Doc takes Stubbs to task for the Ks
Saying that Stubbs would be a better player if he struck out less is both a fair and obvious point. But Doc goes about it in a comically critical fashion: "Choking up is a Man-Card violation. It’s the hardball equivalent of drinking a beer with fruit in it. Skinny shortstops who couldn’t hit a 400-foot flyball with a rocket muscle up at the plate and swing from the radio booth. And fly out routinely." I pretty much stopped after seeing a professional journalist write about man-cards and fruiting the beer. But more substantively, it's not as if the organization hasn't tried to make Texarkana Slim into a Slappy McSlapperson in the minors. It just didn't work.
This part was also illuminating: "Drew Stubbs probably has never heard of [Harry] Walker or [Matty] Alou. They’re both dead now, which complicates things." It does? "Alou died Thursday at age 72, of diabetes. Walker died 12 summers ago. Each could be linked to Stubbs’ future." Now it's more clear. Bring down the strikeouts, Drew, lest you be stricken with diabetes in forty-five years.
Aaron Cook is interested in a homecoming
Aaron Cook told Denver reporter Jim Armstrong that he's interested in talking with San Diego and Cincinnati this offseason. The 2011 Rockie and Hamilton HS product strikes out hitters less frequently than even Arroyo, but doesn't walk many and is a groundball-generating machine. As a long-man/spot starter, Cook might make some sense. But he's going to have to take a paycut from the $9.8M he earned last season. HT to BBTF.
Armstrong, incidentally, left the Denver Post late last week after being named as a prominent client of a Denver sports bookie.
Brennaman goes to bat for Bruce's glove
In last week's "Reds Hot Stove League," Marty Brennaman surprisingly supported Jay Bruce's ultimately unsuccessful candidacy for the Gold Glove. "[Bruce] should have won it last year. There is no better right fielder defensively in this league than Jay Bruce." This was nice to hear and in contrast to the steady criticisms Marty lodged at Bruce last season about his Ks and consistency. HT to Bleacher Report.
R.I.P., Bob Forsch
One week after throwing out the first pitch of Game 7, Bob Forsch passed away late last week. For the last three seasons, he was the pitching coach for the Reds' Class A rookie league affiliate in Billings. As a player, he pitched for 16 years and won 168 games, including the only two no-hitters at Busch II. The link reviews Forsch's playing highlights, of which there were many.
Bray and back-to-back appearances
Peter Gammons tweeted this nugget from the Bill James Handbook: "back-to-back relief appearances--Venters 33, O'Flaherty 30, Kimbrel 28, Bray 28. Braves 9-18 in Sept." Causation-correlation, SSS, yadda yadda ... but Bray was certainly hit harder in the second half of the season. 1st half numbers: 2.12 ERA, .501 OPS against. Those numbers for the second half were 4.34 and .761. But then again, his K/BB ratio actually improved in the second half, so maybe it's all statistical noise.
Bray just returned from his exhibition tour of Taiwan. His lasting memory: staring in solemn silence at the dramatic changing of the guard ceremony at the Martyrs Shrine to honor Taiwanese casualties of war outside of Taipei City. I didn't see any boxscores from the exhibition trip, but I believe Bray got at least two appearances in, both scoreless.
Popping some squats with strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause
Sheldon sits down with Krause to talk about how the Reds stay in shape over the winter: Over the last couple of days of each regular season, Reds players have an exit interview with Krause -- possibly general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker as well -- to go over their physical strengths and weaknesses from the past year. There was no interview for Paul Janish this year, just a bag of wrist exercisers left in his locker.
Way! Johnny Bench gets own street
Besides having a statue unveiled in Bench's honor on September 17, the city surprisingly revealed that parts of Second Street around GABP would be renamed Johnny Bench Way.
Amy Nelson the latest to leave the WWL for SBNation
She will reportedly be starting up a SBN Youtube channel. The talent drain from Bristol continues.
Trey Griffey sets his HS record for TD receptions
Trey goes to an Orlando high school called "Dr. Phillips," which despite its name is a formidable institution for both football and academics. Last Friday he had 13 receptions for 188 yards and four touchdowns. The Kid can also play a little baseball, and supposedly has had a standing offer from the Mariners since 1994. Front offices perhaps got too bored and speculative during the dark days of the strike.