a 70M payroll last year, compared to 88M for St. Louis.  

So does Fay
When asked why Johnny Gomes wasn't on the FA list, Fay explains: Gomes was non-tendered so he isn’t technically a major league free agent. Alfredo Amezega, non-tendered by the Marlins, fits in the same category. The Reds were lukewarm on Amezega when Fay asked about him in December.

OMGReds: Aaron Boone and Hal to speak in Dayton
Boone, who underwent a procedure last year to replace part of his aorta and repair his aortic valve, will be joined by McCoy in an event this Saturday at 8 at the Dayton Marriott. Proceeds will benefit the Dayton Heart Institute.

Reds Winter Caravan coming soon
Speaking of this weekend, be sure to catch the winter caravan if it comes to your neighborhood. Indy's FanPost has some discussion about what you can expect.

RHM: Boring Offseason Distractability
I agree with Red Hot Mama, those are some exceptionally long bills. Which can only mean better sun protection.

Scott Rolen as George Sisler - Viva El Birdos
Given the short shrift for thirdbasemen by the Hall of Fame voters, I don't think Rolen has a great shot unless he is fully healthy and hits with power for the next few seasons (which I'm obviously rooting for).  As VEB states, it's hard to argue that Rolen was easily the best at his position for a sustained period: Rolen at his best was an all-star caliber corner outfielder who played brilliant defense at a more premium position, which is definitely a Hall of Fame combination. But while he was always among the best-hitting third basemen at his peak, he was rarely a cut above, often behind fluke years (Bill Mueller, Adrian Beltre), immobile future first basemen (Phil Nevin, Miguel Cabrera, Garrett Atkins), and Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez.

FanNation: Crawford, Pena on the block?
Someone around here used to push a trade for Crawford, but I can't remember who. Anyways, Crawford will be a FA after this season so if he gets dealt, I'd imagine a large market NL team will get him.

Sky Andrecheck says even the Pirates and Royals can be contenders in 5 years
Basically, present performance has little correlation with long-term future performance. A strong farm system has much more to do with it, and (of course) market size does as well. Hope springs eternal!


Rob Neyer: Will Captain Jetes threaten Charlie Hustle?
Just saw this piece about Jeter's chances at catching Rose. Neyer doesn't think it'll happen. According to Bill James' Favorite Toy method, Jeter has not established a measurable chance to break Rose's record. That said, he does have a six-percent chance of reaching 4,000 hits. Which leads to the obvious question: Is 4,257 hits really so many more than 4,000? And the obvious answer: Yes. When you're 43 or 44, 257 is an awful lot of hits.