P-Doc has a nice little one-on-one with Dusty that reads like an SIS questionaire
Whatever your thoughts of his baseball acumen or managing ability, he is definitely one cool cat. "I hung out in Haight-Ashbury in the late 60s. I’d go to concerts all the time. The Fillmore. Winterland. My graduation present from my mom was two tickets, use of the station wagon and $20, for me and my buddy to go to the Monterey Pop Festival."
As cool as he is though, he's still unable to hide his natural proclivities. "Juan Pierre gets more from his ability than any player I’ve seen. You can’t beat him to the ballpark, even when he’s not playing. He has a lot of natural talent. Lots of guys do. Not all of them work consistently hard."
Edinson Volquez pitched five innings against the Diamondbacks' single-A team
It wasn't without incident, as he hit three batters and threw two wild pitches. The Reds don't seem to be worried that he won't be able to make the Opening Day start on the 31st, but he only has two more starts this spring to get himself ready.
MLB.com has a pleasant little interview with Jay Bruce
He's just so darn likable, you know? Here he echos a sentiment voiced by his pal Joey Votto earlier this winter regarding big money extensions: "In a lot of ways, it (the extension) makes me more hungry, makes me want to earn what I have even more," he said. "I plan on outplaying this contract, and that's the best-case scenario for everyone. It's not about making more money. It's about being the player I can be and helping my team win, because I have the ability to help my team in a lot of ways."
Fay revisits the five big questions going into Training Camp
He says Travis Wood and Homer Bailey have all but wrapped up the final two rotation spots, Dontrelle Willis is a "semi-lock" to make the bullpen, and Aroldis Chapman will almost definitely spend at least this entire season in the 'pen. He also expresses his surprise at the way Fred Lewis has been marginalized so far this spring. Coming into spring, Fay saw him as the favorite for the lead-off spot, but Dusty hasn't played him much and has led him off even less. Drew Stubbs should start the year as the lead-off man.
Jocketty tipped his hand a bit regarding the future of the catcher position
He's not interested in trading any of his stable of quality backstops - just yet, anyway. "This gives him (Hanigan) some financial security," Reds manager Walt Jocketty said. "It gives us a guy who plays the next two years as we transition to our young guys. He’s done a good job. He deserves it." The bit that perked my ears up there was that Jocketty said "the next two years". Hanigan's deal is for three years. It probably rates pretty high on the obvious meter, but there will definitely be some movement at the catcher position once Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal are ready. Hanigan's deal just gives the Reds some stability until that happens.
Dontrelle Willis appears to be okay after spraining his ankle last week
He pitched off the mound on Monday and Dusty saw nothing to be concerned about.
Red Hot Mama went out to Arizona to catch some baseball
and podcasted from the final game they attended.
The Big Lead offers their take on the NL Central
They see the Reds repeating as champs, even upping their win total from last season.
"It doesn’t matter what you think of Cincinnati’s chances of repeating as division champs, all that really matters is how hard (105 mph!) Aroldis Chapman throws the ball. It will lead SportsCenter after each of his appearances this summer until his arm falls off. For Chapman’s sake, let’s hope his wang stays on. The man is a straight up booty connoisseur, but onto the important stuff. With the injury to Adam Wainwright and the hoop desires of the surprisingly stupid Zack Greinke, it’s hard to pick against the Reds. Bronson Arroyo will give them 200-plus innings, Johnny Cueto (185.1 IP in ’10) may very well stomp his way there too, and I like Homer Bailey. Edinson Volquez, who claims to be back to 100%, will be the opening day starter because Arroyo wants to be able to enjoy the opening day festivities. Outfielder Jay Bruce is fresh off signing a 6-year $51 million contract in the offseason, which seems like a lot of money for a guy who drove in 70 runs and struck out 136 times. To be fair, the dude is still just 23 years of age, there’s a decent chance this is the season where he erupts like Tera Patrick’s vagina on a Saturday night. Lovable villain Joey Votto will certainly deliver. Gotta go with the Reds. Prediction: 92 wins"
Bronson Arroyo, never one to equivocate
gives his explanation for why the Reds are not the Pirates: "We have an owner in Bob Castellini that is willing to spend the money it takes to field a winner. The Pirates have an owner (Bob Nutting), who is interested in leading the league in one thing: making money." He's incorrigible!
Former Pirate and now-former Cardinal Ian Snell has decided to hang it up
The 29-year-old has apparently had enough of the daily grind of the diamond. You know, I really can't say I blame the guy. He had a good year back in '07 which he parlayed into a nice little chunk of change, but he's been hanging onto a job ever since. He's apparently had enough of working his ass off and not seeing the results he wants. So many players hang on for way too long out of love of the game, but very rarely does someone like Snell come along who makes his bank and takes off for his beach house. Hopefully he's taken care of his $10 mil well enough that it lasts him into his golden years, because he's got a good 40 years or so make it last. Good luck, Snelly.
adarowski at Beyond the Boxscore has been working on a new Hall of Fame project
He's used his new metric "peak-weighted WAR" to populate a Hall of Fame based solely on the numbers. You can click through to get an explanation of how the stat works and the details of the project. The most interesting bit is who makes it into the new Hall of Fame (Barry Larkin glides in easily) and who gets left out (because he's only looking at the numbers, Pete Rose's unsavory non-comformities don't lock him out of this one). It's an impressive project of tremendous scope. I recommend reading the whole thing. He breaks down the inductees by position, so it's separated into about a dozen different posts.