Brandon Phillips will not be appearing at RedsFest this year
If it were any other player, I would likely downplay this as insignificant. But with BP, who seems about as image conscious as any Cincinnati sports figure, it's probably a big deal. With Phillips and the Reds talking contract extension this winter, this could be read as a sign that he isn't terribly confident that a deal is near. It could be that BeeP is declining to show in anticipation that the fans, expecting him to be there, will show management their displeasure with his absence. He's probably hoping that the fans will use the occasion to pressure the Reds into getting the deal done, showing the team just how much he means to the city.
But that would be a gross miscalculation. Fans rarely ever side with the player in contract disputes. What the fans see is a millionaire complaining that he's not quite the magnitude of millionaire he thinks he should be, which is not a good thing for the player at all. Phillips may be justified in asking for more than what the Reds have offered him (we aren't privy to the exact numbers), but even so, the vast majority of fans will not see it that way. If he's shirking RedsFest hoping it will bring fans to his side, he's making a big mistake. But then again, he just tweeted a few days ago "Just talked to my agent @Baseball_ACES and it feels good to know that we're moving in the right direction to make me a #Red4Life #ALLREADY". So who knows. This is strange.
UPDATE: Word on the tweets is that Phillips will be attending RedsFest after all. So you can disregard all the armchair psycho-babble and unqualified moral grandstanding above.
The Fay ran into Yonder Alonso, who is in town for RedsFest
and noted that he is in noticeably better shape. Yonder says he has lost 18 pounds in the last few months, with the help of a personal chef and dedication to working out. You know, if he really can up his game in the outfield to an acceptable level, I will be very tempted to keep ahold of him and start him in LF every day. He's clearly one of the Reds' best trade chips right now in their search for a top line starter, but I have to think a deal could get done without him. There is plenty of talent on the farm. This is a very interesting development and one that could have huge repercussions on the Reds' off-season. Or maybe it's nothing at all.
Happy trails, Clutch Man Monie
Ramon Hernandez has agreed to a 2-year, $6.5 mil deal with the Rockies, ending his three year run as a Reds backstop. I gotta say, I'm a little surprised at the meagerness of this deal. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had signed for $10 mil, so this looks like a good get for the Rocks.
In a corresponding move, the Rockies sent their former starting catcher, Chris Iannetta, to the Angels. So it looks like Monie will be the #1 catcher for the Rockies this season. Having seen how limited playing time greatly benefited him these past few years, I'm not so sure that move is in the Rockies' best interest. Nevertheless, Red Reporter wholeheartedly wishes Ramon the best of luck in his new digs.
For more reactions from around the Reds blogosphere on Hernandez's departure
check out what Redleg Nation has to say. And here is C-ing Red's take.
Are you still confused about the new CBA?
JinAZ has a rundown of the highlights. Overall it looks like a net positive, but he explains how certain aspects, notably the new amateur draft taxation system, could have dramatically adverse affects.
"The amateur draft, even after the rise in singing bonuses we've seen the lats few years, is still a drop in the bucket compared to other expenses of a major league team. What this new adjustment fixes is that it reduces the degree to which the draft can be leveraged by small market teams as a means of procuring talent. Going over slot, offering major league contracts, etc, are all ways that small market teams can add extra talent in an economically advantageous manner. What this basically means is that, for the same amount spent in the draft last year, amateur players will get less money and poorer contracts next year. That means that more players will opt to go to college, or pursue another sport, because the incentives aren't as good for baseball as they once were. I see the main effect of this change a reduction in the talent coming into MLB. I really don't understand how that can be good for the game."
MLB.com has added a Kidz Newz section
with your new Youth Reporter, 14-year-old Reds fan Meggie Zahneis. Brandon Phillips and Sharon Robinson, Jackie's
widow daughter, will be visiting Meggie at Lakota West High this afternoon. As an aside, this only further muddies the waters re: BP, RedsFest, and his connection to the fans and the town. There is just no pinning this guy down. Still, this is spectacular for Meggie, whom I can only assume is floating somewhere in the stratosphere above the tri-state area right now.
Christina Kahrl has a plan to address each NL Central team's problems this winter
Step I: eat a balanced breakfast. Step II: sort out the rotation. Step III: get a haircut. Step IV: address the back end of the bullpen. Step V: figure out what to do with all the young position players. Step VI: KING'S ISLAND!!
Sean Casey, Dan Driessen, and John Reilly will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in June
Casey was The Mayor, Driessen was a secondary cog in the Big Red Machine, and Reilly was the best Reds hitter of the 1880s. All were first basemen.
John Erardi sat down for a Q&A with The Mayor
When asked about his greatest individual moment as a Red, he responded: "In '99, we were coming down the stretch, fighting for every game. I remember (the Pirates') Kris Benson throwing me a jammer in an 0-0 game in the eighth, and I hit a homer, and we won it here in Cincinnati, 1-0. (Aug. 19) It kept us right there (tied for first, .597 winning percentage for the Reds, to .593 for the Astros). Everybody in the crowd was on their feet. As I was rounding the bases, I was thinking, 'This is what it's all about right here.'"